The year is almost halfway over and it is never too soon to begin planning and executing your end of year fundraising strategy. Here are some questions to get you started and a suggested timeline to follow in the coming months.
- How are we going to ask for end of year gifts?
- Who are we going to ask for end of year gifts?
- What is our budget for an end of year campaign(s)?
- How are we going to thank our donors for giving to us in 2010?
- How does end of year fundraising fit in with our overall communication plan, other campaigns and/or events?
July: Analysis & Planning
1. Review & analyze campaigns from years past – What worked and what didn’t?
2. Create or review your budget
3. Determine your top three priorities for this years’ end of year campaign(s)
4. Decide what methods you will use both online and offline – mobile, direct mail, email, social media etc.
5. Create a task list and timeline
6. Begin gathering content
7. Determine if you need graphic design, web production, printing etc. work that will require going outside your organization – identify what vendors you will need and notify them of your plans.
August: Audience & Content
1. Outline your approach for this year by audience (Event Participants, Major Donors, Frequent Donors etc.) and method (direct mail, email etc.)
2. Craft your message(s)
3. Scope work with vendors
3. Purchase any URLs, keywords, Google Ads etc.
September: Finalize Content
1. Complete all copy and graphics
2. Create online donation form(s)
3. Create email(s)
4. Post content online
5. Test, test and re-test all online forms and emails
5. Finalize offline materials
October: Special Invites
1. Get your board and volunteers involved – send them emails/information they can easily forward along
2. Let your frequent donors in early by asking them to start the ball rolling to meet your end of year goals
3. Start using social media to create buzz about your campaign(s)
November & December: Monitor & Maintain
1. Update online content often so it is fresh
2. Monitor your progress and change your tactics as needed
3. Plan for a big end of year push between Christmas and New Years
4. Have a place (like Google Docs) where you and your team can record thoughts for next year – what to change and what to keep
For further reading check out A Procrastinator’s Guide to Year-End Fundraising created by Sea Change Strategies and Care2.