5 Back-to-Work Supplies for Fundraisers
By now, most students are back in school, college football has begun and the leaves are beginning to turn in a few places, no doubt. Adults are putting away the lawn chairs, coolers and summer clothes (or is it now OK to wear white shoes after Labor Day?!) and thinking about the approach of winter (however that plays out in your corner of the globe).
And fundraisers are (or should be) thinking about Dec. 31. After all, it's about 16 weeks to the end of 2014 and the close of what is generally the most important season of the fundraising calendar.
A well-supplied fundraiser heads back to the office this month with the right tools to make the most of these remaining weeks and ensure a healthy finish to the year in terms of fundraising programs. Here's what's in my backpack, so to speak, as I look ahead to the end of 2014.
Yes, just about everything you need to know now is online (as long as we are careful to choose sources that are writing from experience, not hearsay). But taking a longer look at a topic than you will get in an article can help you incorporate the learnings, not just say, "Wow, that's good — I should do that sometime."
I admit I am guilty of buying books and not always reading them right away. But I select a book that I feel will fill a gap in my knowledge or add to my experience when I see it, even if I set it aside to read on the next weekend trip or quiet afternoon. Right now, "Retention Fundraising" by Roger Craver is on my desk, waiting to be consumed.
But there are also old standbys that I wouldn't be without. A favorite reference book that I consult at least twice a week was recommended to me years ago by Tim Kersten of RobbinsKersten Direct: "Dictionary of Problem Words and Expressions" by Harry Shaw. You can still get a used copy on Amazon; I know because I bought one for a colleague just last week. It's a great source when you can't remember the difference between emigrant and immigrant, or whether that will affect or effect anything in the long run.
Pamela Barden is an independent fundraising consultant focused on direct response. You can read more of her fundraising columns here.