• Nonprofit Learning Lab

How to Prepare Your Year End Giving Campaign

Updated: Nov 16

This is a guest blog by Meredith Gray, Senior Marketing Manager at Keela


End of year is a time for family, friends, and food. With donors getting into the holiday spirit, it’s also the most important time of year for fundraisers. With over 30% of annual charitable giving coming in in the month of December and 10% of that giving coming in in the last 3 days of the year, year end giving campaigns are critical to meet your annual fundraising goals.


From Giving Tuesday through to New Year’s Day, a strong year end giving campaign will tell stories related to your mission, steward and thank your supporters and help you cross the finish line when it comes to your revenue goals. This article will walk you through the necessary steps to maximize your fundraising efforts and raise more through your campaign.



1. Review Previous Year-End Fundraising Campaigns

Before you start working on this year’s campaign, it’s important to reflect on how you did in years past. Data is a powerful tool, and by doing an analysis of what was effective or ineffective in the past, you can save time and resources on your upcoming campaign.


Start by pulling all donor information from your previous campaigns to understand who has given to you in the past. This should include contact information and giving amount to determine your strongest prospects. By understanding your previous donors, you can start building your list for this year and look for opportunities to engage new supporters with similar demographic details through your messaging and geo-targeting.


Next, you will want to look at the metrics from your last campaign. Analyzing metrics such as email click-throughs and open rates, social media engagement and direct mail response will help you build your messaging based on what resonated the strongest with your donors in previous years.


2. Examine Your Current Situation

Once you have reviewed your metrics from past campaigns, it’s time to understand your current state and look at what you have at your disposal to run your new campaign.


Start with your current financial information and ask yourself a few key questions that will guide your planning.

  • Have your finances changed since your last campaign?

  • How much budget do you have to invest this year?

  • How close are you to hitting your revenue targets for the year?


The answers to those questions will help you set ambitious yet achievable targets for your campaign. Don’t forget that every goal you set should follow the S.M.A.R.T model (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound).


3. Choose Your Theme, Messaging, and Segments

Remember when we told you to look at your past messaging? Well, it’s about to come in handy! By understanding what messaging has resonated with your donors in the past, you can start crafting similar content for your upcoming campaign. Your theme and messaging will tie everything together and create awareness for your campaign across different channels.


Storytelling is one of the most important parts of a good fundraising campaign. Look within your community to find champions that will share their story and inspire donors to give then consider how you want to structure your campaign to be the most impactful. Some of the strongest campaigns tell the story from the perspective of a person within their community, some find it effective to have the message delivered by their CEO. Decide what will resonate the most with your community and pen your communications from that person.


Every campaign needs a strong call to action (CTA). Your CTA is what you’re asking your donors to do after seeing your campaign. Tying your call to action back to a strong impact statement will help donors understand the power of their gift.


Once you have your messaging and your CTA, you need to determine your audience. Start by looking at your segments from previous campaigns. Were they effective? If not, it’s time to create new ones! Look at your donor data to determine your segments and personalize your content as much as possible for each group.