For nonprofit organizations, the end of the year is prime time for donations. Research shows that nonprofits receive a third of their total donations in the month of December, with 12% of all giving happening in the last three days of the calendar year. You can’t ignore that potential.
Why do people give more at the end of the year? There are several reasons why, including:
- Holiday cheer makes people more generous
- Some people seek to turn over a “new leaf” going into the new year
- Donors can take advantage of tax benefits for giving before the end of the year
With that in mind, what can you do to maximize your organization’s year-end giving? Here are ten tips to keep in mind.
1. Build on Last Year’s Campaign
Start your 2022 end-of-year fundraising campaign by analyzing the results from last year’s end-of-year campaign and then building on what you learn. When you’re looking at the data, ask the following questions:
- What was your 2021 goal, and did you meet it?
- Who were your big donors last year?
- How many 2021 donors did you retain into 2022?
- What did you do right last year—and what could you improve?
- How can you better engage your donors this year?
2. Set Specific and Quantifiable Goals
Every campaign needs to have goals, and those goals need to be specific and measurable. Your goals also need to be attainable, or you’ll be consistently disappointed. Set clear goals for your end-of-year campaign—and make sure you can meet them.
3. Identify Your Audience
The audience for your end-of-year campaign will consist of both current and new donors. Make sure you segment your marketing along those lines, as well as along other demographic factors, including:
- Average donation size (for current donors)
- Event attendance or donation history
4. Use the Appropriate Marketing Tools At Your Command
Once you’ve identified your audience, you next need to determine the best ways to reach them. This will vary by audience type, but should include some combination of:
- Direct mail
- Website marketing
- Social media
- TV and radio ads
- Print materials (posters, flyers, brochures)
- Text messaging
- Paid online ads
- Word of mouth
Match the media you use to how specific donors like to be reached.
5. Encourage Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
Employ your current donors to find new donors. Set up a peer-to-peer campaign to they can solicit donations from their personal friend, family, and co-worker networks. Encourage your supporters to share your fundraising pages on their social media and provide postcards they can mail to potential donors they may know.
6. Encourage Recurring Giving
Don’t let your end-of-year donors be one-time donors. Encourage them to sign up for recurring donations so they’ll keep giving throughout the new year.
7. Set Up Matching Gifts
End-of-year donors will give even more if they know their donations will be matched in kind. Set up a matching gifts program so that every dollar you receive will be matched by a larger donor.
8. Decide on an End-of-Year Theme
To maximize your year-end giving, decide on a theme with appeal to your target audience. It may be something practical, such as giving to reduce your tax burden, or something more inspirational, such as giving to help meet your organization’s full-year goal. Give your donors a reason to give.
9. Develop an Outreach Schedule
People get busy at the end of the year, especially as the holidays approach. They may notice your solicitations but forget to act on them. For that reason, you need to send out multiple solicitations, spaced appropriately, to remind donors to give and not let the opportunity slip away. That means setting up a schedule for multiple communications, from now through the very last week of the year, each one increasing in urgency. Remember how many people donate during the last three days of December—you want to get your share of that.
10. Offer Convenient Online Giving Options
You need to make year-end giving as easy as possible. For many donors, that means offering convenient online giving through GIVE BACK GATEWAY. Donors like to give from the comfort of their own homes, using their own smartphones, tablets, or computers. As the end of the year approaches, there may not be time to write and mail a check. With online giving, your donors can give up to the very last day of the year and still have it count as a 2022 donation.
Contact GIVE BACK GATEWAY today to get your organization set up for online giving.