The air is getting crisp outside. The leaves are getting crunchier. School bus lights flash longer waiting for students to scurry aboard. This could only mean one thing – fall is here. These signs of fall should ignite the fundraiser in you to spark your donors to give. How should you do that? Well first, it starts with a strong strategic annual giving plan.
By now, most fundraisers have a strategic annual giving plan, but there is always time to make adjustments and improvements.
Strengthen your annual giving plan by asking yourself these questions:
- How does this year’s annual giving plan differ from our plan last year? Regardless of if you had the best year yet, or a year that needs improvement, you should always try to do something a little different.
- Yes, if you had the best year to date, continue doing what you’re doing. However, what’s next? How can you keep that stamina up? It’s all about thinking ahead and continuing to have that donor-mindset at the forefront of your initiatives.
- If you had a year that needs major improvement, try something completely new – do some testing and analysis and determine what had the best results. For example, maybe it was a self-mailer over an 8.5×11″ letter, a Facebook ad over a LinkedIn ad, a phone call over an email. Whatever it may be, it’s important to analyze what your donors respond to. Keep in mind that it can take multiple touchpoints before a donor takes action. Ensure that you are communicating with them on all channels to reach them where they are.
- Did we draft a schedule for initiatives this year? Laying out what the initiative is, who will be targeted, what the goal is, and the timeframe of execution is critical to your team’s success. It not only confirms that everyone is on the same page, but it also helps you stay on track with initiatives. Sometimes, things change. Having a schedule helps you see what adjustments might need to be made if something arises. This central resources can allow your team to be concise, consistent, and focused.
- How did we use personalization in appeals? Donors expect a personal touch now more than ever. How did you use variable data to personalize the ask? How was the data segmented to properly target the right people with the right message? Instead of sending everyone the same message with the same imagery, try to show donors that you know what’s important to them. If the donor connects with the institution on a personal level, they will be more inclined to donate because they start building an affinity to it.
Fundraising and building relationships take a lot of time and valuable resources. We understand that here at BCG Connect and can help alleviate that feeling of overwhelmingness and take a portion off your plate. As creative direct marketing experts who know best practices in the education, healthcare, and nonprofit markets, we act as an extension of your team to be your direct marketing resource.
For more than a decade, we have been successful in partnering with our clients to create a personalized, custom approach to their marketing and fundraising initiatives, targeting the right people with an effective message, to reach their prospective and current donors. Let us help you!