The Autumn months are typically a heightened activity period for charitable organisations. While elements of this year’s plan will change, it is still important to ensure that September-December remains a period of focused action which will yield financial results.
Here are five tips to help you get ready for September:
Tip 1: Develop a Calendar and Set Goals for the Period
- Develop a one-page fundraising calendar that takes you to the end of the year.
- Include any important dates or events (even if the format will be different this year) and consider how you can use these to progress fundraising conversations.
- Include financial and activity benchmarks so you can continually assess progress and amend your plans as necessary:
- How many meetings do you hope to hold each week/month?
- How will you divide the financial goal across September – December?
Tip 2: Revisit Your Prospect List
- Identify the top 25 most important relationships for your organisation in the coming months. For each develop a personalised plan which addresses:
- The objective for each e.g. build affiliation, brief them on your plans, ask for their support, steward their gift.
- What activities need to happen over the next few months to reach this outcome?
- Make sure your pipeline is up to date. This may include adding new names to your database (e.g. new parents, recent graduates, new community members).
Tip 3: Prepare Your Materials
- Spend time reviewing your fundraising materials and identify any that may benefit from updating.
- Share information regarding how your organisation has responded during the Covid-19 pandemic and how this has impacted the support that you require to ensure that your priorities remain highly relevant.
- Refresh your documents by incorporating updated images, statistics, infographics and testimonials to tell the story and encourage giving.
Tip 4: Plan Events for the Autumn
- Consider your events calendar, although the format of some events may change it is important to create opportunities throughout the year to engage with your community.
- Spend time now on the core elements such as defining the guest list, confirming the format and making key stakeholders aware of significant dates.
Tip 5: Celebrate Recent Wins
- The last few months have been challenging for all organisations, spend some time reflecting on the ways in which you adapted and the progress that was made.
- By documenting your successes, you may even find that you have new content to share with your community about the ways in which your organisation responded to the crisis and continued to drive activity in line with your mission.