Preparing for Year-End Fundraising

I know, I know. It’s only August. You just got the kids back to school. Maybe your organization’s programming rebooted this month.

But it’s important to start preparing for your year-end fundraising campaign now.

Why so early?

Fifty percent (50%) of organizations receive a majority of their annual donations from October through December.

Nonprofits that develop a dedicated and strategic campaign to engage donors can experience as much as a 70% growth in year-end giving.

So what do you need to do to prepare?

Love on your donors.

Have you thanked your donors this year? I don’t mean the standard donation letter that you send out. Have you called? Sent a handwritten note? If not, this is a perfect time to tell your donors how much they mean to you!

Ask for major gifts.

You cannot – and should not – expect your major donors to give a major gift in response to your year-end direct mail piece. It’s disrespectful.

Call these donors. Ask them out to lunch or coffee. Give them a progress report. Ask them what they are most excited about. Then do a targeted ask for their support. You’ll have better results this way.

Craft a compelling case.

The end of the calendar year is not a compelling case to give. Yes, some people are thinking about taxes but more of your small and mid-level donors are not benefiting from the tax deductibility of their donations.

So why should your donors make a gift now? Identify your most compelling stories and case for support and then look for ways to integrate them in a multi-channel approach.


What are your plans for the end of the year? Let us know in the comments below!

Sarah Cortell Vandersypen

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