How to maximize the effectiveness of year-end campaigns

Many nonprofits raise a significant portion of their revenue during November and December. Whether these gifts come from holiday generosity or the desire to get one last tax-deductible donation in before the end of the year, charitable foundations can benefit. This is especially true if they accept donations online because this channel is growing in popularity. 

There are several different reasons why people tend to give at the end of the year. Some have specific charity budgets they want to spend before the end of December. Others see the holidays as a time of giving, including making charitable donations, according to The Fundraising Authority. While some organizations choose to prospect for new donors at this time, this can be overwhelming for both organizations and contributors. Most nonprofits appeal to their existing donors. The holidays are a great time to thank benefactors for their support throughout the year.

Components of a successful year-end fundraising strategy
Nonprofits have a multitude of tools at their disposal for making November and December count. If your organization doesn't already do something for Giving Tuesday, now may be the year to start. This day is the Tuesday after Thanksgiving in the U.S. and started as a reaction to the increasing commercialization of the holiday season. Similar to how Black Friday and Cyber Monday are viewed as the start of the holiday shopping season, nonprofits can use Giving Tuesday to kick off their year-end campaigns, npENGAGE stated. It can be stressful to try to plan a Giving Tuesday campaign separately from holiday appeals, so this strategy may save some time and effort while increasing results.

Although many nonprofits still rely on direct mail to convey the message, a multichannel approach may be more effective. You can start out with a direct mail letter and shift to emails later in the holiday season, The Fundraising Authority suggested. Email follow-ups are often easier to execute than sending a second direct mail piece, especially because this may not be the most cost-effective approach. Nonprofit employees can also make personal calls to high-value donors. This demonstrates that your organization values the support of loyal benefactors.

How to maximize year-end impact
Implementing a more creative strategy for year-end giving can improve results. While direct mail is still effective, many other organizations will be utilizing similar campaigns, and it may be harder to stand out. An integrated campaign can help you capture attention on multiple platforms. For example, thank-you videos may be a refreshing change for donors, according to The Nonprofit Quarterly. 

It's important to place the focus on telling a compelling story. Donors are more likely to respond to an appeal that tells a story about real people. In addition, the holidays are a time to thank contributors for their gifts throughout the year. There are many different ways you can show appreciation in your year-end campaigns. For example, you can celebrate a donor's anniversary of supporting your organization. 

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