Quieting a Ticking Clock | npENGAGE

Quieting a Ticking Clock

By on Jun 21, 2013


Like it or not, June 30 is right around the corner. If this marks the end of your fiscal year, the next week can be pretty stressful.

What’s the best way to alleviate that stress?  Activate some simple strategies to finish the year on a strong note.  I’ve posted similar suggestions in the past, but some things bear repeating.  Here’s a simple checklist to make sure you don’t leave money on the table.

First, create a list of donors from the past three years that haven’t given this year.

With the clock ticking, it’s time to let your LYBUNTS know you mean business.  Sort your list largest to smallest and get on the phone.  Don’t rely on a letter to motivate your past donors to give sooner rather than later.  A gift received on July 1 won’t help you make this year’s Annual Fund goal.  Keep in mind that most donors aren’t thinking about the importance of this date (They still think the year ends on December 31!), so take it upon yourself to bring it to their attention.

Next, make sure all potential prospects have been solicited—including those in each MGO’s portfolio.

Many a prospect has gone unsolicited when “pulled” from Annual Giving mailings because a gift officer planned to personally solicit him or her.  What is it they say about good intentions?  Sometimes time slips by and it just doesn’t happen. So, have each one verify that every prospect in his or her portfolio has been invited to support the Annual Fund.  Calls are preferable, but have a Plan B:  Get a personal letter out immediately to each and every one.  Don’t wait until your Annual Fund misses its goal to discover some prospects were never asked!

Finally, make calls to individuals with unpaid pledges.

I have to chuckle a bit here:  Today I received my fourth reminder for a pledge I made several months ago.  Not that I don’t intend to pay; it just hasn’t been a priority (and my teenage daughters keep finding new ways to spend my money.)  But, if someone from the organization called me to encourage me to send it before June 30, I might just do it.

Is that my phone ringing?  Maybe that check will get in the mail yet.  In any event, see if these ideas can bring your organization closer to its Annual Fund goal.  The results will speak for themselves.

How does your organization step up its efforts this time of year?  We’d love to hear!  Comment on this post or email me at Laura.worcester@Blackbaud.com


Laura Worcester, senior consultant at Target Analytics, joined Blackbaud in 2001.In her current role she advises nonprofits on utilizing screening results in identifying and evaluating best donor prospects. In 25+ years of fundraising experience, Laura has served as the chief advancement officer for numerous organizations and managed her own consulting business, providing grant writing services to arts, educational and health care organizations. She’s presented at development conferences and has been a regular contributor to Blackbaud’s blogs with selected posts being reprinted in journals such the NonProfit Times. A traveler since her study abroad days in Denmark, Laura’s committed to passing this enthusiasm on to her teenage daughters. Her family’s travel adventures were just featured in a neighborhood magazine in her suburban Milwaukee community. Contact Laura by email.

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