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Allyson Kapin 5 min read

6 Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Year-End Fundraising

Online donations in December increased from 17.8% in 2014 to 19.8% in 2015, according to Blackbaud. The trend is clear: People tend to donate to organizations more around the holidays than any other time of the year. This is why year-end fundraising is so important to livelihood of nonprofits.

Here are 6 ways to make sure you’re making the most of your year-end fundraising plans:

  1. Have a clear message and call to action. In order to get donors to commit to your nonprofit, you need to let them know what you’re gonna do with their hard earned money. This means you need to have a solid message prepared for when you reach out to your donors. And don't complicate the message and get into the weeds.

    If you want people to commit, you need to give them a good reason. What's your elevator pitch?

  2. Dig into your data. Your eCRM and Google Analytics can provide helpful insights that you can keep in mind when targeting donors. Use these tools to track your emails and your donors response rates. Track everything from open rates, to click rates to unsubscribes to donation amounts and times. After compiling these stats, act on what they have to say.

  3. Identify your biggest donors and contact them first. You should go through the lists of your donors and find out which ones support your nonprofit the most. Reach out to them personally. Make them know you’re thankful for their contribution and that you want their continued support. It can be a phone call, an in-person meeting or a letter but make sure it’s personal. If you have the capacity, do this for monthly donors too, even if they only donate $10 a month.


  1. Take advantage of  #GivingTuesday. According to Blackbaud #GivingTuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving weekend, donations were up 52% in the US in comparison to 2014. Use this opportunity engage with your donors. Offer them incentives such as 2-for-1 donation matches, an opportunity to do a meet and greet with one of your celebrity board members, etc. 

  2. Optimize your networks. People are more likely to donate to organizations with great websites and of course stellar donation pages. Make sure your website is user-friendly, works well on mobile and has a clear call to donate. It should never be hard to find the donate button on your website. Pair a great website with optimized donation forms and SEO and you will be on your way to making the best of year-end fundraising.

  3. Don’t forget about offline channels. Many nonprofits use Direct Mail during year-end fundraising. Make sure that your email, social media, and direct mail messaging are in sync so you are not confusing your donors with radically different messaging.  

By implementing these strategies in your year-end fundraising campaigns, you will be on your way to boosting donations and engaging more donors.


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.