Numbers vary from study to study, but the percentage of total annual giving that takes place in the final three days of December is estimated to be 11-15%.
That’s right. The last three days of December are huge for giving. Whether it’s last-second tax breaks, or the tail-end of holiday spirit, people are ready to give a lot in the last few days of the year.
Here are three last-minute reminders to keep in mind as you fundraise over the next few days:
1) Keep In Touch
The fact is, this is a busy time of year for everyone, not just fundraising professionals.
Since you’re focused on your campaign, it’s hard to imagine that your supporters aren’t aware of it at all, but it’s a possibility. You have to remind them that you need their help.
Even if your supporters are aware of your campaign and intend to donate, it’s very easy for them to put it off or forget. A reminder or two can really help your supporters take action, an action they wanted to take anyway. Staying in touch with your supporters during this time of year isn’t just good for you–it’s helping them out.
Make sure your message is:
- Everywhere—Coordinate your channels so that your message is available wherever your supporters may find you. Social media, email, and your website should work together to send one message: Now is the time to donate.
- Clear—Make sure you’re only asking one thing of your supporters, with a clear call to action.
- Time-sensitive—A donation delayed is one you may never get. So it’s important to spur action right away. The very end of the year has built in urgency–take advantage of it.
Of course, no one wants to be a pest. The only way to know how much to contact your supporters is to test out different contact frequencies, but during the last three days of the year, a message a day is not too much, especially if you segment your list so that people who give don’t continue to receive solicitations.
2) Make It Personal
To stand out of the fundraising crowd, remember that each of your donors is an individual. Show them you value their contributions by reaching out to donors specifically.
Increase the personalization of your campaign by:
- Calling donors on the phone—Have an actual conversation. Call to say thank you for their previous contributions, and to update them on the campaign.
- A personal email—Send an email that isn’t a mass e-blast, but just for a specific donor.
- Your subject line matters more than you think—33% of people open emails based solely on the subject line. (we put together a list of 50+ must-open subject lines for year-end fundraising emails)
- Personalize your mass emails—Make sure you take advantage of any personalization options in your email marketing software, like creating fields for the receiver’s first name.
- Speak directly to your supporter—In all your communications, talk directly to the recipient, using the second-person pronoun “you.”
Peer-to-peer fundraising is personal by its very nature, so if you are running a peer-to-peer campaign, remind your fundraisers to reach out to their networks. They can get personal in a deep way, just by talking to their friends.
3) Make It Easy For Everyone (Including You!)
Making a donation should be the easiest thing someone can do for your organization. They should be able to do so from anywhere, on any device.
If you haven’t checked to ensure donating to your organization across all devices is as simple as possible, take the time today and attempt to make a donation to your own organization via desktop and mobile.
Ask yourself these three questions:
- Was it intuitive how to donate?
- How many steps did it take? Can we make it easier?
- Was the process of giving enjoyable and reflective of how we hope our supporters feel when they’re giving to our cause?
Many organizations take it a step further during year-end and choose to use a pop-up donation offer on the homepage of their website or change the homepage to a donation page during the end of the year, which simplifies things tremendously.
Lastly, ensure that each of your year-end emails have a clear donation button. This removes a few steps of figuring things out. You want to streamline to the smallest number of clicks possible—no hunting around your website should be necessary to make a gift.
The Last Sprint
The last few days can be stressful. However, if you keep these three reminders top of mind, I know you’ll be able to further engage your supporters and increase your year-end giving.
- Keep in touch with your supporters + send at least two emails during the next three days
- Make your communication personal to ensure you stand out amongst the noise
- Ensure giving is easy on any device
Additional articles to help you drive success these last few days: