Here are my three suggestions:
Revisit your no's
Last year a friend told me about a campaign she was working on. Since I was familiar with her community, I mentioned some names of people that I thought she should've contacted. She told me each of them had said "no."
So, being who I am, I asked them myself. At least one of them did. He gave enough to push the campaign over goal.
Too often, we create narratives for donors. They don't respond to our request, so we start creating stories in our heads about why they aren't responding. In reality, they could simply be busy with other things. But we take it as a firm no.
Take a moment this week and look at the "no's" you think you've gotten over the last six months. And re-ask them. It could be as simple as a call saying, "Hi Joe, this is [your name]. We still have this great project. When we last spoke you weren't in a position to make a gift. Would you be able to now?"
Ask your LYBUNTS
Yeah, I know, we're not supposed to label people. Especially not with acronyms. People are people and have inestimable worth.
But face it, acronyms and labels can be helpful. Like LYBUNTS. LYBUNTs are people who gave last year but unfortunately not this year.
This week would be a great time to take a look at a LYBUNT list. If you can, particularly look for the people who made gifts between January and June of last year. While most people tend to give at calendar year-end, enough donors give in the spring to make this list worth looking at.
Look at the list and call everyone you can. The call would be as simple as, "Hi Sally, this is [your name]. Last May you made a gift to our cause and we're so grateful. We're still doing amazing things. Would you consider making that gift again this year?"
Send out a "pre-press" donor list
I'm not a huge fan of donor lists but I definitely understand why organizations use them. But why publish them only after the fiscal year? Why not print one now?
You could send it out as a thank you and ask "Did we get your name right?" Or "Is this how you'd like to appear?" The thing is, don't just send it to donors. Send it to your entire list. Lists like this can be a form of social proof.
Studies show that most of us want to know we're not the only one acting in a particular way. A list like this shows donor prospects that others just like them have given to you. It might be the "proof" they need to right the check.
This week, why not run a draft donor list. Get a mailing out to your list if you can manage that. And post it online and notify your supporters by email with a link. Don't rely just on an email, having something printed in your hand can be more motivating. And less easy to "delete."
Those are my three suggestions. What would you add? Feel free to post your suggestions in the comments section.
Even if this isn't the end of your fiscal year, why not block out some time this month to do each of these three things? It definitely won't hurt!
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