Homeless youth

Homeless youth
People we don't see.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Your yearend fundraising campaign

My what?

If this is your reaction to the title of this post I urge you to read on.

If you have already begun your campaign, I urge you to read on.

As I wrote in my last post, we began our yearend campaign about two weeks ago. This past Monday our first mailing went out. The first online donation was made on Wednesday. The first check arrived Thursday.

The second mailing goes out this week. Just to be clear, my yearend campaign's first set of mailings includes three mailings to three different categories of donors and potential donors.

I am ecstatic to be seeing results of the campaign before Halloween.

Knowing that many who read my blog are way understaffed, and indeed may be the only staffer, please know that it is not too late to start your yearend campaign. Just start it this week. Get started on an action plan that covers you from this week all the way through December 31st. What will happen this week? Who will do it? How much money needs to be raised? All important questions.

The key, if you haven't yet begun, is to not to fret. Take action now and everything will be just fine.

If you have already begun your yearend campaign, keep in mind that I like to always stay ahead of the game. That means a reminder email to anyone who is receiving the mailing. That means making sure all of my future mailings go out on time. It also means that the board becomes more and more involved.

My board is totally involved. I loved how so many of them came into the office before our first mailing went out and wrote personal notes on the letters about to go out. I'll keep in touch with them on who responds to the first mailing, and they will be totally involved with keeping in touch with those who have not responded to the first ask. Remember, big or small, an active board is key to any yearend campaign.

Finally, remember to ask for help from other fundraisers. There is plenty of money to go around and my hope is that everyones yearend campaign is beyond successful! I love talking strategy with other fundraisers.

Thanks for reading. I'll keep writing about our yearend campaign. I would love to hear how yours is going!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pick up the phone!

This past Saturday morning I was driving back from an event in Cheyenne, WY. I borrowed my husband's car, a 2009 VW Jetta TDI, and I enjoyed being able to listen to OUTQ radio and The Focus Group (One of my favorite radio shows). His car has Sirius radio, so it was a treat.

They were talking about communicating with customers (or donors in my case) in the 21st century. The focus was on email and the vast amount we all seem to get. They were kind enough to take my call. I suggested picking up the phone.

I admitted that I learned this lesson out of pure laziness. I found myself responding in length via email to a donor and thought "why don't I just call them?!?!". So I did. The result catapulted my relationship with the donor to a completely stronger level. And it continues to do that.

I got so used to email, to non-human contact. I realized that every morning I have a dozen or so emails and no voice mails. I realized that I had never even spoken with Ms. Jones!

My experience is that when I call a donor, a potential donor, or a potential partner, that relationship grows in a way that no email will allow. We can chuckle, I can hear the tone of their voice, I can sense their excitement (or their concern).

So try it! Many of you probably already do. If not, skip the next email and give them a call.

If you are interested in The Focus Group, their website is http://http://focusgroupradio.com/

I highly recommend the Saturday morning show.

Thanks for reading!