5 tips to revive year-end fundraising efforts

Think it’s too late to launch a fundraising campaign? Think again.

According to Online Giving Research, almost 35% of all charitable giving occurs in the final quarter of the year. And people are most generous in December, with about 20% of annual donations happening then.

But what about cost? Many nonprofits are struggling to keep up with operating costs and worry their fundraising efforts won’t pay off. “There’s a paradox that’s happening. Even if your organization is struggling financially, you still have to spend money to make money,” explains Judd Plattenburg, Oregon’s president and CEO.

While some people have cut back on charitable donations, Judd says there’s still a lot of money out there to be donated. “If your campaign is for a good cause, the type that makes real change in your local community, people will give.”

And it never hurts to ask, right? Here’s how to get started right away:

  1. Make up for lost time. Review what worked in the past so you can repeat or revamp tactics that were successful. You don’t have to come up with something new.
  2. Don’t waste any more time. Rally the team and set priorities and deadlines. Determine when your printed pieces need to be in hands, then work backwards to build a schedule. Set milestones along the way and make sure you have a team in place, including print vendors, volunteers, or event coordinators.
  3. Fine tune the details. Make sure you have accurate physical addresses, emails, and social media accounts for your potential donors. Correct any wrong or missing information from prior campaigns so you don’t needlessly waste money or time. Do this early so you’ll be ready to hit the ground running once your printed materials are ready.
  4. Work with reputable vendors who drive results. When you’re short on time and money, a good vendor can make or break your campaign. Seek out passionate and detail-oriented partners who can keep your project on time and within budget. Ask colleagues for recommendations and request samples from potential vendors so you can evaluate the quality of their work. And don’t forget to check out customer service reviews.
  5. Streamline the approval process. The last thing you want is to have your team and vendors work diligently on a fundraising campaign, only to have it delayed or derailed by the approval process. Plan your sign-off dates carefully and, if possible, bring decision-makers together. Limiting the number of people involved is also beneficial.

The year is winding down, but it’s not too late for fundraising. Don’t be afraid to ask for donations during shaky economic conditions. A significant number of people are still donating to worthy causes. Take immediate action, and you could launch your campaign at one of the best times of the year for giving.

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