Fundraising in the 2024 Election Year – The Year-End Rally

Year-end 2024.

We’ve talked about what to do The Noisy Spring, The Summer Slump, and The Election Storm.

Today we’ll show you how to have a strong year-end AFTER the election dust settles (mid-November – December).

The Year-End Rally

A few days after the election, donors will be ready to refocus their attention and their philanthropic priorities.

There will be a rally.

But you need to be ready to hit the ground running.  The election will have taken almost the entire fall.  And Thanksgiving is late this year, which means there’s a week less of the prime giving season between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. So the Saturday or Sunday after Election Day is GO TIME.

Here’s your “after election” game plan to have a successful year-end campaign:

  1. Launch targeted year-end campaigns that tap into your donors’ desire to make the world a better place with their year-end giving.
  2. Your campaign will work best if you use themes and emotions that are likely to resonate with donors post-election (unity, hope, the importance of your mission) AND make it clear that there’s work to be done and the donor’s help is needed.
  3. For major donors, talk about the transformational impact of their gift. They’ve spent the last few months hearing a lot of negative political discourse – counter that by asking them to make big, positive change in the lives of your beneficiaries or in the communities you work with.
  4. Consider adding a gift catalog to your year-end fundraising campaign. Donors love gift catalogs because they don’t feel like fundraising. If you do international or mission work, a gift catalog is as close to a slam dunk as there is in fundraising. Because they’re somewhat time-intensive to create, use the quieter summer months to create one.

The 2024 election year poses real challenges for nonprofit fundraising.

But with every challenge comes an opportunity. And the nonprofits that have a strong fundraising year will be the ones that are nimble, who adapt their plans to the four phases of the election cycle.

Resist the urge to communicate less with your donors this year. In a year of increased competition for your donors’ attention, you need to keep communicating, keep telling great stories, and keep focusing on the change your donor’s generosity will make.

The fundraisers and organizations that get creative, adapt, and stay committed to their donors (and the cause) during the election year will be in a great spot. Be one of those fundraisers — and you’ll be able to reach your fundraising goals and keep making a real difference in your community.

Click here to download the FREE whitepaper, Fundraising in the 2024 Election Year. You can also watch a video of Jim Shapiro presenting – and answering questions about – this helpful information.

Read this series of blog posts:

Fundraising in the 2024 Election Year – The Election Storm

Election storm.

This is our third post to help with your election-year fundraising.  (Be sure to read about what to do in The Noisy Spring and The Summer Slump.)

Today’s topic is The Election Storm (September through Election Day).

The Election Storm

As the political campaigns reach their peak, and media attention is laser-focused on the election, fundraising for non-political organizations tends to drop.

During this period, you should expect a lull in giving. That September appeal that’s always a winner won’t work quite as well.  Those major donors who always buy a table at your event… a couple of them won’t do it this year.

Here’s how to make the most of this period, and set yourself up for a strong year-end:

  1. Run the campaigns you normally run. Just be aware that they probably won’t raise as much as normal.  And try to avoid any important fundraising communications in the 10 days before the election. 
  2. Continue to communicate with your donors. Share stories of success, and tell your donors the powerful difference their gift has made. Your donors will be inundated with a lot of negative news – be the bright spot in their day!
  3. Maintain an active presence on social media. As we saw during the pandemic, many people are eager to talk, read, and hear about things other than the “News.” Your social media followers will be grateful for the positive things they see in their feed.

Don’t panic if giving looks different from typical years. Work your plan and get everything in place for what’s coming next… The Year-End Rally!

Read this series of blog posts:

Fundraising in the 2024 Election Year – The Summer Slump


Our previous post was about what to do to raise money during the Noisy Spring of a presidential election year

Today let’s talk about how you can make it through The Summer Slump (July – August).

And remember – if you make this year’s fundraising plan based on what’s worked best in previous presidential election years, this COULD be one of your best fundraising years since the pandemic.

The Summer Slump

So… you already know that fundraising tends to slow a bit during the summer months.

But that slowdown will in all likelihood be larger this year because of the intensity of election coverage.

Donors of will see-saw back and forth between being captivated by the news… and tuning it all out.

The most important thing you can do during these summer months is stay in touch with your donors. Resist the temptation to “go dark” and not communicate with them.

Here’s your action plan for mitigating The Summer Slump:

  1. Maintain regular communications with your donors through the summer. Be top of mind for them. Unless your organization has a history of successful fundraising in July, we recommend sharing good news (success stories!) with your donors during this month – newsletters, e-stories, impact reports. For major donors, deliver these stories in face-to-face meetings.
  2. Share memorable and fun experiences with your donors. Your donors are doing the same things you are during the summer – having BBQs, enjoying the outdoors, spending time with people they care about. So leverage the season and host fun gatherings for donors. Host a community BBQ to say thanks to your donors or volunteers. Play golf with your top donor or go to a baseball game with them.
  3. Plan a fundraising campaign for the end of August. If your organization does anything in or around schools, send a back-to-school appeal or e-appeal. There will be a brief window toward the end of summer where your donor’s attention is not on politics but on getting back into the swing of things for the fall. This is a great opportunity to be in front of them to raise money for the work of your organization this fall.
  4. Use the quieter summer months to plan and prepare your year-end fundraising campaign. Secure your matching funds now. Write your year-end appeals now. Don’t forget: the political campaigns will take up YOUR attention as well. So use this time to plan and create: plan your approach for each major donor and schedule your end-of-year meetings with them for right after the election, and create the fundraising materials you’ll need for the end-of-the-year dash.

Summer is a great time to share some fun and positive moments with your donors.  Don’t forget to take a breath yourself and do some preparation for the next phase… The Election Storm.

Read this series of blog posts:

Fundraising in the 2024 Election Year – The Noisy Spring


Fundraising during a presidential election year can be tricky.

But if you base your plan for this year on what’s worked best in previous presidential election years, this COULD be one of your best fundraising years since the pandemic.

There are four distinct phases of the election cycle that will impact your fundraising efforts:

Phase 1: The Noisy Spring (that’s right now!)

Phase 2: The Summer Slump

Phase 3: The Election Storm

Phase 4: The Year-End Rally

Today’s post shows you what do NOW, during the Noisy Spring (April through June).  Our next three posts will be about the next three phases.

The Noisy Spring

You may have already noticed election coverage ramping up. Political messages are flooding TV, print and radio, mail and inboxes, and social media feeds.

This makes your job harder (though not impossible by any means). But you will need to work harder to capture donors’ attention and inspire them to give.

Here’s how to break through the noise:

  1. Communicate with your donors more frequently and assertively. This means ratcheting up your digital communications (e-appeals, e-stories, social media posts) and adding creative tactics with direct mail packages (think colored and odd-sized envelopes, handwritten addresses, etc.).
  2. Increase the urgency in your appeals, highlighting the critical needs of your beneficiaries and the incredible changes your donor’s giving makes. Lean into storytelling to create emotional responses in your donors. Don’t shy away from talking about the needs of your beneficiaries and the problems your organization solves. An election year is not the time to sugarcoat the situation for your donors.
  3. Ask for larger gifts and trust that committed donors will rise to the occasion despite the distractions of the election. This is especially true for major donors. Ask a donor for more than you think they will give you, then if the donor chooses to give you less, they’ve made that choice.  Don’t make the choice for them!

Right now is the time to get your strategy set for The Noisy Spring of the 2024 election year. They key is to break through the noise and communicate with your donors, increase the urgency, and ask for big gifts with confidence!

Next time… what to do during The Summer Slump.

Read this series of blog posts: