Three Ways to Kick-Start Your Fundraising Plans for the End of the Year

Here’s a guest post this morning from Sandy Reese, of Sandy, by the way, is totally on top of social media. She’s waaaaaay ahead of me (but I only sandyreesstarted blogging in June maybe I’ll get there!)

And Sandy is a fantastic speaker about social media and fundraising. We had her here in NC for our annual NC Philanthropy Conference and she got rave reviews.

I asked Sandy what her favorite strategies are for end-of-year fundraising strategies.

Here are Sandy’s tips:

iStock_000007996312XSmallNow that it’s officially Fall, it’s time to kick-start your fundraising plans for the end of the year.

What have you got planned? I hope you have something planned so you can be proactive instead of waiting to see what happens. (That won’t serve you very well.)

Here are three things you need to make sure you do in order to raise the most money you can in the final quarter of 2009.

1. Communicate with your donors.
Tell stories about people whose lives your organization has changed. Donors want to hear about the good work you’re doing. It affirms them and inspires them to give again. If your communication plans include a newsletter, make it donor-focused on and include the information donors want to read.

2. Thank donors for their past support. I don’t care how busy you are, there’s no better use of your time than connecting with a donor to say ‘thanks.’ Donors will appreciate and remember those organizations who take the time to show their appreciation. You might want to gather up a few Board members or volunteers and do a Thank-A-Thon to call all your donors from 2009 to thank them.

3. Give people the opportunity to give. You must ask for a gift. Don’t assume that people will give if they can. Encourage their giving by offering them the opportunity to make a gift. In other words, send them a letter or call them. Your organization is probably not always on the mind of your donors. You’ve got to gently remind them that you’re there and that you continue to need and want their support. Remember that one of the biggest reasons people give is because someone asked.

Don’t get bogged down into any negative thinking like “it’s been a tough year and people won’t be generous this holiday season” or “people probably don’t have much to give this year.” The truth is that you don’t know what people will do until you ask. Don’t make their decision for them by assuming their giving capacity is diminished by the economy.

Focus on your mission and the people who depend on your organization. It’ll position you for the most success.