It’s hard to believe we’re halfway through 2022, isn’t it? The mid-point of the year is always a good time to see if you’re meeting your fundraising and communications goals. In this continuous time of uncertainty, your fundraising may be down. Yes, we’re seeing inflation and a possible recession, but that doesn’t mean you should stop fundraising. Another important lesson from the pandemic – Never stop fundraising! Donors will give if they can.
You may need to make some changes to your fundraising plan and other goals. And, if you never made a fundraising plan for this year, stop right there and put one together now and use it for the remainder of the year. Don’t fly blind.
Take a look at what’s working and what’s not. It will be different for every organization. If you’re doing okay, keep it up. If you’re falling short, figure out where you need to make changes.
If you’re relying too much on grants and events and those are not bringing in the revenue you need, focus more on individual giving. Many nonprofits raise the most money from individual giving. Here are a few other suggestions to help you stay on track this year.
Start or enhance your monthly giving program
Monthly giving is doable for all sizes of nonprofit organizations, even small ones. It’s a great way to raise more money, as well as your donor retention rate. Retention rates for monthly donors are 90%, much better than other retention rates. You’ll have a steady stream of income and it may be more feasible for your donors, especially if they’re feeling pinched financially.
If you don’t have a monthly giving program, get started now. To get more monthly donors, send a special targeted letter to current donors inviting them to become monthly donors. This is a 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.
I’ve always been a fan of monthly giving, even more so over the last two years. Organizations with strong monthly giving programs did better at the height of the pandemic.
Look into higher levels of giving
Another advantage of monthly giving is that these donors are more likely to become mid-level and major donors. Starting a major gift program will take time, but it’s doable even for small organizations. Look into starting one soon. Organizations with strong major gift programs have also done better over the last two years.
Ramp up your donor engagement
My last post was all about how you can engage with your donors this summer. The summer is usually a slower time for fundraising, but it’s a good time to show some donor love and plan for fall.
Some donors will pull back on their giving, but that doesn’t mean ghosting them. Keep engaging with them to help ensure they’ll give again, if they can.
Make improvements to your donor communication
Look at metrics such as website visits and email open rates. I know these don’t always tell the whole story, but if you’re not seeing a lot of engagement, figure out why.
Often, it’s because your content isn’t great or it’s too long. Maybe it’s layout and design. You could also be targeting the wrong audience. Summer is a good time to make some changes.
It’s not too late, yet
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. Even if you’re doing okay now, circumstances can change. You may want to monitor your progress more frequently (once a month instead of once a quarter) so you can try to stay on track. You don’t want to get caught off guard.
Keep monitoring your progress to help ensure a successful year.
Image via PlusLexia.com.