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Year-End Fundraising: 5 Ingredients for December Success

It’s never too early to start crafting your year-end fundraising plan. By starting early, you give your organization a chance to build data-driven narratives and tell compelling stories that inspire supporters to give.

The success of 2018’s year-end fundraising season varied across the nonprofit sector with some initiatives (such as Giving Tuesday) bringing in huge waves of donations while other tactics were less prosperous. After reflecting on and learning from 2018 outcomes, we’ve distilled year-end planning down to a few key elements for success in 2019!

Ready to start your year-end fundraising plan? Watch our webinar to learn more.

Establish a Donor Centric Approach

Donor-centric content isn’t rocket science. It’s really just a question of noticing what your audience responds to — in appeals, in e-newsletters, in surveys — and creating content from there. Give the people what they want, and make them the hero in this story. 

Year End Fundraising

In other words: Your donors don’t help save lives, or help save the whales, or help protect forests from clear-cutting. They DO those things. Don’t let them forget that they are crucial. 

And remember: If a topic tends not to resonate, take the hint and stop pushing it. Because as much as we all want to believe our supporters are different and special… most data suggests they are people who want to make a difference, and not necessarily wonks in your fields. So, let’s show them the difference they’re making, and keep them central to the story!

Curious about donor centricity? Watch the full webinar.

Implement Segmentation Strategies

The need to talk to the right people at the right time with the right content is vital to a successful year-end fundraising plan. Segmentation allows you to personalize your follow-up and outreach to the context and state of your relationship with each donor, and can drastically improve responsiveness. 

Donor personas can be a great way to personalize content and further messaging based on what you know resonates with certain audiences.

Need more advice on how to segment your audience? Check out the webinar!

Determine Email Volume

We hear it all the time: people are afraid of overwhelming their email list. This is a fair concern, but I can promise you that your list doesn’t notice your emails going by half as much as you think they do. M+R benchmarks show that nonprofits send an average of 59 emails per subscriber per year (8% more than last year!). 

Volume is important all year round, but especially on days like Giving Tuesday or December 31st, when staying on top of the inbox is half the battle. We’re not saying to necessarily send 5 emails on these days… but we ARE suggesting that you push your comfort zone by an extra send or two on critical fundraising days like these. 

Use Engaging Email Tactics

Volume alone won’t cut it, though. Being that year-end is the busiest season of all, your supporters’ inboxes will likely be swamped with emails. To stay afloat and capture recipients’ interest, it’s important to send messages that people will want to read. 

Year-End Fundraising


Want a deeper dive into how to tackle a year-end fundraising plan? Get access to our webinar where we walk through Media Cause’s proven strategies and tactics to break through the noise of year-end giving season and keep your organization top-of-mind (and top of inbox!) for your supporters. Fill out the form below to watch: 



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