How to Plan the Most Successful Year-End Campaign Ever

Ready or not, the end of the year is upon us.

With half of nonprofits receiving a majority of their annual donations from October through December, we all know that the months ahead can be the most hectic, challenging and rewarding.

We are here to help lighten the load a little this year. Here are 4 planning pointers for your nonprofit’s year-end strategy:

1. Start Planning Soon, Very Soon

Why wait? 53.8% of nonprofits start planning their year-end appeal in October.

The sooner you and your organization devise a plan, the smoother it will be executed. Avoid the year-end madness, as much as one in our industry can, and give yourself the maximum amount of time to prep.

Be realistic with your time and resources. Use last year-end’s numbers to determine this year-end’s goals. 

2. Prepare for the Season of Generosity

Nearly one third of annual giving happens in December. And a shocking 12% of all giving happens in the last three days of the year.

How easy is it for your supporters to donate? In preparation for the giving season, your website should be as user friendly as possible and, of course, optimized for mobile. Your text-to-give program should also be well-established, if that’s part of your year-end campaign.

Do your donors, and yourself, a favor and make giving more seamless than ever before.

3. Multichannel or Bust

Integrate a year-end campaign that is impactful throughout each of your channels: digital, print and social. It is crucial to discover the perfect story and messaging that resonates best with your donors.

Once you find that story, your website, emails, direct mail, social media and even verbal conversations with your donors need to be both cohesive and poignant.

Additionally, multichannel stewardship is crucial. Donors need to know where their dollars will be going and what good it will be bringing to the world. Don’t forget to thank your supporters on every communication platform your organization uses.

4. Don’t Just Campaign—Connect

Successful year-end campaigns are not a one-way street. Schedule time for yourself to communicate with your community. And don’t forget to create a calendar with key communication dates to help hold yourself accountable.

Allotting time to engage with your donors is key. Do it on social, thank them individually with a phone call or send them a handwritten holiday card. By whatever means necessary, just thank your donors, and do it often.

After all, your supporters are your organization’s greatest gift—every day of the year.

What is your saving grace when it comes to planning for this time of year? Do you foresee any changes in year-end giving due to the recent tax reform? We’d love to hear your thoughts!


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