With spring weather approaching (we can only hope!), I find myself gearing up to clean out closets, wash windows and get things in order at home. I want to be ready to spend more time outside…running (because it’s finally light outside in the morning), working in the garden, riding bikes and watching my son play baseball.
At the office, I also find myself readying for a new season…and also counting down to the end of the fiscal year. As most non-profits close the year on June 30, we are in the final stretch to meet our fundraising goals. It’s a good time to review our budgets…and see where we may be up a little (cheers!) or still have a ways to go. Now is a good time to take a hard look at each revenue bucket and make final adjustments to our plans to reach…or maybe even exceed our goals.
Is your Gala just around the corner? Maybe it would be beneficial to add a few more visits with potential sponsors or underwriters. Enlist your committee or board members and ask each one to bring an additional prospect to the table. If you have a major gift program, make a mini pyramid of prospects and list the potential gifts that you could work to secure from now to the close of the fiscal year.
How about a spring mailing? Gone are the days when not for profits only send out one mail appeal at the close of the calendar year. I’ve found that a spring mailing that asks for support of a special project or has a matching component can go a long way. Some years ago, one of my clients mailed packets of Forget Me Not seeds to lapsed donors. Another organization asked their alumnae to make gifts in variations of 3’s… a number special to the organization. All of these direct mail pieces were complimented by email blasts that were sent before and after the mailing and included options for giving online. These ideas were creative and not overly complicated, they didn’t break the bank, and, they made it simple for the donor to make a gift.
As we tweak our year-end activities, it’s also perfect timing to begin thinking about our plans for the next fiscal year. What worked well this year? What didn’t? What projects were on the list that we weren’t able tackle? I always find that a short-term plan with clear goals and specific metrics helps guide me to the finish line. It’s my short burst to complete the marathon of the fiscal year. As you gear up for spring, both at home and at the office, enjoy the sunlit mornings, warmer weather and, cheers to your well-mapped out trek to close another successful year!
by: Susanna Decker, Senior Consultant HUB Philanthropic Solutions