5 Creative Ideas For Year-End Giving Campaigns

We’ve all heard how busy the year-end is for fundraising. Nonprofits start gearing up for annual campaigns and Giving Tuesday in late summer and by the fall, donors come out of the woodwork for the “season of giving”.

With so many worthy causes fighting for donor attention, it can be difficult to know how to make your mission stand out. That means planning 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. To make year-end easy, OneCause put together a list of 5 creative end-of-year giving campaign ideas to help your nonprofit team execute successful, repeatable campaigns, and raise more.

1. Communicate Early to Build Awareness.

Before you start fundraising, you need to let donors know what’s going on, why it’s important, and how their donations make a difference. In today’s world of digital overload, tried-and-true “snail mail” can help you stand out from the crowd.

To create a more personalized feel, send a card or handwritten note. When sending 1:1 donor outreach mail remember these tips to help you connect on a deeper level:

  • Share a personal anecdote if you know the donor – this ensures the card feels and is personal.
  • Remind them why they are connected to your mission and why their support matters.
  • Summarize their giving history, and impact to your cause (tip: be specific with the details).
  • Tell stories – of how your cause and their support has changed lives. Showing your donors the personal, human side of charitable giving deepens connection and trust with your cause.

If your base is too large to get that personal, consider a standard direct mail piece that highlights passionate 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 ahead of your campaign launch, and sharing your end-of-year goals generates awareness prior to your direct appeal.

2. Leverage Giving Tuesday

At the heart of year-end giving lies a single day to rule them all – Giving Tuesday. This day falls right after Cyber Monday and is the largest day for charitable giving all year.

To make the most out of Giving Tuesday, your cause needs to target the right donors with the right message. Communicating your unique nonprofit value position and how Giving Tuesday donations will help grow your impact, is core to getting the attention of today’s donors.

Since you only have 24hours, make it easy for donors to give. Here are a few Giving Tuesday tips to maximize generosity. Make sure you include:

If your team isn’t sure where to start with Giving Tuesday, check out our Year-End Fundraising Resource Center for tips and new strategies to make the most from your campaigns.

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

In today’s age of social media, every nonprofit has a network of built in supporters to help broadcast year-end campaigns and reach a wider supporter base. With a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, your team can leverage social fundraising 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 helps harness the power of your supporters to amplify giving and broaden your year-end impact.

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 Year-End Themed Social Campaign

Another way to creatively wade through the end-of-year giving noise is to run a fun year-end giving-themed social media campaign. These types of campaigns engage active donors and attract new supporters to hel you rech

Here’s our top tips to get the most from your year-end 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 fun or competitive giving element to your campaign.
  • 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 Year-End Campaign Celebration!

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 year-end cheer – whether it’s virtually or in person.

Typically end-of-year fundraising events are festive affairs. Whether they’re galas or silent auctions, the general rule of thumb is to use these events to celebrate with your donors and thank them for all they do to support your mission. To reach donors all levels and preferences, it’s important to add a virtual element. Today’s donors want options when attending events!

Just make sure you’re using the right tools to make giving seamless and easy for your supporters!

Wrapping Up!

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