Jessica Ticus, fundraising consultant, joined Millennia Consulting in June. She has extensive experience in non-profit management and fundraising so we asked her what's on her mind this summer.
Summer's here so it's time to think about winter!
Most non-profits rely on their donors to make a charitable gift by December 31st and many of us promote Giving Tuesday as a special opportunity to make a difference. For a successful year-end campaign, here are some things to think about this summer.
What's your fundraising message? While it's tempting to brag about all the great things your organization did this year, focus instead on your donors and the investment they made on your organization. "We can't do this without you," is a common refrain because it's so true.
Plan and produce info-graphics, photos and other collateral this summer. At the Evanston Public Library we explained the lack of tax support, a complex topic, with a picture. However, it took three months to research and design this info-graphic.
Reprinted with permission from the Evanston Public Library
* Recruit new people to help fundraise. Oh wait, nobody likes to fundraise. How about asking board members, key volunteers, staff or even grateful clients to thank former donors by signing a letter, forwarding an email or even posting on social media?
* Look at your data. Who are you going to ask and for what? At Northwestern University we found that letters that included a specific ask amount (2.5 times the last gift) performed much better than letters with an open ask.
* Everyone loves a challenge. This summer, ask your board and most loyal donors to pledge their year-end gift. Use this collection to match gifts on Giving Tuesday (November 27).
* Think about thanks. My favorite thank-you letter invites new donors to a special open house. The Evanston Public Library's director personally added a note and signed over 1000 letters last year. What can you do to make your donors feel special?