Why is year-end giving important? Consider some of these statistics regarding year-end giving:

  • 31% of annual giving occurs in December*
  • 12% of annual giving occurs in the last 3 days per year
  • 28% of nonprofits raise 26-50% of their annual budget during year-end!
  • 36% of nonprofits raise less than 10% from year-end
  • 1-3 touches for year-end gifts. Year-end gifts only come after donors have been asked for a gift.

From these statistics, we can see a few different patterns and glean some insight into how to go about year-end giving campaigns.

Lesson One: People are driven by urgency and income tax. There’s nothing like a deadline to spur people to action. Although people genuinely want to be generous, the deadline of a tax cut-off date encourages them to give sooner.

Lesson Two: If you don’t ask, you won’t receive. People usually need to be asked one to three times before they give a gift at year-end. Remember, they want to give, but December is one of the busiest times of the year with holiday shopping, party planning, and travelling. Multiple touchpoints remind them that they want to be generous.

Lesson Three: Start early. Forty-six percent of nonprofits’ donation requests occur in November. As people start planning where they want to give their year-end gift, make sure you’ve thrown your name in the hat.

Lesson Four: Have an online giving platform. Online giving grows more and more popular each year. Continue to focus on online growth while still maintaining a regular mail campaign.

How can we practically minster to people at year-end?

Minister to your donors by keeping them informed about giving strategies. Teach your donors about the new tax law—it allows deductions beyond the regular tithe of 10 percent. They can receive a tax deduction for up to 60 percent of their income. Also, remind them that they can give complex assets such as publicly traded stock, real estate, or closely held business interests. Create avenues where they can easily give complex assets.

Most importantly, teach about how God owns everything. He is not in need of gifts, but he wants our hearts. We give out of trust that he provides for us and loves to see us follow his example of generosity.

For more year end giving training resources click here.

About the Author:

Bill High is CEO of The Signatry, a global Christian foundation. He has coauthored Giving It All Away … And Getting It All Back Again: The Way of Living Generously with Hobby Lobby founder David Green. For more information on creative giving solutions, visit




*(source: Digital Giving Index by Network for Good)