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August 12, 2020
Time to Gear Up for Yearend Fundraising
Planned Giving
With Fall around the corner, and the end of 2019 in sight, nonprofits should actively prepare now for yearend fundraising efforts, if they have not started already.

Following is advice offered by a number of experts.

Get Your Email Lists in Shape

Maintaining email, and other, lists is a continuous job, but especially necessary when preparing for your yearend campaign. This means making sure the people you need to reach are on your list, as well as culling those who don’t give.

Think about Timing

Many nonprofits traditionally solicited funds at yearend to enable donors to use their contribution to reduce taxes, but that has become less of an issue with the new federal tax law that went into effect in 2018, because many taxpayers no longer itemize deductions. Consider shifting your timeframe to, say, Thanksgiving, giving you an opportunity to say thanks and your donors an opportunity to be thankful for their bounty, which they can share with others.

Ask Donors to Consider Bunching

Bunching is when donors group multiple years of charitable deductions into a single year to help boost the value of their deductible items above the $24,000 threshold for married couples filing jointly on their federal tax return. That way donors can maintain their charitable support while getting a tax deduction.

Develop Stories that Demonstrate Donor Impact

Find the stories that will enliven your appeal. Solicit them from your board, staff, volunteers, as well as the people you serve. Marketing expert Julia Campbell notes that "nonprofits should be using their stories to motivate the reader or the viewer to do something." The best stories show how donors made a difference in the world, not, say, how efficient your organization is.

Develop a Website Pop-Up with a Strong “Donate” Call to Action

"Be sure this pop-up and your website is mobile friendly, especially since many donors visit websites via mobile devices and then make donations," says Robin Cabral, a fundraising executive who works with mid-sized nonprofits.

Use Social Media

"YouTube and Twitch, where individuals livestream activities such as playing video games, performing music, or cooking, can provide an innovative way to reach donors who would never tune in to a telethon on TV," says Michael Wasserman, chief executive officer of Tiltify, an online fundraising platform, quoted in The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Consider Advertising on Facebook

Small, targeted ads can effectively build awareness for your organization and reinforce your message.

Use Photos to Tell Your Story

A photo is still worth a 1,000 words, because it can efficiently say a lot, but nonprofits need to take care to use photos the right way. Compelling photos demonstrate your mission in action, which is what donors want to learn about.

Double Down on Midlevel Donors

“By upping your offer (through exclusive access, perks, or high-value premiums), you may be able to offset potential revenue loss by increasing donors’ propensity to support your cause,” says Dan Thain, a creative director at the consulting firm Blue State, told The Chronicle.

Pay Attention to Younger Donors

While older donors tend to have more disposable income, Millennials and Gen Z donors are socially conscious, seek out causes that make a difference in the world, and enlist peers to join them, according to Wasserman.

Ask Monthly to Consider Boosting Their Giving Level

Monthly givers, also known as sustainers or committed givers, are people who give more than occasional donors but who are not yet major donors, according to Erica Waasdorp. Your yearend fund drive offers an opportunity to invite these donors to increase their commitment.

August 2019
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