Your Last-Minute Checklist to Maximizing Year-End Success

Dec 13, 2022
Claire Kerr
Director, Canada

Temperatures rise during the last week of the calendar year. The days are long, but the final week of the calendar year for donors to make a tax-deductible gift is sizzling hot.

As fundraisers know, one-third of all digital revenue happens in December. But let’s be honest: A good percentage of that occurs during the final days of the year.

December 29, 30, and 31 are gangbusters. Development teams watch the money come in with great anticipation. It’s a time of year when you see what bets will pay off and how much year-over-year revenue your team will generate for the organization.

At this point, your year-end campaign is fully cooked — emails are approved, social posts are primed, and your donation forms are optimized to convert casual visitors to donors.

You could sit back and wait, but that’s not you. There are many moving parts to any online fundraising campaign, but to help you maximize your organization’s revenue during the final days of the year we’ve compiled a checklist to ensure you’re getting the most from your efforts.

  • Know thy donors. Practice the old adage “show me you know me” by personalizing ask amounts to intelligently predict how much someone is likely to donate based on their user activity. Technology that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to analyze data points will right-size your gift array, impress online visitors, and ultimately convert a greater number of donors this year-end.
  • Make giving a gift easy for donors. Allow donors to choose which payment option is best for them by providing a variety of methods optimized for their web browser, geographic location, and preferred payment type. One-click checkout options such as Apple/Google Pay makes giving easy peasy. And Venmo? Absolutely, but know thy audience (Quick tip: Enable PayPal as our data shows a 10% lift in donations 🙌).
  • Reduce donation form abandonment. Did you know that 80% to 85% of prospective donors don’t actually complete their donation? This is money left on the table at year-end! Practice incremental gains this holiday season by focusing on the campaign (i.e. benefits of making a tax-deductible gift). What’s key is having clear, simple messaging and keeping your eyes on the prize by eliminating non-campaign-specific fields such as phone number and address (hint: it’s not required in the US).
  • Don’t be shy, ask… and ask again. It’s important to make a good first impression. In the digital marketing world, three impressions are needed before a message is recognized:
    • Make your campaign ask front and center, but not just once.
    • Diversify your fundraising asks by using image cards, sticky buttons, and/or button groups on every page. (Remember, most web visitors don’t enter your site via homepage.)
    • Always correlate the impact of a dollar through the use of imagery, creative, and/or impact sliders.
  • Are you in it to win it? Create some friendly competition this year-end with specific daily or weekly fundraising goals. At our core, we are competitive beings and love a good challenge. When it is for a good cause, it’s a win-win. So, let human nature reign through the combination of goal meters and stat counters showcasing your top donors and recent donations. Oh, don’t forget to highlight where your supporters are from using donor maps!

Lastly, and less of a checklist item than a reminder for all year-end campaigns, incentivize donors to be their most charitable selves by allowing the best way to give for them. Make sure your donation experience allows for stock transfers and cryptocurrency.


This is a guest blog post from our partner at Care2.

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