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End-of-Year Fundraising Tips

Over the years, we at Salsa have processed hundreds of millions of dollars in online donations, and we've definitely seen groups of every size raise big money with Salsa.

One pattern we can count on, year in and year out, is a surge of fundraising in December. In fact, for most permanent organizations -- and particularly for those who solicit tax-deductible gifts -- the year's online fundraising is a pie with six slices:

  • The first slice comprises the first fiscal quarter, January to March
  • The second slice comprises the second fiscal quarter, April to June
  • The third slice comprises the third fiscal quarter, July to September
  • The fourth slice comprises the first two months of the last fiscal quarter, October and November.
  • The fifth slice comprises December 1 through approximately Christmas
  • And the sixth and final slice comprises just a very few crucial days: the last week of the year.

So, with one-third of the year's fundraising yet to be served in the month ahead, how can you make sure that you get yours?

One way to start is by replaying our recent webinar with M+R Strategic Services.

But by far the most important thing to do is ...


Ask, Ask, Ask

Plan to ask by email at least twice (we suggest three or more times) before Dec. 25. And really plan to hit the last week of the year with at least three asks. Ask more than that if you can! December is not the time to be bashful.

  • Ask on Saturday, Dec. 31. You should always email at least one fundraising ask on New Year's Eve, which might be more lucrative in a few hours than some entire months elsewhere on the calendar.
  • Ask at least twice in the Dec. 27 - Dec. 30 span. (Many people will have Monday, Dec. 26 off as their Christmas holiday.)

Keep It Simple

Your email has, at best, a few seconds to prove its relevance to the potential donor.

  • Succinct. (Emails should rarely exceed 500 words.)
  • Direct. Don't bury the ask, or weaken it by mixing in links to non-donation actions.
  • Powerful. Ask the heart, not the head. An image really is worth a thousand ... bucks.
  • Repetitious. Link to the donation page multiple times - early, middle, and late in the text, plus any sidebars or buttons.

Cross Your Channels

Email is still the go-to fundraising tool for most organizations, but ask everywhere else you're online, too.

  • Ask on Facebook.
  • Ask on Twitter ... and repeat that Tweet.
  • Ask on your website. It's not just email subscribers who'll donate! Get a donation pitch front-and-center on your home page and any other typical entry pages.

Not yet on Salsa? Sign up for a free trial here!.

Topics: Fundraising Marketing