8 Steps to Build a Successful Year End Giving Campaign

With 30% of all annual donations occurring in December, year-end fundraising is critically important for all nonprofits. Many things drive year-end giving—people want to help others during the holidays, to feel like they’re making a difference, and, of course, to take advantage of tax deductions. For whatever motivation, people are looking for causes to support at the end of the year.

A strategic year-end giving campaign can help you take advantage of this natural surge in donations, reaching increased fundraising goals.

End of year giving may seem far away, and we know how busy you are, but the earlier you start planning, the more effective your campaign will be. Here are eight steps to take to build your best year-end giving campaign.

  1. Set your goals.

Goal setting is an important first step in building any fundraising campaign. Whether you want to increase your funds raised from last December by 5%, find 100 new supporters, or recruit 50 new recurring donors, your goals will guide your work.

When you set specific, attainable goals, you can embed these goals into your campaign, showing your donors how close or far you are from hitting them. This will motivate your team and your donors, provide you with content for your communication calendar (updates!) and focus your branding and outreach.

  1. Brand your specific year-end giving campaign.

Good branding helps nonprofits in many ways. Not only does your nonprofit need strong, memorable branding, so do your giving campaigns.

Create a name for this year’s end of year campaign that succinctly conveys your intent and then build out content around it. Make sure everything in your campaign has a consistent tone, uses vivid imagery, and is driven bypowerful storytelling

  1. Segment your donors.

It’s always important to use your donor management platform tosegment your donors to talk to your donors like you know them, meeting them where they are. Segmenting is even more important for year end giving because there is more at stake.

Use segmentation to make the right ask, on the right platform, with the right messenger.

  1. Create an editorial calendar.

Leading into the end of the year, you will reach out to your donors many times in many ways. Design an integrated editorial calendar that uses consistent messaging across all channels—email, direct mail, social media, and your blog.

Consider having weekly themes for your outreach that all build towards your end of year goals. Perhaps you can do a weekly spotlight of a beneficiary of your organization, share monthly fundraising updates, or send out new emails every time you hit a certain milestone on the way to your goals.

Remember to always tell stories throughout all communications and to avoid always asking of your donors without sharing inspiration.

  1. Encourage peer-to-peer fundraising.

Individual asks are always the most effective for eliciting support, but most nonprofits have so many donors that this isn’t always a realistic possibility for your fundraisers. Instead, create fundraising ambassadors by training your most involved donors and volunteers. Give your ambassadors the tools they need to reach out to their friends and family and guide them as they work to support your goals.

  1. Make giving convenient.

As always, the easier it is to give, the more likely people will give. Remove all barriers to giving and expand the ways you can receive donations. Think about who likes to give where and include this knowledge in your segmentation.

Supporters should never have to look too hard to find a way to donate to you, but especially going into the end of the year, make sure your donate buttons are front and center. With the right tools, you can make giving easy and convenient.

  1. Participate in #GivingTuesday.

Many organizations use #GivingTuesday to officially launch their year end giving campaigns. Strategically participating in #GivingTuesday will widen your audience and increase your engagement.

This day of viral giving can launch your end of year fundraising with a huge boost of energy and support, so make sure you’re including it in your planning.

  1. Say thank you and share an impact report.

Donors want to hear how their donation is making a difference and they need to be recognized for their contribution. Make sure your year-end giving plan doesn’t stop on December 31 but includes steps to adequately thank your donors.

Keep track of the donations received as part of your year-end giving campaign so you can create an impact report and share it with everyone who participated. When donors feel appreciated and see what their gift helped accomplish, they’ll be more likely to give to your organization in the future.

With these steps, your team can create a successful year-end giving campaign that helps you reach and even surpass your most important goals. Get started today to ensure you’re ready to go!