Ready or Not, Here It Comes: Year-End Fundraising!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, almost. The holiday season may seem far off, but the last thing you want is to wake up in November without a solid year-end fundraising plan. You need to start planning now, so we’re going to check in each month with a to-do list to make sure you’re on the right track.

Let’s get started! Here’s what you should be prepping in August…


Spring cleaning might apply to your closets, but August is a great time to take stock of your technical infrastructure, too–your CRM, fundraising and email tools, even your website. If you’re planning on changing any of these tools, do it sooner rather than later, because nothing is worse than figuring out how to send emails in the middle of your most important campaign of the year.

Now is also a great time to look at how your CRM is organized. Make sure your data is clean as a whistle, with up-to-date groups of supporters (or tags, depending on which CRM you’re using). Are your email and fundraising tools “talking” with your CRM? If not, make sure that all of your data is flowing seamlessly, so you don’t ask someone on your list for money when they’ve already given in the campaign.


As we talked about on our recent year-end fundraising webinar with Earthjustice, finding a great story to tell is a key component of a successful year-end campaign. Take stock of the work your organization is doing, and find the most compelling way to share your message. Remember that personal stories go a long way in making connections between you and your supporters. Since you still have a few months to go, consider introducing elements of your year-end story now so that your supporters are familiar with it and primed to donate by the time December arrives.

Check the Calendar

With such a big fundraising campaign looming on the calendar, make sure you aren’t asking too much of your supporters between August and December. Check the calendar to see if there are any other fundraising or advocacy campaigns scheduled, and be sure to space them out by a few weeks so your list doesn’t get burned out come December. If you absolutely must do fundraising before December, make sure to schedule some content in between that’s lighter and requires less from your list. Save their time and energy for when it really counts, and that’s on December 31st!

If you can get these three things done this month, you’ll be ahead of the curve, and that’s a great place to be when it comes to fundraising! We’ll be back each month until December with an updated to do list to help you tackle this most important time of the year. Be sure to share your year-end to do list and tips with us at @ChangeOrgs - we’d love to hear what you’re working on!


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