Make no mistake about it, the holidays are a critical time of year for the nonprofit community.
For many organizations, holiday fundraising performance can be the difference between financial health and further belt-tightening. Even if you’re not walking this fine line, the Holiday season provides a once a year opportunity when donors are exceptionally active. You’d be wise to take full advantage of the opportunity!
This post, and the accompanying infographic (scroll all the way down to see it), are all about why nonprofit fundraisers should take the Holidays very seriously and how they can maximize their results.
The Problem with Your Existing Holiday Fundraising Strategy
Pretty much every organization sends out an end of the year appeal to existing donors. Some send email appeals. Some send direct mail. Some send both. And this is all well and good. Your existing donors will be feeling extra generous during the Holiday season. You need to reach out to them.
The problem with this approach isn’t so much that it’s bad or wrong or ineffective— it’s that it’s incomplete. When your Holiday fundraising strategy begins and ends with a single appeal to existing donors, you aren’t doing enough to make the most of this unique opportunity.
Why is Holiday Fundraising so Important?
Did you know that somewhere in the neighborhood of 33% of all online donations made during the year are made in the month December? 
Or that the last three days of December account for roughly 10% of the donations made online throughout the year? 
These stats begin to tell the story of why holiday fundraising is such an integral component of an effective online fundraising program. People are just more generous during the Holiday season (the average donation made in December is 80% larger than donations made in other months!). Donors are looking for worthy causes to give to during the Holidays. You need to stay top of mind and make the absolute most of the opportunity.
Getting More Out of Your Holiday Fundraising
What should a more comprehensive approach to Holiday Fundraising include? Well there are lots of potential things you could do…special events, social media campaigns, telephone outreach, etc. etc. etc.
Of all the things you could do though, we’re partial to including peer-to-peer fundraising as a central element of your Holiday fundraising. Why’s that? Because it’s highly effective and it takes less time and resources than other methods.
Consider the numbers:
Each active fundraiser (one that raises at least one dollar) brings in an average of $568! That’s wayyyy more than the average online donation (which is around $80-90). What makes peer-to-peer even better is that it’s not just a way to raise money. It’s a way to grow your base of support.
Each active fundraiser brings in an average of seven donors…and over half of those donors will be new to your organization. By leveraging the personal connections of your supporters you are able to make people who have never given to you in the past much more likely to come off the sidelines and make that first donation.
When you add a p2p fundraising component into your broader Holiday fundraising campaign, you’ll be able to leverage all of these benefits at a time when people are exceptionally generous. It’s a recipe for success.
Everything You Need to Start Your Holiday P2P Campaign
The infographic below lays out some important tips on campaign strategy and gives you a good timetable to work off of. Once you’re done checking it out, pop over this help article to get a step by step guide for setting up your own holiday campaign (complete with sample default text!).