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How to optimize your holiday fundraising

December is a huge giving month. In fact, last year 31% of all giving occurred in December and 12% occurred in the final three days of the year. What does that mean for your nonprofit?

There’s still time! Use this information to appeal to your donors for end-of-the-year gifts and a great ending to your giving year. Here are our tips for optimizing your fundraising this holiday season:

Make it very clear

Don’t miss an opportunity to let potential donors know they can contribute online. Whether they are visiting your social media channels or your website, make your donation pages and links easy to find and navigate. There are logical places you can add a simple “Donate Now” link or button that will guide your donors to your donation landing page, including pages throughout your website, your Facebook page and your e-newsletter. Tell your donors exactly what you want them to do so there is no confusion.

Optimize your donation page

While we’re on the topic of your donation page, is it easy for visitors to navigate, use and donate? Donation amounts and website donation conversion rates are extremely important to your nonprofit, and many believe that if you can get a donor to your donation page you’ll convert them 100% of the time. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. There are a lot of reasons potential supporters may be leaving your donation page, including too many information fields, an insecure site or distracting navigation elements that lead them away. Clean up your donation page now to ensure those end-of-year visitors can easily navigate and donate to your nonprofit when they visit your site.

Get website feedback

Have you tested your nonprofit website to ensure that your goals and mission are clear? Select a few close friends or colleagues to go through the process of visiting your website, checking all your page links and attempt an online donation. Have them provide feedback on the ease-of-use and critiques on what elements should be changed.

Choose a goal

Encourage potential and current donors to support your nonprofit in order to reach a year-end goal. When asking for donations online and in your newsletter, mention a specific dollar goal, project or purpose and specific hoped-for impact. Research shows that donors will give more when they feel that they have a designated cause or reason to give.

Focus on being donor-centered

Make it all about your donors. Consider sending a letter or e-mail that is not about you or your organization. Rather, this letter should focus on what the donor believes and wants to accomplish. Start your letter with the word “you” and use it again several times throughout. In addition, give the donor credit for the impact your organization has made.

Don’t forget the thank you

Maybe you have already spent a lot of time perfecting your donation page, but have you remembered to thank your donors? What’s often overlooked is the page that is presented after an online gift is completed, the confirmation and thank you page. Be sure to thank your donor, and potentially do it three times – when they complete a donation, when they get an email receipt and when they get a full thank-you via email a few days later. Skip the typical robotic thank you message and consider a more personalized approach.

Utilize the power of images

If you’re sending an end-of-year appeal to your donors, utilize the power of images. Place a high quality, close-up photo of someone being helped by your organization at the top of your letter. Your image should be a close up of a single person, high quality, and the person should be looking directly at the camera. Content with compelling images experiences 94% more views on average than content without images.

Bonus tip: Make it easy for your donors to ‘share’ your story. Whether they make a donation and then share that news or link via Facebook, or if they read a great impact story on your website—your donors are your best advocates for telling your organization’s story and getting others on board!

Good news, there’s still time before the end of the year to clean up your website and ask for support from your community! If you need help with your end-of-year appeals or you simply want to get started on your 2016 plan, 4aGoodCause can help your nonprofit.

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald Pruitt

Ronald is the President and Founder of 4aGoodCause, a simple and effective fundraising CRM that specializes in earning recurring revenue for nonprofits through monthly giving. For 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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