Why Start Fundraising in January?

22 Dec

The December months are ending and your fundraiser has had another successful year. You’ve met your goals and set new benchmarks. This begs the question, when should you start? The month of January offers you unique opportunities to start your fundraiser in the right direction. Here are a few reasons why:

Leverage Your Data from the Previous Year

If you’ve had fundraising campaigns in the previous year, one major benefit of starting your fundraising calendar on January is using the data from that year to launch the current year’s campaigns. A simple cost to effort analysis applied overtime will give you a fair assessment on how you performed at certain times of year – holidays, major events, trends and product choices.

In product fundraising, performing an analysis is especially helpful if you’re selling more than one product at the same time. For example, if you’re selling treats to raise money for a charity, find the flavors that sell the best at certain points of the year. This will save you on the cost of the flavor and storage, as well as open new opportunities to try different variations.

It’s The Best Time to Make Partnerships

Most organizations use the end of November and December to assess their budgets for the following year. Make it a priority in January to build partnerships for your fundraising campaigns. This will place your fundraiser ahead in line for sponsorships in the later months throughout the year.

Keep in mind, that a partnership can provide more than funding to operate. They can co-promote your fundraiser or bundle your products and services to help you reach a wider market.

Begin Your Narrative

Fundraising is more than selling a good or service for charity, it’s telling a story and promoting a cause. Tell the story of last year’s successes:

  • Did you surpass quarterly goals?
  • Did your fundraiser have a sponsor?
  • How did your fundraiser impact your cause?

Use January to promote your follow-up goals. For example, if your campaign had a fundraiser that was used to raise money for new football uniforms for local high school. Tell the story of how the team performed and the positive impact that each donation had on the team’s morale.

Most importantly, take the time and give thanks to everyone who donated for the successes of your previous fundraising year. This will inspire your lapsed donors to offer more attention to your fundraiser throughout the new year.

Certain Sectors Perform Better in January

For most fundraisers, the end of the year is the peak season for gift giving. However, for certain sectors the peak continues through January.

In a recent study conducted by Blackbaud, the overall gift giving distribution is around 7.8% for mid-January[1]. This figure surpasses the overall gift giving distributions of February, March, May, and July through September, who are all below 7.8%.[2]

A similar study by Blackbaud also found the month of January in the top 4 highest fundraising months for Education, Public/Society Benefits, and Healthcare.

January’s Ranking for Highest Funding Raised by Sector[3]

  • Public/Society Benefit: 2nd best month
  • Education: 3rd best month
  • Healthcare: 4th best month
  • Medical Research: 4th best month

When fundraising, it is important to stay proactive and work to maintain your momentum into the new year. January offers many opportunities to set direction for your next fundraising campaign with valuable insight and partnerships.

At Popcorn Palace, we believe that fundraising doesn’t have to be done alone – we can help! Earn 50% profit per item by selling gourmet popcorn. All of our popcorn is made fresh with natural flavors, ready for your fundraising campaign. For more information on unique fundraising ideas and opportunities, fill out our form below and an exper

[1] Steve M. “2013 Charitable Gift Giving Report [Infographic]”. http://www.nonprofithub.org/fundraising/2013-charitable-giving-report-infographic/

[2] Ibid.

[3] Anh T. “International Giving Rebounds after Recession-Year Declines”. Asian Philanthropy Forum. http://www.asianphilanthropyforum.org/international-giving-rebounds-recession-year-declines/

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