The Ultimate Giving Season Guide for Your Nonprofit

The holidays are a time for giving back, and for nonprofits, this means stepping up and showing people what causes they can give back to. The end of the year is a major time for organizations to appeal to existing donors and to bring in new ones. Take a look at this giving season guide so you’re well-prepared to go into the holidays with the right marketing strategies and fundraising methods to bring your nonprofit the most success.

Ways to leverage the giving season

1. Send out your nonprofit’s donation appeal early

Although November and December are the most profitable months for charitable giving, 53.8% of nonprofits begin planning their year-end appeals in October, according to Nonprofit Hub. Don’t hesitate when it comes to getting your nonprofit’s name out there. A fundraising appeal letter is your nonprofit’s opportunity to grab your community’s attention, and to convince them that your cause is worthy of their attention and contributions. 
Having a well-crafted appeal letter to ensure your nonprofit receives the funds it needs is crucial for the giving season. Getting started on your nonprofit’s appeal early will ensure your organization is prepared and ready to take the giving season by storm. Make sure your nonprofit creates a sense of urgency with the appeal and personalize it based on the organization’s needs. Be creative in your approach by sending out appeal letters via direct mail or email, and share success stories with your donors to inspire them to take action. Make it personal, welcoming, and ensure your organization’s needs are clearly laid out and easy to understand. 

2. Create a marketing strategy focused on storytelling 

Your marketing strategy will determine how successful your nonprofit is this giving season. With this in mind, it’s crucial to include a variety of different fundraising methods in your approach to gain the most success. In your appeal and whichever marketing method you choose, consider the following:

  • Include captivating storytelling methods that evoke emotion and a call to action for the community to support your cause.
  • Host an event, like an auction, sports event, or a party that involves your supporters and helps them feel like a part of the community during the giving season. By doing this, you’re incorporating them into your nonprofit’s story and making them a part of the cause. 
  • Share videos, individual’s stories, and intriguing landing pages that motivate your supporters to give to your cause.

3. Start an online fundraising campaign

An online fundraiser is the most convenient way for your nonprofit to get the word out this giving season. If your marketing strategy involves advertising on billboards, radio, or even television, you can include a link to your online fundraiser and make it easy and convenient for people to visit your fundraiser and donate to your cause.
Peer-to-peer fundraising is the method that empowers individuals to start their own online fundraising pages on behalf of a cause. It’s another great way to use the power of crowdfunding and online fundraisers to your advantage. Let your community spread the message with their own personal networks and watch how your own donor base and support for your cause grow because of it. 

4. Prep your strategy three months in advance

Giving Tuesday, the global movement for charitable giving that takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, has brought in over $1 billion online in the US alone since 2012. Before that day approaches, it’s crucial for your nonprofit to have its appeal and marketing strategy ready to go in order to stand out from other charities.


  • Start creating your online fundraiser and personalize your organization’s landing page for Giving Tuesday, specifically. Don’t forget to incorporate unique storytelling methods! 
  • Host events to begin creating a donor base and attracting attention to your cause.
  • Enlist the help of volunteers to help with specific tasks leading up to Giving Tuesday.


  • Remember, November and December are the months that a majority of nonprofits receive most of their annual funding—launch your campaign before Giving Tuesday and get the word out via social media platforms, email, volunteer events, launch parties, and so much more.  
  • On Giving Tuesday, engage with your network and supporters as much as possible to bring in the most support by hosting a launch party, and by sharing storytelling methods across multiple social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


  • Thank your donors for their contributions and make it as personalized as possible. Let your donors know that their support matters and makes a difference to your cause. 
  • Reach out to them via phone or email, or thank them in person if you can. Doing so will leave a lasting impression of your organization in their minds.

Spread the word using social media

Spreading the word about your nonprofit’s cause is another vital step your organization needs to take in the days leading up to Giving Tuesday. Here are some things you can do to make sure you spread your nonprofit’s message as far as possible:

1. Use a hashtag

Use the hashtag #GivingTuesday and share it along with your online fundraiser on social media platforms. Encourage those using peer-to-peer fundraising to do the same. 

2. Share your fundraiser

Share the link to the fundraiser and include the hashtag along with a fun fact, personalized story, or another compelling call to action and post on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

3. Encourage social fundraising

Challenge your supporters to start fundraisers of their own on your nonprofit’s behalf and share them across their own social networking platforms. 

Keep the momentum going 

Just because Giving Tuesday is only a single day doesn’t mean your organization’s need for support stops. In order to ensure you keep the momentum going and the donations rolling in, remember to thank your donors. Keep updating them on any progress your nonprofit has made from the support it has received, and keep the communication channels open even after Giving Tuesday.
The day after Giving Tuesday, send out an email to those supporters who didn’t donate. Many people probably had every intention of donating but may have simply forgotten. Let them know that this is their second chance to make a difference, and that their support still matters.

Don’t wait—get started today 

GoFundMe Charity has all of the tools and features you need to make this giving season a profitable one. With features like advanced data reporting, peer-to-peer fundraising, registration and ticketing tools for your events, and the option to create a customizable campaign, your nonprofit can make the most out of its marketing strategy with our platform’s convenient and high-quality integrations designed to ensure your organization’s needs are met. Don’t wait make this a giving season to remember and get your nonprofit set up with features it needs for success by signing up today.

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