It’s almost the holidays! | PBA

What’s the best way to maintain media interest in your organisation and public support for your fundraising campaign throughout December and January? Jo Scard from Fifty Acres shares her advice.

The end-of-year holiday season is a busy time, and that’s especially true if you run or work for a not for profit. And for good reason! Over 38 per cent of annual online donations are made in December and the donations that are made this month tend to be on average 80 per cent bigger.

The holidays make people reflect on how fortunate they are and there is a desire to share that good fortune with others. 

December brings hard work to keep fundraising top-of-mind, the summer months see challenges to maintain media interest in those giving campaigns and the issues driving your organisation more broadly.

Let’s tackle maintaining media interest around your fundraising first. 

How do you capture the imagination of new supporters and inspire them to give to your organisation when there are so many worthy causes to choose from?

The strength of your public-facing media campaign will depend on finding the right end-of-year story to tell your donors – and then telling it through every channel you’ve got, including media. 

What’s the best way to develop the best end-of-year story that’s based on emotion and makes an urgent case for giving? 

Here are some ideas to maintain interest in your campaign through December:

  1. Are you starting your story with a challenge? Donors need to know why you need them right now. The story needs to explain what challenges you’ll be able to successfully tackle in 2020 if enough funds are raised now.
  2. Are your media goals achievable and realistic? Focus on a challenge that the media, public and therefore donors can understand and see as tangible and bringing credibility. This will help them want to join in to feel part of a real and potentially immediate solution.
  3. Does your story fit with your organisation’s story? Does your media campaign reflect the emotion and inspiration of your not for profit’s main mission? Use the media to explain why December’s goals are a natural and compelling next step in your path.

You also need to spend some time now planning for the opportunities, and sometimes frustrations, that these quieter months may bring – it’s not called the “silly season” for nothing. 

Here are some tips to get you through:

  1. Between mid-December through January there’s an opportunity to break through with an issue you’ve been struggling to get on the agenda all year. Get prepared now by drafting pitches, potential images and video – make sure you have strong content and stories and even strong supporting imagery.
  2. You may be on reduced staff through this period – make sure there is someone around to push out your media content. It’s a great time to circulate stories and fill those inevitable holes that platforms, radio and TV often have during this period.
  3. Sometimes the best-laid plans of mice and people get waylaid by breaking news, a crisis like bushfires or international conflict. Don’t panic, find issue-focused outlets that will still be interested in your stories, hit the phones with a focus on radio as they still have hours of air time to fill, and think about outlets that may be willing to revisit your issue at a later stage. 

If you want help to navigate government, come up with a winning engagement strategy or assistance with a strategic communications strategy or PR outreach, get in touch with Jo Scard at Fifty Acres on 02 6281 7350 or visit

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