What Do Pumpkin Spice Lattes Have to Do With Year-End Fundraising Campaigns?


Few things make me do a double-take more than walking into Target or Walgreens in late August and being confronted by shelves upon shelves of Halloween candy and decorations.

Just last week, Dunkin’ introduced its pumpkin-spice menu earlier than ever before. It seems, ahead of tasting the first bite of our kids’ Halloween loot, we’re navigating aisles of Christmas trees, ornaments, and stockings to the tune of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas –– leaving us with the feeling that we’re endlessly two steps behind.

Despite the early warning signs and the yearly promises we make to ourselves about planning better for the holidays, many of us will find ourselves among the last-minute shoppers on Christmas Eve buckling to unnecessary stress—chastising ourselves for lack of better planning.

As the great philosopher, Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” ?

Statistics reveal that approximately 31% of nonprofit giving occurs in December, and about 12% of all annual giving occurs in the last three days of the calendar year. Additionally, a high percentage of nonprofits raise up to 50% of their annual budget through their year-end ask.

The year-end giving season is a big deal for nonprofit organizations, and with smart planning, it’s an ideal opportunity to meet or exceed annual fundraising goals.

At Liminal Creative, we would love to work with you (or your favorite nonprofit) by developing a comprehensive, well-planned year-end campaign. Components of a successful plan include:

  1. Setting an aspirational goal
  2. Nailing down a relevant theme & key messaging
  3. Creating compelling design
  4. Composing a comprehensive communications plan

We know it can feel daunting, and like the Halloween candy in August or Christmas displays in September, you might feel like you’re already two steps behind.

We’re here for you. It’s not too early or too late. We’ve run countless year-end campaigns. We’ll work with you to map out a plan that assures your most successful year-end campaign to date, starting with #GivingTuesday through December 31… and into the early part of January when you thank donors for their generous support.

Now, head to your favorite coffee shop and get yourself something from the pumpkin-spice menu, then contact us and let’s start planning your year-end campaign.

Bill Cummings

Bill is a seasoned nonprofit founder, leader, marketer, fundraiser, and storyteller. He is the founder and former executive director of Lemonade International and has served in leadership positions with Zoe Empowers and Restore NYC. He works with clients on organizational strategy, branding, fundraising, and communications.