Fundraising Tips

5 Last-Minute Tips for Year-End Fundraising 

560 315 Maria Breston
Sheryl Soukup

Sheryl Soukup, CFRE

First, I want to wish you and your family the happiest of holidays. May you have joy, love, and togetherness.

Second, I want to provide encouragement to nonprofits about their year-end fundraising. It’s not too late! According to a study by Network for Good, 12% of all giving occurs in the last three days of the year. Further, 31% of all donations are made to nonprofits in December. I have put together some tips for last-minute year-end fundraising. Now go out there and make merry—and fundraise!

5 Last-Minute Tips for Year-End Fundraising 

1. Reach out to your major gift donors with a personalized letter that recaps the special accomplishments you made this year, pointing out that their gifts of support made these accomplishments possible. If there was a special program or project they funded, provide specific information on the year-end results. Let them know what you’re looking forward to in the new year and how they can help.

2. In response to the COVID pandemic, Congress provided a special tax break for donors who don’t itemize, allowing them to take a deduction of up to $300 for individuals and $600 for couples. This tax break is set to expire at the end of the year. Consider sending out an email appeal with a friendly reminder of this time-limited opportunity.

3. Congress also increased the limit on deductions from 60% to 100% of adjusted gross income, but this increase is set to expire for donors who itemize. Do you have a CPA on your Board who could send out a friendly reminder about this opportunity and also share info about your nonprofit, perhaps as a community service spotlight?

4. Run a LYBNT report (donors who gave last year but not this year) and send a targeted message to these donors. If you have phone numbers, prepare a script to call and thank them for their past support, ask how your nonprofit can improve, and inquire about whether there was a specific reason why they didn’t give this year…some donors just forget. However, if there was a specific reason why, then you want to understand what turned them off, so you can explore ways to repair the relationship.

5. Reach out to your Board members – Consider engaging them in conversation about why they give. See the interview with Dr. Lou Traina below for more ideas on how to conduct a reflection conversation with each of your Board members. What has made them most excited about serving on the Board this year? What are they looking forward to accomplishing in the year to come? Can any of your Board members make an extra gift at year-end to position you to achieve those goals?

Don’t have time to accomplish all of these? Pick just one. If you really don’t have time to do any of these, then add a note to your calendar to start your year-end fundraising planning in September 2022 and launch your year-end campaign earlier, so that you have time to put these tips and all of your own great ideas into action.

I hope one or more of these ideas will help you wrap up your fundraising year with a strong finish. Happy Holidays!

Written by Sheryl Soukup, CFRE, President, Soukup Strategic Solutions. Sheryl is also an Impact Coach.

Learn how you can work with a fundraising Impact Coach to take your career to the level and maximize your impact for the nonprofit you serve.