Does the end of the year approach with increasing speed? Do you look up from your work only to find it will soon be Labor Day, then Thanksgiving, Chanukah, and Christmas followed by the countdown to the new year? If you are responsible for fundraising, then you know how stressful the march of time can be! Let us help you to prepare now for your year-end giving.
Create an annual communications plan. It doesn’t have to be complicated – you simply need to focus on the work of your communications team, so they have time to plan. Consider what messages you want to send out each month, and what updates you want to share on a quarterly basis. Create and share an annual report or “State of the Organization” that communicates your accomplishments and challenges from last year and the work that lies ahead. Include new initiatives you plan to introduce and new ways you are responding to emerging needs. Make your communications simple, graphically engaging, easy to understand, and short. Try increasing who you communicate with by using video. The Hive Community Circle in Columbia, South Carolina did a great job with their video report and concise two-page report.
Thank and acknowledge your donors. Take time to creatively say thank you to those who provide support for your organization. It could be an unexpected email, phone call, or short-short video. If you serve men and boys, you could consider sending out Father’s Day cards to your donors, including your large funders to share how their support is impacting the lives of the boys and men you serve. This would certainly be unexpected. Put on your thinking cap for different, personalized ways to say thank you – you are sure to come up with great ideas. Remember, saying thank you is the beginning of your year-end solicitation process.
Line up donors who could make a matching gift. If you want to encourage giving, or incentivize donors to increase their gifts you can work on securing a matching gift from a donor who is passionate about your nonprofit and its work. Securing such a gift now means you can build your fundraising and communications strategies and tactics around the match – or matches!
Here are a few other key points to consider. Talk about your fundraising priorities throughout the year. Let people know what you are raising money for and why. Collect and share testimonials from clients, alumni, volunteers, and donors. These can be quotes or short videos. Don’t be afraid to talk about challenges: make these known, along with proposed solutions and an invitation to be part of those solutions. On the flip side, talk about what’s going well, including partnerships and collaborations you are engaged in.
Finally, take time to plan your Giving Tuesday and Black Philanthropy Month campaigns. Visit their websites for templates and planning calendars to help you prepare, long before these events begin.
We encourage you to focus on what you can do now to increase your year-end fundraising success.
[Copyright 2022 – Mel and Pearl Shaw of Saad&Shaw – Comprehensive Fund Development Services. Video and phone conferencing services always available. Let us help you grow your fundraising. Call us at (901) 522-8727. www.saadandshaw.com. ]