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Best Time of the Year to Fundraise

When is the Best Time of the Year to Fundraise? [Video]

By
Mitch Colleran
January 5, 2024
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Due to the popularity of this original post, we've added the content in video format. Enjoy! 

Summary

Fundraising is critical for most organizations - and let's face it, it takes a lot of work to plan and execute a successful campaign. So naturally, you want to get the most out of it by picking the best time of year to fundraise! 

So let's not waste any time, all other things considered, run your campaigns during these 3 months: 

  • December - Holidays and End of Tax Year
  • November - Giving Tuesday and Charitable Season
  • June - End of school term for many, start of summer, and season of optimism

And definitely, if you can, avoid February - people are worn out from the holiday season and are typically realizing they overspent their budgets!

Best Months for Fundraising

Even though we spilled the answers above, let's go through each of these months and discuss what makes them better for fundraising. Hopefully you can integrate these reasons and insights into your campaigns.

Best Month: December

It might not surprise too many people that December is the best time to fundraise.

In general, when you’re fundraising for your nonprofit, the fourth quarter of the year will likely be your best bet when it comes to where to focus your efforts. December is almost always the best month out of the year, particularly the last three days of the year.

People are more inclined to give during this season because: 

  • Religious Holidays: During December, there are a lot of religious holidays that emphasize taking care of others and charity
  • End of Tax Year: The end of the year also concludes the end of the financial year for a lot of tax authorities, which means some individuals might be looking to make charitable donations to reduce their tax burden.

Of course, the obvious drawback is that there's going to be a lot of competition for attention and wallet share during this month. Because a lot of folks will be aiming to capitalize on the popularity of the giving season.

2nd Best Month: November

The second best month for fundraising is November! This might be obvious because it's still within the holiday season, but not yet consumed by the major end of the year holidays (like Christmas, NYE, etc.).

Also in November is GivingTuesday - which increasingly is becoming an entire week of giving back - is also a good day for nonprofit fundraising. After the capitalistic binge of 'Black Friday' and 'Cyber Monday', a new holiday was created to give back to charities and beneficial causes.

On the negative side, there is a noticeable dip in the ability to reach some folks (especially in the US) towards the US Thanksgiving holiday - so be sure to factor that in! 

3rd Best Month: June

By month, June is also a top 3 month for donations

When I read this statistic - I was shocked! I figured that folks would be ready to check out and start summer vacations with their kids, but nope. It turns out that folks in June are ready to donate! 

This could be due to the fact that they're planning their summer holidays and counting their blessings. Or perhaps they're just feeling optimistic and in the giving spirit.

Month to Avoid: February

If you’re looking for months to avoid, February is the one to skip. It’s typically the lowest month across the whole year, so feel free to direct your attention elsewhere during the year’s shortest month! 

What About the Rest of the Year? 

Use the first months of the year to prep your strategies! It’s hard to be successful without planning ahead, so make sure you use the first half of the year to plan out things like remote events, galas, or social media campaigns. 

Fundraising Tips

Now that we've discussed when you should fundraise, I'm going to share 5 more tips to make sure you get the most out of your campaign: 

Optimize for Mobile Devices

The wolds is going mobile! This year, over 40% of donations will be made on mobile devices. So make sure your donation pages are optimized for mobile and have a simple UX.

Create a Shareable Component

Design your campaign so that your donors have something to tell their friends about! The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was the gold standard for this, and you don't have to go that far ... but consider including something that will compel folks to spread the word. Even if it's as simple as sharing their story on a special hashtag.

Be Radically Creative

The best part about campaigns is that they're ephemeral! They start, and then they're over! So this gives you the chance to take risks. When it comes to being creative, be radical! Try something new to stick out, especially if you're competing for attention in December.

Build Trust

Create trust early on with potential donors. Typically, this can come from sharing impact reports or transparency regarding your organization's operations. Every donor wants to know that their dollars are going towards impact - so help them build that trust.

Send Thank You Notes

Once you’ve gotten through your main fundraising season, you’re still not done! Don’t forget to send thank you notes to those who have donated. Everyone likes to be appreciated! Sending out short, but sincere thank you notes to your donors can help boost trust for your next donation round. 

You've heard the old adage that "It's easier to retain a customer than it is to acquire a new one" ... this applies to donors too! Thanking your donors will go along way to making sure they donate again next year.

Conclusion

Want to know more about how to improve your donations? Check out our blog for more ideas, inspiration, and tips to boost your nonprofit fundraising and membership! 

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Mitch Colleran
Founder / CEO

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