February 19, 2024
Nonprofit Technology & Fundraising Blog
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Cracking open a fresh calendar is such a good feeling – nothing but clean space and possibilities for a bright future! Spending an hour or two on mindful planning now can set you up for success in the year to come. Here are five tips to create a roadmap for a successful year of fundraising:
No need to get too granular here, but it may help to do a sweep of your work calendar to see where you spent your time, and if you want to try anything different this year. Could your hour-long meetings be reduced to 30 or even 15 minute holds? Could some of your weekly meetings be rescheduled to bi-weekly or monthly?
It’s also a good time to assess your annually recurring activities, particularly events and donor recognition programs. Are you hosting the same, expensive gala year after year with dwindling results? Consider shaking it up this year and swapping it for something fresh, like an un-gala, to include more of your community by removing barriers to entry like cost and dress code.
Do you find yourself stuck on a donor recognition wall treadmill every year? Pulling precise lists of donors’ names and exact giving levels is doable with clean data, but often becomes a stressful process that involves numerous stakeholders and expensive printing options. What if, this year, you celebrated all of your volunteers by writing a feature about them for your local paper? There are lots of creative ways to showcase the power of giving beyond the traditional donor recognition wall.
Are there events, meetings, or deadlines that you can use as anchor points throughout the year? Add these to your calendar first so you can plan around them. Your future self will be grateful when you don’t have a board meeting the same week that your annual appeal is due to the printer! Some possibilities may include:
Add the dates you’d like your appeals to hit homes and email send dates. From there, you can create deadlines for yourself, giving ample time to start drafting, get feedback from all relevant stakeholders, and add any design elements.
For a multichannel mass communications plan, consider adding related material for each of the following media:
Whether you plan for monthly, quarterly, or another regular appeal schedule, using a multichannel approach will keep you at the top of your supporters’ minds for whenever they’re ready to give.
Restorative time is vital for staving off burnout, and you and your team deserve regular time to learn, grow, and recuperate. As a wise warning label says, “If you don’t schedule time for maintenance, your equipment will schedule it for you.” Humans can’t run on full capacity 100% of the time!
Rather than wait until you’re feeling overwhelmed to take a break, try adding time away to your calendar and give yourself something to look forward to. Your team will benefit from being able to plan ahead for staff absences, too.
While every nonprofit has a unique schedule, summer is a great time for many organizations to focus on team building and professional development. In the hybrid workplace era, there are plenty of free digital conferences, webinars, and other resources you can use to stay on top of industry trends and connect with fellow nonprofit professionals to share ideas and swap stories from the road.
There are so many topics worth exploring in the nonprofit sector, and making time to learn is key to staying on top of industry trends and best practices. Rather than trying to cram as much new information as you can into one conference or day of learning, consider giving each month a theme this year and make some time to read articles, attend a webinar, or otherwise discover something new that will help your fundraising practice grow.
The 2024 Fundraising Calendar comes equipped with best practices, monthly themes, and fundraising tips to keep you inspired throughout the year. Each month provides an opportunity to focus and hone in on a particular fundraising strategy. Here’s a list of this year’s themes:
Whether you’re interested in goal setting, strategic planning, giving your monthly giving program a boost, or other fundraising topics in the coming year, DonorPerfect has you covered. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish in the coming year!