Dec 06, 2017

Year-End Is Here For Nonprofits

By: Polly Yakovich



The long-awaited, anticipated, and even dreaded season nonprofits call “Year-End.”

Network for Good, which collects donations for more than 40,000 charities, reports that 30 percent of the donations they collect come in during December. The  majority of those donations happen on the 30th or 31st.

What you do this month really matters.

And contrary to what us professional marketers and fundraisers have been saying since August, there’s still plenty of time to raise more money this year. We are in one of those golden fundraising years that have an extra week between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So you still have almost an entire month to move the needle substantially for your organization.

If you’ve been a bit paralyzed as to what to do next, or just busy with all the other things you have going on - here are 5 things we suggest you do between now and the end of the year:

1. Send another letter

Even though it’s the first week of December, if you’ve already sent your last fundraising letter of the year, you’re missing out.  If you have a mailing file of a few thousand active donors or more, get another letter in the mail asap. You will not regret it. It can (SHOULD) be extremely simple and focus on these messages:

    • Year-end: deadline for giving is Dec 31
    • Clear simple CTA: whatever your best offer is
    • Set a goal, and explain what will happen if you don’t meet it
    • Talk about a shortfall if you have one
    • Try to get a matching grant

2. Start your digital media advertising now

Incorporate year-end donation ads into your Google Grants Adwords accounts. Upload your donor (and non-donor) lists to Facebook and create lookalike audiences to start testing your best year-end ads (but save the bulk of your budget for the last week of the year).

3. Simplify everything.

Donors are really busy. Give them your clearest and most compelling offer (hint: it’s year-end), and send them right to the donation page. Make it easy for them to give you a gift, and don’t give them a reason to be distracted by other things on your site.

4. Send 3 emails the last week of the year.

The first one can go on December 26, with a very short story and strong call to action. Send a shorter version on December 30 - make sure to tell them they only have one day left! The last email will be a very short last chance message on December 31.

5. Put up a splash page on December 26.  

This has been proven in multiple head-to-head tests to outperform any other interrupter. Feature the deadline, the shortfall or match, and send the donor right to the donation page so they can make their gift.

Luckily for you our friends at Better Fundraising have a great product with lots of samples and advice to give you a jump start on #2-5 and save you a ton of time. Starting at just $89. That $89 is guaranteed to translate into more money for your organization. Shop the Year-End Digital Fundraising Toolkit today.

Happy fundraising!

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