Do this one thing to kick your year-end fundraising into high gear

It’s time to fasten your seatbelt!

There are roughly 45 business days left until the end of 2017.

Depending on your organization, you are likely raising anywhere between 25% to 50% of your annual revenue as a result of your year-end fundraising.

The pressure’s on.

The next few weeks could make or break your fundraising revenue for the whole year. And there’s one thing that smaller shops aren’t doing nearly often enough that could seriously impact your results:

That’s asking well – and asking often.

There is one big caveat emptor we need to address before we dig into the details.

If you are asking again before warmly thanking your donor for their last gift, and sharing in vivid, emotional, donor-centred detail what their donation has made possible, your results will vary (and not in a good way…)

Have a plan for every donor

Take a moment right now and review the segmentation of your donor database.

Do you have a plan for each and every donor?

Do you have meetings booked with your major donors – either for stewardship, or solicitation, if the time is right?

Will you be asking your mid-level donors using a mix of highly customized mail, and phone? If not, are there even the smallest elements of effective mid-level giving you could start incorporating to boost your results?

How are you asking your active and lapsed donors – and what's your follow-up plan for folks who don't respond?

What’s happening with your monthly donors – are you asking them for a special year-end gift?

Ask multiple times

Most smaller shops tend to under ask, many depending on a single direct mail letter or e-mail to solicit their donors.

Think of how busy you get during the next couple of months – I don’t know about you, but I’ll often put a letter aside, or read an e-mail, and while I fully intend to get around to making a donation, life gets in the way.

I’m sure you are familiar with the marketing “rule of seven” –your audience will need to hear a message at least seven times before they take action. The same rules apply for fundraising!

Can you integrate your giving call to action in your other communications, such as your print newsletter, e-news, or holiday events?

Use multiple channels, and consistent messages

One common error in smaller shops is setting up separate campaigns for different channels, asking for different things.

This is a great way to confuse your donor!

Keep it simple, and be consistent. Your messaging may vary by donor segment, but stick to one theme, and one call to action across your channels.

What are you doing to kick your year-end fundraising into high gear? It’s not too late to boost your 2017 results – stay focused, and don’t forget to ask well, ask often, and follow-up with a fabulous thank you!

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