6 Ways to Prepare for Giving Season Early (and Why It’s Vital for Nonprofits)

Although giving season is months away, it’s important for nonprofits to begin preparing now so they’re ready for one of the most crucial times of the year. Typically, 30% of all charitable giving occurs in December, with 10% happening on the last three days of the year. Knowing that donors are more generous during this time, fundraisers should ensure their nonprofit is ready to streamline efforts to achieve fundraising goals.

Preparing for giving season doesn’t only involve capitalizing on people’s increased generosity, but it’s also an excellent opportunity for nonprofits to build relationships with current and potential donors to develop a culture of giving to foster year-round support. Preparing now will help ensure fundraisers have ample time to prepare carefully crafted and thought-out campaigns. Getting a head start on planning will enable fundraisers to brainstorm with colleagues to identify plans that will ultimately make the most significant impact on the communities you serve.

Here are six key ways to prepare for giving season early:

  1. An essential part of creating a new plan is understanding what worked well in the past and what could have gone better. Review your initiatives from the last season to understand how effective your efforts were and what could have been improved, added, or skipped. Also, consider the amount of time dedicated to each initiative and if the effort was worth the return. Consider improving plans to make implementation easier for staff members and donors to donate. Did you have a great idea last year that didn’t go live because of a lack of time, resources, or other obstacles? Now is the time to identify and prepare these plans so they are ready once giving season arrives. Fundraisers will be better equipped to create a more effective plan this year when they understand how efforts performed last year.
  2. Review giving platforms your nonprofit has a presence on or has been receiving donations from but hasn’t yet created a profile for. Ensure you can log in, are signed up to receive automatic ACH transfers, and your profile reflects the most accurate and relevant information, including current initiatives, progress toward your mission, etc. A strong presence on giving platforms, such as NPOconnect, is a valuable fundraising tool, especially during giving season, because most donors, regardless of age, prefer to give online. If donors can’t find your nonprofit online, you may have missed a lucrative donation opportunity. Keeping these sites up-to-date will help ensure potential donors can find your nonprofit and make donating to your cause easier.
  3. Create volunteer opportunities throughout the year for individuals and companies with similar values to your nonprofit. As I shared in a recent interview with Associated Press, about three out of five people volunteer with nonprofits they donate to, so creating volunteer opportunities now can help make sure your nonprofit receives more donations during giving season from individuals aligned with your cause. These volunteer events are an opportunity to create meaningful connections with potential donors, showcase the impact of their volunteer efforts, and encourage them to become regular supporters.
  4. Be sure social media platforms are up to date with current contact information, statistics, website, etc. Social media is a powerful tool to connect with current and potential donors. Use these platforms to your advantage to advocate for your mission, showcase how your community has benefited from your initiatives, how much work is left to do, what volunteer opportunities are available, and ways to donate. Regularly posting on these platforms helps keep your nonprofit top of mind and in potential donors’ social media feeds so when giving season comes around, they will recognize your nonprofit, understand the value it offers the community, and be more inclined to donate.
  5. One way to encourage ongoing support is through storytelling and showcasing your direct impact on people. Gathering this information can be time-consuming, so reaching out to individuals to learn more about the impact your nonprofit had on them now will save you time later. Having inspiring stories and testimonials that highlight the transformative work your nonprofit has been doing will give you plenty of time to incorporate them into giving season messaging and resonate with audiences on a personal level.
  6. Preparing your team for success is one of the most important ways to ensure giving season initiatives are effective. Ensuring everyone understands their roles, deadlines, goals, and how your team will work together is an imperative strategy to navigate the season effectively. Additionally, make sure everyone has the tools they need and the support necessary to deploy these strategies. Creating a collaborative approach will help empower your team and encourage them to think outside the box, feel equipped to handle their tasks, and make a more significant impact than they thought possible.


Proactive planning is key to ensuring your nonprofit benefits from the full potential of giving season. By reflecting on past successes, creating an internally collaborative culture, leveraging online platforms, establishing and supporting volunteer relationships, and gathering and crafting compelling narratives, nonprofits can amplify their reach, inspire support, and drive meaningful change long into the new year.


For more information about NPOconnect or to sign up, visit https://nonprofit.yourcause.com/login/create-account.

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