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December fundraising do’s and don’ts

December is always a big month for nonprofits. The holidays create a spirit of generosity, with many families and organizations pledging to support a cause that matters to them. The statistics show this to be true: nearly one-third of all annual giving happens in December each year, with 12% of all annual donations coming in during December 29, 30 and 31. You’ve likely already created your plan for one last fundraising push but we want to make sure you’re specially prepared for those last three days of the month.

Use this list of do’s and don’ts to determine if your year-end fundraising plan needs updating.

Do…create a year-end donation page

You’ll need somewhere to direct your audience so they can make their donation. Don’t let it be a generic link to your website or your regular donation page. Maintain a cohesive look and message by creating a customized donation page to match your end-of-year appeal. Be sure to use our donation page checklist and double check that your website is optimized for mobile so your page is user-friendly. Include this link to this donation page for all social posts, emails, advertising and print materials you craft for the end-of-year campaign.

Do…brand your campaign

Branding your campaign will give it a cohesive look and feel, making it recognizable for your audience on any channel. Start by naming your year-end fundraising campaign something catchy. Give it a unique design that involves your logo or a creative hashtag. Then, update your social media channel cover photos and/or profile pictures with this new logo or hashtag. Tweet about the campaign and pin that tweet to the top of your profile so it’s the first thing people see. Link to the donation page in your Instagram bio and create a story highlight explaining the campaign. Craft a section about it on the homepage of your website, describing the campaign’s cause, your goal and a link to the donation page. This will take some planning but will be worth it when donors come in from every channel.

Do…go all out on December 31st

Make the most of New Year’s Eve; for many nonprofits, it’s the biggest day of the year for donations. Don’t be afraid to send multiple appeal emails calling out the last day of the year as your subscribers’ last chance to give. Another good idea is to plan and schedule your social media content for this campaign ahead of time. Plan to send multiple posts for your channels on the 31st, especially channels like Twitter and Instagram which as they move more quickly than Facebook or LinkedIn. This isn’t being annoying; it’s ensuring potential donors see your message and have the chance to give.

Don’t…shy away from your goal

Your donors don’t know what they don’t know unless you tell them. This means your nonprofit should be upfront regarding how far you have to go to meet your goal. One way to do so is by using a fundraising thermometer on your website. Fundraising thermometers give your audience a visual picture of how much money you’ve already raised and how much you still need to raise to meet your goal.

Don’t…forget to focus on your donors

Make your appeal and thank you messages donor-centric by focusing on what each individual accomplished by giving you money, not what you will do with the money. Maybe this looks like a chart showing what each $25, $50, $75 and $100 gift will be used toward. Also be sure every completed donation ends in a “thank you” page where they can share your cause and a “thank you” email in the donor’s inbox.

We wish you the best of luck as you work to meet year-end fundraising goals. Subscribe to our weekly email to get our latest online fundraising tips and nonprofit marketing strategies sent right to your inbox. Or, if you’re looking for additional help with online fundraising in the new year, get in touch.

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, the fundraising CRM that makes recurring, monthly giving a breeze for small nonprofits.

For over 25 years, Ronald has had the joy of doing what he loves, building online solutions that make a difference in the world. He’s helped raise millions of dollars online for small nonprofits across the country. Connect with Ronald on LinkedIn.

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