Be Accessible to Your Donors at Year End!
The next two weeks will fly by. This is such a busy time of year. Demands all around — work, family, friends and more.
This is also the busiest time of year for giving. People are in a holiday spirit, filled with generosity. People are also procrastinators. But if we are looking at 2014 for gifts to nonprofits, the clock is ticking.
For some of us, that means fulfilling commitments (and if we are doing a good job as fundraisers we have been keeping our donors up to date on progress toward any commitments). For others, it is making gifts that we have been contemplating for a while.
And for the planning donors, it means they now know how they did financially this year and with that information in hand are ready to make some additional charitable gifts.
This time of year is also a time of vacations. There are significant and very meaningful holidays. Some of us have vacation time accrued that we may lose. We have family and friends to visit. And for some in education (especially independent schools), our institutions close for part or most of the holidays — a nice bonus.
But what do our holiday vacation plans — well deserved, indeed — mean to our donors?
If you have a donor with a question on her year-to-date giving or a commitment, who can she talk to this week? Next week? The week of New Year's day? How does she find that person?
Do you have information on year-end giving on your website home page? Is a direct-line phone number very prominent? Is your mailing address clearly found? And is there an email address or easy-to-complete form? If someone calls your office and it is closed, what does the message indicate? Is someone checking voicemails regularly? How about emails?
Looking for Jeff? You'll find him either on the lake, laughing with good friends, or helping nonprofits develop to their full potential.
Jeff believes that successful fundraising is built on a bedrock of relevant, consistent messaging; sound practices; the nurturing of relationships; and impeccable stewardship. And that organizations that adhere to those standards serve as beacons to others that aspire to them. The Bedrocks & Beacons blog will provide strategic information to help nonprofits be both.
Jeff has more than 25 years of nonprofit leadership experience and is a member of the NonProfit PRO Editorial Advisory Board.