15 Sep Good News
From now until Christmas, everything you do with members and donors should be coordinated. And everything they see should appear coordinated as well. My friend and colleague Carolyn Brown (Greenwave Strategies) says “The only hazard is hap-hazard.”
So with that in mind, here are some things to think about as we turn the September corner:
- Start with some Good News. Have you been saving something back, waiting for the right moment to release it? Now is the time. The message for your donors – right before they are asked to give again – is “your financial contribution is making a difference.” Give them something to be proud of.
Fundraiser’s Almanac: September
- Handwritten Letters
- Getting the Most from Your Fundraising Events
- Good News
- Filing/Data Entry
- Lapsed Member Letters
Fundraiser’s Almanac – October
- Donor Appreciation Events
- Taking Stock
- Fall Appeal 1st Drop
- Tracking “Soft Credits”
- With a couple of notable exceptions, any contribution received this fall should be considered and credited as a renewal contribution. There’s nothing worse than writing a generous check and having the organization send you a renewal notice two weeks later.
There are two notable exceptions to this rule. The first is when someone gives a memorial gift or a gift in honor of someone else. There is no real expectation that this gift will also renew their own membership. The second involves a $2,500 annual donor who makes a gift of $100 toward something that catches their fancy. They know what they usually give, and they will not be confused about what they are giving to. In both cases, you may wish to delay mailing their renewal notice by several weeks for the sake of decorum.
- Use a multi-channel approach. Think about sending a newsletter, special bulletin or postcard, or Annual Report, and support the content with drip-feed Facebook posts and email. Now, and over the course of the next six weeks, would be a great time to make yourself available to local broadcast media for radio interviews. Or create and post new videos on your YouTube channel. (Links to these web-based stories could also be embedded into your email.)
- Send your Fall or Holiday appeal letters but also plan specific follow-up communications. Phone or email as many donors as possible – with a primary message about making sure they got the appeal letter. Mail a second letter to those who do not respond, and consider even mailing a third.
- Finally, get your “high tech” fundraising done and in the mail so you can concentrate on your “high touch” fundraising. Have coffee with your major donors. Deliver the good news in person, and ask for their renewal.
As a last word this week, let me share with you a great image I got when talking to one of my client’s board members. I have often suggested that a land trust was there when a landowner was ready to protect their land because of the scores or even hundreds of people who supported its annual operations. So now we’re asking you to support the annual operations so the land trust will be there when the next landowner is ready.
Here’s how she put it:
“The room was already warm when you came in. Put another log on the fire so it stays that way for the next person.”
Photo credit: Loon courtesy of Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust.
To learn about how David can help you with your membership fundraising here.