This “season” bridges together several holidays and religious celebrations from various cultures and backgrounds that inspire us all to show we care by giving and supporting others. It also includes Giving Tuesday, which this year is happening on Tuesday, November 28th. Overall, it’s a beautiful mentality that people eagerly look forward to adopting yearly.
From September to December, the charitable sector will see its biggest push to:
- Secure donations from new, active, or lapsing donors.
- Prospect and acquire new donors to their cause.
- Recruit and deploy volunteers to various programs and fundraising initiatives.
- Generally, make one last big push for year-end support.
For organizations looking to make the most of their joyful spirit, here are 5 giving season strategies to increase your fundraising:
1. Plan Your Impact
- Who do you want to talk to?
- What will you talk about?
- When is the right time to say it?
- And most importantly, what will you ask people to do to support you?
Having a clear course of action will help you avoid any unnecessary noise as you focus only on the impact that you are looking to have over the course of the Giving Season.
2. Stop And Do A Data Check
This is singlehandedly the most neglected task for most organizations, but its ability to yield mid to major gifts is well documented in our sector. If you have a database, it could be as quick as pulling your LYBUNT (Last Year But Unfortunately, Not This Year) or SYBUNT (Some Year But Unfortunately, Not This Year). If your data is more free-form and lives in spreadsheets, then a quick data check can help you spot patterns that you will want to consider before starting your giving season. Come on, crank up the tunes and do some data mining. It will pay off!
3. Prep Your Technology For Giving Season
We know we’re stating the obvious here, but our ability to connect with people en mass or even one-on-one will continue to be limited as many events have moved to online or hybrid. This means that your email list and other digital audiences are your best avenue for connecting. Most CRM/DRMs allow you to build lists and actions to organize your strategies and align them with your goals of staying connected.
Now is also a really good time to invest or update your technology if you have the means. Living out of spreadsheets or off-paper records will cost you time, energy, and donations. Kambeo can help you compile your donor data into one place and analyze giving patterns, leaving you time to focus on strengthening your relationships.
4. Set (Or Reset) Your Revenue Goals — Line By Line
Building a budget is not the same as setting fundraising goals. One represents the practical reality of the expenses your organization can’t live without; the other represents your dreams and aspirations of the world you’d like to build if only you could achieve your goal. Or, more concisely:
Reach for the stars = Your fundraising goals
But keep your feet on the ground = Your budget
Doing this now before the giving season gets busier and more hectic can help you to take stock of what you have achieved to date and how much further you need to go. Will you need a big, end-of-year push? Or can you coast and focus on making great content, stories, and stewardship, instead of knowing that every gift you receive from here on out is, in essence, a “bonus” gift?
5. Be Brave & Innovate!
Doing things a new way is kind of scary, and it can force you out of your comfort zone. But if Covid has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t rely on the world to stay the same. You need to stay in tune with technology and your community to find the paths that will yield the most results for the good of your mission. If you have the means and support to experiment with a new revenue-generating idea, try it! This could be as simple as calling each supporter to make your end-of-year request via phone (a much-neglected fundraising tool, by the way) or finding a new virtual tool like an online auction, peer-to-peer fundraiser, or crowdfunding.
Navigating how to structure your fundraising goals over the next few months does not need to feel overwhelming. Remember, we’re here to help.
Once you have ironed out your key giving season strategies, don’t forget to implement these into your “master” year-end impact plan.