Are you doing everything you should digitally at year-end?

If you’ve been around the non-profit world long, you know that many ministries raise a massive amount of their annual fundraising revenue during December — often more than half of total online revenue. (Example: One ministry we serve raised 10% of their online income for the entire year on December 31 alone.)

Let me make this quick — here’s the minimum you should be doing in terms of digital fundraising online this year-end:

  • Multiple year-end emails after December 26. Segment out those who have already given this December, except for a final email where we recommend sending a version to those who have already given and respectfully remind donors that if they’d like to give again or share with others, there is still time for gifts to get a 2012 tax deduction.
  • Website overlay or splash page when people visit your site. Big campaigns call for going outside the norm — a splash page or overlay at year-end on your website will drive significant revenue. The basic premise is to force the user, at critical times, to make a decision to respond yes or no to a clear fundraising call to action and offer. Example: One client we work with regularly sees fully 1/3 of year-end online revenue from this single channel alone.
  • Homepage and interior page website promotions. Integrate with your offline and online fundraising at year-end with prominent calls to action. These should be clear and up front on your homepage, as well as on interior pages (your homepage isn’t the only entry point to your website).

All of these elements should drive to a simple, easy-to-use donation page with supporting content to help assure the user that they are giving to the need that they clicked on in the first place (i.e., no generic donation forms!).

This is a hectic season. You may be working longer hours than any other time of year, nose to the grindstone to ensure everything goes well. But I would encourage you to ask — “Are we putting our emphasis in the right places at year-end? Are we doing enough?”

If you aren’t doing this minimum, then do whatever you can to make it happen! If you work with Masterworks or another agency, talk to your agency, and soon — time is short! In fact, if you get to your Masterworks team in the next couple days and we can get started by 12/7, we can work with you to make your campaign happen.

I’m happy to answer any questions you might have — you can comment below, my email is or I can be found on Twitter at @daveraley.

Dave Raley
VP, Digital Marketing