4 Digital Tips To Boost Year-End Giving

You’ve survived Giving Tuesday – and hopefully come out of it with a nice boost of donation revenue for your nonprofit. But now is not the time to rest. There are three weeks left of prime online giving, the best of the year for many organizations. 

Digital giving has grown every year for the last six years. According to Blackbaud, 2018 was the biggest year yet with 8.5 percent of total fundraising coming online. 

You probably also know that roughly 20 percent of all charitable giving happens in December. Combine these facts, and it means anything that helps your digital donations this month is worth the effort. 

You’ve likely been plotting your strategy for months now, and many of these plans are already are in motion. However, there is still time to make some last-minute digital tweaks that could really pay off with a boost in your donations.

Despite the importance of year-end giving, many organizations can be timid in how they ask for donations during the holiday season. Now is the time to be daring. Here are four digital tips to upgrade your giving season: 

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for more

The average gift size during the holiday giving season is often 50 percent or more than other times of the year. So why are you asking for the same amounts as other times of the year? 

If your data shows that your average online gift increases from $155 to $250 in December, then you should increase the gift amounts in your emails and on your donation forms accordingly.

  1. Don’t be afraid to use popups

Everyone hates a pop-up, but the truth is that they can be very effective for fundraising. A pop-up (or lightbox) on your website can help promote your year-end giving campaign, especially to those who aren’t yet on your email file.  

If people are visiting your site at this time of year, they are likely considering donating to your cause. Make it as easy as possible for potential donors by including a popup on every web page to direct them straight to your donation form.

Note: If your organization provides a service or program to people in need, consider whether it’s appropriate to show a donation pop-up ask on pages designed to deliver your services. A food bank, for example, wouldn’t want to show a lightbox asking for money on pages where people in need are locating the nearest soup kitchen or food pantry.

  1. Don’t be afraid to email frequently

One of the biggest complaints from donors during the holiday giving season is the sheer volume of emails they receive from nonprofits. Yet, email is still one of the largest digital channels in terms of revenue generation.

The key is to do it in a smart way that doesn’t anger your core donors. Use tactics like resends and suppressing recent donors, while you keep an eye on basic stats. 

There are easy ways to email more often without emailing everyone all the time.

  1. Don’t be afraid to show some personality

Finally, find creative ways to say thank you to your donors. Nothing says “you’re just another number” like a boring, formulaic thank-you email after a donation.

Make a video that shows the programs donors are helping. Have volunteers write individual thank-you messages to donors. Post a live video on social media celebrating the efforts of your donors. 

The point is to be personal and engaging. This will go a long way toward donor retention and stewardship.


Jenn Thompson is vice president, digital, at RKD Group, a fundraising and marketing firm for nonprofits. She has more than 16 years of experience helping nonprofit organizations leverage technology to create, enhance, and expand member, donor, and constituent relationships.