Spring into action now for a smooth year-end campaign!

Take stock and set your planning in motion early for a stress-free lead-up to the most generous time of year!

While it is possible to pull off last-minute year-end campaigns, it’s much better to get started early! That is why we’re talking about the end of the year…in May! 

Let’s take that spring energy and catapult it towards next winter, so when the December rush arrives, there’s no stress, only the execution of a well-oiled plan.


The first step? Reflect upon and analyze last year’s campaign. What went well? What did not go as planned? How did your donors react, engage, and give? A little reflection now, will percolate in the back of your brain and offer creative and relevant ideas as you work on your plan! 

Donor behaviour is changing, so it’s important to go deep into that analysis of how your donors are engaging with you and your cause. You can even add to your existing data by sending out a quick survey to your community for the reasons why they give, and the ways they like to give, whether it’s monetarily or other.

According to the 2024 Giving Report from CanadaHelps, financial constraints are a major factor in declining donation rates among Canadians, so diversifying the ways people can support your cause is key.

Segment your givers

Now that you’ve done the deep dive into who your donors are and their motivations, psyche, and ways of giving, it’s time to clean up your database and prepare your (e)mailing lists. 

There are many ways to segment your donors from giving frequency, to amounts, to other markers of where they are in their journey with your organization. Current or prospective donors want to know that their contributions can lead or are leading to change, so it’s more important than ever to tailor your messaging and asks to each unique group of donors.

In the CanadaHelps report, it was noted that suburban and rural families are giving more than urban donors. Urban dwellers may be harder hit by inflation and other economic changes. That is great information to use. You can divide your donors by postal code and send different information to your downtown people, asking for advice or help in ways that do not include money every time

Since you’re starting your end-of-year campaign so early, there’s time to do this diligent work of cleaning up your database. The effort will be worth it! Promise!

Embrace technology

Thanks to AI, you never need to work from scratch again. Finding a few AI tools that automate routine processes or help you with the first draft of your materials will save time and resources.

The key is to always keep your super-human-powers in play. Only you can make your message truly authentic and your community will notice either way.  

Just as you work to have technology help you speed through some of the more routine tasks of your work, can you do the same for your donors? 

When was the last time you went through the donation process for your organization on your computer and mobile? Now would be a good time to try it and see what could be improved. Are you asking for too much information and losing donors who want to give in one or two steps, max? Maybe you don’t need all that information in the first giving form your donors encounter, or in the forms used during the busy end-of-year period. 

Get set for easy giving

Setting up user-friendly, one-touch giving options now, will pay off come holiday crunch time! 

We know, there are so many platforms available, that it can be overwhelming. But this year is your year! Since you’re starting so early, you can choose one to implement through social media, your home page, or even text-to-donate software!

The data is clear that online giving and especially Giving Tuesday support are strong (CanadaHelps report). Your organization needs to be ready. Plus, monthly giving and gifts of securities are on the rise, all of which require a solid tech foundation. Take the time to set those up, or improve them if you’re already ahead of the game.

Fine-tune your stories

We know we talk a lot about the powers of good storytelling, but we’re not the only ones. We feel validated that the CanadaHelps report echoed one of our storytelling tenets: your donors need context. 

According to the report, donors need clarity around impact and want to feel more certainty about the effectiveness of their contributions. 

This is where segmentation helps. When you want to show real impact, one size does not fit all. How can you show your small to mid-level donors that their contributions make an impact, versus how you show your major donors that their giving addresses the social issues they’ve committed themselves to? What channels will you share those unique messages through to those groups? There’s still time to work out how to help your different donor groups feel part of your community and that they’ve made a difference.  

⛈️ An added learning from the report is to connect your cause to the climate crisis. Eco anxiety is high, but environmental action and giving are low. The environmental woes have broad-reaching effects and probably already impact your sector. Showing how your cause is affected by the climate crisis could motivate donors to give! 

Foster Connections

Donor dynamics are in flux, so hold on to the donors you have, whether they give big or small, donate their time, or amplify your reach by being ambassadors. Perhaps the strategic plan for this end-of-year campaign is to nudge your current donors up a level! 

You now know who your donors are and whether they’re ready to give a little more thanks to your previous analysis. Time to nurture!

One way to nurture? Cultivating community and belonging increases hope and trust, which leads to more generosity. Amidst all the current ails of society that increasingly isolate us from each other, it is compassion that connects by reminding us of our shared experience. Pity separates us, but compassion helps us meet the suffering of others with kindness and empathy. 

Self-compassion and compassion for others boosts mental health and healthier, happier, more socially connected people are more likely to be generous. So find ways to bring your community together, even in person whenever possible, in the lead-up to and during your end-of-year campaign.


Create your Year-End Campaign action plan

Creating an action plan with goals, assigned tasks, and deadlines will help your team work seamlessly from now until the end of the year. Download our free template to get started in setting up your organization for success and your best year-end campaign yet!

Need extra help? Reach out to Phil today and get the support you need!