This year, there’s so much on the table in terms of end-of-the-year giving. The challenge can be how to focus, and how to act. While established foundations likely have a grant-making schedule in place, less structured family philanthropies or individual philanthropists may be facing the challenge of last-minute decision-making: when to give and what to give.
The best approach is to accept that this year is different — and may require your clients to make some adjustments to their usual strategy. Here are four simple strategies to follow for more effective end-of-the-year giving:
1. Offer flexible funding.
Restricting funding for certain programs or activities just may not apply in a year when some organizations — such as arts organizations — are simply hoping to stay afloat until they can reopen and generate revenue with ticket sales. This is a key time to offer more flexible funding — such as unrestricted, general operating support. This will allow the nonprofit to navigate ongoing crises and take advantage of opportunities as they best see fit. If that means just keeping the doors open, that could be a huge accomplishment.
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2. Decide and inform earlier.
It’s likely been a very tough year for the nonprofits your clients support. They may have lost revenue and be facing uncertainties ahead. With that in mind, make your decisions a little earlier than usual. Instead of waiting until the very end of the year, let your grantees know what they can expect. The sooner they know what to expect, the better — and this way, they can plan ahead.
3. Ask how you can help.
Do your clients know which areas their grantees need the most support with? Encourage your clients to consider having conversations with the nonprofit CEO and ask what they need specifically — and how they can help. It may be that they need something other than money, and they may be able to come through with their knowledge, expertise and connections.