It’s the most wonderful (and often profitable) time of year for nonprofits!
End-of-Year (EOY) giving is a great opportunity for nonprofits to boost their revenue and share the impact of their mission. In fact, approximately 30% of all annual giving occurs in December, with about 10% in the last three days of December. Some nonprofits raise up to 50% of their annual funds during their year-end ask! (Source: https://donorbox.org/nonprofit-blog/end-of-year-giving)
This means having a strong plan set up for end-of-year success is vital. With the end of the year right around the corner, many organizations are well on their way to planning. Whether you have everything in order and ready to go or if you have not found the time to start, here are a few helpful hints for finding EOY-giving success.
1. Make a plan and review past data. Having a plan will ensure that all components are ready to go when needed and will help reduce the stress of end-of-year giving. A plan should include prepping materials, mailing dates, social media calendars, a timeline, and assignments for who oversees what. When drafting a plan, make sure to review your metrics from the previous year’s end-of-year giving campaigns. This data will help you look for new opportunities for growth and remove what was not effective. Blackbaud created this toolkit to help you and your fundraising team plan for success!
2. Set goals. It is important to have realistic goals so you know how to measure success. Goals should not only include the total money raised but also other metrics, such as the number of gifts, gifts over a certain amount, total returned cards, and average gift size.
3. Create a brand for the end-of-year giving campaign. Your EOY giving campaign and marketing efforts should have a specific brand or message. All direct mail pieces, emails, and social media posts should reflect this brand with a memorable theme or slogan. I like to focus on one word when I start planning an end-of-year giving brand like joy, family, or hope.
4. Review your donor list. Don’t wait until the last minute to put together your donor list. No matter how up-to-date and sophisticated your donor database is, the list should still be reviewed by several team members to ensure accuracy. Try segmenting your donor list by donation amount, members, or monthly donors and personalize their ask based on how they are connected to your organization.
5. Make an ask (over and over again). We all get busy during the end of the year. Your ask might reach a donor, but they forget to give or put it off until later. This is why asking throughout the last few weeks of the year is important. A communications calendar will help keep you on track by asking in multiple ways, making sure to share your gratitude, and highlighting different ways individuals can get involved in supporting your mission. Think about pre-scheduling posts and emails to add ease to your busy schedule.
6. Don’t forget gratitude. Saying thank you is always important. A branded thank you note that matches your campaign and shares how someone’s gift will make an impact on your mission will go a long way in connecting the donor to your organization and making them a long-term partner.
The end-of-year giving season isn’t just about collecting donations. It is a time to reach out to your supporters and community to share the impact of your mission and the progress you have made throughout the year and to celebrate your achievements. The earlier you plan, the better, so mark your calendars now to start planning in August for the 2024 EOY giving campaign. Good luck, and make sure to share your metrics with us. We can’t wait to hear about all the generosity our community has to offer!
If you want to dive in a little deeper, check out this Bloomberg article! https://bloomerang.co/blog/the-secret-way-to-boost-year-end-gifts/
Best of luck in your year-end campaigns. Let us know how it goes and if we can help answer any questions you may have!