Year End Giving Campaigns

Amy Phillips

Successful Year-End Giving Campaigns

End a low year on a high note with a profitable year-end giving campaign 2020 is NEARLY OVER – let’s all breathe a collective sigh of relief! Now let’s start planning your year-end giving campaign. And just as this year was, shall we say, DIFFERENT – your approach to your campaign and the communication marketing it should be different, too. 

People ARE Still Giving

We KNOW donors are still giving. How do we know? Because the virtual galas (VGs) we conducted this year raised millions. Literally! The pandemic wreaked havoc on the events industry and the economy at large, yet many folks were (and are) still in a good position to give. They want to help. And did. And continue to. They recognized their favorite nonprofits were in dire straits and they stepped up big time. YOUR mission? Find these folks and make your pitch for year-end support! It is your responsibility as a fundraiser to ask.

Mention Covid

Does it surprise you that we’re advising you mention Covid in your year-end ask? After all, isn’t everyone SICK AND TIRED of the following words/phrases: coronavirus, Covid-19, global pandemic, unprecedented, these trying times… We could go on and on, you get the picture. BUT – if you don’t acknowledge it, you lose the element of timeliness that will strengthen your position about why it’s (warning: overused phrase ahead) NOW MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER for donors to support your org and the vulnerable people, places and/or animals you serve. DO keep in mind, this year is competitive, so DO mention today’s unique needs. 

Communicate Your Need

Be specific about your org’s needs and whom you’re helping. The end of the year is often a time to reflect back on what you’ve accomplished over the past 12 months, but not here. Your year-end appeal letter isn’t necessarily the place to celebrate success. Focus on sharing real, TANGIBLE needs and remind your donors of the positive impact their generosity creates. And keep in mind, there are so many orgs counting on support from their donors who didn’t experience adverse financial impacts in recent months. This year is competitive, so it’s extra critical to over-communicate and move forward with a clear strategy.   


Donors are busy. To give them plenty of time to respond to your request, get it out in front of them SOON! Giving Tuesday is December 1st this year. You want to get into your donors’ heads several weeks before that, so you’ll have time to send a follow up or two BEFORE Giving Tuesday. If you’re planning a virtual gala (VG) before the end of the year, consider running a year-end giving campaign concurrently. It’s a fantastic way to capitalize on the excitement and enthusiasm your VG has already drummed up. How do you accomplish this without causing donor fatigue? Reach out. We have ideas!

Peer-to-Peer Giving Campaigns

‘Tis the season for sweaters and boots. ‘Tis also the season for peer-to-peer fundraising! Ever heard of it? One type is a kind of crowdfunding, but with more than one page: encourage your supporters to start their OWN pages and share them with family and friends. Picture these concentric circles of friends getting bigger and bigger, encapsulating more and more potential donors. It’s a beautiful sight, right?! We could all use a little more beauty these days. 

Take our word for it: Folks who aren’t struggling financially are feeling extra grateful, and subsequently, extra generous. The only thing standing in your way of a profitable year-end giving campaign is people not knowing about it. Or worse yet, not offering one. Let’s avoid this! Need help? Reach out!  


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