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3 Critical Year-End Giving Tips (That Can Make or Break Your Campaign)

WRITTEN BY Kristina Brunnler

Each year nonprofit professionals like yourself face immense pressure to execute a successful year-end fundraising campaign that not only meets annual fundraising goals, but also sets your organization up for success in the new year. Granted, all of this year-end hooplah may be justified, as 30% of all annual giving happens during the month of December and charitable giving as a whole has increased in 2020. But before you stress yourself out with last minute campaign planning, we want to highlight three tips to help you raise the most possible this year. Focus your efforts on the three tactics below to crush your 2020 fundraising goals (without stressing yourself out).

3 Critical Year-End Giving Tips

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1. Offer a Matching Opportunity

While finding a matching partner can be time intensive, it’s worthwhile. Matching gifts increase gift amounts by 19 percent and increase the likelihood that an individual gives by 22 percent according to experts. It’s not too late to find a matching sponsor. Call your board and your largest supporters to see if they can provide a match or a reference to one. If that doesn’t work, segment your larger donors and send them a personalized email requesting a matching sponsorship. Within the email include a link to a sponsorship form they can complete online without having to call or meet in person.

Salvation Army of Michigan social media post on their matching opportunity

2. Email Religiously

Between now and December 31st you need to be relentless with sending supporters emails. Share with supporters how close you are to meeting your annual fundraising goal and make urgent appeals for their help. Thank those that did donate this year and ask for their support again. Share impact metrics with what their fundraising dollars helped your organization achieve this year. Increase email frequency the closer you approach the New Year. If your beneficiaries were impacted by COVID-19 share why their support is especially important this year. 

An example of a year-end giving email campaign

ProTip: I promise you, you are not spamming your supporters by emailing them more than once per week. The nonprofit industry as a whole averages a low 0.17% unsubscribe rate. Even if your unsubscribe is above that, remember some list churn is normal and healthy. Additionally, do you open and read every single promotional email you are sent? Probably not. Your supporters probably don’t either, as the nonprofit industry as a whole averages a 20% email open rate. You’ll need to send more than one email per week to cut through the holiday clutter in your donors inboxes.

3. Send Text Messages

Just like you would with a direct mail or email marketing campaign, send donors a sequence of text messages asking for their support. Increase the frequency of texts as December 31st approaches. Segment donors into send lists by their average donation amounts and frequency of giving. Your text messages should always include a call-to-action, which could be a request to watch a short video, pledge for a donation amount, or to donate through an online donation from. If it’s your first time texting a donor, be sure to introduce your organization and explain your mission before you send any appeals via text. Even if a donor has supported your organization before, they might not recognize your cause right away through this new communication channel.

Increase frequency of text messages as you approach December 31st

Learn how you can reach more donors with text-do-donate and mobile messaging from MobileCause.

Text messaging is not only the primary way individuals communicate with one another, but is increasingly the way they prefer to communicate with businesses and nonprofits organizations. Furthermore text messaging is not just preferred, it’s effective. 98% of all text messages are read and 90% of text messages are read within the 3 minutes of being sent, making it the most effective way to reach supporters. This is your last chance to fundraise this year, so don’t be afraid to utilize your most effective communication channels.

The holidays can be a stressful time for everyone, but especially for professional fundraisers. Keep your eye on short, but worthwhile tasks and remember: You can really do this. For more year-end fundraising resources, I recommend you check out our Ultimate Year-End Giving Resource Center

Kristina Brunnler
Marketing Manager


Our goal at MobileCause is to help nonprofit organizations create and manage successful digital fundraising campaigns, raise more money and retain donors longer. Request a free demo with one of our fundraising experts to learn, step by step, how MobileCause can simply help set up your campaigns while transforming your results.

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Want more Year-End Giving Resources?

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Download these free resources to help you maximize your fundraising efforts this global day of giving.

Download  Our Checklist and Planner: 3 Steps to Unlock Year-End Giving Success
Webinar: Create Recurring Donors from Year-End Giving Campaigns
Download  Year-End Giving Templates: Appeals for Email, Social Media and Text

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