Year-End Fundraising for Nonprofits

A checklist to maximize giving

Christina Hagopian  /   Aug 24, 2016  in  Design + Business    


It’s (almost) that time of year again! The holiday season is prime time for nonprofits; many organizations receive the bulk of their donations in the last few weeks of the year. No matter what kind of budget you have, it’s never too early to start mapping out a year-end fundraising strategy.

Use this handy Year-End Campaign Checklist – full of our top recommendations and tips – to make sure you’re maximizing your fundraising potential this December.


Do you want to take your year-end fundraising campaign to the next level and exceed your fundraising goals? Hagopian Ink specializes in nonprofit email marketing, omnichannel marketing and strategy, customized to your organization’s goals and needs. Contact us and collaborate to make this your best year ever.

Year-End Fundraising for Nonprofits


Set a Goal

  • Clearly define the purpose for your donors to give this year.
  • Clearly define the metrics you wish to surpass this year.
  • Consider a “matching gift” campaign to increase giving.
  • Add additional incentives, like a “membership” or giveaways.

Know Your Audience

  • Decipher which channels will coordinate best with your promotional calendar.
  • Consider microsites, social media, ad words, or SEM landing pages.


Segment Your List

  • Divide your list into active donors and inactive donors.
  • Focus on your active donors. Remind your inactive donors to renew their support.
  • Remind your donors why they are important and appreciated.

Create a Content Calendar

  • Plan targeted outreach for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
  • Plan blog posts, social campaigns, mailings, and emails together.
  • Factor in time for printing and delivery for mailings.


Generate Content

  • Remind donors: What is your mission? What makes your organization unique?
  • Highlight your year end goal throughout your communications.
  • Your donors’ inboxes will be full this time of year, so make each email count!

Update Your Website

  • Make sure donation pages are functioning and implement new features before the busy season begins.
  • Utilize modals (pop-ups) to reach your audience with a specific message the minute they arrive on your site.
  • Enable the option for donors to give a gift “in honor of” a loved one.


Start Engaging

  • Start small with short asks and cultivation requests (social following or signing a pledge) to test your list for engagement.

Get Ready for Giving Tuesday

  • For Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, create cultivation promotions on social media.
  • Plan a separate fundraising promotion for Giving Tuesday.
  • Consider an AmazonSmile promotion for your organization during peak holiday shopping times.


Start Soft

  • Use the first ten days of the month to remind your donors why they matter.

Gear up for the Holidays

  • Use the days of Christmas and Hanukkah for soft asks or simple cultivation posts.
  • The 26th to the 31st is prime time! Plan at least 3 end-of-year appeals for this week.
  • If your fiscal year end falls on the 31st, use this as an incentive.
  • Use a “countdown” for the last few days of the year with urgent messaging about time running out.
  • Remind your donors that their gift is tax-deductible for this year—as long as they give before 12/31!
  • Consider a series for New Year’s Eve that reminds your audience of how many hours they have left to give.


Thank Your Donors

  • Make sure they know how much you appreciate their generosity—and that it makes a difference. They deserve it!

Christina Hagopian

Creative Director and President Christina Hagopian is known for her hands-on, approachable and meticulous approach, becoming a trusted resource to her clients, collaborators and contemporaries since launching Hagopian Ink in 2002.Christina holds a BFA in Communication Design from Carnegie Mellon University. With 20 years of experience, Christina is an active and well-respected contributor to the New York City design and entrepreneur communities.

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