When the iconic lighted ball makes its 70-foot, 60-second descent in Time Square tomorrow night, it will mark the beginning of 2015 and the end of possibly your biggest giving day of 2014. A survey of December 31 giving reveals that nonprofits typically earn 10 percent of their annual donations on the last day of the year. I repeat, 10 percent in one day.

With so much at stake, you want to do it right. Here are three last-minute tips to ensure you end the year with a bang rivaling Time Square’s celebrated pyrotechnics.

  1. SEND IT – Send an email to supporters reminding them this is their last chance to give this year. Create a sense of urgency by emphasizing the tax benefit they’ll glean in 2014 if they donate by the stroke of midnight tomorrow. However, don’t call this out in the subject line, where you’ll want to stand out from the crowd by being eye-catchingly clever. Instead, save this message for your “Call to Action.”
  1. SHOW IT – The Number 1 thing donors want to know is the impact their dollars are making. Show them what you’ve accomplished with past contributions and what impact they’ll have with this donation. A great way to do this by sharing a success story – make it vivid and personal.
  1. SIMPLIFY IT – Ensure the giving process is easy, with as few clicks as possible and a short, simple-to-complete form. One technique you might employ is called the Homepage Highjack. Turn your website’s homepage into a giant Donate Now call to action, or simply turn it into your donation form.

For recommendations on how to not only retain your new donors, but cultivate and grow the relationships, you can download a webinar I hosted earlier this month: Converting Year-End Donors into Long-term, Loyal Donors.