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  • Writer's pictureDebra A. Gill

Twelve Days of Christmas, Philanthropically Speaking

What can we learn from this popular song?

Eddie Murphy has a new Christmas movie out – Candy Cane Lane. While it doesn’t exactly tip the IMBD scale, it did provide an interesting perspective on a traditional holiday song that, upon research, has been around since 1780. Who knew?

Twelve Days of Christmas is a cumulative carol and one that offers some inspiration as we set the stage for our 2024 philanthropic opportunities.

It may take …

Twelve social media posts

Eleven clever touches

Ten thoughtful emails

Nine stirring stories

Eight engaging text messages

Seven genuine phone calls

Six targeted mailings

Five personal notes

Four meaningful meetings

Three board connections

Two special events


One Golden Gift

Spoiler alert, in the movie, because of the repetitive nature of the song, Eddie needed forty golden rings to defeat the elf villain rather than the five featured in the song. While I’m certainly not suggesting applying this multiplier to donor outreach, it does speak to the need for solid year-long strategy for at least the top ten percent of donors to maximize their generosity when the giving season rolls around next year.

Seem like a lot of work? Just remember the three P’s of philanthropy - passion, patience, and persistence.

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 mission.

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