One-third (31%) of all annual giving occurs in December. If you have not started planning your year-end giving campaign, let’s get started!
 
According to the World Giving Index, Americans have been the number one country for generosity for the past ten years.
 
As you think through your year-end giving campaign, consider these best practices:
 
1. Tap into the nostalgia of the season. Consider offering the option to give in memory or honor of someone. That could be done simply as an optional field in the giving form.
 
2. Tie your ask to a cause. It could be a new program you are starting, a community outreach, or a definite outcome: a new program, a community outreach, helping a specific group, i.e., fighting human trafficking in your community.
 
3. Create a sense of urgency. In this case, the campaign will end by December 31. So it’s built-in already.
 
4. Remind your audience that their gift is a tax deduction. And that they have only a few days to give before the tax-deduction deadline. Why give to the government when they can donate to a great cause?
 
5. Keep your giving form accessible. I hope I don’t have to remind you that your form must be mobile-friendly. Making people create accounts or fill out multiple information pages is a huge deterrent. Just ask for the minimum information you need to process a donation.
 
6. Make sure the giving form has more than one option to give:  While most people have credit cards, sometimes not having to enter information is the difference between a gift and no gift. More people are using other forms of payment, such as  Apple Pay, Cash APP, Zelle, Venmo, and PayPal. I use Venmo, and it’s becoming prevalent in the US.
 
7. Set up a match program. Maybe a donor or your organization will match donations up to a certain amount. A match program is a terrific psychological tool. It gives the donor a chance to “double” their gift.
 
If you already have a certain amount budgeted for the program you are fundraising, why not use that as a match?
 
8. Accelerate your communication after Christmas. Most churches and nonprofits shut down between Christmas and the New Year. However, the last three days in December can be your strongest giving days.
 
A whopping 12% of the entire annual giving in the US happens in the last three days in December. Take advantage of it and create daily communications (email, social posts, text messages) to encourage your list to finish the year strong.
 
Whether you are a veteran fundraiser or just getting started, the ability to understand giving trends and strategies is the lifeline of any nonprofit organization. And it will keep you in demand for years to come.
 
So get out there and raise funds so you can continue to make a difference next year.

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