Bring on the New Year!
With the turning of the calendar comes a wonderful opportunity to reset your mind and refresh your goals. Even if your fiscal year doesn’t align, January 1 can still offer fundraisers an opportunity to reflect and adjust to ensure goals remain achievable and within sight.
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To help you jumpstart your January with an eye toward accomplishing those bold yearlong goals, I want to share four simple stewardship tips that you can easily implement to ensure you’re taking action early and often in the New Year:
Check That Thank-You List…Twice
Take a tip from Santa, a guy who knows how to get a lot done in one night. The first few weeks of the New Year are an opportune time to remember – and personally engage with – those individuals who just generously gave 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 stewardship. 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 thrice, assess which donors increased their giving in the last year. Then, send along a special acknowledgment via a personal note or phone call for that extra cherry on top.
Buy the Dip
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 data, will help to ensure you remain in the know as much as possible. Pick up the phone and thank them for their support, 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 take the time 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 event – 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 on or around Valentine’s Day. For those who are single, divorced, separated, or widowed, it’s a nice way to ensure they feel the love around this early holiday!
After the dust has settled and you are beginning the year fresh, your attention is most likely turning to retain the donors that your organization saw in 2021. Download our Donor Retention Toolkit for your complete guide to how you can keep donors engaged and inspired to give again in 2022: