Time for Spring Cleanup!
Bottom line: Keep the examples that inspire; eliminate the ones that are simply clutter.
Is there something that you have been doing over and over again that is still good — but not great? Maybe it’s time for change.
That doesn’t always mean tossing out the old (but it may). You may simply need to freshen up a masthead, clean up a website or change up an event to infuse some surprise for your donors.
Bottom line: It’s always a risk to change something. But it’s also a risk to do nothing while results decline year after year.
Look for new ways to tell your story. Pick up a camera, and shoot dozens of pictures to find the three or four that will make your programs come alive for your donors. Talk to some of the people who benefit from your programs, and get some great quotes that can be fodder for future mail or conversations with donors.
I don’t know about you, but I always have a list of things (some only mentally) that I want to work on “someday.” It may be learning a new fundraising skill or taking a look at some data to try and find the key to solving a challenge in the donor file. Review the list, and choose one thing. Then come up with a plan, and get started on it.
Bottom line: Sometimes our passion for our work, like a campfire, needs a little help to keep burning brightly.
Have you taken time to celebrate the great year-end your nonprofit organization had? I don’t know what it’s like in your shop, but I always feel like fundraising is a bit like a treadmill; it never stops, and the only way off is to crash.
As part of your spring cleaning, look back at the last six or 12 months and smile, cheer, celebrate what you did that was good. As fundraisers, we keep our focus on the donors and the programs they make possible. But that finely tuned machine wouldn’t happen without you.
Pamela Barden is an independent fundraising consultant focused on direct response. You can read more of her fundraising columns here.