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Year-End Nonprofit Fundraising Checklist

For many organizations, year-end giving means connecting with individual donors — and increasingly, that's happening online. According to one study, about 30 percent of online donations received by nonprofit organizations came in December. And over the last two years, donations received on #GivingTuesday, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving in the United States, rose from $117 million in 2015 to $274 million.

Is your organization doing everything it can to make the most of the online giving season?


Fundraising Experts Describe What It Takes

We spoke to a number of development and fundraising experts about what it takes to mount a successful campaign and combined their tips into a free, printable Idealware checklist of technology tasks that an executive director, development director, or volunteers might complete before or during a campaign.

people standing and sitting around piles of coins holding large lightbulbs

Most of the items on the list assume that you've got a donor database or CRM, the ability to accept donations online, and a broader online engagement strategy. But even if you don't, you'll find some good tips for more successful engagement.

Six Actions

The list is built around six actions that will be familiar to anyone who's ever planned or been involved in a direct response fundraising campaign. It offers a number of steps to take, best practices to follow, and tips for each.

  1. Plan your campaign. From kickoff to planning, make sure you lay a solid foundation for your efforts.
  2. Update public information about your organization. Are all your donor-facing materials and public profiles current?
  3. Update your internal systems. Are your databases and lists current and complete?
  4. Create content and a plan for all of your communications channels. How will you engage potential donors and make a compelling case to give?
  5. Reduce barriers to giving. Are obstacles alienating donors or preventing them from making gifts?
  6. Analyze, adapt, and adjust. Learn from your experiences and improve your campaigns, both in-progress and in the future.

Your organization's messaging has to compete with every other nonprofit's annual campaign — don't miss this opportunity to make sure you're doing everything you can to ensure success. Even doing one or two new things can have a transformative impact on your fundraising.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsor, DonorPerfect, the checklist is free to download.


Additional Resources: Fundraising and Donor Management 


Want to learn more about fundraising tools and best practices? Check out Idealware's related publications: