2 min Read
December 23, 2010

Make next week your best week of the year (at least for raising money)

Your office may be closed next week. You may be heading on vacation or staying local and catching up with friends and family. Or perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who has to work. But this post is not about what you might do (though I’m always happy to play concierge and suggest activities). No, I want to talk about what your donors will be doing next week. With any luck, they’ll be giving to your nonprofit organization.

Online Giving Study - Giving by Day (December 2008)

Earlier this month, Network For Good and TrueSense Marketing issued The Online Giving Study — a great examination of online giving from 2003-2009 across various website, social networks, and portals that process donations via the Network for Good platform. While there are some limitations to the study, there are some great trends worth reviewing. One of my favorite findings has to do with the data regarding the major surge in donations in December–particularly between December 29-31.

As stated on page 14 of the report:

December is the strongest giving month for most organizations offline. It’s even more so online. Further, it’s not just the month of December that’s spectacular, it’s the last couple of days, and even last few hours that make the difference. (emphasis added)

The fact that December is the biggest month for online donations is not altogether surprising. A few years ago, the team over at M+R have cited that “nonprofits raise 40% of online donations during the fourth quarter of the year” in their annual eNonprofits Benchmarks Study (2008 report based on 2007 data). What is new and now clear is the trend that many organizations are receiving a bulk of those online donations not just in the last quarter, or even in the last month of the year, but in the last few days!There is still time for you to use this data.

  • If your nonprofit has a year-end campaign in progress, consider the drop date of your email appeal next week. Instead of sending early in the week, consider moving it closer to the end of the year OR even on the last day.
  • If your nonprofit only sends out one email appeal for its year-end or annual fund efforts, and that message has already been sent, consider sending a reminder to give next week.

I know it seems silly, people do rush to get their donations in before midnight on December 31. Your mission is awesome, but sometimes the appeal of a tax deduction or adrenaline of a deadline can trigger gifts. And with the real-time, immediate element of giving through your website or charity portal, you can make this work for you.In case you need some inspiration, here are a few ‘last chance’ emails I received last year.

Good luck. Make those last days of 2010 count, and have a fabulous and successful 2011.