The Nonprofit Super Bowl: Charitable Giving on New Year’s Eve
“While Giving Tuesday is typically the highest day of the year in the number of transactions processed, New Year’s Eve is always the highest dollar-volume fundraising day of the year – or as we’ve nicknamed it – our Super Bowl.”
– Tom Gimpel, DonorPerfect Vice President of Product Development & Delivery
Why is New Year’s Eve the best day for fundraising?
End-of-year giving is important for two reasons:
New Year’s Eve is the annual deadline for charitable giving. December 31st is the last day for individuals to make tax-deductible charitable donations each year.
Approximately 30% of all annual giving happens in December, with about 10% of all annual donations coming in the last three days of the year, according to Kiplinger.
More impactful than Giving Tuesday
While Giving Tuesday typically brings in a large number of small donations, donors who participate in year-end giving on New Year’s Eve tend to give in higher amounts. To show an example, we measured the transaction volume for donations processed via our integrated online forms on New Year’s Eve 2021. Our transactions processed were up slightly (0.92%) from last year. However, dollars donated was another story – with transaction dollars processed up 10% over last year.
It’s OK to focus on online giving
Larger gifts are becoming more common through online giving. This New Year’s Eve, we saw a 27% increase over last year in donations of $5,000 or more processed through our integrated online donation forms. Typically, the last week of the year sees increasing daily volume leading up to the big day.
With time and funds often limited in the nonprofit sector, it is ideal for fundraisers to focus on donor communications that will result in major donations. Focusing on online fundraising allows you to put all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak, while still diversifying your donor communications across different online platforms to reach as many supporters as possible.
By the hour: New Year’s Eve 2021
What’s fascinating is how the volume of donations on New Year’s Eve curves by hour so similarly year-over-year. Shown below are the giving patterns of transactions – graphed by the hour – for both New Year’s Eve and Giving Tuesday. As you can see, volume followed roughly the same curve by hour as last year, with lower volume in the morning and higher in the afternoon hours.
During peak hours (9 a.m. – 5 p.m.) we processed a total of 30,874 transactions on New Year’s Eve 2021 – an average of 64 per minute or a little more than 1 per second. The peak hour for transactions was 3-4 p.m. (3,814 transactions processed), and the peak hour for dollar volume was 2-3 p.m. ($1.52M recorded). That’s an average of over $25,000 per minute!
Score big in the Nonprofit Super Bowl
How can you create content that’s sure to resonate in the heat of the moment?
Ideas from an industry expert
Nonprofit coach Joan Garry recently shared her recipe for year-end giving success with the Chronicle of Philanthropy. She actually recommends sitting down with children to discuss your mission. Talk to them about why it matters and what’s most important this year, leaning into their “powerful simplicity.” When crafting your appeal, imagine you are writing to those children – this will help to reduce stress and promote authenticity.
More great advice from Garry:
Grab one powerful piece of data that demonstrates why your work matters.
Find a quote that affirms the value of your work from someone who has benefited.
Create posts for board members and volunteers to share in their networks.
Have staff members call those people who will be asked to give more.
According to a recent Salesforce study, 30% of nonprofit marketers have begun using technology and data to create donor profiles in 2021, with 90% reporting it to be impactful. In defining the personas that make up your donor community, you can better speak to what motivates your supporters to give and who they are as people.