How to encourage year-end donations

If your nonprofit hasn't done so already, it should start preparing for its end-of-the-year fundraising campaign. Most nonprofits see the largest amount of donations in the last three months of the calendar year, according to The National Center for Charitable Statistics, as donors are both in a generous mood and want to give before tax season arrives. In fact, some organizers formed a day especially devoted to giving to nonprofits and charities.

Many not-for-profits and charities will accept online donations on Tuesday, Dec. 1, otherwise known as #GivingTuesday, an internationally recognized day to give to nonprofits and other good causes. Since there were already days devoted to holiday shopping like Black Friday, the 92nd Street Y, came up with the idea for the donation holiday. The New York City cultural center launched the special day in 2012 as a way for people to recognize generosity around the holidays, the event's website states. 

The organizers of #GivingTuesday estimate donations to nonprofits rose by 470 percent since the holiday's inception three years ago. 

While the day can be a boon for nonprofits, they shouldn't depend on it to carry them through to the new year. Now that October is here, not-for-profits need a plan to reach out to their donor base and take advantage of the coming holiday season.

Here are just a few tips nonprofits can employ to encourage donations around the holidays:

Spirit of the season
Remind your donor base of the generous spirit of the season, Winspire advised. Send out holiday cards around Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah to thank your donors and volunteers for their help and to wish them a happy new year. You can pair these cards with stories of how the organization made a difference in the past year and encourage contributors to continue giving so your nonprofit can keep making the world a better place for years to come.  

Tax write-offs
Another great way to nudge the public to give toward the end of the year is to tell patrons about the tax benefits of making donations before January. Nonprofits should insert a blurb on their online donation form reminding potential donors of the tax write-offs they can make in April of the coming year if they give before the end of December.

Make your website donor friendly
Your website should accept online donations to make giving convenient and hassle-free for donors. On top of this, you can allow your contributors to give donations in someone's name as a Christmas or Hanukkah gift. Not only will it make for a convenient and thoughtful gift, it will also remind donors of the spirit of the season.

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