Year-End Giving: How to Leverage the Best Time of the Year for Nonprofits

Angie oversees Cazoomi's operations. She enjoys traveling, loves dogs, is a 1% Pledge supporter, and a start-up entrepreneur with investments in several APAC startups. 7 minute read

The winter holidays are approaching, and so is the busiest season for nonprofits. People tend to be more generous at the end of the year:

  • The end of the year is a time for reflection for everyone. Many people reflect on how they could give back, too, not just take.
  • It’s a good time for companies to calculate their budget for next year and figure out how donations fit in.
  • In the Western world, the holidays are a time of giving — people give each other presents, and more and more of them remember to give to the less fortunate or to support causes they truly believe in.

Since 1977, charitable giving has grown every year, except in 1987, 2008, and 2009. Even during the pandemic, the average amount given to charitable organizations continued to grow, reaching $737 in 2020 and $813 in 2021.

Automate recurring donations and make marketing for your nonprofit easier this Year-End Giving season. Try SyncApps for free and integrate your CRM into your marketing automation platform.

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2023 has been…weird. I would estimate that charitable giving has increased even more with two wars rippling worldwide. However, nonprofits have also been busier than ever. It would be an understatement to say that they have their work cut out for them.

This is why Year-End Giving is more important than ever.

What Is Year-End Giving?

Year-End Giving refers to the campaign or campaigns nonprofits organize from October through December to collect donations for their cause. It happens during the so-called “Season of Giving” because this is when people are most generous.

In fact, it is estimated that 17% of the annual giving happens in December. According to another study, as much as 10% of all annual giving happens during the last three days of the year. 

37% of annual giving happens during October, November, and December. There’s something about cold weather that warms our hearts, it seems.

So the importance of the last few months of the year cannot be overstated.

Let’s make the most of them! Keep reading to find out how.

By the way, did you know that Cazoomi has special 25% yearly discounts for nonprofits? We know what you do is important, so we want to support you as much as possible! Start your free trial today and reach out to our support team to activate your discount before the trial expires. 


How to Make This Your Best Year-End Giving Yet

At SyncApps, we help hundreds of nonprofits make the most of this time of the year. After doing this for over a decade, we picked up a few of their tricks.

And now you can learn from them too:

Plan Everything in Advance

Before you communicate about any of your campaigns, get clear on a few things:

  • Your donations target for this Year-End Giving — how much do you still need to meet your yearly goal?
  • What campaigns will you organize: are there any in-person or online events? Will you just be reaching out to donors?
  • Who’s going to work on your campaigns?
  • How will marketing and sales collaborate?
  • Are there any volunteers who need to get to know your systems before the madness begins?

Got everything written down? Cool! Let’s dig in!

Start Broad: Keep Your Contacts in the Loop (and Keep an Eye Out for Who’s Interested)

Now that you have your plan don’t keep it a secret! 

Target all your contacts, previous donors, past volunteers — you need all hands on deck!

Send out one or two email blasts announcing your events and/or campaigns.

Pro tip #1: If you have both individual and corporate donors, send them different campaigns with events or packages that are relevant to them.

Pro tip #2: Monitor who opens the emails and, more importantly, who’s clicking on your links. Do you have any abandoned carts (if you’re sending products for charitable purposes)?

These are your golden tickets.

This is where your Salesforce or NPSP integration to marketing automation platforms (like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or ActiveCampaign) comes into play. Use it to funnel that data from your email marketing platform to Salesforce.


Then, have your volunteers or sales reps reach out to the contacts that showed interest in your Year-End Giving campaign.

Or you can simply add triggers for every link they clicked and re-target them with a new campaign, stressing the importance of each donation, no matter how small.

Don’t forget to add a few stories to each of your campaigns so your potential donors can see their donations’ impact.

Reach out to Inactive Donors

You know who we’re talking about. It can be:

  • People who only donate during the Year-End Giving season.
  • Donors who only donated once.
  • People who stopped donating a couple of months ago — this is the perfect time to reach out to them again.

Use your NPSP integration to segment them according to their donation habits. Ideally, you should have at least three segments corresponding to the types of donors above, perhaps more if you target corporate and individual donors separately.

With the NPSP integration, you only have to assign them a specific tag in Salesforce, and it will be automatically migrated to your email marketing automation platform. You don’t need to do anything manually; just write the killer copy that re-converts them into donors.

Get People to Become Your Cause Ambassadors

The economy is…complicated this year. So many of your usual donors may be unable to help your cause again. 

Similarly, new donors may be harder to find. This doesn’t mean you should delete your Salesforce or Mailchimp contacts because they haven’t donated to your cause.

Entice them to become your brand ambassadors instead. The power of social media is uncanny, and you never know which of your contacts is a micro or macro influencer. 

Make it easy for them to share your campaigns on social media. Also, offer to work along with them if they want to create dedicated content for your cause.

Here’s a heartfelt copy example you can use as a template:

Dear [NAME],

We know the times are tough for everyone, and we understand it’s not always possible to contribute financially to the causes you believe in.

If [YOUR CAUSE] means something to you, you can help us by spreading the word. Every social media share matters — you never know whose heart your message may melt this season.

Use the buttons below to share this campaign with your friends and followers. We believe in the power of communities. Do you?

That’s it! Sometimes, that’s all it takes to turn an inactive contact into an active ambassador.

Let Us Know How We Can Help You Meet Your Year-End Giving Target

Before I sign off, I want to take a moment to reiterate our commitment to helping nonprofits and the important causes they serve. If you can think of any way the SyncApps team can assist, reach out to us.

So far, we’ve received messages from nonprofits about:

  • Creating new features for the Salesforce, NPSP, or NetSuite integrations they use. Many of our new features were built precisely because our users suggested them.
  • Schedule a call with our integration consultants to help you leverage or configure your specific integration. It’s 100% free and available to all our users.
  • Let us know if we can spread the word about your cause through our communication channels.

Got something else in mind? Reach out anytime, and we want to ensure your Year-End Giving goes smoothly!