Written by Hossam Amin
It is very common that Islamic Centres, particularly those who are actively raising funds to establish a new Masjid, make every effort to fit in a fundraising campaign during the blessed month of Ramadan. Why not, after all it is the best period of the year to raise funds from a mainly Muslim target audience. But have you ever asked yourself, what is the next best period of the year?
Let me first share with you some numbers on year-end giving:
- 30% of all online giving happens in December and 10% happens in the last 3 days alone (NonProfits Source).
- An online giving study found generous procrastinators donate in droves on December 30 and 31. In fact, more than 20% of all giving for the entire year occurs in the last 48 hours of the calendar year (Network for Good).
- NextAfter analyzed the revenues of 15 non-profit organizations (with a combined revenue of $89 Million in 2016) spanning six different sectors, including faith-based organizations, and found that 48.7% of revenue came in the last week of the year, and 20% came in new year’s eve (NextAfter).
When you think about it, it shouldn’t really come as a big surprise that there is a spike in giving at the end of the year. People who had giving at the back of their minds realize that their donation can’t wait any longer or else they’ll miss out on that year’s target. They’re also very likely thinking about the tax credits they might get in the new year.
For an Islamic Centre raising funds for a Masjid project, year-end is probably the next most important period after Ramadan, and in my humble opinion surpasses the periods of the 10 days of Thul Hijja and Giving Tuesday in value.
Of course it goes without mention that the greatest days of the year are the first 10 days of Thul Hijja, but they come just two months after Ramadan and many people may not be in a position to donate again that soon. Giving Tuesday is also a good day to raise funds, but its numbers just don’t come anywhere close to those of year-end; for example, NextAfter’s study states that 3.8% of revenue came in on Giving Tuesday as compared with 20% that came on the last day of the year.
As fundraising initiatives are at their peak during the blessed month of Ramadan, a similar push should be made at the end of the year. For example, an online campaign on social media can be run in the last 1-2 weeks of the year. Perhaps a mini-fundraiser can be held after the last Jumuah prayer of the year. Islamic Centres ought to make the most out of the last few days of the year to reap the benefits that naturally come with them.