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8 last-minute tricks to boost your year-end fundraising

Posted December 7, 2016 by Virginia Davidson


last minute yearend fundraising ideas

It’s December and your year-end appeal letters are in the mail. Time to put your feet up and wait for those donations to roll in, right? Not quite. There are some simple but effective steps you can take to reinforce your appeal and boost your year-end fundraising results. Pick a few ideas from the list of 8 below and put them into action for your organization:

1. Simplify your donation form. It can be tempting to try to gather a lot of information on your donation form, but all you truly need is the donor’s name, contact information, and gift amount. Everything else is non-essential, and lots of questions may cause a potential donor to abandon the form. You need to simplify your form, especially at year-end when people are rushing to make a last-minute gift. Not sure where to start? We’ve got your back! Check out this article from our blog.

2. Along with simplifying your form, consider sprucing it up a bit. If your form doesn’t already have a recurring donation option, now is a great time to add that option. Add an image that tugs on the heart strings. Does your form’s header say something to the effect of, “Make a donation”? Change the language to make it donor-centric and give it a sense of urgency. Consider the header that says, “Make a donation to support our work,” versus a header that says, “Be a hero to a hungry child today.”

3. Give your donors easy access to the information they need so that they can give as much as possible to your organization. While many donors opt to donate online, others prefer to send a check. Is your mailing address easy to find? Some of your donors likely work for companies with matching gift programs. Remind them that their company may match their gift, and provide the details they’ll need to register their gifts for a match, such as your organization’s mailing address, tax ID number, and contact person.

4. Reach out to any constituents on your email list who have not yet contributed to your organization. You likely have some of these non-donors in your database. The end of the year is an opportune time to send these folks a targeted email appeal, inviting them to make a tax-deductible gift before the new year.

5. Mine your LYBUNT list. What are LYBUNTs? They are donors who donated Last Year But Unfortunately Not This. If it’s mid-December and you haven’t received gifts from your LYBUNTs yet, it’s time to get serious about re-engaging them. Don’t fret—we’ve got some tips on how to tap the potential of your LYBUNT list.

6.  Send a thank you eblast to donors who’ve already contributed to your appeal, sharing one tangible example of what their gift makes possible. Donors who feel appreciated and connected to the impact of their gift may decide to make another gift to your organization!

7. Send a press release to your local media. The week between Christmas and New Year’s is often a slow news week, and people are eager for feel-good stories. Craft a compelling, concise press release about your organization’s work and how it’s impacting the local community. Include specific stories and examples of your work, and be sure to include a call to action with information on how people can make a donation.

8. If you can do just one thing on this list, make this the one: Send an email appeal on the morning of Dec. 31, and also send a reminder email that evening. For most non-profits, this is the biggest giving day of the year. Make sure your donors hear from youand keep the emails short!

Putting one (or all!) of these year-end fundraising tricks into action can boost your year-end appeal, helping to close out the year on a fundraising high note. Need more ideas? Check out these tips from fundraising experts.


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