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Giving Smart: The Tricks and Treats of Year-End Fundraising

It is the biggest quarter of the year for many nonprofits.  As organizations embark on year-end fundraising campaigns, how can they maximize their efforts?  A post on SalsaLab?s blog, ?How to Create Your Own Year-End Fundraising Fairy Tale,? offers insight into how to approach a year-end campaign.

Organizations can raise as much as 40% of their individual donations in the month of December.

December is the month when charitable giving gets the most attention.  In order to capitalize on this, it is best to formulate a plan and execute it. 

 Timeline – Pick a strategy and utilize your calendar.  You can be flexible with the timeline as things fall into place, but having it at the start will contribute to a smoother campaign.

 Set Goals – This is how you know if your campaign is successful.  More donations are sure to be a goal, but you may decide that gaining new donors, increasing awareness for your cause or specific calls to action are important measures for your organization.

 Extend your reach – Social media can greatly increase exposure for your organization.  The message should be tailored to each platform, but share an overall cohesiveness that ties back to your organization and campaign?s branding.

Data shows more dollars are donated online in the last five days of December than in the other three weeks combined.

This was true on GiveRichmond in 2013.  December saw six times the donations of any other month.

  46% of all donations through GiveRichmond came in December

  54% of December donations came in the last week of the month

  38% of the donations made in the last week of December were made on New Year?s Eve

This is why SalsaLab suggests sending multiple emails during the month of December, including the very important ask on New Year?s Eve.

85% of organizations raise more money by sending more than one email.

 The first step to a successful email campaign is a clean email list.  An effective email ask will not work if it does not reach the intended audience. 

  An informative email about your impact, mission or goals combats the fatigue of continual asks.  It?s important to remind donors that, although you are in need of their support, their past contributions have made a difference by highlighting some key accomplishments.

  Personalization is great, but individualization is better.  Segmenting your email list allows you to individualize your outreach to the different roles people play for your organization.  This post from SalsaLabs has some useful tips for email segmentation.

In January, when the fury of year-end fundraising has subsided, hold a debrief session where successes and failures are assessed.  Focus on what would be most helpful for next year?s planning.  As always, thank your supporters and let them know how they have helped you carry out your mission.


GiveRichmond/GiveSouthsideVA is a program of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond & Central Virginia (TCF). As strategic partners with ConnectVA, TCF and GiveRichmond/GiveSouthsdeVA encourage smart giving by identifying trends and success stories in local philanthropy through their Giving Smart blog series. If you have ideas about topics you would like to have covered, please comment below!

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