by Susanna Decker, Senior Consultant, HUB Philanthropic Solutions
It’s time to clean out your closets and wash your windows…spring is here! As development professionals, spring is also a good time to consider mailing to lapsed donors before your organization’s fiscal year comes to a close. Many nonprofits used to mail to donors only once a year… at the close of the calendar year. However, it has become standard practice – best practice – to mail to your donors more than once a year. So, in between spring benefits and fall walks and galas, write an appeal and start with your donors who have lapsed in the last year. One client that I worked with started small and only mailed to lapsed donors from the previous year. They had success in capturing some folks that had fallen to the wayside with their giving. However, the second year, they added more to the spring mailing pool.
How about some special personalized letters to those that you’d like to ask for a specific project or program that was just launched? Or, perhaps ask a donor to consider making a spring matching gift, or for that matter, why not ask several donors who can pool their funds for a match?
After several years of mailing at spring time, one of my clients who utilized a pooled matching gift actually raised more money as a result of the spring appeal than at the calendar year-end. Some donors like to give in spring. Why? The Holidays are expensive and donors often see an increase in spending for holiday gifts and gatherings. Others get so many requests, that they select just a handful of charities that make the cut at year-end. I am not suggesting to stop mailing at year-end all together, but, adding this spring time appeal can be very fruitful. Be creative! Another client organized a spring appeal committee where they wrote personal letters to new folks that they wanted to engage with their organization.
While you are taking a break from window washing or closet organizing or getting the garden ready, look at your data and see who has fallen by the wayside and send them a letter this spring! Here is to clean windows, organized closets and renewed donors in spring!