Looking Ahead to Year-End 2014
4. Fill your office or conference room walls with every message your donors received from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 in the order in which they received them.
Read them all again. Now, ask your colleagues to read them. Look at your results and trends. What did you do that worked as you intended, and what surprised you? Put schedules and plans in place now to improve upon those critical 90 days in 2014.
5. What new donors did you acquire, and what lapsed donors did you reinstate? Is your new-donor or newly reinstated donor strategy in place, and how is it working?
Your online conversion strategy should already be tweaked and your list plans adjusted to roll out with files that performed well in the fall. Have you started inviting new donors to become monthly givers? Are you putting your absolute best foot forward as you ask these precious new donors to go on a second date? Will these folks still be on your file as active donors in February 2015? If you wait until October to ask that question, the answer will most likely be no.
But if you fell short in 2013 …
For my friends out there who need to “close the gap,” fear not as I have a list for you, too!
1. Don’t panic — and advise everyone around you to do the same.
Why are you below the number you were projected to hit on Dec. 31? Were there outside influences that affected your cause? Did you have goals that were less than realistic? Were there obvious errors in implementation or technology that affected your outreach or your donors’ ability to give? (Talk to your donor-services team/vendor and your tech team to make sure you know all of the pitfalls your donors experienced — even the ones they were not reporting.) Answer these questions first because unrealistic goals and implementation/technology errors that affected your donor relationships require a whole other column or two of space!