End of Year Planning for Nonprofits

End of year planning, just like for most businesses, is essential for nonprofits.

But why exactly, and what are some tactics to make sure you are doing it correctly? 

Today we are covering two of the main reasons nonprofits should be implementing end of year planning. We will also be covering five important tactics to be as successful during the process as possible.

Why End of Year Planning is so Important

End of year planning is essential for two reasons.

1) Nonprofits get the majority of their donations during the last few months of the calendar year

Many people are in the giving mood during the holidays. Whether that’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, the end of the year is the time of year when people reflect most on the situation of others. This makes them more likely to be receptive to your campaigns and raises the odds that they actually donate.

In addition, any budget that bigger businesses have for donating needs to be spent by the end of the year. If you are planning on running campaigns, now is the time to do it.

2) It sets you up nicely for the next year

Regardless of the results you can get from your campaigns before New Years, it’s important to hit the ground running once the new year starts. Unfortunately, that’s exactly where many nonprofits go wrong.  They get so caught up with “end of year campaigns” that they completely forget to plan for January.

Let this happen to you, and you are starting the new year underprepared. Deliberate end of year planning helps you avoid this. 

7 Tactics to Succeed at End of Year Planning

Because end of year planning is important for two main reasons, we’ll go over tactics that apply to both.

Getting More Donations

1) Run themed campaigns

It’s likely you have already run themed campaigns at some point during the year. Still, now is your chance to really step up your game.

As you can imagine, campaigns that draw on the holiday spirit naturally appeal to peoples’ charity. This is much more likely to get people in the mood for giving tan a boring “give now” campaign.

You are only limited by your imagination here. Check out some of the best themed campaigns here.

2) Contact past donors

People that have already donated in the past are your most likely audience to donate again. That’s because it’s naturally more difficult to convince somebody to do something they’ve never done before.

This could include anything from personalized thank you cards to segmented email outreach. Whatever you do, make sure they know how much you appreciate their past efforts.

3) Advertise tax savings

Let’s be honest: many donations can be written off when it comes time for people to file their taxes. This is a huge advantage for any nonprofit: not only are people donating their money to a good cause, but paying less taxes because of it. A true win-win.

Don’t forget to make people aware of this. Put it on your website and any donation landing page your donors might see. You might also offer free tax help to reassure them that will be able to take advantage of this perk.

Setting Yourself up for the Next year

4) Take a look at the past year

End of year planning is ideally not just a one off activity. Instead, it should be happening every year as part of a continuous reflection on your business’s progress. It’s time to not only look at what you’ve done, but think about how the following year might be different.

Based off of your last year, for example, you should have a good idea of what realistic goals are. Maybe you want to get more monthly page views on your site. Maybe it’s more followers on your social media platforms.

Regardless, this step deserves the entire team’s attention.

5) Map out the tactics you will pursue.

It’s important to note here exactly what the difference is between a goal and a tactic. While your goal is the main thing you are trying to achieve, a tactic is the specific strategy you will put in place in pursuing that goal.

So which tactics are you going to use?

One good example is strategic keyword research. Regardless of your business type, content likely plays an important part in your marketing. And if it doesn’t? Well….it probably should! Content is how you bring more traffic to your site, gain popularity, and educate potential customers and clients.

As for the importance of keyword research? It’s the only way that you can ensure the content you are creating is actually of relevance and interest to your audience. Keyword research ahead of time allows you to plan your content for the entire year.

6) Celebrate your wins

The icing on the cake: acknowledging how far you’ve come in the last year. While it’s important to finish out the year strong and start planning for the next, it’s just as important to see what your organization has achieved.

So spread the word. Remind your teams with the relevant stats of what they’ve achieved, and congratulate them on doing so.

And if you’re looking to turn your success stories into marketing material? Turn your campaigns throughout the year into case studies. This showcases your success in a creative way, and also puts the spotlight on the donors that made it possible.

This has the added benefit of convincing them to potentially donate again!

Are you a nonprofit or small business looking for help on your website? Give us a shout! We provide a free consultation. Email us at info@lughstudio.com or call us at (718) 855-1919!

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