Skip to Content

3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Prepare for End-of-Year Giving

By Piper Sullivan July 7, 2021 Elevate is in the process of being retired, and will no longer be sold as of April 3, 2023. See more information in our communication, or find one of our many partners on the AppExchange if you are searching for a digital fundraising solution.

For existing customers, Elevate will be supported through the end of existing contracts.

If you attended our recent webinar, you know we’re starting early this year in preparing for end-of-year fundraising. Coming out of 2020, we’ve learned the power of trying new things. Richard Shadyac, CEO of ALSAC says “We fundamentally believe that innovation needs to be at the core of what we do. We need to be agile and adapt to these times, and it requires an innovative mind.”

Over and over again, we’ve seen success when you prepare well and can quickly respond to what’s happening in the moment. So in the spirit of preparation, we wanted to outline three things you can do right now to get yourself ready for the end-of-year fundraising season.

Man facing a wall with fundraising graphic
Over and over again, we’ve seen that end-of-year fundraising success comes when you prepare in advance and can quickly respond to what’s happening in the moment.

1. Focus on Your Data


Since we’re well ahead of the end-of-year giving season, now is a great time to assess if you’re using the right tools to manage your data. Is all of your donor data in one system? Do you have donor records that are accurate? If you’re not using a CRM to manage your data, now is the time to consider getting your systems in place.

Data Integrity

Every good campaign starts with great data. After a year of acquiring new donors, it’s critical to certify that all of your data is accurate. Doing so will ensure that your end-of-year fundraising campaign will reach the right donor with the right message, which will maximize the likelihood of a donation. Using products like Insights Platform Data Integrity will help you find duplicates, standardize your mailing address, and automatically update any addresses using National Change of Address (NCOA).

Your Data Trends

Begin to segment your data and understand who your audience is. Do you have a majority of one-time donors that you’d like to convert to recurring donors? Maybe there’s an even distribution in your donors and you want to send separate, personalized messages to both your one-time donors and recurring donors. Maybe you’re looking to acquire new donors in a new service area this year. Whatever your goals are for 2021, use your data to get an understanding of your donor segments (the ones that exist and the ones that you want to exist) so that you can form a content strategy that speaks directly to each one of them.

2. Plan Your Message

Their Needs

Now that you have your segments identified, think about the needs of each donor segment and strategize content might help fulfill those needs. For example, recurring donors may want to be acknowledged specifically for their continued contributions. Create content that clearly outlines your mission and the impact of each gift to build trust and acquire new donors.

This year, their needs may also include safety. While reopening post-pandemic is happening in many areas, some donors may prefer to attend events online from their own homes. Having an online option for typically in-person events means that supporters don’t have to be in your immediate area. Start planning your hybrid event now so that you’ll be ready with any video content you may need for the day of.

Your Needs

Are you fundraising for something specific? Do you have new needs coming out of 2020? Now is the time to identify those things so that you can create campaigns to message those needs to your donors.

Key Moments

One key moment that applies to everyone is Giving Tuesday, which is November 30 this year. Take advantage of this day, as it is one of the biggest fundraising opportunities of the year. Within your end-of-year campaign, plan specific content for Giving Tuesday. Often, setting a goal for this particular day is motivating for donors. You can start weeks ahead with an aim toward finishing that goal on November 30. Be mindful of key moments that are local and/or are more specific to your mission, as well.

When it comes to key moments, timing is everything. Remember, if you’re looking to do peer-to-peer campaigns, you’ll want to start messaging that with plenty of time to help your donors get up and running with their own campaigns. Don’t be afraid to remind your donors several times of key moments and provide different options for participation.

Timeline graphic for end-of-year fundraising
As you prepare for end-of-year fundraising, it’s important to focus on your data, make giving easy, and plan your message now.

3. Make Giving Easy

Easy for Your Donors

Have you tested your giving page lately? Go through a donation yourself and see what it’s like to give on your giving pages. Is it clear what program you’re giving to? Are you able to choose a recurring donation option? Does your giving page match the brand and style of your website and other digital assets? Have you incorporated ask ladders? If you’re doing an email campaign for Giving Tuesday with a link to a giving page, does that giving page also have Giving Tuesday content? Check out our Elevate giving pages — they’re very easy to set-up and customize to your brand and campaign.

Easy for Your Staff

In order to ensure all of your fundraising information is accounted for, you’ll want to have a tool that connects your fundraising data to your accounting systems. Aligning your fundraising data with your accounting system helps break down silos between your accounting and development teams. Accounting Subledger prepares your fundraising information for your accounting system and saves fundraising and finance significant budget and time on reconciliation tasks by connecting systems to ensure a single source of truth for revenue and payment data.

As you’re preparing for the end-of-year Giving, remember to focus on your data, plan your message, and make giving easy. If there are any systems that need to be replaced or updated ahead of the giving season, now is the time to do it.

This post is the second installment in a five-part end-of-year fundraising blog series. Read post number one about 5 Ways to Weave Digital into End-of-Year Fundraising.

About the Author

Timeline graphic for end-of-year fundraising
Piper Sullivan
Product Marketing Manager for Fundraising at
Piper Sullivan is a Product Marketing Manager for Fundraising at She is passionate about helping nonprofits embrace technology as a way to connect with supporters in meaningful ways. Prior to, Piper helped The Salvation Army modernize their fundraising philosophy and tools after having gained key marketing insights and a user experience focus at Apple. Her background has been in entertainment, marketing, and tech for over a decade. She resides in Smyrna, Ga with her husband Patrick.
Connect with her on Linkedin:
Listen to her on a podcast:
Watch her speak at Dreamforce: or