Building Momentum: 10 Ways to Getting the Most Out of Your Year-end Fundraising Efforts


By Tarsha Whitaker Calloway

Tis the season of giving. And your nonprofit should be making the most of the season. Consider building your December fundraising campaigns around year-end campaigning. A focus on the holiday season make donors more excited to get involved-everyone loves holiday cheer. According to a Network for Good Online Giving Study, donors who give in December give approximately 52 percent more than any other time throughout the year.

Furthermore, December accounts for 33 percent of online giving and nearly one-third of annual giving occurs. So, how can your nonprofit capitalize on these giving trends? This is an important topic during the holiday season, as organizations are creating campaigns to collect as many December dollars as possible. The most important thing to remember during this time of the year is to make sure to simplify your giving process and give your donors a reason to engage.

The holiday season can be a stressful and hectic time for a lot of people, so make donating to your mission quick and easy in order to ensure maximum participation in your campaign. To help you streamline this process and consider themes that will drive donors to give, I have identified a top 10 list to help nonprofits get the most out of their donors during the season of giving.

  1. Develop Your Narrative Arc

Define what issues resonate with your donors and hone your ask on those issues. Determine what emotional stories do you have at your disposal and weave these issues and stories together into a cohesive narrative arc that creates an engaging end-of-the-year campaign.

  1. Start With the Big Picture

Develop your year-end campaign objectives and refine your message. This is a busy time of the year, so build a case of support and explain why a donor would give to your cause over another during this time of the year. What has been the big, bold interest of your donors throughout the year? Remind them why they should end the year with a gift to that cause.

  1. Center a Campaign on Gratitude

Thanking supporters can encourage potential donors to get on board. According to Inspiring Generosity blogger Geoff Livingston, “People seem to forget that one of the primary celebrations of the holiday season is gratitude. Instead of trying to act like Don Draper, be sincere and publicly thank your donors for how they have help drive your mission.”

  1. Keep It Seasonal

Nothing is more enticing during December than a little holiday cheer. Build fundraising campaigns around the season. Keep the giving experience fun and festive. This increases excitement from donors and encourages them to join the holiday spirit of giving.

  1. Simplify the Giving Process

Keep the donation button as easy to find as possible. The button should be staring people in the face. This seems like an obvious idea, but donors will turn away if the option is difficult to find or they have too many clicks to give. Make giving plain and simple.

  1. Suggest Donations

Consider the option of encouraging existing donors to ask for donations to your organization rather than holiday presents. People are more likely to donate when asked by friends or family. Consider a marketing campaign that suggest giving as an option to gifts.

  1. Indicate the Tax Benefits

Perhaps the most important aspect of December giving is ending the fiscal year.  Emphasize the benefits of donations on taxes. This can make a huge difference for some people and, albeit, most know it does not hurt to give special emphasis.

  1. Don’t Ignore the End of the Year

Majority of people scurry to make their donations on the last couple days of the month. Be persistent in the last week leading up to the new year. Even though it is between two holidays, people are more likely to give in this window.

  1. Create a Sense of Urgency

Set a clear beginning and end date. Deadlines create a sense of urgency. This doesn’t mean you cannot accept donations once the date has passed, but deadlines help keep people motivated to meet personal giving goals.

  1. Create Opportunity for P2P Giving

Two-thirds of donors who make last minute donations do not research before giving.  Instead, they give to organizations they already know or that are recommended by family and friends. Create an easy way for your loyal donors to share the mission of your organizations and offer incentives for their efforts.

These are only a few examples of last-minute strategies to increase momentum on year-end fundraising. They are designed to help you take advantage of those last minute givers and those donors who want to feel good about doing good in the world.