Year-End-Fundraising –
the end of the year has the greatest donation potential

Year-End-Fundraising – The time of generosity

The end of the year offers nonprofits an opportunity to boost online fundraising one final time before the new year rolls around. It is, after all, the time for generosity. In the DACH-region, almost 35% of online donations in 2016 were generated in the month of December alone. 10% of all online revenue was generated in just the last three days of the year. Organizations should seize this potential and reap the benefits of year-end generosity. In this article we provide tips and tricks to help prepare you in the best possible way for your year-end campaign. Here’s what you can expect:


  1. What is year-end fundraising and why should your organization not miss out?
  2. What is Giving Tuesday and why does it need special attention?
  3. How to make your year-end fundraising successful.
  4. Checklist with key takeaways.

1. What is year-end fundraising and why should your organization not miss out?

What is year-end-fundraising?
Year-end fundraising refers to all fundraising appeals and associated fundraising revenue between mid-November and the end of December.

Why should your organization not miss out?
As a donation-funded organization, it is important to take advantage of this “giving mindset”, because in December, the average donation is around 80% higher compared to the 11 preceding months (Quelle: Classy). And if you think it’s not worth sending more emails after Christmas, you’d be wrong: 46% of year-end revenue is generated after Christmas. So it pays to stay in touch with your supporters between Christmas and New Year. And as a sign of good manners, why not top it off with a thank-you email in the new year. But first things first. Let us begin by turning our attention to Giving Tuesday. This day plays a supporting role in the entire year-end fundraising period. How and what exactly it is, will become clear in the next chapter.

2. What is Giving Tuesday and why does it need special attention?

What does Giving Tuesday mean?
Giving Tuesday is also hailed as the “Worldwide Day of Giving.” This day emerged as a counter-trend to the consumer-oriented Black Friday and aims to ignite a sense of solidarity and support among people. This trend has already taken off in North America, and is gradually gaining recognition in the DACH-region, although Germany appears to have some catching up to do. Organizations pioneering this trend in the DACH-region,  are laying the groundwork for a new tradition to establish itself in the fundraising market. Giving Tuesday takes place every year on the Tuesday after Black Friday, making it an ideal kick-off date for the year-end fundraising period. It is worth marking this day in your calendar.

Why does Giving Tuesday need special attention during year-end fundraising?
Donors who feel valued give more generously. Giving Tuesday is the perfect opportunity to do just that. Before you ask for something, give something back to your supporters. They will thank you. Current figures show that 2.9% of all Year-End revenue is generated on Giving Tuesday (source Next After). There is even more potential in this that is worth tapping. In the US, Giving Tuesday revenue grew 3700% (from $10M to $380M) during the last 6 years. Apart from that, the hashtag “Giving Tuesday” has been used 1.3 billion times and now 150 countries participate in Giving Tuesday campaigns. Giving Tuesday is becoming an international movement. This is significant for fundraising organizations because the overall willingness to donate increases and they can use the momentum of the movement to make themselves visible.

3. How to make your year-end fundraising successful

Start your year-end fundraising in a timely manner
The earlier, the better. Ideally, when people are getting in the mood for the end of the year. Early November is a good benchmark or, as mentioned earlier, Giving Tuesday. 60% of year-end donations are made without research. This means that donors are more likely to give to organizations they can easily recall. That’s why it’s critical to make sure you get on the top of donors’ mental list as early as possible. The best way to do this is through a cross-media approach: Combine different channels as well as the online with the offline world (a good old postcard never hurts!).

Build a bond with your donors

Stay interesting throughout the entire year-end fundraising period
The motto is: Shine bright like a diamond! Avoid monotony and stay varied in your communication. This also means that your content is good. It is good if it is relevant for users. This also includes success stories, so that your supporters are aware of the input they provide with their donations. Most importantly: Stay authentic. If you usually use emails sparingly, don’t overdo it now, otherwise it will quickly look staged, which is detrimental to trust.

4. Key Takeaways

  • Build relationships: Put the user at the center.

  • Be personal: mention names in the salutation.
    (increases click-through rate by up to 270%).

  • Be versatile: This will help you stay interesting.

  • Be consistent: send the same message across all channels.

  • Stay authentic: Do justice to your organization – this goes down well with supporters.

  • Test everything: There are many screws to adjust and results that might surprise you.

  • Have the courage to keep it simple: Send plain text emails too. They look less promotional and stand out in the e-mail inbox.

  • Generate emotions through storytelling: this is the best way to appeal to generosity.

  • Create urgency: for example, with a countdown or progress bar.

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