Top 3 tips for year-end giving

November 6, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

By Anne E. Nash, J.D . Principal and Owner

Top 3 Tips for Year-End Giving 2013

Get started now with your fundraising appeals (October would have been even better! Come December, your donors’ mailboxes (email and snail mail) will be jammed with year-end appeals.

TIP 1 – Online Appeals. Use online giving tools to position your organization for fundraising success – both at year-end and throughout the year. Here are tips for an online appeal strategy for year-end:

On average, up to 40% of an organization’s total annual giving is received at year-end. There are many reasons for this. To be sure, most organizations focus their annual appeals on the last two months of the calendar year. If that is when you ask, then that is when you receive. In addition, donors are motivated by the spirit of giving over the holidays and by tax considerations. All of this combines to make a perfect storm for charitable giving, a good storm!

However, online giving offers a chance to approach donors earlier and last minute – the best of both worlds.  Ideally, approach your donors in early October for year-end gifts – well before the holiday crunch.  Follow up again in late October. Then, appeal again directly following Thanksgiving with a follow up in early December. Everyone is on line (or in line) for Black Friday and Cyber Monday – get your appeal in front of them on your mobile sites or with e-blasts. Market your gift cards too!

Next, go for the procrastinators with a final request late December – try a holiday message directly before and after Christmas. Finally, end with a December 31st last chance email with a simple and very prominent Click Here! and call to action.

TIP 2 – Year-End Workplace Giving Ideas

The year-end season presents an extra opportunity for you if you have a workplace-giving program. If the workplace has a holiday party, position your organization to attend the event to say thank you to the employees and to be a visible example of the employer’s strong community presence.

Brainstorm about what you can offer that is unique and fun. If you are an arts organization perhaps you can bring some creativity to the party in the form of a performance or work of art. Record a video of kids saying thank you if the workplace is supporting a youth group or classroom. Bring some kittens and puppies from the shelter you operate. Think outside of the box.  Have fun.

If the workplace declines your offer to attend an event, then there are other ideas to consider. Many companies are now foregoing the annual party in lieu of a charitable donation. Make sure that your organization is in that mix. Contact the workplaces now to talk about ways that you can add some new twists to their holiday planning.

TIP 3 – Call and Visit!

I saved the best for last. There is no substitute to calling and visiting your best donors before year-end. If they have recently given, then it is purely a thank you call. If they haven’t given recently, find out why. Talk to them and listen to them.  If there is a problem, now is the time to find out. If there isn’t a problem, then ask for a gift!

A Note About Year Round Fundraising

So now you have a plan for year-end giving. As a nonprofit staff person, you are great at multi tasking right?  Make sure you multi task your fundraising efforts all year long. Engagement and stewardship strategies throughout the year are key to sustained success.

The beauty of fundraising is that it really is all about relationships. And you must nurture these relationships all year. Use social networking and your online web presence to tell your stories. Let your donors hear about your good work all year, not just at year-end. Hey – go visit these folks! Engage them at their workplaces and at home.

After the dust settles and the new year begins, take some time to develop a fundraising plan for the new year (or revisit any existing plans).  Keep what works, throw out what doesn’t, look for new opportunities, treat your donors and staff well, have fun, and make a difference!




Year End Giving – time to get started for donors and charities

September 17, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The critical year end giving period is quickly approaching. If you are a non profit, now is the time to plan your strategy and start production. If you are a donor, set or reevaluate your priorities, research charities, and get ready for the upcoming flood of requests. For donors and non profits, the continued economic decline makes it even more imperative to be strategic. Giving continues to be down so make each gift or each request as thoughtful and meaningful as you can. My Giving Advisor offers year end giving services, but contact us soon!

Disaster philanthropy

May 2, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

As a north Alabama native, I was especially stricken to learn of the deadly tornadoes. Thankfully, my family was safe although without power. Seeing the videos and reading the stories of the tragedy reinforced in my mind the need for funding of disaster prevention as well as disaster relief. And, it made me think hard about what forms disaster giving should take. Disaster philanthropy is a complex thing. On the one hand, natural instinct is to help by quickly giving donations – of money, food, clothing, volunteering, and prayers. The many excellent relief organizations depend upon an immediate outpouring of donations. These donations are often put to use quickly and in some cases, also used to replenish funding pools for responding to future disasters. And, increasingly organizations are needing funds for long term post disaster reconstruction. Therein lies the rub. Most donors want their money used now, but is that always the best approach? It’s not that easy. Think of the old proverb of teaching a man to fish rather than merely giving a man a fish. Of course, that makes perfect sense. But, first you may need to give a fish because food is scarce. Then you can teach. However, sometimes the folks don’t need to be taught to fish, they were already fishermen before the disaster, they simply need fishing poles. Okay then, please do give a fish, but also give a  donation to be used for training, for jobs, and to buy fishing poles, farm equipment, livestock, computers, and all of the other vital tools needed to make a living. Give to rebuild homes, schools, communities, workplaces. Give to help prevent more losses by strengthening local disaster prevention measures. All of this is disaster philanthropy. It’s big, complicated, and vital.

