A new year and a new decade are quickly moving upon us. Is your organization ready to hit the ground running when the clock hits midnight on December 31? After what seems like months of preparation, and a rush headlong in the “Giving Season,” we wonder, “What is next?”
I recommend several steps that you can be taking now, to set your organization up for success in the new year.
- Think stewardship. After months of preparing and then conducting solicitations, our donors are tired. Not only are they getting asked by you, but all the other charities in your community. Create a plan for stewardship moves throughout 2020. These moves should be balanced with the number of solicitations. I highly recommend that you calendar out at least three stewardship touches for each one ask on your calendar.
- Think Case for Support. If you don’t have a formally written and approved Case for Support, then this should be the year that you get that done. Your fundraising program needs a clear message of why contributed income is needed. Use this Case for Support to re-engage and re-energize your people in this new decade.
- Think online presence and digital. As we move further and further into the digital age, this is the time that you need to make your website quicker and easier. It is time to take those out-of-date sites and revamp them for this new age of brevity and conciseness. Be sure that your site is mobile-friendly and easy to read. Nothing more than losing a donor upon a website visit. How are you capturing those names who are visiting and indoctrinating them?
- Think database. Is your database a plain mess? Too many constituent codes clogging your reporting? Run some data health and effectiveness reports to determine the health of your program. Develop a data entry procedure manual to ensure that once you get your data cleaned up, it stays that way. Identify a person in charge of the database and ensure that they are trained and can train others.
- Think fundraising audit. If you have not done an audit of your fundraising program, now is the time to get in shape. This audit should look both at infrastructure as well as donor data. When was the last time that you audited your donor data specifically? This will help inform your strategy and plan.
- Think Development plan. If your organization has been operating without a fundraising plan. Make that imperative this year. Spend time determining your major goals and objectives and calendar out your strategies. How can you operate at peak efficiency without one?
- Think Key metrics. If you do not have a dashboard-established of key fundraising metrics both monetary and non-monetary, then stop here and put that together now. You should be measuring things such as donor retention, donor acquisition, donor upgrades, number of qualified relationships, quality of relationships, etc., etc., etc. How do you monitor performance and evaluate the results?
- Think brand audit. With so much competition in the marketplace, it is time to determine where your brand stands in.
- Think Board development. Review your recruitment, onboarding, and retention and evaluation strategies for all Board members. This is an excellent moment in time to commit to Board development by determining the skills, experience, and diversity that you need to move your organization forward and audit your current composition. Develop a Board recruitment policy and plan.
- Think Individual Giving. Now is the time to finally commit yourself to major giving. What are your major stories? Your impact? Develop your portfolio in any sized shop. Get training and education for your Board and staff. Do your prospect research.
For a free sample of a database procedure manual, please email me directly here.
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