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Collaborative fundraising: A guide for nonprofit charities

The holidays aren't just for feasting and family gatherings — they're also a pivotal time for nonprofits to maximize donations and make a meaningful impact.

But how do you leverage the season of giving to boost your organization’s fundraising efforts? Start with this guide.

The significance of year-end fundraising for nonprofits

Year-end fundraising campaigns are a cornerstone for nonprofit charities: In 2022, organizations raised $3.1 billion in the U.S. on GivingTuesday alone.1

By tapping into the holiday spirit of generosity and goodwill, year-end fundraising can provide nonprofits with the financial fuel to expand programs, improve operations, and drive long-term growth.

Set clear fundraising goals

Defining specific goals, whether monetary or related to donor engagement, is essential to any successful fundraising campaign.

They not only allow nonprofits to allocate resources more effectively and measure impact more accurately but also ensure that the campaign serves as a meaningful extension of the organization's core purpose.

When should you start planning for holiday fundraising campaigns?

Timing is everything when it comes to successful fundraising, and year-end campaigns are no exception.

Start planning at least three to six months in advance, ideally in June or July. This provides sufficient time to set clear goals, build a compelling narrative, and secure associations.

Keep in mind that many donors make decisions about their year-end giving well before the holiday season arrives. Being prepared early not only allows you to capture these donations but also lets you fine-tune your campaign strategy.

Craft a compelling fundraising narrative

With many events and promotions vying for people’s attention during the holidays, creating an impactful narrative can help grab attention and increase donations.

Here are some key elements to consider:

  • Start with a clear mission. How will contributions make a real-world difference?
  • Set specific objectives. Outline the specific fundraising goals your campaign aims to achieve.
  • Tailor your story to the holidays. Adapt your narrative to fit the holiday season, leveraging the spirit of giving to engage donors.
  • Explore new ways to drive donations. From QR codes to contributions at checkout, the opportunities are endless.

How digital marketing and SEO help fundraising campaigns

People can’t donate if they don’t know about your fundraising campaign. Leveraging digital marketing and SEO can go a long way in enhancing your campaign's visibility.

Use these tips:

  • Conduct keyword research. Identify relevant keywords and add them to your website, blog posts, and social media posts.
  • Ensure your website is mobile-friendly. Roughly 57% of nonprofit website traffic comes from mobile devices.2
  • Post valuable content. They’ll engage your audience and improve your site's search engine ranking.
  • Explore local SEO. If your nonprofit serves a specific geographic area, optimize your content for local search terms.

Engage supporters and the community

Engaging existing supporters and the community amplifies your message through word-of-mouth and helps increase conversion rates for your nonprofit. You can:

  • Launch social media challenges. Interactive, shareable challenges can enhance your campaign's reach.
  • Host community events. Local events or virtual meet-ups allow you to engage directly with your community.
  • Promote volunteer opportunities. Find new supporters by inviting community members to contribute their time and become part of your organization’s mission.

Communicate and reach out

Transparent communication and savvy outreach can transform casual donors into champions of your cause.

Consider using these channels for promoting your nonprofit fundraiser campaign and reaching a broader audience:

  • Press releases. Leverage them to announce major campaign milestones.
  • Blog posts. Spotlight success stories or testimonials, offering real-world examples of how donations are making an impact this holiday season.
  • Social media. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok let you engage with your community and update them on campaign progress.

Measure fundraising success

How do you know if your fundraising campaign is hitting the mark? Look at your key performance indicators (KPIs).

By measuring campaign success closely, you can make data-driven decisions that make an impact. Some common fundraising metrics include:

  • Donations amount. Gauge how close you are to meeting your fundraising goals.
  • Donor retention rates. Understand the long-term engagement and loyalty of your supporter base.
  • Engagement levels. Track interactions on your digital platforms, such as social media likes, shares, and website visits, to assess how effectively you capture and maintain interest.

Boost end-of-year fundraising campaigns

As you refine your holiday season fundraising strategies, don't overlook the power of digital tools.

Learn more about how to accept donations online and using PayPal for fundraising: nonprofit donation processing.

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