Effective Last-Minute Fundraising Ideas for Your Nonprofit

Nonprofit Marketing Campaign
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Raising money for charity is important at any time of year, but in North America the month of December has the most impact in the fundraising calendar.


This is because at least one-fifth of revenue comes in during this critical month and 10% of all giving happens between December 29 and 31, according to statistics from Neon One.

Tips for running a successful year-end giving campaign

While Giving Tuesday is a great kick-off to the fundraising season, it’s even more important to finish strong. Here are four last-minute fundraising ideas to try during the last two weeks of the calendar year.

Send out last-minute reminders to donate

You may feel like you’ve already bombarded your constituents with appeals and fundraising requests, but if you still need money to come in, then it’s important to continue reminding people to donate!

This is a busy time of year and there’s a lot of noise, making it harder for your message to get through. Sending another reminder text, email, post, or letter may be the prompt someone needs to make that year-end donation.

Your message doesn’t have to be long or creative when it comes to a last-minute reminder. Just make sure it’s clear and easy to respond to.

If possible, segment out those who have already given towards your year-end fundraising campaign so you are speaking to those who are waiting until the last few days of the year to give.

Reach out to lapsed donors

There are many types of donors and each requires a slightly different communication strategy. Lapsed donors are people who have given in the past, but have stopped supporting your organization for one reason or another. 

This is an important group to continue nurturing because while they may have decided to stop donating, it’s also possible they’ve simply forgotten.

Taking time to send a short, personalized email or text to lapsed donors—reminding them to give, how grateful you are for their past support and why continuing to give matters—may be the prompt they need to make that important year-end donation.

Ask volunteers to share stories about your work

Donors need to understand the impact their gift makes, and one of the best ways to do this is through stories. If your organization has volunteers, consider asking them to take to social media during the end-of-year fundraising push and share about their experience with your charity.

Here are a few ways your volunteers can help spread the word:

  • Tell a personal story of how working with your organization has impacted them
  • Share about your fundraising campaign on their personal platforms
  • Post a photo or video on their social media platforms of them working with you
  • Write a letter to the editor of their local newspaper sharing about the good work your charity is doing in their community

This type of sharing helps to boost authenticity and credibility with your nonprofit, as well expands your reach.

Run a “thank you” campaign

Saying thank you to donors should be standard practice, but in these final fundraising days, how you express your gratitude could help raise even more funds.

If you have capacity, consider recording short (30-seconds or less) thank-you videos on a smartphone for those who have donated towards your year-end campaign. 

Try and record videos from those who are directly benefiting from the donations. If that’s not possible, then having your staff members or volunteers express their sincere gratitude is also helpful.

The simpler your message, the better. You want to thank your donors for supporting your work and remind them of the difference it makes. In response, they may decide to share your video with their network or even give an additional year-end gift.

As we get closer to the end of the year, remember to keep your foot on the gas of your fundraising campaign until midnight on December 31. Taking a multichannel fundraising approach will help increase your reach and give you the best chance to cut through the noise of the holiday season. And using targeted, direct, and succinct language for your final year-end push will help your donors know exactly what you need them to do.

Looking for more ways to meet your fundraising targets? Get in touch – we’d love to discuss your marketing and fundraising goals.

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