7 Holiday Fundraising Ideas for Nonprofits

Photo by Dave Goodman

Editor’s Note: Brittany Richards from Software Advice reached out to me about guest posting on IG. She is the editorial coordinator for her team, and in this post, she outlines tips for nonprofits to capitalize on the giving spirit of the holidays. Check out a similar piece by Ashley Halligan.

‘Tis the season to be jolly. ‘Tis also the season for significantly more donor giving. Statistics from a Network for Good Online Giving Study shows that December donors give approximately 52 percent more than in other months. Furthermore, December accounts for  33 percent of online giving.

So, how can your nonprofit capitalize on these giving trends? This is a hot topic during the holidays as organizations are creating campaigns to collect as many December dollars as possible. Here are 7 tips that nonprofit professionals suggest:

1. Center a Campaign on Gratitude

Thanking supporters can encourage potential donors to get on board. Mightycause’s Inspiring Generosity blogger Geoff Livingston says, “People seem to forget that one of the primary celebrations of the holiday season is gratitude. Instead of trying to act like Don Draper, be sincere and publicly thank your supporters for how they have helped your cause this year.”

2. Keep it Seasonal

Nothing is more enticing during December than a little holiday cheer. Build fundraising campaigns around the season. For example, holiday bake sales, wreath raffles and Christmas carols keep things fun and festive. This increases excitement from donors.

3. Simplify the Giving Process

Keep the donation button as easy to find as possible. The button should be staring people in the face. This seems like an obvious idea but donors will turn away if the option is de-emphasized. Make giving plain and simple.

4. Stir up a Sense of Urgency

Set a clear beginning and end date. Deadlines create a sense of urgency. This doesn’t mean you cannot accept donations once the date has passed, but deadlines help keep people motivated to meet personal giving goals.

5. Suggest Donations Instead of Gifts

Consider the option of encouraging existing supporters to ask for donations to your organization rather than holiday presents. People are more likely to donate when asked by friends or family. Consider a marketing campaign that suggest giving as a “last minute gift idea.”

6. Indicate the Tax Benefits

Perhaps the most important aspect of December giving is ending the fiscal year. April 15 is right around the corner. Emphasize the benefits of donations on taxes. This can make a huge difference for some people and albeit most know, it does not hurt to give special emphasis.

7. Don’t Ignore the Last Days of the Year

Majority of people scurry to make their donations on the last couple days of the month. Be persistent in the last week leading up to the new year. Even though it is between two holidays, people are more likely to give in this window.

These are only a few examples of last-minute strategies to increase momentum on year-end fundraising. What are some other ways nonprofit professionals encourage end-of-the-year donations? Have you seen any campaigns that stand out as particularly good or successful? Please leave your thoughts below!