In a few weeks we will enter the last quarter of the year. Distraction for our donors is everywhere with disasters, political campaigns, and highly charged philosophical debates over history. For the sake of our missions and our organizations, we need to lead them into a strong finish.
It’s not too late
If you have not had a solid plan all year, it is not too late to still pull one together. Here are 5 things you can do and develop a strong plan for your year-end finish.
- Make sure your message is focused and local. Your organization has been active for 9 months and you surely have accomplished much, yet there is still plenty to do. Share the impact of the dollars you have received and the difference an additional $10, $100, or $1000 donation will make. Be specific about your need and the stories of impact. Many will talk of those facing the disaster of hurricanes. Your message, your story must explain the challenges you provide relief from here locally and year-round.
- Start by saying “Thank You”. When it comes to people who have a few extra dollars at the end of the year, they like to support those with which they already have relationship. Strengthen that relationship by showing appreciation. Schedule a thank-a-thon with your board, have your volunteers or clients do thank you notes, send a link to a special Thank You message. Again, share the impact their contribution has already made.
- Don’t let them forget. Almost every donor management system out there has a LYBUNTY (Last Year But Unfortunately Not This Year) report. Run this report and remind those that may not have donated, yet this year, that you are still around doing important work. If you do not have a donor management system, take the time to manually create this report. These activities usually yield 4 to 5 times the expense.
- In Lieu of flowers…When they ask you to Remember, Remember. There is a reasonable chance that someone has asked, in their obituary “in lieu of flowers…”, If that is the case, have an event where you ask people, friends, and families to remember. Many groups celebrate All Souls Day on November 1. Bring a photo for you to display, decorate an ornament, or log a story on your website. Honor those that have had a lasting impact on you and your organization. It may bring closure and provide an opportunity for one last memorial. Simple, not elaborate.
- GIVING TUESDAY Nov 28 – This began in 2012 to encourage gifts “that mean just a little bit more”. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday. If you do not have Social media and online giving, make it happen now. You have about 75 days to prepare. It costs nothing but the time and effort to participate. There is already a tremendous marketing campaign in place. You just have to join. Learn more at givingtuesday.org. Do your part to receive more that $165 million in gifts.
PB&J marComm has experience in developing strategic plans. Feel free to reach out for a more detailed conversation about year-end and year-long development plans. We can also do specific training for your leadership.