T’is the season to bring in as much as 30% of your nonprofit’s annual revenue through your year-end fundraising drive.
At the end of the year, you’re probably contacting your donors to give year-end gifts every which way including email, letters, Facebook, letters in bottles…
You’re also planning, or are in the midst of, a capital campaign! So how are you going keep from confusing or surprising your donors with an “extra” ask?
Double Mention, Double Ask
The answer is a simple technique called “Double Mention, Double Ask,” and it works like this:
Mention your capital campaign ask in your annual appeal materials – and vice versa.
Mention a Capital Gift in the Annual Appeal
Your specific messages, of course, will depend on each donor’s situation.
If a donor has already made a capital campaign gift and you’re coming back to them for their annual donation, you might say something like…
“Your generous capital gift of $XXX will help make sure that our mutual dream of a new building becomes a reality. Thank you so much for making this possible! But today, we’re contacting you regarding your annual year-end gift.
Even as we get ready to expand, we want to make sure that we continue to help as many people as possible. Just today… (tell a very short story about someone you served).
For the past XXX years you’ve made an annual gift of $XXX. I hope we can count on you to continue your annual support again this year.
Thank you in advance, (name), for your remarkable generosity. Without you, the future would be dimmer for the many people you help us serve!”
Mention the Annual Gift in the Capital Appeal
Use the same approach the other way.
If a donor has made a contribution to the annual fund and you’re asking them for a capital gift, be sure to mention their earlier gift. That’s the double part of “Double Mention, Double Ask.”
The Difference Between Special and Recurring Gifts
Here are four things to keep in mind while crafting your “Double Mention, Double Ask” appeals:
- Remember, you’re conducting a capital campaign to raise funds for something that’s over and above your operating budget – your capital campaign asks for special, not recurring, gifts.
- On the other hand, you still need to keep the doors open and the heat on – and that’s why you’re holding your annual fund drive.
- When donors give to your annual fundraising drive, they expect you to ask every year and they give with that expectation in mind.
- But when they make a special, capital campaign-level gift, your donors know that this is a one-time, special investment to help your nonprofit move to the next level. Capital campaign-level gifts, are not recurring gifts.
With the above in mind, be sure to remind your donors that the gifts they make to your capital campaign and the funds they give to your annual drive will have results that are very different – but equally important!
Handle your “Double Mention, Double Ask” messaging well, and you may well find yourself receiving larger annual gifts from the same people who are also giving to your capital campaign!