5 Creative Ideas For Year-End Giving Campaigns


The end of the year is a crazy time filled with family, holidays, excitement, and, of course, annual giving campaigns. Not surprisingly, the end of the year is one of the busiest times for nonprofit teams as donors come out of the woodwork during the season of giving. But we won’t ignore the obvious. Year-end giving takes on a whole new meaning in this virtual world. With so many worthy causes fighting for donor attention, it can be difficult to know how to make your mission stand out.

Nonetheless, a successful year-end campaign is a must to push your mission forward into next year. In fact, 28% of nonprofits raise between 26-50% of their annual funds from their year-end ask or appeal. For nonprofit fundraising teams, it can seem like an uphill battle to wade through all the other end-of-year noise to try to raise donations for a charity or organization.

To make year-end easy, OneCause has put together a list of 5 creative end-of-year giving campaign ideas to help your nonprofit team execute successful, repeatable campaigns during the busy giving season.



1. Send a Note to Let Donors Know it’s Time to Get Involved

Before your end-of-year campaigns can start in earnest, you nonprofit has to let donors know it’s time to get involved. Instead of sending another batch email or leaving a stale voicemail on a machine, throw it back to the heyday of marketing with a tried and true direct mail piece.

For those wanting to appeal directly to donor emotions, send a personalized card or handwritten note. Here are couple sure fire tips to help you connect on a deeper level:

  • Share a personal anecdote if you know the donor personally – this ensures the card feels and is personal.
  • Recap your mission and remind them why they are connected with your organization.
  • Summarize their giving history, nut just in numbers but in impact to your cause.
  • Tell stories – it also shows your donors a personal, human side of charitable giving that can get lost in the hubbub of the holiday season.

If your base is too large to get that personal, consider a standard direct mail piece that highlights several donors by including heartfelt “why I give” stories. Today’s social donors want a connection to the causes they support and to understand the impact of their giving.

Whatever you send, reaching your donor base is a necessary step to share your end-of-year campaign goals and generate interest prior to the appeal.



2. Capitalize on #GivingTuesday

At the heart of year-end giving lies a single day to rule them all – #GivingTuesday. This day falls right after Cyber Monday and is one of the largest days for charitable giving in the year. The trick to Giving Tuesday is to attract the right donors with the right message, all while every other charitable organization is trying to do the same thing.

Since you only have 24hours, making it easy for donors to give is essential. Here are some Giving Tuesday tips to maximize the day. Make sure you have:

If your team isn’t sure where to start with Giving Tuesday, then research, research, research. There is a ton of great literature and ready-made resources to help attract donors on one of the busiest giving days of the year.



3. Let your Donors Help You with Peer-to-Peer Fundraising

In today’s age of social media, everyone is well connected and has the potential to help you reach a wider supporter base. With a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, your team can leverage social networks to help drive donations in your year-end campaign.

Here’s your essentials for launching a success peer-to-peer campaign at year-end:

  • Theme, name or campaign #hashtag
  • Ambassadors to help spread your year-end campaign far and wide
  • Milestones, incentives and premiums for fundraising goals
  • Impact statement for what and how the gifts will be used
  • Online leaderboards to create competitive giving
  • Timeline and donor recognition boards
  • Social affinity groups
  • Matching gifts

Peer-to-peer fundraising makes year-end giving a fun, social activity meant to be shared with others.

Want to take your fundraising to the next level? Empower your donors with peer-to-peer campaigns to make it easy for supporters to drive donations from wherever they are.



4. Build a Holiday-Themed Social Campaign

Another way to creatively wade through the end-of-year giving noise is to run a holiday-themed social media campaign. These types of campaigns engage donors and attract new followers who might not have heard of your organization or the importance of your cause before.

Here’s a few tips to help get the most from your holiday-themed campaign:

  • Create a campaign-specific landing page
  • Have donors share a custom #hashtag with their networks as a way to engage their networks
  • Bonus points if there is a festive element to your campaign, such as holiday hats or winter scenery
  • Promote your campaign on social media for at least 3-4 weeks before launch
  • Use video to help humanize your efforts
  • Ask Ambassadors to blast and share on their social channels

Keep in mind the power of video. By utilizing videos on social media, the visual messaging combined with the power and reach of social makes for a powerful end-of-year message. These videos can be short and don’t need to be professional (in fact, raw videos taken on a phone work just fine).



5. Host a Party!

We saved the most fun for last! The end of the year is a great time to bring all your donors and supporters together to say thanks, have fun, and spread some holiday cheer – whether it’s virtually or in person.

Typically end-of-year fundraising events are dressier affairs, whether they’re galas or silent auctions, but the general rule of thumb is to appeal to your donors and to thank your volunteers by hosting celebration events (don’t worry – these events don’t need to be fancy!). In these times, it’s important to also consider a virtual or hybrid option as you think about what your supporters would be most comfortable with.

For example, the end of the year could be a great time for a hot chocolate peer-to-peer run/walk or 5k to set yourself apart from similar organizations. Just make sure you’re using the right tools or your fabulous end-of-year party could turn into a fabulous headache.

Wrapping Up!

Need some more inspiration? Check out some of our other helpful end-of-year resources: