Holiday Giving Campaign Ideas for Nonprofits

The air is colder, the lattes less pumpkiny and more pepperminty, and neighborhoods sparkle with twinkly lights. You know what that means: It’s time for holiday marketing campaigns! 

This time of year inspires the spirit of giving across all denominations and demographics. It’s no wonder 30% of all annual donations occur in December!

To help position your nonprofit, here’s a quick guide to making the most of this cheery season with a holiday giving campaign, so you can ring in the new year feeling merry and bright.  

What is an End of Year Holiday Campaign?

An end of year holiday campaign is a marketing strategy designed to help raise funds during the last quarter of the season. This is your nonprofit’s last push to meet fundraising goals for the coming year and reach new audiences. 

How to Plan Your End of Year Holiday Campaign

We’ve broken down the essentials of holiday giving campaigns into three stages so it’s as easy as eating peppermint bark:

  • Stage 1: Before Running Your Campaign
  • Stage 2: During Your Campaign
  • Stage 3: After You’re Campaign 

Stage 1: Before Running Your Campaign

To set the stage for stage one, you need to prepare. After all, proper preparation prevents poor performance. This includes:

  1. Setting Your Goals – While life is certainly about the journey, in the case of end of year giving campaigns, keeping the destination in sight is incredibly valuable. Figuring out what your goals are for this campaign can help you decide the best road to take to get there.
  2. Customizing Your Messaging – Just like how the songs on the radio change this time of year, so should your campaign messaging. Think about the following elements to help craft a marketing voice that will stick in your potential donor’s heads like the intro to White Christmas.
  3. Telling A Story – It’s a fact universally acknowledged that no one likes to be sold to—that includes fundraising requests from nonprofits. Your way into the hearts and minds of potential donors is through storytelling.  
  4. Making Donations Easy – Entice donors to offer essential fundraising help to your nonprofit by removing as many obstacles as possible. Make sure you:
  • Make it easy to donate on phones, computers, or in-person
  • Put digital donate buttons everywhere
  • Offer flexible payment methods

Stage 2: During Your Campaign

Your holiday giving campaign is like a Christmas roast—you don’t just prep it and forget it. You’ve got to keep an eye on it, baste it, and check it’s temperature to ensure the end result is worthy of Saint Nicholas himself.

How does that tasty metaphor translate to marketing?

  • Update your followers on your progress. Your donors want to know how close you’re getting to your goals, so keep them in the loop with periodic updates on all platforms.
  • Engage with audience interaction on all channels to ensure maximum reach. An engaged campaign is a successful one, so be sure to respond to as many comments, likes, shares, and follows as possible. 
  • Say thank you! Gratitude is an essential component to the holiday spirit. Show yours with heartfelt thank you notes to the people who help to make your organization’s dreams possible. 

Stage 3: After Your Campaign

The first week of the new year is a time of new beginnings, new endeavors, and of course reflection. After your campaign is through, take a moment to review and ask yourself some key questions:

  • What messaging worked? 
  • What channels were most successful? 
  • What surprised you about your efforts? 
  • What goals were met?
  • What lessons did you learn that you’ll remember for next year?

What are End-of-Year Appeals?

End-of-year appeals are the last marketing pushes your campaign makes to help reach your yearly funding goals. Not only do most people tend to donate more in the holidays, experts have found that the gifts tend to be bigger in the last few days of the year. 

End of the Year Giving Campaign Themes

An end of the year theme can wrap up your holiday giving campaign like a red bow on the biggest present under the tree. Get inspiration from these year end giving campaign themes: 

  • The Spirit of the Season Starts with You
  • Bringing Love into the New Year
  • Changing the Tune After a Tumultuous Year
  • Start 2021 with an Act of Kindness
  • A New Year, A New Path to A Better World
  • Thanks for the Year Gone By, Hope for the Future

Puzzle Pieces Marketing: For Your Nonprofit’s Holiday Giving Campaign

As a marketing agency that specializes in nonprofits, we know how meaningful this time of year can be to your organization. Which is why our team is dedicated to helping you achieve your holiday giving goals through a bespoke marketing approach. We put your nonprofit’s story front-and-center of the audience who has been waiting to meet you.

No need to write a letter to the North Pole for this holiday wish—get started with Puzzle Pieces today!


Mobile Cause. Year-End Giving: Step-by-Step Guide for Nonprofits.

Medium. Nobody likes to be sold to, but everybody likes to buy.

Winsire. 6 Ideas for a Creative, Effective Holiday Giving Campaign.