My, my, my, look how the time flies. Pretty soon we’ll all be standing in the snow, counting down the seconds until January 1st.

But before the earth completes this year’s trip around the sun, make sure you’re doing what you can to acquire new donors for your year-end fundraising efforts.

While donor retention is vitally important to any nonprofit’s success, your organization has to acquire donors before you can retain them.

Take a look at these top four tips for donor acquisition that you can use before the year ends!

1. Segment your existing donors and prospects.

You should be segmenting your donor communications throughout the year anyway, but it’s particularly important when you’re trying to acquire new donors as the year draws to a close.

When you segment your donors and prospects into different groups based on potential giving capacity and other factors, you can properly customize your year-end appeals and acquire more donors.

What if you decided to send the exact same holiday greeting card to all of your relatives and friends. If you wrote, “Dear Friend/Distant Relative/Coworker,” at the top, the recipients of your cards might not appreciate the generic salutation and impersonal tone.

The same principle goes for your donor and prospect communication. When you send out email or direct mail appeals, make sure that you’ve personalized and customized them according to your segmented lists.

Take a look at Supporting Fundraising’s top tips for donor segmentation.

2. Take a multi-channel approach

Not everyone likes to communicate in the same way. Some people prefer phone calls over email and some like getting pieces of mail to read over with their afternoon tea.

Your job as a nonprofit is to make your year-end donation requests in ways that will appeal to nearly everyone.

While your budget may not allow for an extensive use of every single communication channel available, you can still reach out to potential donors in the ways that you think they might respond best to.

For example, older donors tend to prefer direct mail appeals over email or other digital communication methods. Conversely, younger generations flock to social media and email to get their news and correspondence.

Reach out to prospects in different ways to produce the best result for your year-end fundraising.

3. Take advantage of matching gift programs

Matching gifts are great year-round, but they can also be an excellent tool to help your nonprofit acquire new donors.

Think of it this way: instead of receiving ten presents for your birthday, five-year-old you gets twenty!

Obtaining matching gifts and new donors is like doubling your birthday presents.

Because you won’t necessarily know which of your prospects works for companies that match donations, include general information about matching gifts in all of your year-end communications.

When your prospects are aware that they might be able to double their very first donation to your organization, they will be more likely to make a donation before the year ends. Many companies’ matching gift deadlines occur at the end of the calendar year, so encourage your potential donors to take advantage of these programs before it’s too late.

4. Make use of peer-to-peer fundraising

Peer-to-peer fundraising, also known as crowdfunding, can be used anytime, but it is especially beneficial at the end of the year.

Peer-to-peer fundraising essentially makes use of the existing connections that you have with donors. Your regular supporters reach out to their friends, family members, and colleagues to gather new contributors to your cause.

This method will not only help your existing donors feel more connected to your organization, but you will also acquire new supporters.

Year-end peer-to-peer fundraising is ideal because most individuals are getting together with family and friends over the various holidays. It’s the perfect opportunity for your nonprofit to acquire new donors.

While there are many other ways for your nonprofit to acquire donors throughout the year, these four tips can help your nonprofit end the year with a bang when it comes to donor acquisition.

Jack Karako

Founding Principal and Strategist at
1.888.721.7990 ext. 403

Jack has 30 years’ experience within the charitable and philanthropic industry that he brings to the forefront with IMPACTism. Jack has been a major gifts fundraiser and senior organizational executive working with or consulting to nonprofit and advocacy organizations. A generous community and civic leader who has served on several nonprofit boards, Jack has a unique perspective as a donor, benefactor, and as an industry thought leader. Working closely with senior leadership in strategic planning, Jack has personally raised over $50 million in annual and deferred gifts. Jack has a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree from Florida Atlantic University (Boca Raton, Florida), Master of Arts (M.A.) degree from American University (Washington, D.C), and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree from State University of New York at Geneseo.