The end of the year is a great time to help your nonprofit meet its financial goals.  Nearly 1/3rd of total giving occurs in the month of December.  Moreover, 12% of all giving occurs in the last 3 days of the year.  This is why the end of the year is such a critical time for most nonprofits.  Here are some year-end fundraising tips to assist you in a successful giving season.

Develop a campaign theme

Create a year-end campaign theme that motivates your donors to give.  The theme does not have to be elaborate but can be something straightforward that helps connect your donors to your mission.  Leverage the theme across all of your marketing channels.  Check out Charity Water’s holiday/year-end messaging for inspiration.

Optimize your website

Ensure that your website and donation form is optimized.  Here are some tips on how to optimize your website:

  1. Optimize for mobile – ensure that the donation experience on mobile looks as awesome on a mobile device as it is on a desktop.
  2. Brand your donation form – develop a branded online donation form that corresponds to your year-end fundraising campaign – including colors, fonts, videos, and images. The branding on the donation form should match the branding on the rest of your site, to help create a cohesive story.
  3. Remove distractions from your donation page – Remove anything that could distract the donor from completing their gift or that increases the time it takes to complete the form. For example, you could remove the navigation links from the donation page.
  4. Use dollar handles – Save donors time from having to decide on how much to give by leveraging dollar handles that showcase what a gift could provide. For example, “$200 provides 20 meals to families in need.”

Here are other tips on how to improve your donation page.

Promote on your Homepage

Advertise your year-end appeal on your home page.  Depending on your homepage design, you may want to update the main header image to one that includes your year-end campaign theme and a link to your donation-landing page.

Develop a social media campaign

Ride the momentum from GivingTuesday and launch a social media campaign to continue inspiring your supporters to give.  Here are some general tips for your campaign.

  1. Showcase the impact you have made by sharing stories and videos of the people you have helped and the volunteers and donors that have supported you. Incorporating a powerful visual can help make an emotional connection, the key to helping drive donations.
  2. Ask your supporters, board members, and volunteers to use Facebook Fundraisers (or another peer to peer fundraising tool) to raise money on your behalf. Facebook has some great tools and templates that you can leverage to help you get started.
  3. Include a financial ask in your posts – Make sure that you ask for donations in your post.

Send Last Chance Emails

12% of all giving happens during the last 3 days of the year.  Send multiple emails during these days to help capture this momentum.  You can create a sense of urgency by including “tax-deductible” donation messaging in your communications.

Include Matching Gift Information

Encourage your donors to double their impact by informing them about their corporate matching gift programs.  You can place a matching gift database search tool on your donation page.  Donors then enter their employer’s name to see if they are eligible and learn all of the details on having their gift matched.

Learn more about matching gift software.

Personalize the outreach to your major donors

Send personal appeals to your major donors.  Form your ask request based on the stewardship you have been providing them throughout the year.  Double-check that you are including major donors who have given in previous years but have not yet given this year.

Engage your Board Members

Partner with your Board Members to help you fundraise and meet your end of year goals.  A few ways you can engage your Board members include:

  1. Promoting Year-End Giving: Board members can help you achieve your goals by promoting year-end giving to their networks. Ask them to send out personal emails, post on social media, or implement corporate giving programs at their workplaces.
  2. Thanking Donors: Ask your Board members to send handwritten thank you notes to your major donors.
  3. Connect with Major Donors: Ask your Board members if they can cultivate introductions to other major donors and/or educate them on your nonprofit and encourage them to become part of your mission.

Email Signature Lines

Use your email signature line to help promote your year-end campaign and link to your donate page.  The email signature line should use the same campaign theme as your year-end campaign.  Email signature lines are a free, easy to implement tool, that can help drive a high return.

Thank your Donors

Make sure that you thank your donors for their gifts!  In addition to the auto-responder, you could give donors a shout-out on social media, a personal phone call, or a video from your team.  You can never thank donors enough!