Can you guess what we’re going to say about year-end giving emails in 2020? If you guessed anything along the lines of “They’ll be a little different this year…”, then you would be correct. But just because this year was a bummer doesn’t mean your nonprofit’s year-end giving emails have to be.

Now is not the time to focus on gifts in your supporter’s personal lives like extra time with family. Instead, hone in on their connection to your cause and how they have been an essential part of keeping your mission going this year. Use your year-end giving emails to show gratitude.

What joyful stories of impact can you share? How have you been able to help clients or constituents through 2020? What plans are you forging ahead on for 2021 thanks to supporter generosity?

Supporters Want to Give at Year-End

Your supporters want to connect and hear good news from you this holiday season, but they don’t want to be reminded about what they (or others) don’t or can’t have this year.

Research shows that people want to donate to the organizations that they believe in and are planning to do so before the end of the year (even if they’ve already given this year). Nonprofit Hub reported that, “Regardless of what they’ve given year to date, the majority of donors are planning to give the same or more than what they’ve traditionally given in December.”

And year-end giving emails are an excellent way to remind folks of those good intentions and for you to give thanks for their generosity.

Year-End Giving Emails in 2020

You’re probably planning to send these three emails anyway… but we thought we’d share a few tips (and templates!) to make your lives a tad bit easier this year-end. With the whole year-end season ahead of us, we thought you’d appreciate it.

With all of your emails and other communications this year-end, let your nonprofit’s personality shine through and bond with supporters over a shared connection to your cause. Use a conversational tone, keep it brief, and weave in actionable language that works toward the goal.

Send your supporters these three emails along with any other campaigns you have up your sleeve this season.

The Happy Holidays Email

Was my neighborhood the only one covered in twinkle lights on November 1st? The holiday spirit is definitely there this year, perhaps even more so. Use this year’s happy holidays email to let them know that they can celebrate by lifting up a cause close to their heart (hint: your cause!).

Offer a simple, but heartfelt season’s greetings this year, avoiding mushy references to family or time spent with loved ones. It’s an opportunity to show gratitude for what you’ve been able to accomplish because of generous supporters like them. To stand out, you might even weave in an impact video or a strong quote.

The Last Chance Email

Did your happy holidays email slip by without a gift? Not to fear, they knew you’d probably remind them again on New Year’s Eve. The standard final-push-to-give email can offer a recap of your year and all you’ve accomplished and begin to look forward to the new year and what it has in store for your organization (and the world). If you have a fundraising goal that you’ve yet to meet, it couldn’t hurt to add some urgency to your deadline.

Don’t forget to take advantage of this opportunity to thank your supporters once more. It’s because of them that you’ve accomplished what you have and been able to plan for a brighter future.

You might also note the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act benefits for US donors as an extra tax-incentive nudge.

And, to help your email stand out on a day that’s flooded with other year-end requests, consider taking a different approach to the format this year. Have you ever tried a plain text email?

The January Thank You Email

And finally – you can send the true thank you email in January to all who supported your organization (with monetary gifts or otherwise) during the year-end campaign. It’s a time to say thank you (thank you, thank you, thank you!) and share your final year-end numbers like the people you’ve served or pounds of donated food.

Along with that data, you might work in a story or testimonial that demonstrates your organization’s impact and leaves lots of warm fuzzies.

Email Templates for Year-End Giving

We know, we know. In 2020 especially, templates speak louder than content tips. Download templates for the three emails we covered above and customize them with your mission, voice and stories this year-end giving season.

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This year is not the year to replicate those same-old year-end emails from three years ago. Use our tips and templates to give your email list some gratitude. Show them how much their support has meant to your organization and its impact on your community in this year of years. 

How are you showing supporters gratitude in your year-end campaign? Are you switching up your holiday emails to say thanks and focus on the road ahead? Let’s discuss strategies and language in the comment section.