Did you know that 31% of annual giving occurs in December, with 12% taking place in the last three days of the year? Does your non-profit organisation have a strong year-end strategy to take advantage of these powerful trends? Read our five steps to maximise the success of your year-end fundraising appeal.

It’s estimated that about one third of annual giving occurs in December. Does your nonprofit organisation have a strong strategy to take advantage of these powerful trends? Here are five steps to maximise the success of your year-end fundraising appeal:

1.  Create an activity timeline and benchmarks.

A well planned end-of-year timeline focuses on follow-up activities in throughout the month of December. As fundraisers, we thrive on goals. Use this to your advantage and set some metrics to follow. Start with your target in mind and work backwards to determine what actions are required to get you there, including the number of face-to-face gift requests, touchpoints, and formal gift requests.

2.  Develop a unique case for support.

Your case for support tells who you are as an organisation, why you need support, and how that support will make an impact. Your case statement should include the following:

3.  Analyse and segment your donor base.

Identification — First, identify major gift prospects that you can personally contact. Then, identify donors from prior years who have not contributed during the current year.

Research — Conduct research on the prospects you have identified – both to determine the right amount to request, and to determine how they like to give by looking at prior year response methods.

Rating — Determine the best outreach strategy and prioritise your prospects. Decide who should get a personal phone call, a custom message, or a mass communication.

4.  Know your engagement strategy.

Use a combination of different outreach methods and tailor your approach based on the priority of your prospects. Don’t forget to request a specific gift, no matter which delivery method you use.

5.  Follow up!

The biggest mistake that organisations make is that they don’t follow up. Don’t send your appeal materials and then hope for the best. Use a multi-step, multi-channel approach to follow up and secure decisions.

In the final week of the year, send multiple reminder emails, including one on 31 December. Communicate individually with your best prospects via phone calls, personal emails, social media messages, and text messages. Deadlines are a fundraiser’s best friend – use the year-end deadline to generate excitement, momentum, and results. Then communicate your success and start planning for next year!

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