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5 fundraising tips for 2021 giving season

Three people standing in front of a whiteboard with post-its

For many nonprofits, 29% of annual donations happen between #GivingTuesday (November 30 this year) and December 31, and a shocking 11% of annual donations were reported to come in during the last three days of the year. In addition, many reports* show giving was at an all-time high in 2020, so don’t miss out on the season of generosity that is quickly approaching. There is still time to get your organization ready with a few fundraising tips. 

  1. Create a year-end fundraising goal and plan that centers all stakeholders including volunteers (especially board members), donors at every level (not just major donors), and potential new supporters expressing interest in your cause.  
  2. Don’t forget to extend gratitude. The giving season is a time when donors are feeling extra generous, but nonprofits should be too. Use Thanksgiving as a time to get your board involved in thanking your supporters before you kick off your campaign of asking on #GivingTuesday. And make sure you have a good appreciation system set up during the campaign so that folks know you received their donations. 
  3. Consider matching gifts. This is a great opportunity to leverage existing relationships with foundations or small businesses. Invite them to increase their annual giving by funding a matching gift for your year-end campaign. Also, don’t forget to remind your board members and individual donors to request a matching gift for their donations if their company has an employee match program. 
  4. Boost your online presence by optimizing your organization’s Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar. Candid’s free tool shares your organization with tens of millions of potential donors. Check out this video for three easy steps to get your profile ready for giving season. 
  5. Share an accomplishment or story about how things have changed over the last year in your year-end appeal and on your Nonprofit Profile. Communicating your organization’s success gives donors confidence and ultimately pays off. Research has shown that organizations with a Seal of Transparency received 53% more in contributions 

Candid worked with an organization in San Francisco this year that was able to easily earn their Gold Seal of Transparency after attending one of our trainings. Here’s what they had to say about the experience:  

“I attended a Candid training where I learned about the importance of updating my Nonprofit Profile and Seals of Transparency. One month after earning a Gold Seal, we received an unsolicited gift of $250,000. Now we will use the money to fund crisis stabilization services.”
 -Dr. Mary Ann Jones, PhD, CEO of Westside Community Services

Want to grow your individual donor base, but don’t know where to start? Register for our live or on-demand workshop, Practical Strategies for Finding New Donors, to learn more and get fundraising tips.

*Giving Tuesday’s 2020 Impact Report: “Driving Unprecedented Generosity in an Unprecedented Year”​
*Total charitable giving grew 5.1 percent on a year-over-year basis in 2020 (3.8 percent, adjusted for inflation), the latest edition of the Giving USA report finds
*Buoyed by Small Donors, Giving Grew 10.6% in 2020, Study Finds 


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  • Kate, Digital Communications Manager, Candid says:

    October 20, 2022 12:18 pm

    We don’t offer grants. But we do have resources to help you find grants. Check out our Knowledge Base for articles on the topic.

  • SM Shirajul Islam says:

    October 15, 2022 4:35 am

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    Greetings from People Development Community (PDC), Bangladesh

    Peoples Development Community (PDC) is a national NGO working with several sectors and many parts of Bangladesh since 2003 for different vulnerable and marginalized community. PDC working with pioneering role in sexual and reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention strategies, in collaboration with Government, donors, INGOs, research & academic institutions and civil societies. PDC also working social and economic development, general health, child and mother health, water and sanitation, child and adult education, reducing violence against women and children, preventing trafficking against women and children, protecting women and children rights in collaboration with Government, donors, INGOs, research & academic institutions and civil societies.
    We have informed about you from your website. We would like to submit a project to your end for financial support. With this letter I am seeking your permission and contact details for further communication.

    We believe your assistance can make a difference in the livelihood and human rights condition of the disadvantage people in Bangladesh. If you have any queries please contact in the below mentioned address.
    Looking for your positive response.
    Thanks with best regards,


    October 14, 2022 12:12 am

    Greetings Ms. Ortega & the Candid Team!

    This informational will truly prove beneficial to our organization!
    We have been in need of successful grant writers for some time now.
    What resources do you recommend to find viable grant writers?

    Prof. Higgins
    Charmique Vogue Company

    P.S. FYI: Your title has a spelling typo - Engagement vs. Engagament

  • Mary Steyer says:

    November 16, 2021 3:17 pm

    Hello Richard, please reach out to the Candid support team at [email protected]. They would be happy to answer your question about eligibility.

  • Richard Baumer says:

    November 15, 2021 4:52 pm

    Our very small all-volunteer nonprofit (<$200,000), the Military Working Dog Team Support Assn., just earned its Platinum Seal for the 5th year. Prior to that we had a Gold Seal. Any chance we can get a free year of the Foundation Directory Online Essential?