December 15, 2020

End-of-Year Giving: What You Need to Know

The end of a banner year calls for banner end-of-year giving.

To achieve year-end goals, in 2021 maybe more than ever, intentional efforts need to be taken by both organizations and donors. Here are some across-the-board facts, figures and suggestions to maximize end-of-year giving in the upcoming months.

Financial Facts & Figures

If you consider yourself a procrastinator, know that you are not alone. In fact, around 31% of annual nonprofit giving occurs in December, with 12% of that occurring in the last three days of the month. This can be frustrating to development teams, who typically begin organizing campaigns in October (and some even in September).

The impact of end-of-year giving varies widely between organizations. Reports suggest that 28% of nonprofits raise between 26-50% of their annual funds during the last months of the year. On the other end of the spectrum, 35% report that less than 10% of their annual funds during the same period.

How to Attract Year-End Donors

According to Neonone, around 60% of nonprofits make one to three donor touches as part of their year-end giving campaigns. Timing is key: even though most donations are made in December, capitalizing on earlier milestones such as Giving Tuesday is key in meeting fundraising goals.

While casting a wide net might be appealing, research shows that an organization’s best people are much closer to home. Volunteers are twice as likely to donate to the organizations at which they already give their time.

Looking at statistics such as age might also help in securing capital. Percentage wise, Millennials and the Greatest Generation give to charity more than Baby Boomers or Gen Xers, and the Greatest Generation alone (11.8% of the population) accounts for 26% of national giving. Since members of the Greatest Generation are more likely to give to campaigns over the phone or via direct mail, development teams should strategize in order to meet donors where they are.

Be an Informed and Recurring Giver

Thinking of giving to charity during the year-end, but not sure how to research the organization that best aligns with you? Start by doing research, and you’ll be more informed than two-thirds of donors, many of whom donate simply recommendations from friends and family.

If you’ve already committed to a particular organization, maximize your support by mobilizing coworkers or speaking to HR to about workplace giving. Established programs such as the Combined Federal Campaign allow for employees to make recurring donations to their choice charity, which benefits both the donor and the organization. Recurring donations add up to more money over the year (around 42% more) and provide financial dependability to the nonprofits that need it most.   

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This article originally appeared in December 2020.