Freshen Things Up With Some Spring Cleaning

Spring is here, although winter doesn’t seem to want to go away quite yet. 

Spring is a time for new beginnings. It’s a time to clean up what’s old and make room for something new and better.

Many of you may take on spring cleaning projects in your home. Here are a few spring cleaning projects you can do that will benefit your nonprofit organization.

Clean up your mailing lists
Did you have an influx of address changes, returned mail, and bounced emails after you sent out your year-end appeal? Now is a good time to clean up and update both your print and email mailing lists.

Update and improve your donor database
Your donor database is an important tool and you need it to be up-to-date and filled with accurate information about your donors.

Your database is not just a place to keep addresses and gift amounts.  Use it to its full potential.  Are you using that all wrong? Segment your donors, and record any personal information such as conversations you had with a donor and their areas of interest. 
Don’t cut corners when it comes to data entry and having a good database. Having High Standards is Important, Especially When It Comes to Data Entry.

Be ready for your next mailing
Even though it’s tedious, have someone who is familiar with your donors (your development director?) go through your mailing lists and database to see if you need to make any additions, changes, and deletions.

This is crucial if you are planning a spring appeal or event.

Update your website
Has it been awhile since your updated your website? Even with the popularity of social media, people will go to your website for information, whether they are first-time visitors or long-time supporters. 
Your website must be up-to-date and user-friendly.  Use this checklist to help you create an effective and engaging website. A Website Checklist
Out with the old – In with the new
Now is a good time to look at your 2014 fundraising and marketing plans to figure out what’s working and what isn’t.  If you never created these plans, then one of your first priorities should be to do that.  Don’t go through 2014 without having any plans.
Perhaps you aren’t connecting with people on Google+ or that online auction you’ve had for years takes too much time for the amount of money you raise. 
You may be reluctant to let go of something, but just as if you were going through your closet at home, sometimes you need to get rid of your old, favorite sweater.  Spring Clean Your Fundraising Program…by Throwing Things Out! 
You may want to try something new this spring, but don’t just jump into the latest craze.  You’ll need to decide what makes sense for your organization.
Also, focus on what you can do better.  Instead of trying a new type of social media, work on starting conversations and building relationships on Facebook and Twitter.

Take some time to make the updates and changes you need. What types of spring cleaning projects do you plan to work on?

Photo by Liz Lawley via Flickr

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