7 Tips for Last-Minute End-of-Year Fundraising

Can you believe there are only six weeks until Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday giving season? If you haven’t already started to think about the end-of-year giving strategy for your organization, fear not! We’ve pulled together some quick and easy tips that you can use to help end 2017 on a fundraising high note:

  1. Create an end-of-year fundraising campaign theme
    Think of a campaign theme that ties back to your organization’s mission and will make donors feel something (emotionally touched, inspired, outraged). It could be the story of someone you helped this year or something impactful you did for your community. All of your messages should weave this theme throughout to remind donors of your organization’s unique work. For ideas about creating a campaign theme (and more!), download The Nonprofit’s Guide to Peer-to-Peer Fundraising, which offers tips on how to plan, launch, run, and wrap up successful online campaigns.
  2. Use a multi-channel approach
    Promote your campaign using various channels, including phone, in-person, print, email, text, and social media. Plan on creating a series of emails (it doesn’t have to be a ton of emails; it can be just two or three) that use your theme to celebrate your accomplishments of the past year. Build a communications plan that incorporates all of the various channels, and if you have enough time, segment your audiences (e.g., non-donors vs. existing donors) to customize messages based on their interaction with your organization.
  3. Build a dedicated donation form/landing page
    When prospective donors come to your website, they want to quickly and easily make a gift. Building a unique donation form or landing page that’s linked prominently on your website will reduce the number of clicks it takes for them to give. Also, be sure your pages are optimized for mobile devices: eliminate unnecessary fields and any clutter from your donation form, and make buttons easily tappable on tablets and smartphone devices.
  4. Thank your donors
    Record a short thank you video from your CEO or board chair that you can embed on the donation thank you page. An inspirational video will let your donors know how important they are and that they are making an immediate impact to your mission.
  5. Find your mission ambassadors
    Reach out to some of your most engaged volunteers and donors from the past year. Ask them to share information about your end-of-year campaign and why they support your organization’s mission with their social media followers and personal networks.
  6. Join the Giving Tuesday movement
    There’s Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. During the last several years, Giving Tuesday has become an incredible social media movement to support the important work of nonprofit organizations. We asked our friends at MobileCause, and they offer these tips for making your cause and your end-of-year campaign part of the Giving Tuesday movement: Promote your end-of-year campaign by using the #GivingTuesday hashtag on social media posts. Encourage your supporters to share #unselfies (on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, etc.) about why they support your mission. The Giving Tuesday Communications Toolkit offers instructions and tips for optimizing your Giving Tuesday campaign.
  7. Don’t be afraid to ask on December 31
    Twelve percent of all year-end giving is made within the last days of the year. And, New Year’s Eve is actually the most generous day of the year. So, be bold and continue to ask for gifts until the very end of the year. The holidays can be stressful and busy times for everyone, and your donors may need reminders.

  8. And finally, here are a couple of bonus tips:

    • Thank your staff and volunteers. End-of-year fundraising can be highly stressful on your employees and volunteers who are busy processing donations and thank you cards, and marketing your campaign. Be sure to thank them for the important role they play in your organization’s success.
    • Download the Ultimate Year-End Fundraising Guide from our friends at Neon. It includes step-by-step instructions for pulling together an end-of-year campaign in just one week!

    by Christina Relacion, Account Manager, Cathexis Partners
    Christina has more than 10 years of experience in digital marketing, website editing, video production, and social media. Before joining Cathexis Partners, she served as Communications Manager at the Scleroderma Foundation’s national office.

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