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Use a Year-End Online Appeal to Snag Last-Minute Donor Gifts

A year-end online appeal is cheap and simple to send.

With December 31 as biggest electronic giving day of the year (according to some gurus), a year-end online appeal at the eleventh hour makes sense.

Leverage the year-end online rush when you create an email campaign (or short series) to send between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

All you need is:

  • an online presence (your web site)
  • online giving capability (“Donate” button on your website)
  • a few moments to create a “Year End reminder” campaign

Use These Tips to Write a Winning Year End Online Appeal

6 tips for writing a winning online appeal with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter
  1. Emphasize tax benefits. Hammer home that readers must click “donate” on or before midnight on December 31 to claim their gift as a charitable deduction on their current year tax return. Include this benefit in at least two of the following: your subject line, in the first paragraph, in the body of the email, or in the P.S.
  2. Update your website. Match your offline year-end appeal branding as your online campaign’s look and feel. Convert your home page to a splash page during the last week of the year. You’ll reduce creative expenses. And you’ll reinforce your message to donors who haven’t yet given. Plus, as readers find your site for the first time during the holiday season, they will see your campaign front and center.
  3. Test subject lines. Send the same message content more than once (or to different list segments), but change the email subject lines to lift open and response rates.
  4. Make it easy. Link your Ask directly to your website’s “Donate” page.
  5. Provide financial updates. As December 31 draws closer, tell readers how close you are to your year-end goal. "We have already received 68% of our year-end goal to fund our general operating budget. Can you please help us close the gap? We're almost there!"
  6. Create an auto responder. Say “thank you.” Confirm the gift with an electronic receipt donors can use for tax purposes. And say “thank you” once again.


Get more writing tips on our Fundraising Writing Pinterest board.

Writing Tips for Year End

Your year-end fundraising appeal checklist ...

Simple year-end appeal timeline to help you get it all done ...

How to identify a matching gift donor for year-end ...

Call to action: have you told your reader what to do?


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