Really, Paul? End of Year Fundraising? It is summer and living is supposed to be easier.
If the last two, almost three years have taught us anything, it's that living is definitely NOT easier and, in many ways, has gotten harder, especially when it comes to nonprofit fundraising. What was already seen as a challenge, fundraising has become measurably more difficult.
Whether your year has just started, or you are halfway to the end, there are some things that you can do now that might make calendar year-end fundraising a little easier. Or, hopefully, leave you with less dread.
1. Identify key supporters and start talking to them now. Really. As so many people astutely say, do not disappear until the next gift. Continue to have regular, timely, and relevant interactions with your supporters. Now is a great time to talk with them about what is going on, what is coming up, and what is exciting (or maybe challenging)
2. Create a simple End of Year plan. What you want to do and when. See where you can ask for help in the implementation of that plan (and do that)
3. Thank your supporters. I like to call three to five a week, which is another great way to keep the conversation moving with them and to keep the organization at the top of their mind
4. Start pulling together the communications and marketing materials you need/want for end-of-year activities. This could be photos, images, or supportive articles from trusted third parties. You could test hashtags and start to imagine what you want end-of-year fundraising to look and feel like (and who doesn’t love an arts and crafts project during the summer?!)
5. REST. This is the most important of all. Take time – REAL time – to rest. There has been so much upheaval in the world, we have all been stretched so thin it is time to stop. This can/will look different for everyone, but the point is to pause, rest, and reset. Things are going to go bonkers soon enough, you need to be ready, and now is the perfect time to do just that. Here are some ways we like to rest:
- If you can, take some vacation days, or staycation days. Get away from work
- Check email at only certain times of day
- Don’t schedule any meetings on Mondays or Fridays
- Say no. Or, if saying no just doesn’t feel right, schedule things ahead. But, really, start to say no more regularly (practice makes perfect…) If saying no is scary because you feel like you’re going to miss out or let people down, think of it this way: intent. Be intentional with yourself and your time. You ARE worth it.