Summer projects to make your fundraising program more productive (part one)

Today’s e-newsletter from This Old House includes a list of summer projects for the weekend DIYer. That got me thinking. What might a summer spruce-up schedule look like for This Old Fundraising Program?

Here’s my shot at a list of projects for development DIYers, one for each week between now and Labor Day. The suggested activities are presented in two parts – four projects today and five  more in my next posting to Generous Matters. Tackle all nine of mine, or substitute a project or two of your own choosing. Either way, you can expect enhanced fundraising results come fall.

  • July 4 – 8: Declare independence from unproductive fundraising strategies. Looking back is crucial to moving your fundraising program forward. This week, make time to evaluate activities and strategies of the past year. What worked well? What didn’t?  What outcomes would you rather not see or repeat in the coming year? Some things bear repeating. Others things are better left. Evaluation helps you make the distinction.
  • July 11 – 15: Set a course for the year ahead. With evaluation info in hand, it’s time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and scratch (or tap) out a work plan for the months ahead. A few hours of planning time now will save you countless  hours of frustration down the road. As the saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail.  What fool would do that?
  • July 18 – 22: Telephone some first-time donors. Consultant Hildy Gottlieb suggests that “if you’re looking for a bit of joy in your day, pick up the phone. Say thank you. Then listen to the sound that thank you makes when it lands in your donor’s heart.” Gratitude is as good for your soul as it is for your organization’s fundraising effort.
  • July 25 – 29: Mail to last year’s MIAs. Donors don’t think of themselves as missing in action just because it’s been more than a year since their last gift. In fact, most us believe we’ve given more recently – and more often – than organizational records show. Reach out to the year-skippers now, but sans the “missed you last year” or “hoping to welcome you back” messages. Present your best case, and leave it at that.

What do you have planned for July? Post a description of your development DIY projects here and help build the summer spruce-up list.

What's your take on this topic?

%d bloggers like this: