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End of Year Fundraising: Truth or Dare

During the busy fall to winter seasons, many fundraisers are in event mode, and end of year fundraising is right around the corner.

End of the year fundraising should not be on auto pilot. You don’t want to attempt these “daring” fundraising strategies. Here are a few common fundraising myths that you want to avoid.


We’re too busy for stewardship.


  • The average donor retention rate is 44%. This means a nonprofit organization loses about 6 out of every 10 donors.

  • Donors want to feel appreciated. That means stewardship.


Donors know to give to us.


  • Donors give because they are asked. If you don’t ask, they assume you don’t need them.


People are too busy shopping and traveling for the holidays, they are not going to donate.


Thirty percent (30%) of all annual giving happens in December.

Ten percent (10%) of all annual giving happens the last three days of December.


Giving Tuesday (the first Tuesday after Thanksgiving) cannibalizes end of year giving.


  • No, it enhances end of year giving.

  • Giving Tuesday is the third most successful fundraising day of the year.


We don’t need to plan; we’ll just send out a few emails.


  • The most successful end of year appeals are the ones that segment the donors and personalize the ask.

  • A plan coordinates emails, social media, peer-to-peer, and U.S. postal efforts.


We just need one ask; we don’t want to bother our donors.


  • An end of year appeal involves a coordinated, integrated effort.

  • A robust solicitation plan includes several asks between mid-November and the end of December.

  • Donors expect to be asked and usually will not give unless they are asked.

  • Donors are busy at the end of year, but they are also generous and want to support a cause that they are passionate about.

Stewardship is critical. Coordinate a plan to include your leadership and board of directors in thanking your end of year donors.

Good luck!


Michelle Crim, CFRE

Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching, grant writing, and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in small to mid-size organizations because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.

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