How and When to Say No to Bad Gifts – seminar

March 7, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Kentucky readers – Nash will be moderating this session on How and When to Say No to a Charitable Gift

A panel discussion for charitable gift planners, legal and financial advisors, and nonprofit professionals. Join Central Kentucky Planned Giving Council for lunch and special guest panelists:

  • Foster Ockerman, Jr., General Counsel, Resources in Healthcare Management LLC
  • Victoria A. Myers, Chief Development Officer, UK HealthCare
  • Elizabeth “Bunny” Kelton, Tax Manager, Barr, Anderson & Roberts, P.S.C.

All charitable gifts are not good ones. Bad planning can lead to liabilities both for the donor and for the nonprofit organization. Learn how and why to say no to a gift. Panelists will discuss case studies and the use of gift acceptance policies.

When:    March 23rd, 11:30 – 1:00 pm

Where:   4th Floor Conference Room

Fifth Third Bank

250 West Main Street, Suite 100

Lexington, KY 40507

Costs:    $20 members, $25 nonmembers, lunch included

RSVP by March 21, 4:00 pm to: Angie Coburn –


Family Legacy Planning Seminar

November 10, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Family Legacy Planning:  A Roundtable on Philanthropic Decision Making

Join Central Kentucky Planned Giving Council for our annual luncheon
roundtable on November 17th. Learn about legal structures for family
giving, family dynamics, and the charitable giving process. We are
pleased to welcome back Winton C. Smith, Jr. of Winton Smith &
Associates, of Memphis TN and Anne E. Nash My Giving Advisor, LLC,
of Lexington KY. These nationally recognized speakers and experts in
charitable giving law and philanthropy will provide an inside look
at  Family Legacy Planning and useful information for professional
advisors and non profit development officers alike.

When: November 17th from 11:30 pm until 1:00 pm.

Where: Graham Cottage, Transylvania University, Lexington (parking details provided on confirmation of registration)

Cost: $20 for members, $25 for nonmembers (lunch included)

RSVP by November 15, 2010 to

October 15 deadline for charity filings

October 7, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Under new law, all tax-exempt organizations, even the smallest ones, must file an annual return with the Internal Revenue Service. Any organization that does not file for three consecutive years automatically loses its federal tax exemption. Churches and some church-related organizations are among the few exceptions. The first deadline for filing returns was May 17, 2010. While thousands of organizations did file, a significant number did not. The IRS extended the filing deadline to October 15, 2010. It also published a list with the names and last known addresses of organizations that are at risk of losing their tax- exempt status. The smallest organizations, with less than $25,000 annual receipts, should file a 990-N (ePostcard). The ePostcard asks only eight questions and is filled out and sent using the Internet. Larger organizations eligible to file the 990-EZ must file their past due returns by October 15 and pay a compliance fee. The list and information on keeping tax-exempt are at

PG Seminar

September 13, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

AFP and Central Kentucky Planned Giving Council present a half-day conference

” Taking Your Planned Giving Program To New Levels”  with Bryan Clontz

Tuesday, September 21, 2010
8:30 am – 1:30 pm  Spindletop Hall

Please join the AFP Bluegrass Chapter and the Central Kentucky Planned Giving Council for an informative, half-day conference at the University of Kentucky’s beautiful Spindletop Hall. Bryan Clontz, president and co-founder of Charitable Solutions, LLC is the featured speaker. The conference will be held in two parts, and end with a lunch and panel discussion.
Part I:  Powerful Planned Giving with a Shoe-String Staff and a Shoe-String Budget
Part II:  Creative Charitable Planning with Non-Cash Assets

Lunch Panel Discussion – Interactive panel on taking a team approach to donor and gift structure.

Optional Post Conference One on One Consultations

Sign up at the conference for fifteen minute private consultations with Anne E. Nash, JD, Principal and Owner of My Giving Advisor, LLC. Nash is an attorney and a charitable gift planner for over 20 years in both large and small shops. If you didn’t want to speak out in the crowd about a specific situation, this is your time to strategize with an expert.

To attend the conference, please RSVP to Brenda Blakovich by September 16. Cost for this program is $50 for AFP or CKPGC members, $65 for guests. You can pay  online here or print the brochure and mail check and registration to: AFP Bluegrass Chapter P.O. Box 24748 Lexington, KY 40524-4748

Thinking about the Gulf Coast…

June 24, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Fundraising efforts to combat the effects of the disastrous oil spill along the Gulf coast are being met with reluctance. While substantial funds have been raised, amounts are far less than those raised for other recent disasters. Many speculate that this is due to two factors: first, this is a man made disaster, and second, people are looking to BP for funds. But our friends, animal and human, along the Gulf Coast don’t really care whose to blame or who will get sued. They need help now. There are many fine on the ground organizations one can donate funds to. Please consider doing so when you read or hear of a fundraising effort.

Foundations and Hunger

April 27, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation just pledged $30 million to a new global trust fund to combat hunger by supporting small farmers. The failure of our society to alleviate widespread starvation is unacceptable.  Kudos to those donors seeking new ways to deal with this massive issue.

Haiti Giving now close to $1 Billion

March 17, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

American Charities Raise Close to $1-Billion for Haiti, Chronicle Tally Finds

Nine weeks after the devastating earthquake in Haiti donors have contributed nearly $980-million to support relief efforts.

Donors gave approximately $66-million of that total in response to a star-studded telethon that was broadcast on major television networks in January. Read the following article for highlights and what groups have received $ and for what.