Planning Your Year-End Fundraising: It’s That Time Again!

September 27, 2016

Year-End Fundraising
Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Nonprofits receive 50% of their annual donations over the last three months of the year — and that’s coming right up! If you haven’t already made a year-end fundraising plan, now’s the time to start.

Begin strategizing your campaign with the following checklist:

1. Make a concrete plan.

Set a fundraising goal, and consider concentrating your efforts around a specific campaign so that your donors are motivated to contribute to something tangible and exciting, rather than just an “Annual Fund.” Be specific about where funds will be allocated and the impact of donor contributions in achieving your mission. This is a part of crafting your story and your ask, two aspects that are continuously critical to the success of all your campaigns, not just this one.

2. Utilize multiple fundraising outlets.

This is an important time for your organization’s fundraising, so don’t slack on your outreach! Email marketing is still one of the most powerful ways to connect with supporters who will donate to your cause, especially when you put careful consideration into segmenting your donor lists for the most appropriately targeted messages. But the more the better: organizing your volunteers to create a great fundraising event will drive home the impact of your fundraising efforts. And why not start a peer-to-peer campaign and let your supporters and community reach out to their own networks, multiplying your campaign’s fundraising potential?

3. Take advantage of #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesday comes up this November 29th and kicks off the holiday season, as well as the peak period of year-end fundraising. The impact of #GivingTuesday is significant for nonprofits – amounting to the tune of $116.4 million donations last year.  

4. Upgrade to a modern fundraising platform.

It’s important that your supporters have a seamless experience when donating to your organization online or through their mobile device. Online engagement and mobile giving continue to grow every year. Your website should integrate a fully mobile responsive giving platform with various giving level options, and you should regularly promote links to your donate page on your social media accounts.

5. Thank your donors!

Of course you thank your donors! But during this season, thanking is more important than ever, and doing it well ensures that your donors will be back to support you this time next year. Though you may have a much larger amount of contributions than usual, go beyond the automated email and send a handwritten note.

And once it’s all over…

6. use this year’s year-end fundraising campaign as a teaching tool to do even better next year!

This is a learning experience that every organization continuously works to improve upon. Evaluate what worked for your nonprofit and what didn’t, and start planning your 2017 year-end campaign like a pro.

What is your organization doing to prepare for this year’s holiday giving season? Tell us about it in the comments!

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