ICYMI: “Year-End Fundraising, Year Round” Pro Tips

It’s a hard but true fact: a successful December fundraising campaign starts now. During these summer months, it’s critical to acquire new supporters, engage them, and get your infrastructure and plans in place so that you can make the most impactful year-end fundraising asks.

We recently partnered with Change.org and Earthjustice on a “Year-End Fundraising, Year Round” webinar and wanted to share the video, key takeaways, and a downloadable quarter-by-quarter checklist to give you a head start on your year-end planning. Let’s go!

Why is December giving so important?

The data speaks for itself. Take a look at the breakdown of fundraising revenue by month across the BSD Tools’ nonprofit clients last year. What’s that big blue spike in contributions? The last few days in December.

While you should build out fundraising campaigns throughout the year—and mobilize around big surprise moments that matter—the fact remains that the majority of donors will give during these last few days as the tax deadline looms. So let’s start planning for it now.

What makes a great year-end campaign?

Planning! Plus some great creative and testing, but that’s all part of the plan. Here are the key areas that we recommend focusing on between now and December:

1. Stories: Create a compelling, cohesive narrative that demonstrates your organization’s impact

  • Develop rich cross-channel content and features throughout the year.
  • Be transparent and show where your donors’ money goes and the impact they’re having on your cause.

2. People: Build, maintain, and engage an active audience

  • Continue to grow your list throughout the year
  • Gain insights into your existing list. Analyze their behavior, ask for feedback and learn as much as you can about what motivates people to give.

3. Data: Develop a robust testing and optimization strategy, along with a system for tracking metrics

  • You should test what you can leading up to December, so that you feel your fundraising asks and donation pages are as optimized as possible going into that critical month.
  • If you see something is working, shift resources accordingly and be willing to evolve.

4. Infrastructure: Invest in stable, reliable tools and technology

  • Be sure that your platform is nimble, efficient, and easily accessible so you can evolve and move quickly (aka the BSD Tools!).
  • Create as much unification of data and analytics across systems as you can to gain a full understanding of user behavior and programmatic impact (beyond digital).

5. Internal Communication: Lead cross-departmental buy-in efforts; define efficient processes and clear roles and responsibilities

  • Make sure that the digital team has a seat at the table and that all teams are collaborating.
  • Streamline your approval process! This will allow you to move quickly and get in front of your supporters when it matters most.

Now, download the entire “Year-End Fundraising, Year Round” webinar recording and quarterly checklist so that you’re set up for success come December.

Happy fundraising, y’all!