3 min Read
December 28, 2011

5 last-minute tips to nab those 33% of donations at year-end

Big Duck

As if the holidays weren’t enough to stress a girl out. According to Network for Good, 33% of giving will happen in the last three days of the year alone.

It’s a hopeful statistic (So much more we can still raise!)–but a crazy-making one (All that pressure on just three days? Where are my Tums?).

photo courtesy of bigstock

But thanks to the wonders of the Internet and phones, you can do more than just bite your fingernails and hope.

If you’re monitoring your year-end returns and think they need one last little nudge, consider these ways to boost your fundraising fast.

  1. Resend or forward your last appeal. With so much riding on Dec 29, 30 and 31, you should do whatever you can to send at least one email appeal in this window. If you don’t have an email appeal set to launch already, consider resending your last email appeal to all your list members who haven’t already given. With email open rates typically at 20% or less, your resend will help reach donors who missed your email the first time, and act as a reminder to those who opened but didn’t give. Want to do more than just a resend? Consider forwarding your last email appeal with a note above it, reminding people that the tax-deductible giving deadline is coming soon and they still have a chance to help support your mission with a gift. 
  2. Post to Facebook with a picture. Facebook posts that feature a photo typically generate more likes and comments. So before the New Year, try posting a photo with a gentle reminder that you still have time to make your tax-deductible gift and a link to the giving page. But remember, Facebook is primarily a space for sharing stories and updates, not fundraising. So try to make your post friendly and fun to read, not just a dry request for donations. Consider a holiday photo of your organization’s staff with a “Happy New Year!” sign, a piece of artwork generated by your community, or an inspiring picture of the people, animals or places your organization supports.
  3. Tweet about the deadline. Have an active Twitter following? Send a tweet reminding your followers that you need their help before the deadline, and linking to the donation page. If you have a year-end fundraising goal, you might consider updating your followers on your progress so far and urging them to help you make the goal in the next few days. As for your phrasing, try to make your tweet feel as personally engaging as possible by using the words “I” and/or “you,” and wording your tweet as a direct question.
  4. Make sure your homepage has a prominent link to give. The measure of your social media and email outreach isn’t just the number of direct clicks it generates to the donation page–by keeping your organization top-of-mind for your supporters, it will likely generate visits to your homepage as well. So make sure your website visitors see a quick and easy way to make their year-end gift by placing a prominent link to give near the top of your homepage. If you have a slideshow, consider dedicating one slide to year-end giving. If not, place a graphic button somewhere on your homepage. And remember, a simple “Donate” button is not enough. Be sure to include the words “year-end,” “tax-deductible,” and “deadline” in the text on your homepage slide, promotion, or graphic.
  5. Make a few calls. The Internet is amazing, but it’s not the only real-time medium you can use to boost year-end giving. Consider reaching out to a select number of existing donors with a phone call. Make your reminder gentle. Thank them for their support so far, tell them what exciting new work is on the horizon, then remind them that–if they haven’t given already–there’s still time to give before the tax-deductible giving deadline. Even if they don’t commit to a gift on the phone, these donors will feel like you’re paying attention to them, and might just visit your website to make a gift later.

What are you doing to encourage those last minute gifts? Share with us in the comments below.