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8 Days Until Giving Season Begins!

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

Many charities get a bump in donations at the end of the year with their individual supporters getting in the holiday spirit and larger corporate donors looking to do good and log tax-deductible donations before the end of Q4. How can you make the most of holiday generosity? Set attainable year-end fundraising goals and make a simple plan to tell your stories to those who care about your organization.

Share your content in the months of November and December. Spend January analyzing the results of your hard work.

Giving Tuesday 2019 is 8 days away -- let's get started!

What is Giving Tuesday?

For those not familiar, Giving Tuesday bookends the holiday season for many nonprofits. You can think of it as the first day of the "Giving Season."

In 2018, The Nonprofit Times reported that five platforms that process donations reported $336 million!:

  • Facebook, $125 million ($45 million)

  • PayPal, $98 million ($64 million)

  • Blackbaud, $62.6 million ($60.9 million)

  • DonorPerfect, $35.2 million ($27.7 million)

  • Classy, $15.4 million ($10.3 million).

That's 12% more than the $274 million raised in 2017.

In other words, donors are giving more and more each year to nonprofits during the Giving Season. Take the opportunity to connect with them during this time starting on Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday.

Giving Season and Donor Outreach

People expect to get calls for donations during the holiday season. But because you are an organization full of caring individuals, what can you be giving your audiences? This is the perfect time of year to give them new stories, photos, videos, and other content. It also won't hurt to share content they may have missed during the year. Of course you can ask for donations, but we have seen great results from GIVING your supporters more news about all that you do followed by a call-to-action.

Here's your simple plan to make the most of Giving Tuesday and the year ahead.


Prep your campaign. If you haven't done this yet, DO NOT PANIC. Even short e-mail thanking your donors for supporting you throughout the year is a nice touch. You can write blog posts, social posts, and e-mail marketing for your supporters to tell them about all you have done with the money you've been given throughout the year while you and your team digest turkey and stuffing the Saturday and Sunday before Giving Tuesday. Take some time as an organization to reflect on the year past and all that you have done. Collect some photos from the year you can use in social posts.

Pro tip: You should set up a a dedicated landing page for end of year giving to better track the effect of your marketing efforts.


December is truly the time for stories. Whether people celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, Eid, or Festivus, the pace of work slows down and more people spend time with family, friends, and at mandatory office potlucks. They talk about the highs and lows of the year and years past. Think of the stories you have from the past year. What can you give your donors that they can show and share with their friends, family, and coworkers? A potpourri of narratives, images, and videos will go a long way to making sure there is something for every donor to share whether by word of mouth or social media.

Pro tip: The clock is ticking down to midnight on December 31st. If you have an end of year donation figure you want to achieve, motivate your supporters by telling them how close you are to meeting that goal and by highlighting the number of days before the clock strikes midnight! Social posts are especially good for big milestone announcements on the way to your goal.


January can be as cold and jarring as December is warm and caring. Give your donors some love this month. Thank everyone who donated to your nonprofit (and everyone who didn't). Now that you've had an end of year windfall, you'll want to tell your audiences what you plan to do with all the donations you received in the year ahead. If you have a schedule of events to share, it's a great time to send out "save the dates" to your audiences.

Pro tip: If December is the warm month of stories, January is the cold month of analysis. Analyze which content had the most engagement by your audiences. Is any content you shared surprisingly popular? Did any content you shared witness a drop in subscribers? Now is the time of year to review and revise your SMART Goals.

New Year, New Goals

January is a natural time to take a look at the goals for your nonprofit. Review and Revise Your SMART Goals and nest them within your ongoing nonprofit marketing plan. You can't execute on a plan without precise goals.

Here is a categorized list of metrics that your nonprofit should be tracking:

Donor Totals

Total Number of Donors

Total Number of New Donors

Total Number of Returning Donors

Total Number of Lapsed Donors

Donor Retention Rate (returning donors/(returning+lapsed donors))

Sources of Donations

Number of Channels per Campaign

Traffic by Channel per Campaign

Conversion by Channel per Campaign

Number of Campaign Impressions/Visits/Opens/etc.


Total Number of Donations Received

Total Cost of Campaign(s)

Total Amount Raised from Campaign(s)

Average Donation Amount

Donation Amount by Channel

New Donor Acquisition Cost (CTA)

Returning Donor Cost to Retain (CTR)

Reflect and Remember the Nonprofit Marketing Cycle

As this year is winding down, take notes about your campaign(s) this year and what you can improve for next year. What worked and what did you like about what you did?

If you don't already, consider keeping a journal. A leather bound journal makes an easy gift for your loved ones and the act of reflecting on what you are doing will help you far beyond your current efforts.

What are We Giving You?

If you have read this far, you're probably wondering what are we giving away? We will perform a FREE SEO Audit and a FREE Competitive Analysis for your nonprofit. We want to see you succeed in your goals! No catch. No ongoing commitment. No hassle. Reach out directly and we'll get started for you.

You can read more on our Blog or check out Our Services page for how we help clients like you tell their stories better, every day