Whether personally or professionally, a new year often includes new strategies and new goals. We’re a predictable lot: always looking for the new, shiny, quick fix from health and fitness to fundraising—seeking strategies which will magically realize our new goals with little effort and great rewards.
There’s always more data to research, more social media to engage, a new generation to court. And the chase is on—trading tried-and-true practices for glitzy new gimmicks. Don’t misunderstand; there’s a valuable and necessary place for testing and implementing new strategies in your fundraising program. Data research should be conducted; implementing social media strategies and engaging new donors are important elements to an effective fundraising program. The key is maintaining a healthy proportion of known successful strategies while exploring new strategies.
Now that the year has turned, and by now your books are closed, it’s time to review your fundraising results from last year. Did you gain first-time donors? Did you retain previous donors? Did your donors grow in their average gift size or number of gifts? Celebrate your successes, and mark your challenges. Let this review inform what strategies you consider in the year to come.
Good fundraising programs test new methods in tandem with long-known practices of fostering donor-centered relations which build financial support through well-developed and inspiring stories of mission and outcomes.In this new year, continue to develop the actions which have shown to be successful in your efforts: personalized engagement, clarity of message, responsive and transparent reporting of outcomes. Build on the relationships of those who already support and encourage your organizational mission. Then, based on your results from last year, intentionally incorporate new strategies that support your current plan and don’t monopolize vital resources of time and finances. It’s the key to sustainable long-term growth of your fundraising efforts.