5 Reasons to Fundraise in January

Photo by Daniel Hardman

Have you begun your second fundraising push?

I know what you’re thinking. It’s not yet the end of January. You’ve just done mass-unsubscribing from marketers who find you like Team Seal Six found Osama. Heck, you’re not even done paying off the holidays and I want you to think of fundraising?!

Yes. And here are five good reasons why:

1) You finally have everyone’s attention.

The holidays are over. Which, if you think about it, means that your donors might actually have the mental space to consider supporting a cause other than the monthly nut. Think about the number of great causes you hear about during holiday season but just can’t get past the Festivus bill to even consider. How many times have you thought to yourself, “Maybe in March”? Enter the second fundraising push.

2) January is for storytelling.

Fundraising isn’t about asking for money. It’s about telling your story, and telling it well. So take advantage of January, the “pause” month. Or, some would argue, the “lights on, no one’s home” month. Even the movies suck right now. Why else do you think they make you wait until January for Downton Abbey? All of which means it’s a great month to start to start telling your story anew, about telling people why you are worth their attention, their donation, their investment. By the way, this is not hard to do. Because if you’ve thanked your donors for their support over the holidays–and you have, haven’t you?–this is your opportunity to frame and tell your story to a receptive audience.

3) The difference will set you apart.

November 1 – December 31 may be the traditional season of giving. But that’s not true for every organization. Does this mean you should skip the traditional holiday push? No. Because you don’t want to look like the organization that’s missing the main fundraising party in town. But tradition doesn’t work for you, or your organization’s mission or effectiveness, own it–your fundraising strategy will be the better for the authenticity you bring to your appeal.

4) Donors are between bills.

Okay, that should be clarified. *Some* donors, who have kids in college, are between bills. Because college tuition isn’t due yet, or has just been paid. As a friend once said to me, “Ask me to donate after the holidays, but before taxes, because that’s when I’m between college tuition bills.”

5) If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.

Good fundraisers know that you never stop telling your story, presenting your donors–who want to be asked–with compelling evidence for their attention, and making it possible to ask.

Have you had success fundraising in January? Or are you thinking of trying it out this month?

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