Fundraising beyond GivingTuesday: 5 tips to maximize year end giving
It’s that time of year again. The year-end giving season kicks off with a lot of hype around GivingTuesday, when nonprofits invest significant time, energy, and resources into launching campaigns for the special day. As nonprofit professionals, we wait and hope all day that this is the year our campaign will go viral and bring in millions of dollars in donations. And then the following day, many small, new, or unknown (due to lack of social capital) nonprofits feel defeated because they didn’t get the donations they’d hoped for. Sound familiar?
If you are feeling the post-GivingTuesday blues and seeking to drive even more donations to your organization, don’t fret. There is still a lot of year-end giving to go around. In fact, up to 31% of online year-end giving happens in December, and according to Giving USA, charitable giving is at an all-time high—reporting that in 2021, Americans gave $484.85 billion to charity, which represents a 4.0% increase over 2020.
5 ways to get most out of the year-end giving season
This is good news. Folks are staying consistent or even increasing their giving. But how do you make sure to put this positive news into action for your nonprofit? Here are a few top tips:
1. Use GivingTuesday as the kickoff to your year-end fundraising campaign.
GivingTuesday should NOT be the only year-end giving option you pursue. Why? Folks are busy, especially as the holiday season approaches, and they often need to be reminded through multiple channels and touches.
So, consider creating a communications calendar from GivingTuesday through December 31st and using email, snail mail, social media, telephone calls, and even SMS messages to connect with donors and remind them to give. For some of your donors, giving on GivingTuesday may not be the right time. To set both yourself and your donors up for success, think about providing multiple and simple ways to give throughout the year-end giving season. Check out some other great tips to maximize your year-end fundraising campaign kick-off from Candid’s recent webinar.
2. Have a year-end fundraising goal and plan to set yourself up for success.
To get started, it’s helpful to run an analysis on what you raised in the last year (and ideally the last several years if you have that data) to determine which strategies were the most successful.
Once you’ve identified what worked best for you in the past years–like GivingTuesday, appeal letters, email campaigns, peer-to-peer fundraising, events, major gifts, etc.–you can use these insights to inform your year-end giving plan and create a goal for each tactic. For more resources on how to successfully craft a fundraising plan, check out Candid’s knowledge base page on fundraising planning.
3. Schedule year-end giving communications and touchpoints ahead of time.
We’ve already established that nearly a third of annual giving occurs in December. But did you know that 10% of year-end giving happens on the last three days of the year? To make the most out this year’s giving season, be sure to keep asking folks to give until the very last day of the year. Tapping into this generosity at the end of the year doesn’t mean you need to be working 24/7.
For example, after your appeal letter gets delivered, think about deploying an email and social media campaign with pre-scheduled touchpoints to remind and prompt folks to give until the last day of the year. By scheduling these communications in advance, you can get the best of both worlds: taking full advantage of the year-end giving season while also enjoying some well-deserved time off for the holidays. If you are looking for no-fee tools to help you pre-schedule your year-end giving comms, you can check out Buffer’s free social media publishing tool and HubSpot’s free email solution.
4. Engage all your stakeholders during the year-end giving season.
While acquiring new donors is important, consider focusing more attention on retaining the ones you already have. Why? It’s easier and more efficient because these people already know you and care about your cause.
Be sure to clean up your mailing and email lists to ensure all your current donors’ contact information is up to date, so they receive your communications. And use the recent Thanksgiving holiday as a way to say thank you to your current donors, board members and volunteers by sharing an impact story of what their support has helped accomplish. In fact, 42% of donors said success stories influenced their decision to give, so don’t forget to share your achievements. Looking for more donor retention strategies? Check this blog out.
5. Make sure to update your website, donation pages, and Candid nonprofit profile.
Your nonprofit’s online presence is essential year-round, but it’s especially important at the end of the year when folks are making giving decisions. Be sure to share your accomplishments and make it easy for folks to donate and get more involved.
Want an extra online boost for your nonprofit? Candid’s nonprofit profile automatically sends your updated information to over 200 charitable sites, including AmazonSmile, Facebook, and Network for Good–all of which are important places that donors are visiting during this year’s giving season. Want to learn more? Consider using this resource for tips on updating your Candid nonprofit profile.
To set yourself up for a successful year-end giving season, consider thinking beyond GivingTuesday. There are so many additional year-end fundraising tactics that you can easily plan and put into place to ensure you’re diversifying your organization’s outreach and engaging everyone in this year’s giving season.
Have more tips for year-end giving success? Please share them below!