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5 fundraising tips for 2021 giving season

By Krista Berry Ortega
November 15, 2021

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 easy steps. 

  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.

*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 

Tags: Giving; Fundraising