The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

#GivingTuesday and Year-End Advice from 8 Nonprofit Pros

Because December is right around the corner, I asked a few nonprofit pros what their best tips are for year-end and #GivingTuesday fundraising. Here’s what they want you to know so you have the best giving season ever:

Set an ambitious – yet realistic – metric for your charity for #GivingTuesday. Maybe total dollars raised, number of donors, number of new donors, or any other metric that is important to your overall goals. Share it with your community (“We’re trying to bring in 100 new donors!”) and be sure to report back so all of those who gave can feel a part of something with you.
– Maeve Strathy of What Gives Philanthropy?

Tie your thank you emails to your end-of-year story. If you’re an animal welfare nonprofit, make the thank you email be from an animal you help. If you’re telling the story of an artist or dancer, make the end of year email be from them. And if you’re a human services nonprofit, create the letter from a conglomerate story, with a pseudonym who also thanks your donors.
– Mazarine Treyz of Wild Woman Fundraising

Don’t forget your leadership annual fund donors at year end! Run a report to see who has not yet renewed their annual gifts of $1,000 or more. Those lovely donors should be your priority right now. Go see them. Or write them a very personal note and tell them that you have missed their support and their partnership for the cause this year. Send ’em some love!
-Gail Perry of Fired-Up Fundraising

Use #GivingTuesday (and the additional social media attention) to thank your current sponsors and your corporate and foundation supporters. This gives you an opportunity to thank them again in a public way.
-Beth Ann Locke of Fundraiser Beth

Don’t bury fundraising messages in your December newsletter. Including a donate now button in your email newsletter is not the same as sending a fundraising email.

Newsletters typically have gobs of information. Should donors read your latest blog post? Should they follow you on Twitter? Or should they make a donation? Burying your fundraising message in your newsletter will dilute your ask. Instead, send targeted fundraising emails soon after they open your email newsletter.
John Haydon

With 2016 right around the corner, you’ve got limited time to get your year-end fundraising message across. But if all your donor data is in a central CRM solution, you can easily segment that data to find and reach out to those who are most likely to give.

Consider sending a personalized email to your monthly donors asking them to give a year-end gift as well. Make a phone call to your biggest donors thanking them for their support in 2015 and asking if they would like to end the year with one more (tax-deductible!) contribution.

Whatever the case, filtering your data to find key constituent groups is a great way to save time while ensuring a personal and meaningful connection with donors who are most likely to respond as the year ends.
– Carrie Horton of Kindful

Hang a calendar on your wall and stick to it! With events, travel, and sugar-induced dazes, the year-end giving season can fly by. If you’re not prepared with an editorial calendar for social posts, snail mail strategy and sends, emails, newsletters, and stewardship tasks, it will be December 31st and you’ll be wondering where your donors are.

Plan your calendar early and engage any and all staff members and volunteers you can to help you execute it. Don’t leave you outreach for the last day of the year and definitely don’t try to just fit in these tasks in free moments- because there won’t be many!
– Annika Pettitt of Network for Good

Your nonprofit probably has plenty of supporters who love your organization already and are willing to step into an official role of brand ambassador to cheer your organization’s year end campaign on social channels.  If they already love your organization, why not put them to work on your behalf?

When it comes to supporting your year-end fundraising or #GivingTuesday campaign with a robust use of social media, identifying, training, and supporting a formal group of people to be social media ambassadors has been linked to raising more money.

Don’t just recruit “outsiders.”   Your staff and board are most likely already sharing great stories about your organization with their networks, and may already use social media channels to do so.

The MOST important thing for you to recognize is the potential value of social media ambassadors from the inside out and to train them according to your needs, standards, and goals.
Beth Kanter

Thanks to all our nonprofit friends for sharing your best tips for a successful year-end. For more quick tips download our year-end appeal template and our #GivingTuesday essentials guide.


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About This Blog

Connie Poulos
Senior Associate, Copywriter

We’re here to help you win hearts and minds—and donations.

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