Part 1 of 2: Why Year End Giving is a Smart Strategy for P2P Fundraisers
Last weekend Houston experienced our first “cold front” of the fall. I use parathesis here because “cold” for SE Texas in early September means the high temperatures were only in the lower 90’s, which I’ll admit is not really cold. While it’s still hot here, the cooling weather is a nice reminder that fall is hear and the holidays are quickly approaching. For nonprofit orgs and higher ed institutions, cooling temps of early fall are also a reminder that year end giving is about to kick into high gear.
As an event fundraiser, I mistakenly viewed year end giving as an isolated campaign ran by our traditional giving development staff that didn’t really have anything to do with my events. Since I was leading fall event campaigns, the holidays in November & December were a nice down time immediately following the busy event season devoted to planning and a couple weeks of well-deserved vacation time. This was a huge missed opportunity for my events, like rejecting a stack of cash that was handed to me with pretty red bow. My siloed thinking blinded me to the fundraising opportunity that could have bolstered my event fundraising during the last 6 weeks of the calendar year.
End-of-year giving is critical for fundraising events for two primary reasons:
- There is a significant number of donors who are motivated by the tax-deductible nature of gift to a nonprofit organization and want to contribute before the close of the calendar year.
- Peer-to-peer or event fundraising provides a unique way for donors to give tax-deductible gift to a charity while also supporting a friend or family member. It’s twice the bang for same dollar!
To further drive home the point that there is a tremendous amount of charitable giving that is taking place during this small window of time from Thanksgiving to New Years Day, I’ve pulled together a couple stats:
- On average nonprofit organization received 41% of their annual contribution in the last few weeks of the year according to Charity Navigator’s Holiday Giving Guide.
- The average person makes 24% of their annual donations between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, according to research from the Center on Philanthropy.
Bottom line… lots of people are donating lots of money during the last six weeks of the year. As an event fundraiser, you want that money to be supporting your event and your organization’s mission. You are providing a unique and interesting opportunity for your donors through the P2P giving model that is different than your traditional giving peers. Additionally, by taking a proactive approach to managing year end giving communications, you can help avoid situations where your event participants and event donors feel thier contributions to your event are underappreciated.
Now that you are sold on why incorporating year end giving into your event’s fundraising strategy is a smart idea, it’s time to come up with a game plan to make your event the attractive option for this pool of donors. Tomorrow, I’ll be highlighting some tips & strategies to take the standard end of year giving model and flip it around to support P2P Fundraising Campaigns in a way that doesn’t compete with your participant’s fundraising efforts and also compliments the efforts of your traditional giving peers.
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