It may feel like the dog-days of summer, but this year's fourth quarter is right around the corner and that means end-of-year fundraising efforts are also right around the corner.

Nonprofits rake in hugely disproportionate levels of revenue at the end of the year. Various sources suggest that anywhere between 30% and 60% of most organizations’ annual revenue is generated and booked in the waning days of the year. At the same time, organizations must navigate increased competition for attention and dollars at this time.

The most effective model for year-end fundraising is a concentrated, multichannel, planned campaign that is executed in multiple stages.

The key to a successful end-of-year campaign is linking and coordinating multi-channel communications—mail, email, social, website, ads, etc.—around a unified theme and message that inspires donors and draws them—from various angles—deeper into the life of your organization.

Follow these steps to implement a well-conceived and well-executed end-of-year campaign that will help you cut through the noise, maximize revenue, and connect with your supporters in a meaningful way.

1. September: make a plan

2. October: prepare your materials

3. November & December: launch and sustain your campaign

4. January: measure your results and follow-up appropriately

Finally, remember to start small. You can't do everything, but don't do nothing. Try introducing a new campaign element or doing something differently to improve this year. Be agile enough to adjust in the midst of the campaign. It’s important to have a plan and stick to it, but don’t let slavishness get in the way of valuable creativity and spontaneity. Good luck!


 American Philanthropic provides strategic consulting and fundraising services for nonprofits, including helping nonprofits design, implement, and manage end-of-year fundraising campaigns that leverage their strengths and draw supporters more closely into the life of their organizations. Learn more at