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End of Calendar Q1: Where Are You with Your Plan?

Spring has arrived which means we are at the beginning of the second quarter of the calendar (or fiscal) year. Spring and Fall are prime fundraising seasons and to take full advantage of the largesse of your donors, you need to be ready, i.e., have a plan.

My January newsletter talked about using the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting method for your annual fundraising plan. This method has been around for a while because it works. There are also variations of this method that may also work for you.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

An example of a well-executed plan is the invitation I received recently in the mail. It included a tri-fold cardstock invitation, printed in full-color; a list of luxury raffle items; an rsvp card; a list of donors; and a self-addressed return envelope. The luncheon will be held later this month at an upscale hotel in downtown Dallas. Five co-chairs are listed. You can be sure this group of staff and volunteers have a plan. They have a clean database, clear job descriptions for their volunteer committee, and respected leadership.

Now, where are you with your plan?

  • Spring appeal: (1) segmented database, (2) targeted asks, (3) integrated social media with appeal.
  • Events: Are you having an event in the fall? At least half of what needs to be done should be done by now.
  • Summer: Consistent social media to keep your organization top-of-mind. Working on fall appeal and/or event.
  • Fall: Are you participating in North Texas Giving Day? If it’s not working for your organization, don’t spend the time on it. Do your own fall appeal and/or event and get ready for your end-of-year push.

Project management is not just for engineers. There are many project management software programs and platforms (or collaboration workplace tools) you can use to keep your project and people on track. Asana, Basecamp, Monday, SharePoint, and Google docs., are the ones I hear of most often. Check out TechSoup, for software and hardware bargains for nonprofits.

In between your appeals and events is your time to cultivate and steward your donors. This includes your newsletter, messages from your CEO and/or board chair, small events at the homes of board members or other volunteers, and outreach to your significant donors.

Having a plan to follow helps to keep you and your team focused. You know your next step and the one after that. This is not to say you should not take advantage of unforeseen opportunities, but a plan will bring you back to where you need to be to reach your goals by the end of your fiscal year.

DMGroupConsulting is here to help. Schedule a free 30 minute consultation.