Fundraising at Fiscal Year-End: Why you should do it, and why it works

Fiscal year-end.

We’re blogging this month about fundraising for “Fiscal year-end” – why it works and how to do it for your organization.

We’re focusing on this because fundraising for “fiscal year-end” works great. And we want you to raise more money and do more good. If you’re not doing it, you should be.

It Doesn’t Make Sense…

The first thing to say is that no one believes that fiscal year-end fundraising will work for their organization. No one.

And that’s reasonable! After all, what donor is thinking about when your fiscal year is, and what happens at the end of it?

On the surface, who would think that an appeal about the end of your budgeting cycle would motivate a donor to give? It’s entirely organizational-centric, and apparently not donor-centric at all. But…

…It Just Works

Fundraising for fiscal year-end (FYE) works great for our clients (and lots of other organizations) year after year.

The FYE appeal letter is usually one of the best-performing letters of the year. The emails are usually the second-best performing emails of the year (behind only the December year-end emails).

I’m telling you this because, if your organization’s fiscal year ends June 30th, you have a great fundraising opportunity that – most likely – you’re not taking full advantage of.

This the proverbial low-hanging fruit for you. And we’re going to show you how to grab it.

Why It Works

If we dig a little deeper, we see why FYE fundraising works so well:

  1. There’s a simple, powerful problem the donor can help solve. Every one of us has had the problem of being ‘a little short’ at the end of a month. That means your donor understands and can feel the problem on her own. That right there makes her more likely to respond.
  2. There’s a clear deadline. We know from experience (year-end fundraising, anybody?) that having a clear deadline is magic for motivating donors to take action.

A lot of people will read those two things and think, “Really? That’s it? That’s too simple.”

I know. I think the same thing.

But it works like crazy every year! The power of a deadline and a simple, solvable problem work again and again and again.

We recommend this to every client whose fiscal year ends on June 30th or September 30th.

Our Goal This Month

It’s a simple goal. If your fiscal year ends on June 30th, our goal is for you to fundraise for it and use the tips and tactics we share this month. If you follow our time-tested advice, we know you’ll be surprised by how much money you can raise!

So follow along this month. If you haven’t already, sign up to receive our blog in your inbox. We’ll walk you through how to create a great fiscal year-end campaign – one that you can use every year!


Steven Screen is Co-Founder of The Better Fundraising Company and lead author of its blog. With over 25 years' fundraising experience, he gets energized by helping organizations understand how they can raise more money. He’s a second-generation fundraiser, a past winner of the Direct Mail Package of the Year, and data-driven.

7 comments on “Fundraising at Fiscal Year-End: Why you should do it, and why it works

    1. Hi Nancy – 8/31 can work GREAT! It’s just one of the lesser-used dates so I didn’t mention it. And I have an example for you: we have a client with a fiscal year end of August 31 and we did a fiscal year end appeal for them last year. It was their highest-raising appeal in the last 6 years!

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