Nothing Is Impossible If You Just Believe
Every year, the military base theater near us (Joint Base Cape Cod) organizes the annual Christmas tree lighting. It’s a fun event, with hot cocoa, peppermint sticks and a short visit of Santa, of course!
As a military spouse myself (married to a 32-year Airforce veteran), we love our little theater, and this event is always a lot of fun. It’s so wonderful to see the little kids and adults enjoy themselves.
The tree lighting is followed by the movie, “Polar Express,” featuring Tom Hanks. It’s such a positive, uplifting movie. If you’ve not yet seen it, I can highly recommend it. In these dark and busy days, don’t we all need something inspirational?
The most important word in the movie is: Believe!
So, what does this have to do with fundraising and monthly giving? Because I hear so many of you being overwhelmed. There are just so many decisions to make in a very short period of time, and we’re already busy enough as it is.
“How many appeals should we mail? And when? Which donors do we appeal to? How many #GivingTuesday emails do we send and when? How many emails in December? How many phone calls can our board members make? Can I get those personal notes written in time?
“Are my printer and mail house going to get the appeal in the mail on time?” (Spoiler alert: If you don’t start till the first week of December, you’re going to be hard pressed to make it happen. Please don’t do that to your vendor partners. Now is the time to get it all finalized.)
And very importantly: How is coverage going to be handled between Chanukah or Christmas and New Year’s? Lots of nonprofits take that time off. Well, you may be missing an important gift if there’s nobody there to answer the phone, so can you forward the phone to your cell, so at least someone is there to answer it? Yes, one more thing, but you’ll not regret it.
I’m here to tell you that if you believe, it will all come together. And if you just chip away at your “To-Do” list one appeal or email or social media post at a time, you’ll have your best fundraising season ever! And you’ll bring on lots of donors, whom you can convert to sustainers in 2018.
I believe you can do it, do you?
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals. She authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving — in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and a cat, Mientje.