It’s a new year and the perfect time to evaluate your fundraising initiatives. Now even if your previous plan does not require a complete overhaul, establishing an updated strategy, schedule, and goals will allow your organization to focus on heightened preparedness and execution.
To help you ensure that your 2018 fundraising plan is positioned for success, here are five major components that you must incorporate into evaluating your updated plan:
Set Fundraiser Goals and Celebrate Successes
Realistic fundraiser goals specific to each event/campaign are imperative. A big picture focus encompassing all elements of receivable donations is key in hitting milestones and yearly accomplishments. By working with each host committee, organization staff, and key donors, a monetary goal can be determined in conjunction with any previous events.
As your charity progressives throughout the year, make sure to celebrate goals and charitable victories. Not only is this a great way to keep your audience engaged and informed, it is an excellent opportunity to reinforce the needs of your organization and new benchmarks on the horizon.
Understand Your Audience/Donor Base
Knowing your donor base/audience is a fundamental component for every nonprofit to be successful. The demographics of your donor base will help you understand exactly who favors your organization while also helping you identify trends to target in potential donors.
As your organization continues to grow, consider that your audience may be evolving as well. Survey or gauge previous communications for what your audience prefers to receive. This will ensure your messaging is targeted and resonates. Beyond communications, extend offers to donors to meet in-person to discuss initiatives, tour operations, or volunteer.
Evaluate Events and New Revenue Opportunities
If you’ve been doing the same event for 7 – 10 years, it’s likely time to freshen up. An event can be well-attended without being a success. Take a hard look at the bottom line. If sponsorship dollars are dwindling for a specific event, it may be time to drop that event for a fresh new one.
Consider the spectrum of your donor demographics. It would be unwise to not consider all situations of your audience members. Be inclusive of everyone so no one feels alienated. Along with this, offer charitable inventory that entices donors of all types. Offer family getaways, cruise voyages, golf outings, or private lessons so you have multiple options for generating revenue.
Craft Your Message
Once your plan is in place, the key is in crafting your message to donors the right way. Using positive language to highlight past successes and shine a light on future goals can equal a win. Because part of your plan is understanding your donor base, you’ll already know the best channel to reach your donors, whether through email, social media or direct mail. However you choose to send the message, be sure your organization stands out with the right message, including photos that drive home the point.
Also, follow up any big event, donation drive, or campaign with a message to thank your supports. This is a simple task that can ensure your donor base feels the appreciation they deserve.
Train Your Team
Finally, focus on training your team. Help them learn your “elevator speech” and encourage them to be a part of the development team. Encourage your Development staff to grow and learn as well. With so many opportunities for education, including webinars and live seminars, as well as online articles, it’s easier than ever to keep up with the latest trends in fundraising. Encourage your staff to follow through.
It’s not too late to take a look at your 2018 fundraising plan to implement changes and evolve your strategy. A few changes now can help save you from disappointment.
While you are evaluating your 2018 fundraising event schedule, consider partnering with TravelPledge to assist with all types of vacation, golf and experience inventory.