In the US, the last week of December is also the last week of the US financial year. Australian charities should imagine combining their Christmas and Tax Appeals in one. This is the scenario encountered for US charitable organisations!
Most US charities use matching challenges for the follow up wave to their year-end Appeal. This creates a sense of urgency where donors are encouraged to double their donation and to double their impact. Like Australian non-profit organisations, US organisations use count down clocks and every other means to add to the sense of urgency.
On 29 December, I received 17 appeals via email from various US-based non-profit organisations. Each of the emails asked me to give a last minute tax year-end gift. 15 of the 17 appeals offered a matching challenge whereby my donation would be matched and have double the impact. The emails came from universities, cultural institutions, hospitals, and health organisations. On 30 December and 31 December, the reminder emails continued with as many as 30 being received on each of the two days.
Donor History Embedded in Year-End Emails
One such email referred to the fact I had not given a donation this year. This email came from Mount Sanai Healthcare in New York City. Embarrassingly, the email reflected I had not given a donation once in 2018. While I was embarrassed, I was also impressed at the accuracy of the donor records. Emails showing any sort of donor history require good record keeping and testing.
Matching challenges work to bring in new donors, renew existing donors, and renew lapsed donors, like me. In this case, the charitable organisation added an extra push by reminding me I had not given a single gift this year. Some emails showed my giving history across the year and asked me to boost my year-end giving by an additional gift to match my average donation.
Australian charities conduct direct marketing appeals really well. Adding matching challenges and adding giving history for the existing financial year to tax appeals will make the Tax Appeals that much stronger. Happy New Year!