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Preparing for the Fall Battle: Are You Ready?

Are you ready for the battle?

Are you ready?

Many organizations receive 40-50% of their annual giving during the months of September through December.  This is the "giving season" where people feel most generous and truly want to give at their highest levels. It is also the time when many major donors plan for their year-end giving due to cash flow and business planning.

Are you ready?

September through December is when every connection and ask strategy should be in place and ready to go.  Dates are critical. Segmentation is key. Connecting each relationship in the proper manner will determine success.

Are you ready?

A short checklist:

  1. Development Calendar
    Every activity should be on the department calendar; mail dates, events, contacts, due dates, etc. There should be no guessing and the calendar is the guide for the fall strategy.
  2. Are all relationship groups accounted for?
    Do you have a way of connecting and communicating with every type of donor? From major and monthly donors to special event people, make sure there are strategies for everyone to give this fall.
  3. Is your frequency of contacts high enough?
    In other words, the fall is when EVERY NONPROFIT is contacting their donors. If you only send one contact, do you expect your donors to find it among all the other things? Make sure you have frequent enough contacts for them to find you.
  4. Make sure you "touch" your top donors.
    It could be a note, a phone call, a drop by visit, or a lunch, but make sure your top donors know you are thankful and remember them. A simple "touch" is very effective.
  5. Fire all your guns!
    You do not want to get to January and say, "We forgot to (fill in the blank) with our donors."  Double check to make sure you employ all of your strategies/battle plans.

Please do not be offended by the battle plan/guns metaphor.  It is just a way of gearing up for the fall season of giving. Be prepared. Give it your all. And trust God to move in his generous people to give and support your vital work.

May you have a great fall giving season!

Dr. John R. Frank, CFRE, CCNL

P.S.  I hope to see you at one of the conferences where I am teaching and at the 2014 Stewardship Summit.