Homeless youth

Homeless youth
People we don't see.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Rock it in January!

Sometimes I think January can be the new November.

Or whichever the second-biggest fundraising month is for you.

Several years ago I began making a concerted effort to spend the last few days of the year connecting with as many donors from the previous year who had not yet given during the current year.

Of course that type of effort can really happen all year, and in my development office it does. Still there are those who really don't respond until the end of the year.

The first year I did this we reached out to hundreds of donors. Many board members helped with calls and it made for a lot of excitement at the end of the year.

What I learned was not only did we increase giving for the last week of the year, but because of all of the connections and conversations January became our second-biggest fundraising month of the year!

In a fundraising world where everyone is always so "busy", our best successes can come from simply doing what we do best: engage with donors.

This year our team is all set to to completely engage the last two days of the year. We will be full force with lists and email addresses and phone numbers all ready to ensure that every donor has an opportunity to support us before the end of the year.

Between the phone calls, two email blasts and a gorgeous postcard that landed the day after Christmas, my hope is that we are definitely on people's minds as they consider a year end gift.

And it doesn't end at midnight on the 31st. On January 2nd we are right back, engaging, answering questions, thanking, expressing our gratitude. By the first full week in January we have the opportunity to connect with people about our upcoming Gala, our goals for the new year, our excitement of successes in the past month and pretty much anything that will help us engage with our donors.

Happy New Year! My wish is that 2014 is filled with peace, love and more passion for fundraising!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Year end giving

If you are like me, you might be wondering how the heck did we already arrive to mid December?

I mean seriously, wasn't I just on my summer vacation?

What happened to fall?

And is Christmas really only two weeks away?

If you are also like me, and a fundraiser, your winter/year end appeal mailed over five weeks ago. You have sent out a ton of thank you letters and you have sent out a friendly reminder to those who have not yet responded to your appeal.

I always look forward to the last couple weeks of the year. For me it means a lot of conversations with donors and the opportunity to share my excitement about our mission and the successes and challenges we are having with people we are in relationship with.

It's an exciting time. It can be stressful, but doesn't have to be.

If I have rocked it during the year, meaning if I have built relationships with donors, reached out to lapsed donors, thanked everyone promptly and have told them how we spent their money, then the last couple of weeks of the year can really be spent just checking in with people.

Yes, Ms. Jones, I also can't believe it's already almost the end of the year. Time not only flies for you, it also flies for your donors. Many people I speak with just can't believe that I am speaking with them about the year end campaign.

Have fun. Engage with your donors. Don't stress. Each conversation creates a stronger relationship for you and your organization.

Thank you for reading!