Get Ready for the New Year

It’s hard to believe the New Year has arrived.  I hope 2012 was a successful year for you.  But if your marketing and fundraising didn’t go as well as you would have liked, take some time to analyze what worked and what didn’t, if you haven’t already done so.

Creating plans and strategies can help. Here is some information that you can use as you can continue to prepare for 2013.

Marketing Plan
If you have never created a marketing and communications plan, now is a good time to get started.  A few things to keep in mind – Raising awareness is a vague goal.  You need a call to action, such as donating, volunteering, attending an event, or contacting your legislator.

Also, your audience is not everyone.  Target the people or groups who will be most receptive to your message.

Finally, don’t forget to measure your progress at least once a quarter.

Fundraising Plan
You also need a fundraising plan, and it needs to include a donor relations component.  

Plan to raise money from a variety of sources and be realistic about what makes sense for your organization.

Map out each step of your annual appeal or an event.  And, remember to monitor your progress.

Donor Relations
You should spend just as much time on donor retention as donor acquisition.

Come up with ways to thank your donors all year round.  Of course, you must send a great thank you letter immediately after receiving a donation. 

Other ways to show gratitude include seasonal (Valentine’s Day, spring etc.) thank you notes or email messages, holding an open house or some other type of event for your donors, creating a thank you video, and providing donors with regular updates via a newsletter and social media.

Ideally, if you keep your donors engaged and interested in your work, not only will they give again, but they may give at a higher level.

Editorial Calendar
Does the idea of coming up with content to share with your supporters on a regular basis stress you out?  Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to.

Create an editorial calendar that lists important dates and events, as well as “evergreen” content – stories you can use at anytime. 

Be sure to have a collection of stories and profiles you can use in your newsletter or website.  

Remember that your updates need to focus on success stories that show your donors and other supporters how you are making a difference.

Taking the time to plan, strategize, and monitor your progress is time well spent.

Best of luck to you for a successful New Year!

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