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Top Strategies for Mobilizing Your Donors at Year-End

Top Strategies for Mobilizing Your Donors at Year-End

Charitable giving statistics report that nearly one-third of all annual giving happens in the month of December, with around 10% of total funding streaming in during the final three days of the year. In other words, the end of the year is crucial for nonprofit fundraising success. 


What is your organization doing to prepare and get your donors on board with your efforts? In this guide, we’ll share our top four strategies for mobilizing donors at year-end. These include:

  • Taking a look at your fundraising data.
  • Incorporating specific calls to action.
  • Segmenting supporter communications.
  • Following up on matching gift opportunities.

Whether you’re aiming to launch an engaging and standout Giving Tuesday campaign or looking for overall end-of-year giving season success, incorporating these tips in your fundraising plan can go a long way.


Let’s begin with the first step you can take.


Take a look at your fundraising data.

Before diving into your organization’s year-end fundraising plan, it’s a good idea to take a look at the data you’ve already collected, ideally in a single, unified, donor relationship management database that captures all of your online fundraising and donor relationship information for a 360 degree view of your donors and constituents. A reliable software for gathering and analyzing data is Arreva's , ExceedFurther, All-in-One, Digital Fundraising, Donor Relationship Management, and Auction Software.


Here are a few metrics to consider:

  • Preferred communication channels (including email, direct mail, text messaging, phone call, social media, etc.)
  • Donation conversion rate from outreach (including email, direct mail, text messaging, phone call, social media, etc.)
  • Average donation size (including online, peer-to-peer, in-person, direct mail, etc.)
  • Average donation frequency (including online, peer-to-peer, in-person, direct mail, etc.)
  • Donor retention rate and/or donor lapse or churn rate
  • Nonprofit event participation rates (including by virtual, in-person, and hybrid attendees)
  • Number of small, mid-size, and major donations received
  • Matching gift opportunities (including those identified, submitted, and received)
  • Cost per dollar raised and/or return on fundraising investment

And the list can go on and on!


This type of data can provide you and your team with a detailed snapshot of your current efforts⁠—including components that are performing particularly well and those that may have additional room for improvement. From there, you can decide to make any necessary adjustments to your fundraising plan and go into the year-end season with a fine-tuned strategy.


Incorporate specific calls to action.


There’s typically a lot going on during the end of the year⁠—between thousands of other organizations seeking year-end donations, holiday shopping, and more. Thus, you want your end-of-year donation requests to be quick and clear, even if the recipient is simply scanning the text. And you certainly don’t want supporters to get to the end of your appeal and not understand what the intended action is or how to complete it.


That’s why your fundraising calls to action are more important now than ever before! For example, we recommend incorporating eye-catching buttons in digital appeals that guide your donors directly to your online giving forms. And if you’re aiming for donors to complete a different action⁠—such as requesting a matching gift, launching a peer-to-peer fundraiser, contributing an in-kind donation, or even volunteering with the cause⁠—you want those next steps to be simple and straightforward, too.


Segment supporter communications.


Mass communications can be an effective way to spread a message (such as making a donation appeal) to thousands of individuals at once, but you don’t want your outreach to become too generalized by doing so.


Instead, we recommend segmenting your communications to ensure that each person in your network receives a message that is relevant to them. This is typically done by grouping donors with other like-minded individuals based on similar characteristics, such as:

  • Age or generation
  • Geographic location
  • Gift size (such as small, mid-size, or major)
  • Donation frequency (one-time, repeat, recurring, lapsed)
  • Supporter type (donor, event attendee, volunteer, fundraiser, or matching gift participant)
  • Communication type (text, email, phone call, direct mail, social media)

The more targeted your donor segments are, the more effectively you can tailor your messaging to each individual. And the more tailored your message is, the more likely it is to stand out⁠ and drive real action—especially in a time such as the year-end giving season.


Follow up on matching gift opportunities.


Matching gift programs have the potential to elevate any organization’s year-end giving strategy. 


Perhaps your donors have already given substantial amounts to your organization this year, and they simply lack the funds necessary to make an additional year-end donation. Luckily, workplace giving programs such as matching gifts enable individuals to make an even greater impact on a cause that they care about without having to reach back into their own pockets for more.


Plus, many companies set their matching gift deadlines according to the end of the calendar year, which means tons of donors’ request windows are quickly closing. Use that urgency to drive follow-ups and get more match-eligible donors to complete their requests⁠—even for gifts made much earlier in the year.


Not to mention, matching gift statistics report that 84% of survey participants say they’re more likely to donate if a match is offered, while 1 in 3 donors would make a larger gift if matching is applied. So not only does this strategy lead to increased corporate funding in the form of donation matches, but it can also drive additional individual gifts at year-end as well.


Your donors support your cause, and they want to see it succeed⁠—they even want to be a part of your mission being driven forward. Sometimes (especially when there are high amounts of external noise), they just need an extra push to get involved.


Incorporating these tips into your organization’s strategy can be just what you need to ensure your efforts stand out amongst the crowd and drive donors to your intended action so your organization can finish the year strong! 

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