During this Friday’s edition of Magic Keys Radio (December 5, 2008, 1:00 p.m. ET), Claire Meyerhoff, Gail Perry, and I will be talking about those fundraising letters and emails everyone sends out in December.

If you aren’t planning to send an appeal this month, you really need to. Make the time.

Network for Good processes 40% of all the donations that run through its portal in December, and much of that is in the last few days of the month. Convio estimates that Americans will donate more than $3 billion online during the holiday season and giving through its fundraising services also peaks in the last few days of the year. We may not be working those days, but in between stuffing our faces at Christmas and throwing back the champagne on New Year’s Eve, we are thinking about the last-minute tax deductions!

Whether you call it your annual appeal or your end-of-year appeal, the goal is the same — getting a piece of that big chuck of holiday giving. Yes, it’s still going to happen this year. A recent survey by Jupiter Research found that nearly 7 out of 10 people surveyed plan to give the same amount or more, despite the recession.

Need some help to do it right? We are offering free advice during Magic Keys Radio on Friday — that’s Nonprofit Marketing Guide’s free radio show/podcast if you haven’t checked us out yet. We’ll broadcast live from 1:00 – 1:30 p.m. Eastern (10:00 – 10:30 a.m. Pacific), and you can call in over the phone with your questions. The podcast is available shortly after the live show ends (and yes, the podcasts are on iTunes now).

In addition to joining us on Friday live or listening to the podcast, you should also check out these resources on fundraising in December:

— Network for Good is hosting a free Nonprofit 911 Call on December 9 with Mark Rovner called “A Procrastinator’s Guide to Year-End Fundraising.” You’ll find a link to last year’s guide by the same name below.

— Convio is offering a free prerecorded webinar called “Holiday Campaigns That Work.” I watched it, and it’s a very practical approach with some good tips, like “Yes, you should send out an email on December 31!”

Check out these articles at Fundraising123.org (Network for Good’s Learning Center)

13 Secrets of Holiday Fundraising Online

A Procrastinator’s Guide to Year-End Fundraising

Last-Minute Giving

Know of other good resources or tips on how to do end-of-year appeals? Please share them by leaving a comment.

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