What Nonprofit Development Professionals Should Be Doing This Time of Year
July is when we often hear many development professionals say, “Oh my goodness, where did the time go?” With so many plans already implemented and in the rearview mirror and many other upcoming projects on the docket, what are the most critical things to do right now? Here are the Top 5 things to consider to help ensure you and your organization are on track to reach this year’s fundraising goals:
1. Mid-Year Assessment: Review the progress towards your annual fundraising goals so far, evaluate the rest of your fundraising strategies for the rest of the year, and identify areas that may need adjustments or improvements. If you continue at this pace with your projected goals and timelines, will you meet or exceed your year-end goals? If not, what needs to happen to help ensure you can get there? Should you increase social posts, fine-tune communications, or host more targeted salon events? If you plan your work, you can focus on working your plan, but time is of the essence.
2. Communications and Outreach: Review your communication strategies to ensure they convey your mission and impact and encourage gifts and pledges to help you halfway through your year. Now is an excellent time to enhance your online presence, leverage social media platforms, and share compelling stories and testimonials from beneficiaries to increase awareness and engagement with your organization.
3. Donor Stewardship: Building and cultivating meaningful relationships with your supporters is crucial. Take the time to reach out to them and acknowledge their past support by sending personalized thank-you notes, providing updates on how their gifts have made a difference, and exploring ways to deepen each donor’s engagement with something that speaks specifically to them. Make it personal. It is a time when you want your supporters to feel seen and heard. Wild Apricot shares some great tips on ways to show your gratitude here.
4. Donor Experience and Evaluation: Collect feedback from your supporters to identify things they enjoy supporting and are interested in learning more about. You can do this in many ways; scheduling 1:1 meetings, conducting donor surveys, or even creating a call to action on social media asking for supporters’ favorite things about the organization. Understanding how your supporters feel about your organization will help you to refine your ask and enhance their experience as a donor. Remember: you ask, they give; you thank, they smile; you share impact, they feel good. Rinse and repeat.
5. Board Involvement: Ignite your board of directors to roll up their sleeves and get involved. Assess the performance of your board of directors year to date, identify any additional tools they might need, and consider recruiting acquaintances of board members who can contribute to your mission and fundraising goals. Cause Vox shares some insights on getting the conversation going with your board here.
Of course, these are all general considerations and the specific priorities for any nonprofit may vary depending on the organization’s mission, size, and stage of development. However, it is critical to assess and adjust now to keep your finger on the pulse of your supporters and create positive momentum as the end of the year draws nearer.
If you need help putting together a strategic plan to help you get to where you want to go, Strat Labs is here to help. Click here to learn more about our talented team of professionals who can support you and the critical impact your organization makes. We can help you plan and reach your philanthropic goals. Strat Labs can be the pinch hitter you need to get on track to reach your fundraising goals. For a full menu of services that Strat Labs offers, click here. Take a breath, and don’t worry. It’s not too late!