Charity Navigator just released the results of a year-end giving survey of donors to 101 charities.  The survey found that the majority of donors expect to give at the same levels they did last year.

That tracks with what a lot of nonprofits I’m talking with right now are experiencing.  Giving is just about where it was last year – and where we expected it this year (based on some pretty conservative estimates).

If you’re a charity that has seen increased need, and maybe even been the victim of government budget cuts, flat ain’t gonna cut it for you this year.

So how do you increase the share of wallet your organization gets from donors at the end of the year?

First off, focus on the majors.  We all like to talk about the latest social media trends, and what organizations are doing cool stuff on Facebook, Twitter, etc.  But face it, social media isn’t going to move the needle for you in a significant way at year-end.

Spend the majority of the next nearly two months getting out and meeting with major and middle donors.  Start with those who haven’t yet given a gift this year.  Cast a bold vision for your organization’s success in the coming year, and be honest with them that you can’t achieve that success without their continued investment.

Then meet with major and middle donors who have already given this year, but who have the capacity to do more.  Ask them to give sacrificially at the end of the year, to help you serve the most people (or animals, etc.) during the holidays.

Next, get an extra direct mail appeal in the mail.  Make it as urgent and compelling as you can.  Shift your newsletter calendar or whatever else you need to in order to get this extra appeal out.  It will be well worth it. 

Make sure your website and donation pages are ready for heavy traffic at the end of the year.  Studies show the vast majority of online donations (outside of disaster giving) happen in December every year.  And most of those happen in the last 10 days of the year.  Be ready to capitalize on this opportunity!

Invest in Search Engine Marketing to bring new high value donors into your organization.  You’ll be amazed at the results.

Check out these other resources for additional year-end giving tips:

4th Quarter Checklist – Golden Week 2011 – Are You Ready?
4th Quarter Checklist – Have Your Monthly Donors Been Sent Your Best Appeal of 2011?
4th Quarter Checklist – Visit Your BIG Donors, Right Now!
4th Quarter Checklist – Pump Up Your Digital, RIGHT NOW!
18 Strategies to Maximize Year-End Giving
Top 10 Tactics to Raise More Money This Year-End