Year-end fundraising is here! Can you believe that we are almost to 2018? We are just a few short months away from the new year.

Did you know that 12% of annual giving occurs on the last three days of the year? What an amazing statistic! And a figure that emphasizes the importance on a year-end fundraising strategy. Obviously, fundraising efforts should be a year-round objective for your organization but year-end appeal presents a unique opportunity to finish the fiscal period strong.

Believe it or not, most nonprofits (53.8%) begin planning their year-end fundraising during the month of October. What does this mean for you and your nonprofit? It means that if you have not begun to plan for year-end fundraising you are not too late. It is important that your organization begins to plan now.

You’re nonprofit still has time to create a strategic roadmap aimed towards year-end fundraising success. If you are not sure where to begin in developing a strategic plan for year-end fundraising here are three tips that can get your organization started.

Year-End Fundraising Tip #1: Make it Easy to Give

Making it easy to give sounds like an obvious strategy to increase fundraising success but you would be surprised how many nonprofits have a tedious giving process.  Simplification of your nonprofits donation request can make a detrimental impact.

It is also important to note that your organization should offer prospects multiple ways to give.  Offering prospects multiple avenues to give create’s a more personalized ask by incorporating preferences.

Here are a few additional tips for making the process of giving easier than ever for your prospects and current funders:

  • Create donation CTA’s across all digital collateral and limit the number of clicks required to get to the ask.
  • Make the process easy by providing clear instructions on ways to give.
  • Create a streamlined donation page on your nonprofit’s website.
  • Invest in fundraising software and integrate with your website.
  • Understand what giving channels your supporters use the most.
  • Invest time in mobile and social giving strategies (Mobile fundraising continues to rise in adoption)
  • Do not forget about outbound fundraising strategies.
  • Think outside of the box.

Year-End Fundraising Tip #2: Remember the Importance of Engagement

As a nonprofit one of your most important goals should be to build sustainable relationships with your funders and prospects.  Engaging donors can increase retention and make the year-end fundraising ask more successful.

Keep in mind that donor retention rate averages for nonprofits are relatively low. Retention rates for offline-only donor’s averages 29% and online-only donors are around 21%.

These statistics emphasize the need create a strategy around engagement.

In order to engage with donors and prospects your nonprofit needs to have a complete understanding of who your stakeholders are and what drives them to donate.  There are many ways that your nonprofit can increase engagement with your donors and prospects.  Here are a few tips:

  • Host fundraising and networking events to get to know stakeholders on a personal level (this can help your organization understand motivations)
  • Use donor database software (Nonprofit CRM) to create personalized communications with donors and prospects.
  • Encourage donors to become more involved in the organization and leverage their insights (this creates brand champions).
  • Convert volunteers to donors and vice versa.
  • Encourage peer-to-peer fundraising to leverage your donor’s network.
  • Develop a rewards system that encourages and acknowledges donors.
  • Be genuine and say thank-you.

Year-End Fundraising Tip #3: Keep Your Donors in the Loop on Progress

Keeping your donors in the loop regarding the progress your nonprofit is making towards its mission is essential.  Did you know that on average two-thirds of donors do not do any research on an organization before donating to them? The cause is what compels most people to donate not necessarily the nonprofit.

This in itself presents a great opportunity for organizations that can leverage communication to create that same emotional connection with their brand.  Communication creates transparency which in turn builds trust.  Building trust can turn a donor into a lifetime supporter and increase their donation life cycle.

Here are a few ways to keep your donors and prospects in the loop:

  • Thank your current supporters often.
  • Provide weekly, monthly, and yearly fundraising updates (this may compel a donor to increase gift).
  • Connect with your donors on social media and encourage them to share your updates and consume your content.
  • Ask your funders and prospects questions and create conversation.
  • Provide your funders photos of your mission in action so they can see the good their gifts are creating. (creates more emotional connection)
  • Send your donors handwritten thank you notes for their financial contributions.


If your nonprofit has not prepared for your year-end fundraising efforts do not panic you still have a little time! Make sure to make the process of donating easy for your funders and prospects, encourage engagement, and keep your stakeholders in the loop in terms of progress towards your mission.

Now is a great time to drive in prospects and continue to covert donors to brand champions.

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