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Giveffect is an all-in-one nonprofit software solution that streamlines your online fundraising systems into one platform.

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‘Tis the Season: 4 Tips for Holiday Fundraising in 2021

The last few weeks of the year are widely known for their spirit of giving and increased levels of generosity. That’s why nonprofit organizations and other fundraising groups tend to go into this season with great expectations, tons of enthusiasm, and⁠—hopefully⁠—a well-thought-out fundraising plan.
If that’s you, you surely know that the giving season is quickly approaching. Luckily, you still have time to get prepared with strategic holiday fundraising appeals and other year-end initiatives.
In this guide, we’ll address four of our most impactful practices for holiday fundraising that your team can adopt in the coming weeks. To make the most of the giving season, we suggest that you:
1. Incorporate themed fundraisers.
2. Participate in Giving Tuesday.
3. Promote matching gifts.
4. Express significant donor gratitude.
Ready to dive in with our favorite holiday fundraising tips to make the most of the giving season this year? Let’s get started!

1. Incorporate themed fundraisers.

Themed fundraisers are a holiday favorite for all sorts of nonprofits and donors, and during this time of the year, the possibilities are endless! Take a look at just a few of our most-loved ideas:
– Themed fun runs: Encourage supporters to get up and moving in support of your organization with a holiday-themed run or event-a-thon. Consider a Turkey Trot on or around Thanksgiving, or host Santa’s Sleigh 5K leading up to Christmas to put the fun (and the holiday spirit) in fun run.
– Seasonal product sales: People spend a lot during the holiday season buying gifts for friends and loved ones. Offering a seasonal product sale allows them to do so while also supporting a charitable cause. Sell candles, sweet treats, apparel, wrapping paper, wreaths and decorations, and more!
– Holiday galas: Host a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years-themed gala to leverage the spirit of the holidays and have a good time while doing it. Provide good food, drink, and entertainment, and donors will be more than willing to open up their wallets.
Adding a holiday-related theme to any fundraiser is a great way to distinguish it from the other efforts your supporters may have participated in throughout the year. Donors tend to be more inclined to give around the holidays, and relating your fundraising initiatives back to the next upcoming holiday is a great way to remind them of that boosted spirit of generosity.

2. Participate in Giving Tuesday.

Giving Tuesday is often considered by many to be the official start of the holiday fundraising season, which then extends through the rest of the calendar year. If you’re looking to jump into year-end giving with a headstart, participating in Giving Tuesday is a must.
Here are a few of our favorite tips for successful campaigns:
– Start promoting your Giving Tuesday efforts early.
– Make your appeals stand out with eye-catching imagery and urgent calls to action.
– Encourage supporters to enlist their own friends and family to contribute.
– Leverage the power of social media content and shareability.
To get started, be sure to explore available Giving Tuesday resources and begin building (or elevating) your nonprofit’s fundraising toolkit. Then, smoothly transition your Giving Tuesday campaign into the rest of your holiday strategy for continued support throughout the last few weeks of the year. Remember⁠—it’s a marathon, not a sprint. 

3. Promote matching gifts.

Fundraising studies show that more than 26 million individuals work for companies with matching gift programs. Though, on average, 78% of these people are completely unaware of the initiatives offered by their employers!
These programs typically work like this:
– A donor makes a gift to a nonprofit organization.
– The donor is encouraged to determine whether their employer offers a matching gift program.
– If the employer does match donations and the donor is eligible, they are encouraged to submit a formal request with the company, providing information about the organization and the gift.
– The employer verifies the initial gift that was made to the nonprofit and submits their own matching donation.
In order to drive company matches and overall match revenue, it’s important to take a proactive approach to minimizing typical matching gift obstacles⁠—one of the largest being the widespread knowledge gap concerning these programs. And the holiday season is a fantastic time to begin!
Donors tend to feel particularly generous during the holiday giving season, which helps motivate them to take an additional step for your organization after making their gifts. Plus, highlighting matching gift opportunities is one of the best ways to ensure your appeals stand out from everyone else trying to reel in some holiday support.

4. Express significant donor gratitude.

Donors like to know that their gifts are being appreciated by the organizations they support. This is especially true during the holiday fundraising season driven by an increased sense of charitability and a boosted desire to give back.
Consider these ideas to help show donors what their support means to you and your mission this year:
– Send detailed and personalized thank-you letters following each gift.
– Communicate the tangible mission impact that donors’ contributions make.
– Thank matching gift donors for going above and beyond the typical giving process.
– Enlist nonprofit beneficiaries to tell their stories and thank donors for their help.
As you roll out these fundraising tips and more, be sure your efforts don’t end when the donor clicks “submit” on your donation form. When donors feel adequately thanked for their contributions, they’ll be more likely to continue supporting your efforts into the new year and beyond.
‘Tis the season to leverage the holiday spirit and collect generous gifts from supporters who care about your mission. 
As a nonprofit fundraiser, you likely understand the importance of holiday fundraising. Since this time of year is so quickly approaching, it’s important that you get all of your ducks in a row now! Make sure you stand out from the crowd and engage your donors strategically with themed campaigns, time-based giving days, matching gift opportunities, and more-than-usual gratitude. Good luck, and happy holidays!