It’s that time of the year again. The leaves are changing colors, the aroma of pumpkin spice is in the air and year-end giving is once again upon us.
For those development professionals in the middle of a campaign, you might be wondering what best practices you should adopt as you close out the year. For others, you might be concerned about how to maintain the year-end giving momentum into the new year. And for others still, there’s an age-old question that always comes to mind during this time each year: how do I make sure that next year I’m more prepared to tackle year-end giving and all of the work that it entails?
Well, this is exactly where fundraising operations comes into play. By focusing on enhancing and improving your fundraising operations, you will strengthen every area of your development department and make sure that you and your development team feel better prepared to handle the flurry of year-end tasks and responsibilities.
Your fundraising reports should be purposeful and engage your audiences. The right reports can drive better fundraising results and deploy different audiences to act in different ways. Many of our clients come to us when they are at their wit’s end with their reporting. Here is what they say:
“I’m frustrated because my monthly fundraising reports take 5x longer than they should.”
“I want to produce the right reports, but my database doesn’t exactly export what we need so there’s a lot of manipulation in Excel.”
“I don’t have the right visuals that spur conversation or action.”
“I’ve been producing the same reports for years and hardly anyone looks at them anymore.”
It was Machiavelli who first advised “never waste a good crisis.” By that he meant one could look at the opportunities afforded by a crisis to change, to innovate and to improve.
To paraphrase Machiavelli, we advise “never waste a good pause.” Whether it’s a lull in activity or a forced rethinking of business-as-usual, most nonprofits are experiencing a “pandemic pause.” At minimum, everyone should take a moment to consider how to effectively navigate in the new normal. For those who are experiencing a pause, the silver lining is that we can utilize this time to strategically prepare for the future.
We can explore ways to embrace the pandemic pause to PAUSE:
Congratulations! As you near year end, you can momentarily rest in cruise control knowing that the craze of event season is an image in your rearview mirror. Imagine you’re in a position where both the total number of attendees and the number of new attendees spiked at the variety of friend-raising events you’ve held throughout the year. Exhale a sigh of relief, crank up the volume to your favorite song and enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Now the dust is settling and it’s time to take back control of the car. You run your annual metrics and expect to see strong retention numbers with the added donor engagement you’ve invested in over the last two years. To your surprise, you see that retention rates for the last fiscal year actually decreased for the first time in several years. Yikes! Before you accelerate off the next exit, let’s take a deeper dive. Along the way, we’ll provide helpful strategies to get ahead of these downward trends. Continue reading “Highway to Your Fundraising Metrics”
Guest blog by Sarah Tedesco, Executive Vice President, DonorSearch
Are you frustrated that your fundraising efforts don’t have your desired result? That’s okay! It’s good to be frustrated at your fundraising campaigns because that means you have not only identified a problem, but you are willing and ready to make some changes to fix it. (You should be worried if your team seems unconcerned that your organization isn’t yielding as much revenue as it could!)
For many organizations the year-end push yields a significant portion of annual giving. By November you’ve likely already planned your appeal, written your letters and booked your mail house, but have you planned for measuring your success and course-correcting any shortcomings? If not, we’ve pulled together a few tips to guide you on your quest for the Iron Throne, errr….I mean, for a successful year-end appeal!