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The holiday season is in full swing and while for some this means a bit of a professional slow-down amidst time off and celebrations, for fundraisers this may be the busiest time of the year.

Both fundraisers and donors alike are familiar with the end-of-year push that nearly every nonprofit undertakes. Beginning with Giving Tuesday in November and all of the way through year’s end, nonprofits are doing some of their most important work — putting forth that final effort to meet their fundraising goals and take advantage of what many call the Season of Giving.


Why is end-of-year giving so important?

According to, around 35 million adults donated to a nonprofit organization in the United States in 2021. Of those donations, around 30% took place in December.

Relatedly, a study done by Bloomberg and Pursuant found that “roughly half of all not-for-profits receive most annual gifts from October through December… [while] 50% of donations to not-for-profits are given in December.” Lastly, around 10% of all annual giving happens in the last three days of the year.

So, it’s clear that these last few months of the year — and a few specific days within that time period, in particular — are essential for fundraisers to focus and capitalize on. And although it may already be December, it’s not too late for you and your organization to make one final push.


How do I develop an end-of-year giving plan?

Like most fundraising efforts, spending the time to develop a well-thought-out plan before you begin your campaign should give you the best chance at success. At this point in the year, though, you have limited time, so here are a few quick and easy tips to get in on the final surge of donations coming in these last few weeks of the year.

First, if you created and executed an EOY giving plan last year, take a bit of time to review that. Consider what worked, what didn’t, and what you might like to add this time. If you collected good data last year, that will make this process even easier (and if you didn’t, consider prioritizing that this time around).

Next, look at the current state of your nonprofit — specifically, where you stand in terms of meeting this year’s fundraising goals. Perhaps you’ve already achieved them, and if so… way to go! For many though, there is probably a gap. Look at the size of that gap and allow that to inform what you’ll undertake for this campaign. Do you just need to make a small push to fill in those last final gaps, or will this be more involved? Either way, your specific needs at this point in the year should certainly inform your plan.

Now, with a good idea of both what has and hasn’t worked historically and a realistic understanding of what’s needed, identify your target donors. Who is best suited, at this point in the year, to help you hit your target? You may simply need to pull together something like a small email campaign for all of your donors, but maybe you need to focus more energy on a smaller people group with a higher giving capacity. Either way, what’s important is that you identify who is best suited to help your organization now.

Once you know who you are targeting, decide exactly how to approach them. Again, this could be an email or mailer campaign, or perhaps it’s something more like personal phone calls or even face-to-face meetings with specific donors. Regardless of what you decide, just make sure it’s realistic for your organization, well matched for the specific targeted donors, and that you and your team are ready to execute.


Benefiting from your efforts

It may feel like a whirlwind pulling off such an involved and important fundraising push in such a small amount of time, but history and data have both proven that it is well worth your time. Ideally, your efforts will pay off as you’re able to capitalize on the end-of-year generosity of so many of your donors.

And as you execute this year’s plan, go ahead and start thinking ahead to next year. Keep good records of what you do and how it goes, and consider trying something new as you look to the future. Atticus’s capabilities make us a great partner as you think through increasing your fundraising capabilities — and not just at the end of the year! We would love to help you identify more donors who are an excellent fit for your organization — people who align with your mission, vision, and values — and who are eager to both give and get involved. This way, when the end-of-year push hits, you will have already met your fundraising goals!

Our technology allows us to do this in a data-driven and unique way, and we’re confident that we can help take your fundraising goals to the next level. So, from the team at Atticus, we wish you happy holidays and the best of luck as you undertake that final fundraising push, and we look forward to the opportunity to partner with you in the new year.