End of Year Giving Tip Sheet

October 17, 2023




7 Ways to Optimize Your End-of-Year Giving Strategy for Success 

 As we enter the last quarter of 2023, it’s a great time to refine your nonprofit’s end-of-year fundraising strategy to ensure you have maximum reach and return amongst the audiences that mean most to you. Below, PCI’s nonprofit and digital teams share seven strategies to consider as you plan your EOY efforts for October – December 2023.  

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Optimize Your Website 

Your website should have a donation page that serves as the home base for all end-of-year giving promotions, whether through traditional paper mail or digital marketing. Optimize your website and landing page so that it:  

  • Has clear, concise and key message-rich information on the various ways to give and the impact a donation will have on your mission. Consider the personal benefits and positive feelings that individuals experience when giving charitably while crafting your messaging. 
  • Is optimized for search engines. Infuse key terms and phrases that are relevant to your organization’s mission into your website copy, image captions, alt-text, video transcripts and back-end schema markup. This will encourage search engines like Google to place your website higher on search results and help drive more organic traffic. 
  • Includes colorful and easily identifiable donation buttons at the top, middle and bottom of the landing page to make it easy for visitors to convert with a clear call to action (make a donation). 
  • Has a low loading time. Take Google’s free PageSpeed Insights test to ensure you have a loading time “in the green,” or, under three seconds.  
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Leverage Facebook’s Fundraising Features  

Of those who were inspired to give to a nonprofit or social cause on social media, 56% were influenced by posts from Facebook. Create a fundraiser on Facebook, which allows you to add a donation button to your Facebook page, posts, Facebook and Instagram Stories and live video, and enables donors to give without leaving the platform. Facebook fundraisers also allow your followers to fundraise on your behalf on their own accounts. 

Give Donors the Option to Text-To-Give 

Short message service (SMS)/text marketing is a proven way to maintain and engage audiences through their mobile devices within minutes. Text messages have a 98% open rate – significantly higher than the email industry standard of 21.09%. Consider signing up for an SMS platform like GiveSmart which allows your organization to fundraise through text message and manage payments directly in the platform. Bonus: upload data to ensure a mutual data relationship with Raiser’s Edge! 

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Engage Through Social Media 

Diversify your content marketing strategies by: 

  • Create a campaign video with compelling messages and previously achieved success on why people should donate to your organization. Consider adding donor testimonials to demonstrate third-party validation about your organization’s impact. Request pre-recorded videos of first-hand donor testimonials or written quotes. Develop short 30-second videos interspliced with b-roll or images that illustrate your nonprofit’s mission. Donors care about story and impact, and our client Cornerstones had that in spades. In their EOY video, the organization shared the stories of those who benefited from their services.
  • Encouraging virtual word-of-mouth by identifying and reaching out to niche influencers. Influencers don’t need to have more than 10,000 followers; consider accounts with between 4,000-10,000 followers with high audience engagement rates that are in alignment with your brand. Incentivize partnerships with these individuals through content amplification, giveaways, unique experiences or monetary compensation. 
  • Crafting a digital toolkit for funders, partners or influential supporters that gives them pre-drafted social media, accompanying visuals, any needed links, and website and email newsletter copy to easily share on their own channels to spread the word about your mission. Remember: social media is a two-way street, so be sure to engage partners by tagging them in your posts when appropriate. 
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Livestream Your Annual Fundraiser  

Livestreamed events have become a key way to bring fundraisers and other in-person events to your supporters’ digital devices. It’s also more immersive and manageable than ever. Consider leveraging a visual and engaging virtual platform like StreamYyard, which allows you to multi-cast across several social media channels (YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) in a customized, branded, multi-person view. Be sure to prepare presenters with a script and rehearsals and coordinate with any video production and tech people to ensure a smooth livestream presentation. 

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Maximize Email Marketing 

Email marketing is a tried-and-true tactic to send targeted emails to supporters based on location, donation levels and giving status. Additional ways to refine your strategy: 

  • Make email more personal by sending it on behalf of a board member or the Executive Director instead of a broad title like your organization name. 
  • Personalize the emails by adding in the recipient’s name. This can be done automatically via email marketing platforms like Mailchimp, as long as subscribers have provided their first name. 
  • Include multiple calls to donate throughout the body of the email. 
  • Leverage stories of those your nonprofit supports. Whether a patient, program participant or animal, stories tug at the heart and help result in larger donations! Use images from these uplifting success stories in emails. 
  • Include recent media clips highlighting your organization. News stories are an effective way of resonating with audiences and demonstrating public validation and support of your organization’s mission and impact.  
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Amplify Through Digital Advertising 

Invest whatever budget you desire to break through the noise of other nonprofits clamoring for end-of-year gifts. Ensure your cost-per-conversion doesn’t outpace how much your ideal donation is! Allot ample time for campaign period, with 30 to 90 days of run time-appropriate audiences. Opportunities include: 

  • Run ads or boost high-performing posts on Facebook that have a “donate now” button integrated.  
  • Set-up Google search ads towards those looking to donate. Add in relevant keywords like “best Chicago nonprofits.” Pro tip: apply to Google for Nonprofits to become eligible for Google Ad Grants of $10,000 of monthly in-kind advertising to help raise awareness for your cause and drive more website views. 
  • Conduct audience testing on your creative assets and messaging to ensure your ads resonate and achieve the maximum impact when launched. Tools like Usability Hub and Grow Progress offer relatively affordable research and testing options tailored for nonprofits and social causes. Simple A/B tests between audience segments in campaigns are also beneficial to understand how and when they engage. 
  • Retarget previous donors, newsletter subscribers, event attendees and other key audiences with email contact lists. Create lookalike audiences to target audiences that share similar interests and characteristics with your fans and followers. 

Interested in strategizing a tailored approach and execution support? Let’s Talk!  


Post by Emma Bruno