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Your End-of-Year Fundraising Checklist

The end of the year often creeps up on us, and planning ahead for a specific campaign can feel like it just isn't a priority among day-to-day needs at a nonprofit. However, with nonprofits receiving up to a third of annual online revenue in December, it's worth putting in the time to get your cause out there and encourage your audience to consider you in their holiday season giving.

Not sure how to get started? Here's a checklist to get you off the ground. By learning from previous years' campaigns, making the most of what you have, and setting realistic goals for your outreach, you can enhance the effectiveness of your fundraising efforts as we look ahead to the end of the year.

1. Review Last Year's Campaign

A great first step as you plan your campaign is to review everything you did last year and use metrics like views, clicks, and attributed donations to figure out what was — and wasn't — effective. In this way, you can learn what your audience responds to best and adjust this year's campaign accordingly.

It's even better if you can segment your audience. Were there certain groups who responded more readily to end-of-year fundraising? Perhaps reaching out to local businesses was particularly lucrative at this time of year, or perhaps there are segments of your audience who engage less as they get closer to the holiday season. These factors can help you to make informed decisions about where to focus your resources and get more funding for the amount of work you put into your campaign.

drawing of a woman at a computer desk envisioning donations flowing into a piggy bank

2. Assess Your Resources

As you begin to think practically about how you'll execute your fundraising plan, consider the funding and staff you have available to dedicate. Draw up a budget plan and ensure that your end-of-year fundraising campaign is reasonable for your available staff to complete.

It can be easy to get too ambitious and burn out your team or overshoot your budget in an effort to make an impact, but it's possible to do a lot with a little if you plan ahead and are smart with your resources.

3. Set Specific Goals

In order to guide your campaign and measure its success, decide on a few goals you want to achieve. This might be a monetary fundraising goal, or perhaps you want to convert seasonal givers to monthly givers. Interim goals might include a certain number of clicks, new followers, or newsletter sign-ups, all of which indicate that your audience is responding well to your campaign, even if the money takes a little longer to appear.

4. Plan and Deliver

Once you have defined the scope of your campaign and the goals you want to achieve, consider the themes you want to cover in your social media, email campaigns, blogs, and other outreach. As you plan this out, think about milestones and events you want to factor in: GivingTuesday is a great date to mark in your fundraising calendar, while highlighting any galas or local events can help to boost their effectiveness.

With all of the above in mind, you're now ready to plan out your campaign item by item. Don't be afraid of reusing content from previous years if it's still relevant, and make the most of the expertise and resources you have on your team.

Get to Fundraising

You can improve the effectiveness of your end-of-year fundraising campaign by starting early and being strategic with how and when you ask your audience to give. In order to make the most of the resources and time you have, focus on getting the right message to the right people by carefully selecting your themes, segmenting your audience, and setting relevant and realistic goals for your campaign.

Additional Resources

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