Feeling the stress and scramble of year end planning for your digital marketing and fundraising campaigns? You’re not alone.

Robin Fostel, Senior Director Strategic Fundraising

On average, 30% of annual giving occurs in December. Adding to that timeline crunch—10% of annual giving occurs in the last 3 days of the year! 

Some non-profit organizations raise up to 50% of their annual funds in their year-end ask. 

With Giving Tuesday representing $2.5 billion in revenue for 2020—a 25% YOY increase—the pressure to engage and convert donors throughout the last 6 weeks of the year is higher than ever. 

And with 2/3 of year-end donors doing little-to-no research before giving, it’s crucial to make the strongest possible first impression. From auditing your Google Grant for strong SEO to cultivating crowdfunding—champion your cause across channels. 

Close to 70% of the population gives each year—now’s the time to ensure you’re positioned to make a strong case for support and convert donors with multiple touchpoints during your year end campaign. 

If you are feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! 

From housekeeping tasks to stewardship and multichannel planning, our Calendar Year End Checklist walks through priority steps for planning your campaign.

Calendar Year End Overview and Checklist

Housekeeping

Update all segments including recently lapsed, new, and sustainer donors

✓ Solicit matching funds and campaign goals. Consider “Sprint” match offers.

✓ Identify donor touchpoints. Third-party or VIP/celebrity outreach opportunities?

✓ Create a calendar for multi-channel engagement. (Responsive to staff vacations!)

✓ Audit branding on all donation forms and automated messages 

✓ Update mission, case for support, and key landing pages 

✓ Audit/update third-party referral sites like Charity Navigator and GuideStar

Stewardship

✓ Compile a list of “greatest hits” for the year: content and initiatives

✓ Craft “donor impact” statements and taglines for all channels

✓ Craft stewardship messages for key segments of donors and engaged audiences

✓ Monitor unsubscribes. (Often a concern, over messaging rarely results in a spike.)

Search/Social

✓ Reinforce brand awareness in the months leading into calendar year end

✓ Audit/update Google Grant to capture organic search traffic

✓ Structure budgets and tracking for all channels

✓ Cultivate crowdfunding prospects

✓ Prepare/schedule posts in advance when possible

✓ Thank your supporters!

Giving Tuesday

✓ Confirm plan for matching funds with possible “Deadline Extended” call-to-action

✓ Plan “Preview” & “Not Too Late” touchpoints. GT campaign covers 5-7 days

✓ Anticipate 3-4 messages (per channel) on Giving Tuesday

✓ Upgrade donors for additional “13th Gift” or monthly commitment.

✓ Thank donors! 

Calendar Year End

✓ Confirm holiday “card” or other seasonal messaging

✓ Review previous year’s performance. Consider “Sprint” or amplified 3X match offers.

✓ Brainstorm campaign overview, profiles, testimonials, supporting creative. 

✓ Anticipate 6-8 messages (per channel) between 12/28 and 12/31

✓ Thank your donors!

Interested in learning more about planning and managing campaigns across channels? Connect with the NextGen digital team and start your next generation of fundraising today.