It's not too late to get your Fall Development Calendar in Place!
OK, it's September and your fall development strategy is ready to launch. But you have not finished your plans. You do not have all the details in place. You are not sure about some strategies. And you are feeling the pressure!
All is not lost. Take a deep breath. And commit to one day of planning this week to get your fall calendar in place. Why the fall calendar? Because it serves as a guide to every relationship and strategy you will be using to reach those relationships during the busiest and highest giving time of the year.
Here is my suggestion for a simple calendar:
In an Excel spreadsheet list your four months along the top: September through December.
Down the far left column list your strategies by relationship:
Major Donor Strategies:
- Personal Contact
Monthly Partner Strategies:
- Monthly giving
- Open House
Impulse Donor Strategies:
- Direct Mail Appeal
- Special Events
New Donor Strategies:
- Acquisition Mailing
Now, put the strategy you will be implementing in the month it will take place. (NOTE: put it in the month that donors will be responding to the strategy, not when you will be working on it.)
When you look at this four-month period of time you will see how your strategies touch all of your donors. Are you missing any? Are you doing too much in one month? Will you get to January and know you did everything you could to build a connection with your stewards?
Remember, this is a calendar that gives you a leadership view of your strategies. It is NOT the details or implementation plans for each strategy. It is used to look at your fall and give you a plan of action. Then it is up to you to implement the plans.
Why is this important?
First, it gives you and your team a plan to guide you. You now know your deadlines and actions needed to reach your goals.
Second, it is a tool to communicate to your leadership. Let your CEO and board know how busy the fall is and how important each strategy is for reaching your annual giving goals.
Third, it allows you to analyze and evaluate in January and then make
adjustments for next year. With no plan or calendar, it is hard to have a
measuring line to learn from.
Grab some time and get this done. Send it to everyone that needs to know what development is doing this fall. Use it as a prayer guide to ask God for his support through this strategy. Put it on the wall for all to see.
And then have a great fall of development ministry. Touch all of your donors with the love of Jesus and the love of your organization. As stewards, they will enjoy the opportunities to give.
P.S. The papers for the 2015 Stewardship Summit are being evaluated this month. They look great. Make plans now for attending the Summit in Orlando January 6-8. It will be a great experience!