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Year-end giving amounts to an estimated 40-70 percent of many nonprofits’ annual budgets. The most charitable season of the year is a prime opportunity to secure new supporters and to lift the giving levels of current donors.  In this blog series, we will review the steps to devising a strong campaign—including how to use data analytics to target your messaging, the importance of a compelling story, how to distribute your story through multiple channels, and when to follow up with donors.


Believe it or not, your year-end campaign doesn’t end on December 31. Plan for strategic follow-up through February to establish and foster ongoing relationships with donors.

You will likely have many new names in your house file at year-end. How will you retain them in the long run? Engage new donors with a targeted series of welcome emails that include information on your mission and your strategic vision for the upcoming year. Keep them informed throughout the year with examples of how their gift is making a difference and offer other ways they can get involved in your work.

Seek a Sustaining Gift

Did any new donors make a second gift in response to your follow-up emails? Segment them into a file that receives regular communication to cultivate them toward being a sustaining donor. You can craft targeted messaging to your most faithful givers, such as, “Can we count on you as a partner?” In your ask, seek a monthly sustaining gift that the donor can set up via an electronic funds transfer.

Above all, make sure you inspire your donors all year long so they want to stay involved and engaged in the important work you do.

Action items:

  • Tack on several weeks to your communications plan post-holiday season to follow up with new donors.
  • After your thank-you emails, schedule a series of welcome emails with more information about your work and your plans for the upcoming year.
  • Show them progress on areas of service throughout the year so they see how their gifts are being used.
  • Keep them inspired by your story and your mission in every communication.
  • Capture donor interests so you can more effectively target future messaging.

The holiday season is a crucial time for nonprofits to capture as much consumer goodwill as possible. With the right approach, you can lift your giving levels as much as 50-70 percent or more compared to your previous year’s results.

It’s not too late to start building your year-end campaign with Pursuant, but you must respond now. Let us help you raise more by sending the right messages to the right audiences at the right time.