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Allyson Kapin 5 min read

Rock Your Year-End Fundraising

Year-end fundraising is here. This is the time of year that your organization should be raising up to 40% of its donations online. Yes, that’s right - up to 40% of donations come in at the end of the year for many nonprofits that have a solid year-end fundraising plan in place and an engaged list of supporters.

Looking for some good data and examples for your fundraising team? Check out some of the info and screenshots I shared last week on the Blackbaud webinar Year-End Fundraising Campaigns that Rock with Frank Barry from Blackbaud and Kai MacMahon from Autism Speaks.

Fundraising Facts

  • In 2010 an estimated $291 billion was raised. – Charity Navigator
  • This is an increase of 3.8% from 2009 when giving was $280.3 billion. – Charity Navigator
  • 73% came from individuals. – Charity Navigator
  • While a large majority of donations are still made by check (79 percent), online fundraising is the fastest growing donation channel. – AFP
  • Online fundraising grew 34% and raised over $20 billion dollars in 2010 – Blackbaud
  • The average 1x donation is $60.00. – eNonprofit Benchmark study.
  • Median revenue per donor for multichannel supporters was $339 compared to $88 for offline. - Blackbaud
  •  First year retention for multichannel donors was 51%. - Blackbaud
  • On average fundraising responses rates range from .08% to .13% - eNonprofit Benchmark Study

Three Ingredients for Successful Year-End Fundraising


1. Don't Make Donors Search for the Donate Button

Have a clear call to donate in the form of a big bold button. This should be incredibly obvious in your navigation and in a callout box towards the top of your website. If you want to raise money, the donate button should not be buried and de-emphasized on your website.

2. Test Your Donation Landing Pages
This is one of my favorite tips from Alia Mckee over at Sea Change Strategies. After you finish reading this blog post, give two of your friends $10 and ask them to donate money to your website. Ask them to share their donation experiences with you. How was the flow? What was confusing? Did they get frustrated at some point and not want to complete the donation? Tell them to be brutally honest.

3. Optimize Your Donation Pages

Provide compelling reasons to donate and tell donors how their hard earned money is being spent. BTW donating money to general operating expenses is not a compelling reason to donate. It should focus on programs that are helping you meet your mission. Be sure and also provide clear donation information with options for different types of donations - one time, recurring, etc.

Year-End Fundraising Examples

Thanks to our friends Farra Trompeter over at Big Duck and Avi Kaplan of Rad Campaign we compiled several year-end fundraising appeals from 2010. Three of them are featured below. Like with any good fundraising appeal or campaign, there are elements that shine and some simple ways organizations can make them even better.

What are your favorite strategies or examples for year-end fundraising?



Allyson Kapin

Allyson has been named one of "Top Tech Titans" by the Washingtonian, one of the Most Influential Women In Tech by Fast Company, and one of the top 30 women entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter by Forbes for her leadership role in technology and social media. As Founding Partner of Rad Campaign, she leads the firm's client and online strategic services. For over a decade Allyson has helped non-profit organizations and political campaigns create dynamic and award-winning websites and online marketing and recruitment campaigns. She works side-by-side with her clients to meet their web needs and maximize their online effectiveness to create real world impact.