The Recipe To Boost Year-End Giving


With less than a week until Thanksgiving, it seems like my email box and social media pages have been flooded with ideas, recipes, and suggestions on how to make the perfect Thanksgiving meal. Each article and post offers tips and suggestions on everything from the best decorations to the making of the perfect turkey with all the fixings and they all seem have one common theme — planning ahead. Just like good planning makes for a better Thanksgiving meal, the same is true for year-end giving and December fundraising campaigns. What are you bringing to the table to make sure you reach your fundraising goals and maximize the support from your donors?

Thousands of nonprofits and faith-based organizations will participate in #GivingTuesday the week after Thanksgiving and many more are gearing up for their final end-of-the-year-push for donations and contributions. And guess what? Nonprofits receive around 30% of their donations during the last month of the year. Are you prepared for year-end giving and do you have all the right ingredients for a successful campaign?

Most people don’t wait until Thanksgiving Day to plan the meal and decide what to cook; the same should be true for your year-end giving campaigns. There is still time to plan and implement a few good strategies for a successful year-end campaign no matter the size.

Tell a Compelling Story and Integrate on Multiple Channels

Build your case for support around individual stories and compelling examples of how donations are making an impact. Put a face on your appeal. A compelling story indicates why you need your donor’s help and why the funds are important now. Integrate on as many channels as possible such as your website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and email.

Leverage a Matching Gift

Talk with a faithful donor who you expect to be giving in December and see if they would be willing to make it a matching gift. Then, leverage that gift to create a mini campaign for the end of the year. Matching gifts can create excitement and momentum leading up to the end of a campaign.

Get on the Phone

Don’t underestimate the power of a phone call. Call your top 20 donors and either thank them or ask them to consider a gift for the year-end campaign. Talking with current and past donors is a great way to get their attention and have your organization on the top of their mind. Calling donors to just say ‘thank you’ can be another effective way to engage them for future donations.

Make it Easy to Give

Be sure that you have easy-to-access and visible links to donate on all forms of communications. Be clear in what you are asking people to do and make sure there is a visible call-to-action. If you are doing direct mail, be sure and include a reply envelope. Also, be sure to double check that all the links and donation pages are working. Finally, keep your messages short, clear, and to-the-point.

Year-end fundraising should be an important part of your overall fundraising strategy and

hopefully by taking a few extra steps with some simple planning, you can boost and maximize your year-end campaigns regardless of the size or budget of your nonprofit.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dan Kimball is a seasoned fundraiser with twenty years of experience in strategic fund development and nonprofit management. He’s currently developing Aplos’ Donor Management Platform to help nonprofits connect with (and cultivate!) their donor base.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *