Nonprofit Year-End Fundraising | The Free Checklist

August 2, 2023

We’re in the dog days of summer…

And that can only mean one thing — year-end fundraising season is upon us!

The numbers are down, but you’ve still got plenty of time to end the year ahead — far ahead — of your goals.

Why end-of-year fundraising? Let the numbers guide you…

  • 12% of all giving happens in the last three days of the year
  • Nearly one-third of all annual giving occurs in December
  • 28% of nonprofits raise between 26-50% of their annual fund via their year-end ask
  • Volunteers are twice as likely to donate as non-volunteers
  • Direct mail is the most popular medium for year-end asks, followed by email and in-person

The secret to your success?

Multichannel without question. While you might want to imagine your organization sending out one or two emails resulting in a widely successful year-end, all the research shows the unlikelihood of that happening.

And, according to ANA/DMA, “Direct mail still pulls a higher response rate than any marketing medium.” And even digital fundraising powerhouse NextAfter has conducted studies that reveal that multichannel has 212% more revenue than offline only.

Direct mail and digital work side by side to ensure your best campaign.

Where do you begin?

What if there was something you could do NOW to ensure bigger success later? There is! Professor Robert Cialdini notes that “Pre-suasion is a method of priming an audience to receive your message more openly.” Warm up your donors and remind them that their support matters — that you matter.

August and September are the ideal months to update your supporters. Consider sending:

Send out an extra “just because” thank you two to six weeks prior to your appeal dropping. Organize board members for a phone thank-a-thon.

Clean up your data. Consider the following:

  • How did you do last year overall? By segment?
  • What channels did you use last year?
  • What’s your renewal rate?
  • What’s your breakdown at various giving levels?
  • How can you break down all year-end giving?
  • People move all the time. When was the last time you ran your list through NCOA address validation?
  • Lastly, consider a data audit. What do you want to look for when considering how you’re segmenting? This short training will show you exactly what you want to look at when segmenting your donor base for your EOY appeal.

Review your data with an eye to segmentation. Go beyond mere dollar amounts and look to reasons for giving and loyalty.

For direct mail, always think package, not letter. What do you want your donor to do? Create a response device tailored to older eyes (typically your best donors). Consider lift notes, small gifts, or non-financial engagement devices…have fun with them and let your imagination run wild!

Go online and make a donation to your organization. Better yet, distribute $10 each to ten outsiders and have them make an online donation and report back. When I recently made a gift to one organization in honor of a friend, I was directed here.

Not a reassuring experience when a person’s credit card is involved.

What does your organization’s thank you redirect page look like?

And there’s more! To ensure your successful “leave no money on the table” year-end campaign, download your Foolproof Year-End Fundraising Checklist now. No opt-in is required. To create your own guaranteed successful EOY campaign, enroll in Foolproof Year-End Fundraising, newly updated for 2023.


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