As the holiday season rolls around, you’re likely looking for new and impactful ways to elevate your year-end fundraising strategies. And if that sounds like you, you’re in the right place!
We’ve put together this quick holiday fundraising guide to assist nonprofits and fundraising groups like yours in making the most of the critical fundraising opportunities that lie within this season of the year.
Not sure where to begin? We recommend that you do the following:
- Host holiday-specific fundraising events.
- Leverage the season of giving and generosity.
- Make the most of social proof with peer-to-peer fundraising.
- Double your efforts with matching gifts.
Explore the tips in this guide and determine what your team can do to increase your fundraising revenue during the holidays. Then, get started — because the holiday season is upon us!
Let’s jump in with our first tip.
1. Host Holiday-Specific Fundraising Events
Organizing a year-end fundraising event can be particularly effective for engaging with supporters and ensuring your efforts stand out among the crowd. By incorporating exciting, holiday-themed elements into your upcoming event, you can be sure to elevate your strategies significantly.
Consider a few of our favorite holiday events here:
- Holiday 5K race
- Neighborhood Christmas caroling
- Ugly sweater or gingerbread house decorating competition
- New Year’s Eve gala
- Holiday gift basket auction or raffle
The good news is that there are tons of fundraising ideas to choose from, and almost any of them can be adapted to fit a fun holiday theme — regardless of whether that means Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Years, or more.
2. Leverage the Season of Giving and Generosity
People of all sorts tend to be in a gift-giving mood around the holidays. Although this is often in relation to buying gifts for loved ones, the increased spirit of generosity often spills over into philanthropic giving as well. As a fundraising professional, it’s your job to encourage donors to turn their increased generosity toward charitable causes.
So, what can you do to leverage the positive emotions that come around this time of year? Organize a donor appreciation effort. Remind supporters of the gifts that you’re able to offer constituents thanks to generous donations. Reiterate what you’ve been able to accomplish in the last year. The possibilities are endless!
3. Make the Most of Social Proof With Peer-to-Peer Fundraising
Peer-to-peer fundraising is an effective strategy that allows supporters to fundraise on behalf of an organization or mission that they care about.
This idea is especially useful for reaching new potential donors. After all, people tend to be more inclined to give in response to a personal request from a friend or family member than they would be to respond to a solicitation from the nonprofit itself.
When individuals see their loved ones supporting a cause, they’ll be more likely to support that cause themselves — which is thanks to a psychological and social phenomenon called social proof. During the end-of-year holiday fundraising season, you can make the most of peer-to-peer fundraising to position your campaign to stand out from every other organization and business aiming to grab your audience’s attention.
For the best results, make sure you and your peer-to-peer fundraisers are equipped with the right tools for effective campaign management and, ultimately, great success. They are essentially becoming the face of your organization, so you want them to represent you well!
4. Double Your Efforts With Matching Gifts
Would you give up a chance at a second donation for the cost of soliciting only the first? Do you think your donors would miss out on stretching their gifts twice as far for a cause they care about without having to reach back into their own pockets? The answer to both questions is probably not.
Matching-gift programs offer a fantastic opportunity to do exactly this while incorporating a unique engagement initiative that goes beyond the typical year-end donation ask. Although the spirit of giving is high, donors don’t always have a ton of money lying around by the time the holidays come around.
Luckily, highlighting matching gifts allows supporters to do more with less and to feel deeply connected to your mission while doing it. There are two key ways to incorporate matching gifts into your year-end holiday strategy:
- Proactively ask year-end donors to look into securing a match soon after receiving their initial gift. Their engagement levels are likely still high from making their donation, so reach out in the days following the gift to encourage them to request a match!
- Retroactively follow up with match-eligible donors who had given to your organization previously in the year. Many employers are willing to match donations long after they were made — with many deadlines aligning with the end of the year. If your donors hadn’t requested a match earlier in the year, they might still be eligible!
And luckily, these programs tend to be more widely available than you might think! Matching-gift research shows that 26+ million people work for companies with matching-gift programs — but the vast majority of this group remains completely unaware. Start promoting this as an option now so your supporters will be ready to participate when your year-end holiday fundraising appeals come around.
Providing an optimal holiday fundraising experience for your supporters is one of the best ways to improve the donor journey around this season. When your donors are particularly engaged, they’ll be ready to continue driving your efforts forward into and throughout the year 2022.
Good luck, and happy holidays!
Adam Weinger is the president of Double the Donation, the leading provider of tools for nonprofits to help them raise more money from corporate matching-gift and volunteer grant programs.
Double the Donation’s robust solution, 360MatchPro, provides nonprofits with automated tools to identify match-eligible donors, drive matches to completion, and gain actionable insights. 360MatchPro integrates directly into donation forms, CRMs, social fundraising software, and other nonprofit technology solutions to capture employment information and follow up appropriately with donors about matching gifts.