4 Ways to Make End of the Year Fundraising Spectacular

Posted by Ayanna Rutherford on 21.10.2021


The end of the calendar year is a time of rest and vacation for a lot of people.  Holiday parties are ramping up and people are preparing for time off to share with family and friends.  This is also one of the most generous times of the year making it a big time for fundraising for nonprofit organizations.  According to a report by Charity Navigator, 31% of giving occurs in December but even more astounding is 12% of annual giving occurs during the last 3 days of the year.  Now is the time to make your big fundraising push to have a successful fourth quarter.  Here are four ways to make the end of the year spectacular for your organization.    

Set Goals

Creating an end of the year goal helps you develop a plan to achieve that goal.  Goals help you understand the numbers behind the dollars. They are also important in motivating your donors to give.  Expressing your end of the year goal as well as your progress in meeting that goal helps donors understand your needs and is a clear call to action.     

Create a Timeline and Cadence

Timelines and communication cadences, with donors are very important for all fundraising and especially at the end of the year.  Building your communication timeline around days that are relevant to your cause is key.  For example, if your organization is focused on veterans, doing a fundraising push during Veteran’s Day will help bring awareness to your cause.  Leveraging other days like Giving Tuesday, winter holidays, and New Year’s Eve can position your organization for fundraising success. 

Touches are also an important factor in this timeline.  Be sure to be consistent and concise with your audience.  Email campaign should have 3 to 4 touches including your first ask, reminders, and a final ask with an update on your goal.  

Tell Your Story and Get Your Message Out

When telling your story, it is critical to remind your audience why your organization exist.  This helps donors remember their reason for giving to you in the first place.  Brag a about your program’s successes and highlight milestones that are inspirational.  Avoid using words like “urgent” or “keeping the doors open” in your communication. While there may be a since of urgency and you may be fighting to “keeping the doors open”, a more upbeat approach focusing on the successes and your future will resonate with your audience.  Besides, who wants to donate to an organization that may not be around.

Say Thank You

Thank you is a crucial part of fundraising in general but often overlooked.  The end of the year is the perfect time to express gratitude to your donors.  There are a number of ways to thank donors like sending a letter or gift, hosting a party (virtual or in person), or giving them a call. 

It is important to provide new donors with a “Welcome Letter”, outlining programs, annual events, and other ways for them to get involved with your organization.  Be sure to ask your new donors for another contribution within 90 days of their first gift.  Donors who give twice in a 90-day window have a 60% retention rate, they become donors for life, according to Go Beyond Survival: Innovate & Evolve to Thrive in your Nonprofit


Want to learn more about having a successful fourth quarter? Click here to out this webinar

Photo Credit:Marco Verch

Topics: Donor Relationships, Strategic Plan, Donations