What Happened This Year-End 2018?

2018 year-end fundraising results are in and there’s a lot to unpack. We can’t deny it – Giving Tuesday is the real deal, as much as fundraisers might dislike it. This year, many nonprofits saw an increase in dollars raised on that single day, while December donations fell flat. Why?

December 2018: What Happened?!

2018 year-end performance across the nonprofit sector varied from not-so-great to modest growth year-over-year. Of course, we need to take into consideration what was going on during year-end:

  • Did the government shutdown play a role?
  • What about the stock market taking a nose-dive in late December, did that have an effect?
  • Perhaps people gave on Giving Tuesday and didn’t give again for the rest of the year?

Based on limited data, the answer to all of these questions is: definitely… maybe.

  • December revenue was reported down 18% compared to last year while email volume remained relatively flat.
  • Overall digital revenue was reported down 9% compared to last year-end.
  • Digital advertising has become increasingly pay-to-play during a competitive year-end fundraising landscape.
  • Giving Tuesday continues to become more and more prominent in terms of fundraising, with organizations seeing 16% YoY growth.

While some of these December numbers may seem like a cause for concern, there are important takeaways we can learn from and apply to year-long strategies to knock year-end out of the park in 2019:

  1. Don’t sleep on the Giving Tuesday moment. The next Giving Tuesday is slotted for December 3, 2019.
  2. Start lining up your matching gift component as early as possible.
  3. Focus on email deliverability, and prioritize list growth throughout the year.
  4. Test messaging themes, subject lines, and creative throughout the year to understand what works best and for which audiences.
  5. If you’re considering Facebook Fundraisers, weigh the pros and cons of no donor data.

Watch the webinar for our full analysis of 2018 year-end fundraising results and recommendations to drive a successful 2019 fundraising strategy.

What Happened in 2018 Webinar

This webinar is the first in a year-long series with our partners at Salsa Labs. Make 2019 the best year yet with classes throughout the year touching on a range of topics that are applicable to all organizations. You’ll leave each webinar with a better plan, new ideas, and more information to help further your organization’s mission. This new type of webinar won’t just end after 60 minutes only to be remembered as “that one webinar we watched that one time.”


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