Can you believe we’re already halfway through the year? I hope your fundraising and communications are going well so far. If not, you’re not alone. According to the 2019 Giving USA report, overall giving is down 1.7%.
The mid-point of the year is always a good time to see if you’re meeting your fundraising and communications goals. If your fundraising is down, you’ll need to make some smart choices for the rest of the year. This often includes better donor communication.
If you never made a fundraising plan for 2019, stop right there and put one together now and use it for the remainder of the year.
No need to panic yet. There are ways you can stay on track and raise more money in the second half of the year. Here’s how.
Ask your donors for an upgrade
An obvious, but overlooked, way to raise more money is to ask your donors to upgrade their gifts. Even if you’re a smaller organization, it’s not too much to ask $25 donors to give $50, $50 donors to give $75, and so on.
Make a point to do this in your next fundraising campaign. If you don’t, you’re leaving money on the table.
Start or enhance your monthly giving program
I’m a big fan of monthly or recurring giving. It’s a great way to raise more money, as well as your donor retention rate. Retention rates for monthly donors are 90%, much much better than other retention rates.
If you don’t have a monthly giving program, plan to promote one in your next campaign. To get more monthly donors, send a special targeted letter to current donors inviting them to become monthly donors. This another good opportunity to upgrade smaller dollar donors, or any donors for that matter.
Also, do something special for your current monthly donors. Send them a thank you postcard or email. They’ve made a commitment to you, now make a commitment to them.
Get in touch with your lapsed donors
Reaching out to your lapsed donors could help you raise additional revenue. An organization I used to contribute to sent me a nice letter asking me to come back. I won’t go into a lot of detail, but I stopped donating to them mainly because my giving priorities changed.
I was impressed that they made a special attempt to reach out, because most organizations don’t do that. Yes, you might get the usual generic letter.
In your next fundraising campaign, send targeted letters to your lapsed donors telling them you miss them and want them back. After your campaign is over, make an attempt to reach out to any additional lapsed donors.
Do a better job of thanking your donors
Last week’s post was all about doing a better job of thanking your donors by creating a thank you plan.
Showing gratitude is just one part of the donor communication mix. Stay in touch throughout the year with donor-centered updates. Show your donors how they’re helping you make a difference.
You still have time to stay on track
If you’re falling short of your goals, you still have time to do better, but you have to make an effort.
Be sure to keep evaluating your progress for the rest of the year to help ensure a successful 2019.