With the turning of the calendar comes a wonderful opportunity to reset your mind and refresh your organizational goals. Even if your fiscal year doesn’t align, the start of the new year can still offer fundraisers an opportunity to reflect and adjust to ensure goals remain achievable and within sight.
To help you jumpstart the new year with an eye toward accomplishing your yearly goals, here are four simple fundraising tips to ensure you’re taking proactive action to steward your donors early and often in 2023:
Check your thank you list (twice!)
Take a tip from Santa, someone who knows how to get a lot done in one night. The first few weeks of the new year are a perfect time to remember—and personally engage with—those individuals who have generously given their time or money to your organization during the holiday and end-of-year-giving season.
Don’t turn the page without taking the opportunity to reflect on their recent generosity. Failing to do so could have negative implications when it comes to your long-term donor stewardship and lasting relationships. Plus, reaching out while the gift is still fresh in both your minds will only strengthen the value of the communication.
For those overachieving fundraisers looking to check the list a third time, assess which donors increased their giving in the last year. Then, send along a special acknowledgment via a personal note or video for that extra cherry on top.
Recognize the waning donors
Recognize a decrease in giving from certain donors from one year to the next? It’s time to buy in—and check in—with those individuals to ensure you’re up to date with their circumstances.
Staying in touch with these donors, and consistently mining your own donor data, will help to ensure you remain in the know as much as possible. Thank them for their support through a personal video message, but also take the opportunity to gather information on their status to help you develop a more realistic strategy to cultivate and steward these donors back to previous giving levels.
If their financial situations are preventing them from reaching previous levels, you can also reflect this in your pipeline and reassess it in the future as well. But it’s important to make that personal connection so you can strengthen the quality of your overall strategy.
Celebrate the milestones
Maybe it’s someone who just gave for the first time. Or a lapsed donor who re-entered the fray. No matter what the situation, a gift is worth celebrating! And even better, the more personally you acknowledge the gift, the more it will resonate with the donor and positively impact the likelihood of continued gifts in the future.
Take the opportunity to directly acknowledge their status and show your appreciation. This can go a long way in building what could be a long-term relationship with a donor.
With the holidays still fresh in your mind, think ahead to February’s big holiday—Valentine’s Day. In regard to your portfolio, it’s a great opportunity to assess your prospects and in particular, keep in mind those on your list who may not have a significant other. Use these next few weeks to research and prepare with the goal of sending them a personalized acknowledgment around the upcoming holidays and awareness days.