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How to sustain year-end giving momentum into the spring

December 01, 2021
A man smiling and looking at a computer and his phone, learning strategies on how to sustain year-end momentum.

For the majority of nonprofit organizations, December is the busiest month on the calendar—full of sending reminder emails, writing thank-you notes, and making phone calls to donors. While each of these tasks certainly keeps you busy, they are necessary for earning gifts before the end of the year. After all, according to NPOInfo's charitable giving statistics, nonprofits receive 17-22% of their total annual fundraising in December each year.

But after the hustle and bustle during the year-end season, how do you carry your momentum and success into the spring? Your nonprofit will need to take some time after your year-end campaign to create an effective follow-up strategy. Make the most of your year-end giving momentum by following these three tips:

1. Refer back to your nonprofit’s purpose and data.

After your year-end fundraiser, ensure key elements of your outreach strategy, such as your marketing materials and website, will help you fulfill your fundraising strategy for the new year. 

Re-evaluate your donation page and social media accounts to make sure the content featured there effectively captures your nonprofit’s purpose, and gather powerful impact stories from your year-end efforts to share with supporters in the spring. Refreshing your own understanding and commitment will shine through in your interactions with donors.

Additionally, use your past data and fundraising results to guide your plans. Learning through experience is essential for growth, and this applies to your nonprofit as well. Lift your marketing, donor retention, and fundraising efforts to new heights by analyzing past data such as:

  • Cost per dollar raised
  • Fundraising return on investment
  • Website and social media engagement
  • Email open rates

These metrics will allow you to determine successful approaches or strategies that you should continue to implement, as well as areas where you could improve moving forward. Use this data to create better communications to share with supporters that will convey your organization’s past progress and get them excited about your future ambitions.

2. Strengthen your donor relationships.

As your nonprofit heads into the new year, take this opportunity to cultivate and appreciate the donors that helped make your year-end giving campaign a success. This is where data comes in again. To build relationships with these donors, take a look at your donor profiles and reflect on data such as:

  • Donor retention rate
  • Average gift size
  • Type of donor, such as new, recurring, or major
  • Additional engagement, such as volunteering or attending events

The more you understand each donor’s relationship with your nonprofit, their interests, and reasons for giving, the better equipped you’ll be to nurture their investment in your work for the long haul. To gather further information on your supporters, send out surveys asking for feedback about why they support your nonprofit and what improvements they’d like to see that would deepen their engagement with your organization.

3. Offer additional involvement opportunities for donors.

Aside from encouraging your donors to continue giving to your nonprofit throughout the new year, build stronger and closer connections by reaching out with other ways they can contribute to your purpose. To ensure that your supporters feel valued by your organization, segment them according to relevant characteristics so each message they receive is tailored to their interests.

For instance, for donors who volunteered at your last fundraiser, you can link them to social media posts containing videos or photos taken from that event, letting them see their hard work paying off. 

Other ways to promote further engagement from your supporters include:

  • Inviting them to tour your nonprofit facility
  • Notifying them of volunteer opportunities
  • Encouraging them to sign up for your newsletter
  • Asking them to become a peer-to-peer fundraiser

As always, remember to follow up with each supporter whenever they engage with your nonprofit to thank them for their contributions and share how their help made an impact. Social media spotlights and donor recognition walls are also effective ways to recognize your donors and help them understand their importance to your nonprofit’s success.

Converting year-end giving momentum into future success

A new year presents new chances to optimize your nonprofit’s fundraising and marketing efforts. As spring approaches, review your year-end giving campaign’s results to find improvements to implement. Ride your year-end giving momentum into a new year of innovations and progress, so each year is better than the last.

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