Fundraising Tip: “It’s Too Late” is Not True

Your yearend fundraising appeal can mail as soon as you can write it; but you need to write it.

Dan Hanley
2 min readNov 14, 2023


Author. Photo credit: Author

I met with a client, a new client, this week. They had been referred by a long-term client.

They needed to get their yearend appeal out.

Many were telling them it was too late.

“I know it’s too late” was even said to me.

OK, in a perfect world I like my yearend appeal to land with the donor the first or second week of November.

That’s now.

In a perfect world I start thinking about the yearend appeal in July. I share ideas with the team and get feedback from program folks.

The printer has me on their schedule.

Then all I have to do is write.

That’s all in a perfect scenario.

Many don’t have the time or capacity to do all of this that far ahead.

Telling people it’s too late, or “so” late, isn’t helpful. It’s not like the organization shouldn’t send a yearend ask to give if they haven’t mailed it by a certain date.

Start writing now. Call your printer. See what they can do.

Your donors want to hear from you at the end of the year. Many of them look forward to your yearend ask, and I’m sure you have a large percentage of donors who donate in December. The data says so.

Stay away from comments that are not helpful and start writing.

Tell the story of your nonprofit and those you serve.

Let the donor know how their support can make a difference.

Share what the impact of their gift will be.

Add a P.S. reminding your donor of the impact or inviting them to connect with you.

It can be this simple.

Get started today. And don’t listen to comments that are not helpful.

Take a risk. Be of service. Support your friends and colleagues. Be kind.



Dan Hanley

I write about nonprofits, fundraising, recruiting, self-care. Human rights, domestic violence, borders and refugee focused. Sober. Vegan.