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Holiday giving in a nutshell

Updated: Jan 7, 2020

The holiday season is filled with so many requests for donations that it can be overwhelming for donors to decide where to give their charitable dollars.  But by helping your donors understand the many benefits of giving, from tax implications to opportunities for meaningful impact and engagement, you can ensure that they have the knowledge and motivation to maximize their support.

Guide your donors through the year end giving process and cut through the noise of the many seasonal campaigns with the following key information:

  1. Ensure that donors are aware of tax credits offered by the federal and provincial governments which reduce income tax paid in proportion to donations. Encourage donors to make their gift before December 31st to take advantage of eligible tax credits.

  2. As donors make decisions about where to direct their charitable dollars and how much they are able to donate, advise them to consult with their accountants or financial advisors to determine optimal gift size and the mode of donation which will offer maximum tax benefit. As an alternative to cash donations, gifts can be also made through donation of securities or equity. Donating securities or equity instead of cash may increase the benefits of the donation for both the donor and the charity.

  3. The holidays are a season of gift giving so ask your donors to consider a donation as a gift alternative. This is a great way to honour and thank the people in their lives – be they friends, relatives, teachers etc. – while also making a difference in the world. A personalized card can be sent to the gift recipient advising them of the donation and what the funds went to support.  These “giftable” donations are also eligible for tax credits.

  4. Since roughly a third of charitable gifts are made in December[i], a large number of donors are currently deciding where to donate their dollars.  Make sure donors can easily educate themselves about your organization and where the money goes by providing easy to access links to annual reports and clear information illustrating how donor funds are used.  When a donor is deciding where to put their money, transparency and clear communication are key.

  5. If you are running a seasonal campaign, make sure that this is reflected on your landing page. A landing page is where visitors are directed via your digital campaign and posts on social media, so all landing page content must be current and designed to quickly convert visitors into donors.

  6. Spread the love by making your donors feel important and connected – explain how you will use donations, why every contribution makes a difference and how each gift is part of an essential collective effort. The message should follow the theme of the holiday season – we are in this together and together we can make the world a better place!

  7. In anticipation of increased year end traffic, make sure all your giving channels are primed; on-line giving should be easy to navigate, provide an instant tax receipt and must be optimized for mobile.

  8. Use this time to double-up on cultivating new/recurring donations as well as volunteers. Include a request for monthly giving, and if you have seasonal volunteer opportunities, ask your donors to get involved. It’s a great way to engage your supporters and broaden their knowledge and investment in your organization.

By keeping your donors informed and feeling connected, you will maximize year end giving and ensure a happy holiday season for all!


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