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  • Debra A. Gill

‘Tis the season

Updated: Jan 10

December outshines other months.


Having spent nearly four decades in philanthropy, I love December. It is the month when the hard work pays off as the charitable floodgates open.

According to one statistician, NP Source, 30% of annual gifting flows in during the 12th month with 10% occurring on the last 3 days of the year. But year-end generosity is about much more than stats.

It is about a year’s long effort to thoughtfully identify, cultivate, approach, and steward our donor family members.

It is about building a compelling case for support, aligned with strategic priorities, in collaboration with our organizational leaders.

It is about sharing a vision for the long-term impact of charitable giving while expressing genuine gratitude.

It is about meaningful engagement of our board members and volunteers in the philanthropy process.

It is about establishing intentional accountability with measurable objectives for ourselves and our team members.

It is about communicating effectively through multiple channels while customizing our messages for those who will receive them warmly.

It is about working smarter, not harder, with a crystal-clear focus on major and planned giving.

It is about attentively listening to and enthusiastically learning from our donors.

It is about getting out of the office and into face-to-face conversations with people who care about our missions.

It is about moving beyond serial cultivation to carefully structured gift approaches.

It is about celebrating our successes and learning from our challenges.

It is about continual learning, professional growth, and curiosity.

It is about honoring the donor bill of rights and maintaining the highest standards of integrity.

It is about following best practices that result in stellar Decembers, year after year.


Alliance Philanthropy’s philosophy is to inspire staff, volunteers, and board members for all types of not-for-profit organizations to raise funds enthusiastically and passionately - at maximum levels - in support of their missions.



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