As we approach a new year, charities and not-for-profit organizations (NPOs) are looking to make a splash with the surge in giving. On average, 35% to 42% of online donations happen in November and December, and organizations understand the importance of a successful campaign. Here are some tips to help you hit the mark with your fundraising this season.


1.    Start with the Big Picture

Your campaign should stem from clearly defined objectives and the big picture. While raising money is a priority, the overarching message you set out to convey creates the foundation for your campaign and will be the main reason why you get support and donations over another cause at this busy time.


2.    Regularly Update Your Data

Having accurate, reliable, and up-to-date data is crucial for a campaign. A lot can happen throughout the year, and donors may have moved or changed their phone numbers or e-mail addresses. You need the most current contact information to reach out to your donors for fundraising efforts.

In addition, duplicate profiles can cause a headache as well. Agile data management would prevent annoying double, or even triple, calls during the busy fundraising season.


3.    Start Preparing Early

Plan and execute early. End-of-year campaigns are a fundamental part of many NPOs’ marketing and production initiatives. A well-executed campaign takes a lot of time, and some teams may find that starting in November creates too much stress. Furthermore, understand that some channels such as e-mail will be cluttered around this time. Therefore, ensure that you are adequately prepared to space out your asks.


4.    Talk Tactics

Although this is the most wonderful time of the year, this alone does not generate more donations. Your team needs to think of creative, appealing ways to create those results. Here are some recommendations from Salsa, a technology company that provides powerful fundraising and marketing engagement software to NPOs:

  • Could you run a matching program?
  • Do you have a celebrity who is connected to your cause?
  • Are you going to participate in #GivingTuesday?
  • Are you launching an optimized donation form to increase gift conversion?
  • Are you upgrading donors by landing them on appropriate forms with increased gift string suggestions based on their highest previous contribution?
  • Are you targeting non-donors with a low-dollar ask or a special acquisition campaign?
  • Are you targeting mid-dollar donors with a high-dollar circle ask?
  • Are you targeting monthly givers to ask them for an additional end-of-year-gift?
  • Will you send five email appeals rather than last year’s four?
  • Will you appeal to your social network community? How many times?


5.    Communicate and Measure Success

Just because the campaign is over does not mean the momentum is over. Remind your donors and members, and thank them for their contribution and the success that they were able to be a part of! Staying engaged with constituents is key, but don’t isolate non-givers. In addition, analyze, analyze, analyze! Take the information from this year to learn how next year’s campaign can improve.