Fundraising is never "one and done."

And that's especially true for your year-end campaign.

Here are some things you can do over the next few weeks.

These tips will help you have a successful year-end campaign - and a great start to the new year!


Successful campaigns will use a multi-channel approach.

The big 3? Direct mail letters, emails, and phone calls.

Let's look at each of those and how you can use them to your advantage at year-end.


You mailed your donors an appeal letter in November or December, right? Great!

It might sound strange, but you can send another letter.

Yep, a second round of letters.

Think about sending the exact same letter to the exact same donors (unless they responded to the first letter).

Why? A lot of appeals don't get opened this time of year. (Think about all of the cards, and packages, and bills, and - of course - other appeals that are in your donor's mailbox in December.)

Sending a second letter increases the chances that your donor will actually see your appeal. And, you'll find that the second letter will bring in money, too.

I've seen nonprofits have a lot of success by sending their December letter again in January and adding a simple sticky note. The note on the sticky offered a simple explanation ("In case you missed this last month...") and asked donors to give by a new deadline.


E-appeals are great, especially when used in conjunction with your direct mail appeal.

Ideally, you're sending an e-appeal to the same donors who receive the snail mail. (Remember? Repetition is key!)

Chances are you'll need to tweak the appeal for digital. But the essence of your year-end message stays the same: Give by December 31.

Here are a few email tips:

Before you send the email, test the link to your giving page.

Does it work? You'd be surprised how many typos and broken links are in emails. Broken links are an easy (and important) thing to avoid.

Make sure you're sending donors where they need to go to give.

You'll improve click-thru and increase response when you send people directly to a donation page. Something like or

Schedule and send an email series for the last week of the year.

December is "the" month of giving, and online giving surges the last three days of the year. Here's a short video on when to send emails to your donors at the end of December.

Wondering what your year-end emails should say?

Here's another great video from Steven Screen at Better Fundraising. Learn what your 3-email series should say to get more donors to give before December 31.


You have "major" donors, and you want to make sure they give to you every year.

Retention is important in general, and major donors are especially important. That's because you'll find that about 80% of your revenue probably comes from 20% of your donors.

(Some people say the 80/20 rule is now the 90/10 rule. So, you may find that even more money is coming from fewer donors. Either way, that top 10 to 20%? Those are your major donors.)

If you don't know who your major donors are, take time to find them in your database.

Then, see how many of these donors haven't given to you in the last 12 months.

Those are the donors you want to call.

So, what do you say when you call?

Remember, your major donors already love your organization (as shown by their larger gifts). And donors love hearing from you, to learn how their donation is changing lives.

When you call, thank them. Tell them how their last gift helped. Asked if they received the letter you sent recently. Then ask them if you can count on their continued support.

Start at the top of your list, and work your way through as many of your high dollar donors as you can.


Using a multi-channel approach at year-end will help you reach more donors - and raise more money.

Direct mail? Be sure you're including a reply device and/or remittance envelope that's clean and uncluttered, so it's easy to fill out and return.

Email? Make sure your URL is correct and you're sending donors directly to your "Donate" webpage.

Calling donors? Ask how they'd like to give. Be prepared to take credit card information over the phone. If they prefer giving online, offer to email them with the direct URL - or resend your e-appeal. And if they like doing things the old-fashioned way, send them a thank you letter (after the call) and include a remittance envelope.

The bottom line? Do everything you can to make it easy for your donor to give, whenever and however she chooses to give.

Photo credit(s): Pixabay

Need help creating a plan to reach more donors and raise more money in 2020? Laura Rhodes can help.

Send a message to start the conversation and learn how Laura can help you and your organization.

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