The pools are open and busy. The grill has cooled down since the July-4th Picnic. The MLB All-Star Game is tonight. It’s July. One of the traditional/old-fashioned ways to disrupt the heat is to hold a “Christmas in July” party, and your nonprofit or charity should be having one. Why? To celebrate the good work you have been doing for the last six months, and to energize yourselves for the critical holiday season of solicitation and fundraising that should hit its peak in mid-November and continue right through the new year. Yep, the groundwork for a successful holiday season needs to start soon, like tomorrow.
The economy continues to send mixed signals (if you have Democratic sympathies) or dire warnings of a need to change course (if those sympathies are Republican), but giving has been going up the last couple of years. A recentshows that giving by individuals went up almost 4% last year. And almost 80% of that money was given between 15 November and 31 December. Giving by foundations was also up, if not as high. Whether corporations are people or not, they haven’t given like people: their donations have been flat over the last two years.
In fact, individuals made up over 73% of all fundraising sources last year, to the tune of some $218 billion. So not only do individuals remain generous in this quasi-recovery, they outpace their corporate cousins who are at the back of the pack at about 5% of total donations. Not the kind of people I’d like to associate with, but that’s another matter.
So, if all those people are still willing to give something, and most of that giving is taking place in the last 6-8 weeks of the calendar year, what is your nonprofit or charity doing to get ready? Did you have success in the last year or two that you want to build on? Was 2011 a tough one and you need to rethink your strategy? In either case, you and your staff need to get on it. And soon if you want to work with a consultant to sharpen your strategies for the giving season.
have their own report about how to develop a strategy for the second half of the fundraising year. It can be downloaded for free with signing on to Convivio’s email list. Interestingly, that’s the first thing the report recommends: “Capture email addresses for your offline donors”! Another one we’d like to call to your attention is to develop a concrete, multi-channel, outreach program. According to their research, “the increased value of adding an online donation and solicitation channel for donors acquired offline is $44.71 (a 39% increase) per donor over 12 months.” A darn good ROI!
They offer eight other great ideas to inspire your agenda at your planning meeting. Sure,! But contact your staff about that meeting, which you are going to hold later this week. Right?