Calendar vs. Fiscal Year

Posted on 09/09/2015 - by Dan Allenby

The following chart shows the percent of total annual fund gifts and revenue by month for one educational institution. For both metrics, you can see that the highest volume is in December and June. This should come as no surprise considering that these mark the end of the calendar and fiscal years – two periods when many organizations concentrate their fundraising appeals.

Look closer and you’ll see something else. While the single biggest month for gifts is December, the single biggest month for revenue is June. Why is this?

Donors and Dollars by Month

While many donors are motivated (in part) by the tax credits they’ll receive for making charitable contributions before the end of the calendar year, only a few are aware of your organization’s budgetary timelines. Fiscal years are internal constructs that are irrelevant to the average constituent. However, it’s more likely that your leadership donors and key volunteers are in tune with your fiscal years. They’re the ones who tend to make the larger gifts that cause the spike in revenue at the end of the fiscal year.

For everyone else, it helps to give little reminders. The University of New Mexico sends a “Happy New Year” postcard to all of its past donors, letting them know that one fiscal year has ended and another has begun. It not only serves as a way to thank them for their past support, but it also prepares them for the new appeals they’re about to receive.

Want to learn more? CLICK HERE for AGN’s Webinar on End-Of-Year Appeals.