Find the Gold in Your Fundraising This Fall
[Editor's note: On Nov. 1, fundraising consultant Gail Perry hosted the free webinar, "Where to Find the Donors This Fall." Following are some important takeaways.]
We all know that year-end fundraising is the most important season of all. About half of your donors will make only one gift a year, and most of them will make it between October and December.
And this year, the stakes could not be higher. Donors have narrowed down the number of organizations they support, and they are making fewer gifts.
Here are your two top priorities for your year-end fundraising this year:
- Get last year's donors to renew their gifts.
- Get your lapsed donors back into the fold with a renewed gift.
It's not the greatest time to be going after brand-new donors. Studies are showing that nine out of 10 donors are not going to consider a gift supporting a new organization right now.
So focus your attention on your loyal, true believers: your current and lapsed donors.
Renew your current donors first
Why? Because this is your money in the bank. These are the easy gifts. So go get them first and get them now. Clearly these people love, love your organization and your cause. They believe in you. They just may believe passionately with a deeply emotional connection to your work. They've voted with their money that you are a priority in their lives. This is the time to be all over your current donors — with love, of course.
But whatever you do this year, beat the bushes, deploy the troops, be all over last year's donors and encourage them to renew. Tell them why it's so very important, this year, right now. Give them a sense of urgency and a reason to give now. Ditch the high-flown, lofty language so many nonprofit folks like to use. Talk to them like they are friends and family: personal, authentic, casual.