Rethinking the Gift Giving Season
Thanksgiving is over, and the season of gift giving is here. Most non-profit organizations transition through these holidays aware of two realities: 1) the people your organization serves continue to need what you provide for them and 2) most of your donors do not personally need someone to go out shopping to buy a gift for them. By rethinking the gift giving season, you can help both groups—your donors and the people you serve.
You can do so by offering opportunities to donate to your charity in lieu of shopping for a gift. One strategy is to reach out to your donors with the opportunity to make a gift to your organization “In honor of…” someone. Donors will sometimes choose to recognize a leader on the board or on the staff with a gift in their honor. You in turn publish the names of the honorees on your website and in your written materials.
Another strategy is to ask your donors to make a gift to meet the direct need of an individual or a family. You can do this (while still protecting the anonymity of the people in need) by offering your donors the opportunity to fulfill a number of needs of varying dollar amounts.
You can also offer your donors the opportunity to make a gift of their donated time. Reach out with an appeal for a volunteer opportunity—ideally one that puts them in direct contact with the people you serve. Then let your constituents know that “the following people made a gift of their time to our organization.”
Connecting your donors with the people you serve demonstrates that you are attentive to the causes that your donors care about and that you know and respect their values. Make the most of the holidays by re-thinking the gift giving season. You will help those you serve while strengthening the bond with your valued donors. Happy holidays!
by: Steven Murphy, Ed.D., Senior Advisor, HPS Chicago