The Nonprofit Marketing Blog

#GivingTuesday and Year-End Fundraising: How to Do Both

Planning for Year-End Fundraising

Are you still trying to decide whether your organization should dive into a #GivingTuesday campaign?

Each organization is unique, and you need to be realistic about your resources and your donors, but don’t let the idea of doing two campaigns in one month scare you away. We’ve seen that organizations who kick off the year-end giving season with a #GivingTuesday campaign raise more overall in December than organizations who focus on the last-minute push alone. So, having a successful #GivingTuesday as well as a year-end push can be done. (Even by organizations with a small staff or a small list.)

That’s great, but how do you do it? Here are some strategies for making the most of both big December giving opportunities:

First, find your focus.

Look at your calendar between now and the end of the year. Now take a deep breath. It may seem like a lot to do in a short span of time, but with a bit of planning and a healthy dose of focus, you’ll find it’s easier than you think.

Get specific.

Outline clear goals for your end-of-year fundraising, and then decide which stories, programs, and themes will go with each campaign. You may have different variations on a theme for certain segments of your audience, but try to align your efforts toward one larger purpose to get double duty out of your messages, proof points, and imagery.

Decide what you will and won’t do.

If you have a limited staff and a limited budget (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?), clearly state your priorities and set your sights on the things that will have the most meaning and return for your investment. It’s tempting to try a little bit of everything but resist this urge. Hone in on the tactics and channels that work best for your audience. Not sure what those are? Now is the time to review your results from the past year and apply your learnings.

Plan your campaigns together.

Instead of treating #GivingTuesday as an outlier, plan it as part of your overall fundraising strategy. Think of your entire year-end sequence as a great opportunity to rekindle your relationship with donors and offer them multiple chances to make an impact. Create a master plan that takes you from October to December 31 (with plenty of room for an excellent donor stewardship program after the first of the year). Find ways to tie your efforts together and build momentum throughout the month.

Share the fun of fundraising.

A critical piece of advice: don’t go it alone. Your campaigns will be so much easier (and more effective) if you identify your team and tap into your community. This December, think beyond the borders of your office to create a fundraising force that will help you do more.

Invite your board to be involved.

A campaign driven by your most invested and influential advocates can not only help you raise more, but it helps your board meet their financial commitment to your organization. The key? Make it easy and make them look good.

Try a peer-to-peer or team fundraising approach.

Infuse a little healthy competition and amplify your message by empowering your supporters to raise funds on your behalf. You’ll extend your reach and your donors will likely raise more than they would have given you in a one-time gift. Plus, the passion and personality of peer fundraisers can be more effective in getting new donors to join your cause.

Leverage a match.

Tap a major donor or larger campaign (like Network for Good’s All TUEgether campaign) to take advantage of matching funds that can spur giving and increase your average donation. A match of any size can add to the sense of urgency in your appeal.

Buddy up with a partner or sponsor.

Consider collaborating with sister organizations in your community to pool resources and spread awareness. Many cities and regions will host their own locally-focused giving day in tandem with #GivingTuesday and will have a larger media presence than a single organization alone. (They likely will also have prizes and matching funds.) Or, find local businesses who will champion your cause, offer incentives for giving, and help attract new supporters. (My friend Joe Waters has a whole blog devoted to just this topic.)

Make this December your best year-end fundraising season ever with Network for Good’s smarter fundraising software, built just for nonprofits. Reach more donors, raise more money, and retain more supporters this year with easy-to-use tools and step-by-step coaching. We have everything you need for a bigger, better campaign, all under one roof. Find out more by speaking with one of our expert fundraising consultants.


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About This Blog

Carrie Saracini
Content Marketing Manager

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

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