Last week, I received a few invitations to local galas and fundraisers happening around my city. I thought to myself, summer is really over! It’s that time of year to finish planning your largest fundraisers and events. I want to remind you about an overlooked area: donor communication.
I could do a whole series on this very subject. It is that important. It’s easy to get into the habit of asking for money, but not communicating with the donor in the interim. I bring up communication because right now is prime time. Almost everyone should be back from summer vacation, and that includes your donors! The months August through October set the tone for the rest of the year. If you don’t have a simple donor communication plan, use this one:
-Identify new prospects;
-Clean your current donor database;
-Gather your volunteers;
-Send an email update to your new prospects introducing your nonprofit;
-Remind your current donors about your organization with news, upcoming events, and current campaigns.
-Call, and thank major donors (determine what is considered a major gift in your organization: $5,000, $10,000, $50,000, etc...) Some people call this a phone blitz. This is an opportunity for your volunteers and staff to thank major donors for their continued support.
-Email personal solicitations to your major donors a week after the phone call;
-Prepare for Giving Tuesday by sending out a "Save the Date" to your database the third week in October
November (Giving Tuesday) and December (year-end giving) are prime donor communication months. It will take more than a bulleted list to cover the months that bring your nonprofit the most funding. I may cover this topic in a video or webinar instead of a newsletter.
Are you getting ready for the fall fundraising season? How are you preparing?