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Determining When to Send End-of-Year Fundraising Emails

by Kristen DeMint, Author, The Essential Guide to End-of-Year Fundraising for Nonprofits of All Sizes

People give for many reasons: to be happier by spending money on others, to feel important because they’ve made a difference, and to be part of something good. When people see others giving, they’re more likely to give. In order to get the attention of would-be donors during the holiday season, you need to find ways to help them see — clearly and often — that giving to your organization rewards them with rosy feelings. Like any relationship, though, the donor-nonprofit relationship is an art — one that requires careful and deliberate outreach methods and timing, especially during this hectic time of year.

As you prepare your #GivingTuesday and end-of-year online fundraising approach, use a multi-part email campaign with a clear and compelling call to action. Research indicates that a multi-part campaign consistently averages a 400 percent increase in results as compared to the results of a single message. After the initial ask, filter out those who gave and then send a second ask to the balance of that list. After the second ask, filter out those who gave to either message one or message two and send a third and final ask to those who didn’t. The timing can vary between messages from a matter of days to a week.

After you’ve determined how many emails to send, you have to think about timing. Knowing when to send ask emails is always tricky but is especially so when times are busy and mail abounds. End-of-Year fundraising email blasts, for example, are most effective during these times:

  • Early December: Send an update e-mail early in December reminding supporters why you appreciate them. Note: This is not your appeal, but a cultivation e-mail.
  • Before December 25th: Plan to ask by e-mail at least twice before December 25.
  • The last five days of December: Ask at least two or three times during the last week of the year. This is the best time to send your end-of-year e-mail appeals!
  • December 31st: Make sure to send a final reminder on December 31st. You should always e-mail at least one fundraising ask on New Year’s Eve, which may be more lucrative in a few hours than some entire months elsewhere on the calendar. Organizations often send two appeals on this day.

Want more advice for planning your end-of-year and Giving Tuesday campaigns? Download the free e-book, The Essential Guide to End-of-Year Fundraising. No matter how big or small your nonprofit, this easy-to-read book is packed with tips for creating your year-end online fundraising plan, utilizing many low cost online tactics. Need some help with your online fundraising tools? We can provide that too. Just request a demo

Topics: Fundraising Marketing