Tips for creating a year-end nonprofit fundraising campaign

An effective end-of-year campaign for a nonprofit can boost donations during the holiday season.
Date Published
10/21/2014

With the holiday season fast approaching, people are once again getting into the spirit of giving. For 501(c)(3) groups, capitalizing on this spirit of benevolence can help improve nonprofit fundraising efforts.

As any charitable organization is well aware of, it takes a lot of time and energy to create campaigns throughout the year that will encourage donors to make financial contributions to help achieve its foundational mission. Success in a number of cases can be hit or miss, however. Uncovering a way to entice contributors to give during the holidays can be surprisingly beneficial.

In fact, a successful end-of-year campaign can position a nonprofit to achieve its fundraising goals as the calendar turns over into the New Year. However, for this to happen, careful planning and strategizing is required. 

How to create a successful year-end fundraising campaign
There are a number of reasons why a contributor will choose to lend his or her financial support to a charity. Understanding what encourages people to make donations in the first place is the foundation to developing a strategy that can be beneficial as the calendar year comes to a close.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Send personalized cards: Donors like to feel as if the nonprofit that they give financial gifts to appreciates them as individuals and not just a source for money. The Nonprofit Marketing blog suggests that the individual assigned to run an organization personally sign holiday greeting cards that will be sent to donors. This shows appreciation and will help a nonprofit continue to receive monetary gifts from these particular contributors.
  2. Call donors on the phone directly: In addition to signed greeting cards, a phone call from a nonprofit administrator can also be a great way to garner financial support during the holidays. GuideStar suggests that nonprofit administrators single out 50 to 100 people who lend their financial support on a consistent basis and make phone calls to them personally, asking for a holiday donation. This is yet another example of how a charitable organization can make supporters feel appreciated, encouraging them to give more.
  3. Repair old relationships: Sometimes, financial contributions from certain donors can just stop without warning. There could be a number of reasons behind this happening and the Nonprofit Marketing Blog suggests that groups reach out to those who have let a significant amount of time pass between gifts to find out what happened and see if the partnership can be rekindled. Doing this during the holiday season can be particularly advantageous in order to capitalize on the giving mood that a donor may be in at the time.
  4. Make contact with contributors the last two days of the year: According to GuideStar, as much as 60 percent of donations that come into a nonprofit are made on Dec. 30 and 31. Additionally, 40 percent of all gifts that are given online happen during the last month of the year. This is valuable information for organizations planning a year-end nonprofit fundraising campaign. If there is a Web portal in place that has the ability to accept donations over the Internet, the site should be optimized to make giving easy, streamlined and efficient.

The holidays are right around the corner, and the end of 2014 is even closer. Nonprofits looking to drive contributions during this period can use the above examples as a foundation to creating an end-of-year campaign that can help set the organization up nicely for 2015. This is an important time of the year for many charitable organizations and any efforts to help garner increased financial support should be a primary focus this time of year.

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