Tag Archives: fundraising goals

It’s Nonprofit Fundraising Crunch Time – 17 Ideas You Can Still Do This Year

Director of Individual Giving - Temple Emanu-El
It’s Nonprofit Fundraising Crunch Time 
Photo by Aron Visuals on Unsplash

The next 7+ weeks may make up 30 to 40% of your annual revenue. Here are ideas to help this fundraising crunch time!

#GivingTuesday There are many ways to encourage giving on this day – it is the unofficial start of the giving season so don’t let it pass you by.

  • Use social media to create a campaign
  • Create a match to encourage giving
  • Use it to thank donors who have already given this year
  • Highlight impact
  • Find more ideas by clicking here or Googling #GivingTuesday ideas 2021

Make calls (From you, your board, or your development committee)

  • Call LYBUNTS who gave last year above a certain level
  • Make thank you calls. It’s never too early to start stewardship for next year

Send emails (From you, your Executive Director, CEO or board chair)

  • Solicitations
    • We are all busy during fundraising crunch time but removing donors each time is best practice. If you can’t be consistent about updates (most CRMs will help), acknowledge that if they have already given, it might not have been recorded in the system yet.
  • Updates on the organization
    • Send these to everyone – especially those who gave earlier in the year. This will help with stewardship and offer another way to donate this year (always include a way to give in any email to your list).
  • Updates on giving this year
    • List your fundraising goal.
    • List the number of days until you reach the end of your match.
    • List their previous gifts and what you hope they will give this year.
    • List anything such as what a gift of various amounts will mean or anything you think will encourage someone to hit that donate button.
  • Send reminders
    • Many people wait until the last minute to give. Don’t hold it against them – make it easy for them
  • Send Thank you videos. What you do now will impact how your donors will feel in December.

Send letters

  • You can still squeeze in 2 letters by the end of year. But start planning today.
  • Tip: Use all the ones you are receiving as a template for what you like, what you don’t like, and what yours should look like.

Fundraising crunch time will be busy, but done correctly, it can boost your results significantly.

Are Your Fundraising Goals Somewhat Too Low, Just About Right, Or Somewhat Too High?

Do you think your annual fundraising goals are:

In last week’s blog, I explained what it means if your fundraising goals are “Way too high,” “Way too low,” or “N/A.” This week, I focus on the more moderate answers to one of my favorite questions from our Organizational and Development Assessment.

Fundraising Goals Somewhat Too Low, Just About Right, Or Somewhat Too High
  • Way too low,
  • Somewhat too low
  • Just about right
  • Somewhat too high
  • Way too high
  • N/A

If your answer is:

“Just About Right” fundraising goals – your organization probably falls into one of the following:

  1. Created realistic fundraising goals with a plan on how to get there. Love to see this!
  2. Spent time to understand your donors. Congratulations! You were able to predict what you would do for the year and how your donors would respond.
  3. Set the goals to be exactly the same as last year and planned on replicating last year’s plan to achieve the same amount. Much less impressive. While you may have achieved the same results, relying on the same strategy year in and year out is dangerous. Donors are not automatically giving to the same organizations again and again. We are all approached by more organizations in a more personalized way. We are asked by friends for more and more donations. And, we see more nonprofits who could use our donation for amazing work.  You have to continue to tell them why you are the best organization for their philanthropic investment.

“Somewhat too high” fundraising goals – your organization probably falls into one of the following:

  1. Set fundraising goals without a plan on how to get there. Often there is pressure from the executive director or the board to increase the amount you plan to raise. But just because it is in the budget, doesn’t make it a reality.  You need a plan on how to achieve those goals. If they are encouraging you to increase your goals, explain what you need to be successful (e.g. better software to track your donors, more volunteers, more support staff time.)
  2. You had a major change that you were able to recover from but set you back. Maybe someone was out on sick leave or left your nonprofit. Or maybe you had a planned turnover of a valued volunteer leader that you hoped would not affect your annual fund as much as it did. No matter the reason, let’s hope it was a one-time occurrence.
  3. Set the fundraising goals to be exactly the same and planned on replicating last year’s plan to achieve the same. This strategy can result in the same results, but it can also result in a slow decline that will eventually turn into a major shortfall. The time to reassess your strategy is now!

“Somewhat too low” fundraising goals – your organization probably falls into one of the following:

  1. Underestimated the results of your development plan changes. Some people like to under-promise and over-deliver. It’s understandable but have confidence in your plans. It will allow your programming team to benefit from your strong development skills.
  2. Made changes without using analytics to consider the impact. It’s hard to be precise, but there are a lot of tools that can help you predict growth (or loss) based on your previous donor retention rates. Once you understand where you are and where you have been for the past few years you can decide which area you will focus on this year. Contact Mersky, Jaffe & Associates to help you develop specific benchmarking for your development program. It can help you get closer to your budget reality.
  3. Didn’t realize you would be working with Mersky, Jaffe & Associates so you didn’t account for the increase in annual funds raised. We help organizations raise more money – when we are focusing on a capital campaign, we work to secure your annual funds before we turn to anything else.

If you would like help creating your fundraising goals, understanding your organization through MJA’s Organizational and Development Assessment or simply want to say hi, email me today to set up a time to speak.

A New Year Is Cause For New Goals For Your Nonprofit

2019 is coming to a close, so let’s talk 2020. A new year, along with a new decade, is cause for new goals for your nonprofit. Nonprofits should not have to struggle for funding nor beg board members to show up. And, if you are financially stable, you can think about what can you do to improve your programs, the experiences of members or beneficiaries, and the appreciation of donors and funders.

If you have goals for your nonprofit, I would love to hear what they are. If you don’t, consider the following:

  • Raise your annual fundraising by 10%
  • Retain 11% more donors overall each year for the next three years
  • Bring on two new board members in 2020 that will increase diversity – that can be age, gender, color,  background or any category that would improve the way you help your nonprofit be more representative of the population you serve
  • Start planning your capital/endowment campaign (let us know if we can help)
  • Evaluate your staff to understand how well you are deploying each person to achieve your goals
  • Hire an executive coach. It can seem expensive but it can be much more cost effective to train staff you like than let someone go and hire a new staff person with their own deficits
  • Plan two new ways to identify prospects
  • Inspire your board to be more supportive and help in fundraising (even if some won’t solicit they can still participate in development)
  • Identify three new ways to steward your donors
  • Evaluate your committee structure to ensure effectiveness instead of continuing to do it the way you always have.

I hope this helps you start your planning. And don’t forget: create a timeline to achieve your goals for your nonprofit so we are not having the same conversation when 2021 comes around.