Gift Doubling During The Holiday Season

Maximizing end-of-year revenue relies on creating high donor-retention rates and creating a sense of urgency at the end of the year.

During a session on making donors feel like heroes at Fundraising Day in New York, Farra Trompeter, vice president of agency Big Duck, and Will Nolan, senior vice president of Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, addressed the importance of retaining donors by making them feel important and thus increasing end of year giving.

The average gift to organizations on December 31 is $223, doubling the $110 average gift the rest of the year. Building dramatic tension through a timeline of roughly six weeks, from Thanksgiving to December 31, compels donors to give. By increasing the frequency of posting as the deadline draws nearer, a sense of urgency is created. Seeing this dramatic appeal, donors understand the importance of the mission and understand their roll in the process.

For example, beginning an email campaign in late November with an introduction, seven appeals throughout December including three emails on the last week of the year, and a report-back and thank you after the end of the year, creates a flow of communication and urgency in the last week of the year.

This sense of urgency, in combination with reporting results back in all channels, celebrates not only the achievements of the organization, but also the donors’ impact. Donors can also be celebrated through hand-written notes and personal phone calls from staff or volunteers.