September's Year-End Fundraising Check-in

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, almost. The holiday season may seem far off, but the last thing you want is to wake up in November without a solid year-end fundraising plan. You need to start planning now, so we’re going to check in each month with a to-do list to make sure you’re on the right track.

Let’s get started! Here’s what you should be prepping in September:

1. Consider your strategy

Beyond the story you’re telling, which we touched upon last month, how are you going to strategically leverage all the resources you have available to maximize giving? For example, perhaps your supporters have responded well to matching gifts in the past. Now is the time to ask if there’s a board member or two willing to match donations. When it comes to the fundraising goal, are you going to keep it internal or will it be a centerpoint of your messaging? Will you use a tactic like a matching gift at the beginning of the campaign to kickstart it, or at the end to drive traffic near the 31st? There’s no right or wrong answer, but now’s the time to hammer out those details so you know exactly how your asks are going to go.

2. Map out your campaign channels

Since it’s 2014, chances are that your organization maintains a presence on a variety of channels. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can all be great drivers of traffic during a fundraising campaign, as long as you properly integrate them into your strategy. Take some time this month to consider which of those channels you’ll be using to tell your year-end fundraising story, and how they’ll all work together. Will they each point back to a fundraising page on your website? Will you have a separate social media fundraising campaign using a crowd-funding tool? Will you be testing to see which channel can bring in the most money?

3. Freshen up your supporter list

The September-October timeframe is just about  the best time  to onboard new supporters, so you can engage them before they’re bombarded with year-end fundraising appeals. Consider running an acquisition campaign based on the story or topic your year-end campaign will be featuring. That way, not only will you be getting supporters you know will respond positively to your campaign, but you’re getting them just at the right time to build a relationship before November and December roll around. And new donors are never a bad thing for any list. If you’d like to learn about how can connect you with the right supporters, watch this video!

If you can get these three things done this month, you’ll be ahead of the curve, and that’s a great place to be when it comes to fundraising! We’ll be back each month until December with an updated to do list to help you tackle this most important time of the year. Be sure to share your year-end to do list and tips with us at @ChangeOrgs - we’d love to hear what you’re working on!