Fall Fundraising without Stress or Regret

Today on our Bold Leading Podcast we will be exploring ways for an organization to take advantage of this upcoming Fall Fundraising season without stress or regret. How can fundraisers succeed in the fall and not miss any opportunities?
Episode 15
July 8, 2020

Today on our Bold Leading Podcast we will be exploring ways for an organization to take advantage of this upcoming Fall Fundraising season without stress or regret. How can fundraisers succeed in the fall and not miss any opportunities?

Today on our Bold Leading Podcast we will be exploring ways for an organization to take advantage of this upcoming Fall Fundraising season without stress or regret. How can fundraisers succeed in the fall and not miss any opportunities? If you are unsure how to move forward or feel stuck, schedule a free "No Shame Strategy Call." We are here to help you move from surviving to thriving over the next 18 months (yes, even in this crisis situation).
Schedule your "No Shame" Strategy Call
Show Notes:

Introduction

Everytime I start to think about fall fundraising, I think about lost opportunities.  When January and February come, I am scared that I missed an opportunity to share the story of my nonprofit with the community.  What else could I have done.  That puts pressure on me to improve what I did last year and try new things. Without some curiosity and risk, I worry that I will miss a new way to connect with donors.   


Today on our Bold Leading Podcast we will be exploring ways for an organization to take advantage of this upcoming Fall Fundraising season without stress or regret. How can fundraisers succeed in the fall and not miss any opportunities?


I'm Dave Sena from Bold Leading, This is your Bold Leading Podcast. We know life for nonprofits can sometimes get complicated and confusing. When you need a trusted friend to help you fundraise and grow your nonprofit without fear or panic, Bold Leading is here for you. Visit us at boldleading.com today or sign up for our “No Shame Strategy Call.” where we help you connect with donors and grow your nonprofit.

Prologue

Early in my career as a fundraiser, I was mystified on how to develop a fundraising strategy or fundraising plan for my nonprofit.  I never knew where to start or how to get it done.  Today, I know it is as simple as a CAR ride.  Yep, C-A-R ride. A CAR RIDE.


When approaching a season of fundraising, you have to account for three main objectives.


First, how do I cultivate existing relationships with donors. That is the C in our car.  

Second, we need to acquire first time givers.  That is the A in our car.

Third, we need to rescue lapsing donors.  That is the R in our car.

Main Episode


Planning for fall fundraising is all about telling your story in compelling and convenient ways for your intended audience.  How do we urge donors to continue or increase their giving?


Sometimes, I find that we are so caught up with the tactics and strategy, that we might forget people are on the receiving end of our efforts.  Maybe, I need to list all the ways my audiences or segments are being approached in the fall.  What will they be receiving from my organization?



I have found an excel sheet is easiest.  I list the three segments in rows.  I will want to track: new donors, lapsing donors and current donors.  Then I list the events, emails, direct mail and any other communications they may receive as columns.  I put a check mark in the segment row and in the communications column if they will be receiving information from my organization.  At a glance, I can see what information all my segments are getting in the fall.  


This simple excel sheet can come in handy when you are making decisions about personalization, what events to develop, postpone or cancel.  If a donor complains about the number of mailings,  I can count how many mailings they could get based on their behavior.


Once you have listed all the communications donors receive from you, you can now make decisions about resources.  You will want to consider more than money when you are planning the fall fundraising schedule.


First, you will want to calculate the cost of all your communications to see if you have the budget for these activities.  Depending on the size of your organization, you may have a sophisticated budgeting system or you may be the budgeting system.  EIther way, you want to calculate the dollars needed.


Second, you will want to ask yourself if you have the creative energy, expertise and hours in the day to get your plan done.  Look at each activity and decide when you will plan, prepare and execute each activity.  That newsletter may actually be a 90 day process instead of a 90 hour process over a tough week of late nights.  You may need to recruit volunteers or contract certain items.


Third, you will want to ask yourself if the cadence of activities make sense.  Are you spreading out the activities so they are manageable and that donors are getting consistent communications during the fall schedule.  Do you have too many in early september and none in December?


Fourth, you will want to ask yourself what are the stories I want to tell about our organization and the impact we desire to make.  Do you have time to interview participants or other people that know your program?  What stories do you want to tell?


FIfth, what new technologies can I deploy to connect with donors in fresh or inexpensive ways.

Have you tried facebook ads, text to giving or other digital fundraising products.  This year may be the year to explore digital marketing and fundraising.  More people are comfortable learning and giving online than ever before.


Finally, you will want to have an appreciation plan in place to receive donations and thank donors promptly.  Ask yourself, how am I going to share with donors the impact their donation is making? Will I call them, send a note or thank you letter? Do I have those letters written.






Epilogue


The C in our CAR is all about cultivation.  How do I share the value of a donor’s giving?  I can send a thank you, call them on the phone, shoot an email, send a text or personalize a direct mail piece.


The A in our CAR is about acquiring new donors.  How do I make a low risk offer to a potential donor that has low risk and big value? How do I share the impact of my nonprofit in fun, effective and memorable ways?  How do I encourage new people to attend events or respond to facebook ads?


The R in our CAR is about rescuing lapsing donors.  How do I get a donor who has not given in 18 months to 36 months again?  Can I call them or invite them to events?


As you are deciding on your CAR, you will have to decide what resources you have?  Start now in July.  If you start now planning and preparing, you will get to January with less stress, more donations and happier donors.




Outro

Today on our Bold Leading Podcast we explored ways for an organization to plan for and make the most of the fall fundraising.  Don’t get to January with regret or too much stress.  Take time to plan now.


I'm Dave Sena from Bold Leading, This is your Bold Leading Podcast. We know life for nonprofits can sometimes get complicated and confusing. When you need a trusted friend to help you fundraise and grow your nonprofit without fear or panic, Bold Leading is here for you. Visit us at boldleading.com today or sign up for our “No Shame Strategy Call.” where we help you connect with donors and grow your nonprofit.