Overflow Logo
10 Year-End Giving Tips for Nonprofits

10 Year-End Giving Tips for Nonprofits

In this blog post we outline 10 year end giving tips for nonprofits to help them increase donations.

Whether it's the festive spirit of generosity or last-minute tax preparations leading to increased charitable giving, around 40% of all donations occur between the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. Even as the pandemic continues to weigh on the economy, more than half of donors plan to give the same amount to nonprofits, and 13% said they plan to give even more.

Despite pandemic-imposed challenges to nonprofits, there are still many ways to maximize your year-end giving in the digital space:

1. Study your 2019 year-end giving campaign

Study your 2019 campaign to see what you could have done differently to reach more donors and increase your charitable donations. The following questions will help you analyze the critical aspects of your previous fundraising campaign:

  • How many donors did you reach (via direct mail and email as well as virtual and in-person events)?
  • How many donors did you reach through other channels, such as social media, blogs, and ads?
  • Which of your marketing channels generated the most significant engagement? Did any of your content outperform the rest?
  • Overall, how many donations did you receive, and what was the breakdown for each donation funnel? How much money did your year-end campaign raise? Were you able to meet your last year's fundraising goals?
  • Did your end-of-year campaign result in major gifts from new or current major donors?
  • Were you able to track which of your outreach channels had the highest conversion ratio? Google Ads might have brought more traffic to your donation page, but did the ads significantly increase your donation volumes? Tracking your conversion rate for different channels will help you outline the best marketing areas of your campaign.

2. Set clear fundraising goals

When outlining your fundraising goals for this year's campaign, focus on the following parameters:

3. Develop a consistent content schedule

Having a rich content schedule for the holiday season is crucial for attracting new donors and engaging your current supporters. Make sure to spread the word about your end-of-year fundraisers across all channels, such as email newsletters, blogs, guest articles, social media, and advertising.

4. Make a big ask

Did you know that many nonprofits don't ask donors for their financial support? Don't assume that people know who you are, why they should support your efforts, and how much funding you need to implement your programs. Make your vision as straightforward as possible, describe your expected impact, and clearly state your fundraising goals — in other words, your Big Ask.

5. Share your story

Don't forget about the first rule of storytelling marketing — if you want people to care about your organization and its charitable efforts, use a narrative to communicate your message. Make your donors feel something and sympathize with your cause, explain why they should support your nonprofit, and what impact your organization will have on their communities.

Often, it may not be enough to say that you're trying to empower and educate girls all around America. It's much better to say: Did you know that an educated girl will increase her earning potential and reduce poverty in her community? Or that educated women are less likely to suffer from domestic abuse?

However, an even better content strategy would be to share the girls' stories that you've helped and how your nonprofit changed their lives. Did she go to college? Break out of poverty? Get accepted to her dream job?

Share your nonprofit's story to encourage people to take action and give more people a chance for a better life.

6. Be active on social media

Using social media is no longer optional in the nonprofit space. Treat social media as an extension of your marketing strategy:

Let your donors take a peek at the backstage of your giving campaign.

Tell the stories of people you help.

Meet the communities you're working with, as well as the people who run your nonprofit.

Remember to be sincere and passionate about what you do, and people will follow.

7. Create different appeals for different types of donors

Some donors respond to direct mail, some prefer emails, and others love to get both. Some have a history of making large stock donations, while others prefer to give cash. Some donors love to closely study your donation page and learn as much as possible about your current initiatives, while others are known to click the "donate" button in less than 10 seconds.

By analyzing and categorizing your main types of donors, you can tailor your fundraising appeals to engage more people and raise more funds.

8. Highlight your outcomes

When you pitch your campaign to donors, focus on the facts that matter. First, highlight the impact you aim to accomplish and explain what their donations will be going. Don't list every activity you're planning to do — instead, demonstrate your value by describing some of your most promising projects and most impressive outcomes.

9. Be transparent

Research has shown that transparent nonprofits tend to raise 53% more than organizations that don't share information about their finances and operations. Here are just a few things your nonprofit can do to make sure that your organization is a trusted charity:

  • Earn and showcase your Seal of Transparency.
  • Place your nonprofit on the IRS tax-exempt charities list.
  • Have a listing of your nonprofit on GuideStar and Charity Navigator.
  • Quantify your impact: explain how much funds you have raised to this date and how many people and communities you have helped.
  • Educate your donors on how your organization will use their donations. New Story Charity is an excellent example of a transparent charity that separates gifts for their charitable programs from operational expenses.

10. Offer multiple donation options.

  • Encourage your donors to give more than just cash. Stock donations are now on the rise, so giving your donors an option to donate stock or other appreciated securities will maximize your fundraising potential. Don't forget about cryptocurrency or property gifts as well!
  • Make it possible for your donors to support one of your nonprofit's particular initiatives or projects.
  • Provide donors with multiple giving options (such as monthly or annual gifts) as well as the opportunity to "commit" to a specific gift in the future in case they're not ready to donate now.
  • Recommend your donors to make a donation on behalf of a relative or a loved one instead of buying a traditional present. A bonus: this gift will be tax-deductible!