End of Year Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits

End of year fundraising guide for nonprofits

Did you know that nonprofits receive an average of 30% of their yearly donations in December alone and 10% within the last three days of the year?!

One reason why is that many people donate to charities and nonprofit organizations as part of their holiday charitable traditions in December 🕎🎄🎁.

Another is that the end of the year is a cutoff for personal donation goals that have not been met and last chances for tax deductions.

Whether for cultural, religious, tax, or personal reasons, the donations given to nonprofits during this time of year represent a significant portion of their annual fundraising goals. 

Why You Need a Fundraising Plan

Despite the documented increase in donations during this season of giving, it’s still important to focus your fundraising energies to ensure your organization is at the forefront of people’s minds when they’re considering where to donate. 

People are incredibly busy during this time of year. From family get-togethers and office parties to shopping and gift-wrapping, there is little free time for anything else. It’s important to make giving to your organization as easy as possible so it fits into your supporters’ schedules. 

Creating a fundraising plan is key for end-of-year giving. While starting a fundraising plan months ahead is preferable, its never too late to roll up your sleeves and put a plan into action. 


Review past fundraising data

Consider reviewing your donation and fundraising data from last year. Look at what worked and what didn’t, and try to find any successful, actionable initiatives you can recreate. This can be a great starting point as you decide how to handle this year’s goals. 


Consider your financial situation

The next step is to look at your current financial and donation situation. How much money do you need to meet your annual goal? Having a good grasp of where you are compared to where you need to be will help determine the scope of your end-of-year giving strategy. 


Some other quick tips:

  • Decide on your fundraising marketing message and keep it consistent
  • Build a timeline for various steps of your year-end fundraisers
  • Review periodically and adjust your approach if needed
  • Choose a donation management software to collect donations

End-of-Year Giving Fundraising Ideas

Don’t let the importance of this time of year overshadow the fun you can have with fundraising. The additional holidays and traditions mean there are more ways to get donors excited about giving to your nonprofit. 

Host a Raffle

Raffles are one of the most popular fundraising tools, and for good reason. They are versatile and relatively simple to organize, and donors really enjoy the process. Some raffle prize ideas include tickets to sporting events, weekend getaway packages, gift cards, electronics, and designer clothes. There really are no limits on what you include in your fundraiser raffle. Cooking lessons, helicopter rides, or dinner with a local celebrity – get creative and reach out to as many people and businesses as possible to secure unique raffle items. 

do a raffle as part of a holiday fundraiser

Holiday Catalog Fundraiser

Another great versatile option, catalogs make the fundraising process simple for your nonprofit. Plus, most companies take care of the logistics of ordering and delivering the items, so there is little your organization needs to do beyond promoting the fundraiser. You can choose from candy, cookie dough, kitchen goods, snack food, flower seeds and bulbs, candles, jewelry, and many other products. Think about your potential donors and what would appeal to them the most. 


Candy Grams or Bouquet Fundraiser

Depending on your target donors and your budget, candy grams and candy bouquets can be as simple or as fancy as you’d like. Your nonprofit may choose gourmet candies in impressive arrangements or childhood favorites sent with a fun message. Whatever you decide, your donors will be excited to see this perfect gift option for their sweet-toothed family and friends. 

give candy grams as part of a holiday fundraiser

Holiday Wreath Fundraiser

Wreaths are classic décor items, and during this holiday season, festive themes are popular on these decorative staples. A holiday wreath fundraiser gives you multiple options, including: 

  • Simple winter-themed wreaths with pinecones, flocking, and evergreen needles
  • Traditional Christmas wreaths with lights and bows
  • Fun Christmas wreaths with ornaments, reindeer, or Santa 
  • Hanukkah wreaths with blue ribbons, dreidels, and a Star of David


Personalize your holiday fundraiser

The great thing about end-of-year fundraising is that it can be catered or themed to your organization, which makes the process even more meaningful for everyone involved. 

  • Do you work with local artists to provide after-school art enrichment to underserved children? Include some of those artists’ pieces as raffle items. 
  • Does your nonprofit operate a food bank or send edible treats to deployed soldiers? Gourmet candygrams will make an excellent fundraising option. 
  • Is your current focus on pollution cleanup in your local area? You can include decorations made of recycled materials in your holiday décor fundraiser.


If it’s personal and fun, donors are more likely to engage. Tag us if you use one of these ideas as inspo! @crowdedbanking on Instagram