Strategic Fundraising Guide to the Last Two Days of the Year

Fundraising, Intermediate

By Jeremy Reis

December 30th and December 31st are two of the most important giving days of the year. At many nonprofits, those two days are among the highest revenue days of the year. I recommend you develop a strategy now for how and what you’ll do on these two days.

A few years ago, I was working on setting up the emails for December 31st and I almost canceled the last send of the day. My thinking was, “our donors will see the email from earlier in the day, so what will one more email do?” I decided to keep it and after the results came in, that one email was worth nearly six digits of income for us. When you create your plan for the last two days of the year, create your strategy and stick to it.

1. Identify the Audience

As the end of the year approaches, nonprofit organizations begin to ramp up their fundraising efforts. One important task is to identify a donor audience that is likely to be receptive to year-end appeals. This can be done in a number of ways. First, take a look at your donor database and see if there are any patterns that emerge. Are there certain individuals or groups who have given generously in the past? If so, they may be good candidates for year-end giving. Additionally, you can reach out to your network of volunteers and supporters and ask them if they know anyone who might be interested in donating. Finally, don’t forget to consider your organization’s social media followers. These individuals may not have donated in the past, but they are already engaged with your mission and could be persuade to give with a well-timed appeal. By taking the time to identify a potential donor audience, you can ensure that your year-end fundraising efforts are successful.

2. Develop Your Campaign

If you’re working for a nonprofit, chances are you’re already thinking about how to best take advantage of the year-end fundraising push. While it’s true that nonprofit organizations see the majority of their donations during the last few months of the year, that doesn’t mean your campaign should be an afterthought. On the contrary, a well-planned and executed year-end campaign can be a major driver of both awareness and donations.

So how do you go about developing a campaign that will make the most of the year-end giving season? First, it’s important to set some goals. What are you hoping to achieve with your campaign? Once you have a clear idea of your objectives, you can start to put together a plan of action. Next, you’ll need to create some powerful marketing materials. This could include everything from social media posts to e-mail newsletters to direct mail appeals. And finally, you’ll need to make sure your campaign is supported by a strong communications strategy. By following these steps, you can develop a year-end fundraising campaign that will help your nonprofit reach its full potential.

3. Set the Schedule

As a nonprofit, your year-end fundraising schedule is crucial to success. By following a few simple tips, you can ensure that your nonprofit is ready to take full advantage of the giving season.

First, start by mapping out key dates on your calendar. Make note of key deadlines, such as the date when all donations must be processed in order to be tax-deductible for donors. You’ll also want to note any special events or campaigns that you’ll be running during the year-end giving season.

Next, create a schedule for your fundraising efforts. Decide how much time you’ll need to spend on each aspect of your campaign, from outreach and promotion to processing donations. Build in some flexibility to accommodate unexpected challenges or opportunities that may arise.

Finally, make a plan for follow-up. Thanking donors and keeping them updated on how their money is being used is essential to building long-term relationships. By planning ahead, you can ensure that your nonprofit is ready to make the most of the year-end giving season.

4. Execute Your Plan

Once you have a plan in place, it’s important to execute it flawlessly. Send out fundraising appeals and reminders in a timely manner. Follow up with donors after they’ve made a gift. And be sure to thank them for their support. Developing a fundraising plan is just one step in the process of a successful year end, you need to execute that plan.

5. Measure the Results

As a nonprofit organization, fundraising is essential to your success. At the end of each year, it’s important to measure the results of your fundraising campaign in order to assess what worked well and what could be improved upon for the next year. There are a few key metrics you should always track. First, measure the total amount of money raised. This will give you an idea of whether or not you met your fundraising goals. Second, track the number of donations you received. This will give you an idea of how many people supported your cause. Finally, measure the average donation amount. This will give you an idea of how much support you received from each donor. By tracking these metrics, you’ll be able to gauge the success of your year-end fundraising campaign and make necessary adjustments for next year.


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