Tips for fall (or any time) fundraising success

With just 109 giving days remaining in 2012 (maybe less, depending upon when you’re reading this),  development staff in offices large and small are scrambling to make the most of every last minute. Unfortunately, some, like the silly old grasshopper of Aesop’s lore, fiddled away the summer and failed to gather new ideas while they could. Now, they’re stuck with a  stash of stale strategies to get them through the fall rush.

If that describes you, not to worry. This busy ant is a collector of good ideas and I’m happy to share from my supply. So walk with me, grasshopper.

Aw, your plan looks just like you. Kindred spirits, mission controllers, rainmakers, go-getters. Check out what the folks over at Asking Matters have discovered about the impact of your asking style on the way you plan. Spoiler alert: It’s gotta be you if it’s gonna work.

Know your brand. Nonprofits folks aren’t accustomed to thinking in “brand” language, but it’s time we do. The guys over at The Agitator, connect the findings of a customer loyalty study to the issue of donor stick-to-itiveness. The post is well worth a read.

Sell it well. Okay, so you’re not comfortable with marketing talk, but that’s no excuse to do less than your best in telling the organization’s story.  Master writer Kivi Leroux Miller’s six tips for crafting awesome content are a lifesaver for annual fund folks with a year-end appeal letter in their future — or anyone else who’s charged with representing your “product” to the public. Check out Kivi’s article here.

Pretty in print. Words are important (see above). But so are pictures, font size, ink color, envelope size, etc. etc. etc.  So explains Claire Axelrad in a 2-part blog on creating effective fundraising appeal packages.

In any event. If you’ve been hanging around Generous Matters for more than few posts, you’ve likely noticed that I’m not a fan of event fundraising. But I know events are the bread and butter of a lot of organizations,  so I add this advice from one of my favorite resources, Movie Mondays. The message? If you’re going to put in the time, make your event shine.


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