2016: Start It Right

Now that year-end fundraising and holiday stress have come to a close, it’s time to make new year’s resolutions. So let’s plan for year-round fundraising success. Which resolution will you adopt? Let us know in the comments below, add your own, or tweet us @Spark_Point. Let’s make 2016 the best fundraising year yet:)

  1. Focus on donor retention – Year-end giving campaigns are the perfect opportunity to harbor donor loyalty. If the “thank you” notes and emails didn’t make it out before the end of 2015, don’t stress. @@Take advantage of the clean slate presented by the new year and make sure donors know the impact they are making.@@ Remember, it’s cheaper to keep an existing donor than acquire a new one.
  2. Don’t just thank them, survey them – Before making an ask, check in with your donors about which key issues are most significant to them, their feelings on the organization’s most recent actions, or simply which initiative they might want to know more about. This type of stewardship lets them know that their hearts and minds are more important than their wallets.
  3. Think outside the year-end box – The end of the year is the ideal “ask” time because most people are in the giving spirit, but don’t be afraid to make appeals along the way. @@No matter the time, a good practice is to keep your appeals “mission-forward.”@@ Did the organization recently celebrate an anniversary or reach a specific milestone? Let your donors know.
  4. Make it easy on your donors – Not everyone has an iPhone or computer at their fingertips, so it’s important to incorporate phone and snail mail (despite the cost) into your donor stewardship strategy. If the news is covering your organization, don’t just send an email blast. Call your donors so they’ll tune in. For an initiative that requires members to write to their representatives, send hard copies of pre-written letters.
  5. Share the spotlight – Donors are often celebrated at events and in year-end reports, as they should be. But their presence should be felt outside the office of the development team. Thank your donors via a shoutout on Twitter or profile top contributors in an e-newsletter.

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