How Nonprofits Are Effectively Leveraging Hallmark Holidays to Drive Donations

Leveraging Hallmark Holidays to Drive Donations

Historically, Americans are the most generous during the holiday season—with some non-profit organizations receiving more than 80% of their annual donations during the holidays. But the potential for generosity isn’t limited to just December.

So how do you as a non-profit effectively leverage other “Hallmark” holidays, such as Valentine’s Day to drive donations?

First, tap into the emotion of the holiday in your campaign messaging. Channel patriotism on Independence Day, or encourage a generous spirit of giving during Thanksgiving. Get creative with it! Lean on the emotional appeal of your cause or mission. For example: “This Valentine’s Day, give your sweetheart the gift of making the world a better place and donate to a child in need.”

RMHC Father's Day Mugs
2014 Ronald McDonald House of Memphis Father’s Day coffee mug

Follow up your emotional appeal with a gift or reward for donating as a bonus incentive. Here are some ideas:

  • Instead of that holiday gift, offer donors the option to donate on their loved one’s behalf; and offer an eCard, candygram, or other small item to fill the gift’s place under the tree.
  • Deliver a toy or small box of chocolate to Valentine’s Day donors, or to a donor’s chosen recipient.

Now, create a unique Online Payments page to showcase your holiday drive, accept online donations, and collect contact information for delivering reward gift(s).

If you already use the same donation page year-round, update the look and feel of your page to reflect the holiday. Offer reward levels for larger donations. Does a $15 donation get a Spooky-Gram on Halloween, while a $100 one gets a homemade candy apple? Customize your page with pictures of your cheerful gift options!

Meals on Wheels Valentine-a-gram
Meals on Wheels Valentine-a-gram

Next, advertise your campaign on social media. Start a countdown to the holiday to remind donors who haven’t found a gift for that special loved one that they still have a chance. Wrap your countdown around an email campaign. Last-minute, end-of-the-year donors make up a huge percentage of annual charitable contributions—capitalize on the rush for generosity and tax deductions by letting donors know you’re still there, and provide easy action steps for making a last-minute donation.

Fairbanks Food Bank Virtual Food Drive
Fairbanks Food Bank Virtual Food Drive

And last, but certainly not least, get the local news to cover your donation drive. In your press package, showcase the unique gift donors will receive; or send in a sample so radio or TV hosts can sample your candy gram or show your stuffed bear while on the airwaves.





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