This post comes from the Gravyty Fundraising Academy, a series that examines how fundraisers adapt and strategize to evolve what's possible through philanthropy.
Your guide for the Gravyty Fundraising Academy is VP of Customer Success, Lisa Alvezi. Lisa has worked with countless fundraisers across Higher Education, Health Care, and Nonprofit organizations to transform fundraising. As a former frontline fundraiser herself, her goal is to help you see better results from your fundraising efforts.
It's Mid-August. Do You Know Where Your Fall LYBUNTs Are?
Pre-season football is back, the leaves are just beginning to change color, the summer months are winding down, and there's a whole new group of LYBUNTs need your attention. Yes, we also need to think about the new faces we look to engage with in the changing seasons.
A personal and focused approach is always the best way to engage your donors. That's not just for your upcoming solicitation but also to see increased and predictable giving over the years. That's why mid-August is the perfect time to look back at your donors who give every fall (even those who missed giving last year) and developing a plan to personally reach them in the coming weeks.
The way I approach my fall LYBUNTs and SYBUNTs is by segmenting my donors. Typically, I'll mirror the buckets I make for LYBUNTs on the SYBUNT side. For example, consider the following buckets (or use these buckets to inspire an approach that's right for your donors).
Bucket 1: Consistent Donors
Message to LYBUNTs – whenever possible, I love to use giving milestones to encourage my donors. Are your donors coming up on significant milestones or total giving dollars? Tell them. Whether it's five or 15 years, reminding them that they've consistently made giving a priority is a powerful tool.
Message to SYBUNTs – unfortunately, when a donor breaks the streak of giving, they have to start over again for that metric. However, consider that it can be just as powerful to remind them that they gave seven of the last eight years, or whatever the case may be. Let them know if they are coming up on any significant dollar amount, celebrate their progress, and ask them if they will continue their support.
Bucket 2: Event Donors
Organizations lost a lot of event donors in the last year. However, with a deeper understanding of what's safe, we're seeing more and more donor events on our schedules.
The message to LYBUNTs and SYBUNTs is similar – let them know that you missed engaging with them at last year's fall events. Then tell them what you have in store for this year. Is there something that you're planning that you can let them know about? Can you send a message early just to say that you look forward to seeing them? The game plan has not changed for your event donors: start your conversations around events and get them engaged.
Bucket 3: Special Affinity Donors
Knowing a donor's affinity and emotional connection is perhaps the most important data any fundraiser has access to.
The message to LYBUNTs and SYBUNTs is similar – prepare personal outreach around how their past giving impacted their area of interest. Whether they were able to give last year or not, let them know about the needs in that program area and that you are seeking their continued support. Additionally, depending on how they feel about safety, they may greatly appreciate an on-site visit to see how things have changed and to walk your halls once again.
In the fall, people are refreshed. Use these last few weeks of summer to prepare your personal outreach to your fall LYBUNTs (and SYBUNTs) and remind them why they chose to give in the first place.
If you’d like to learn more about how artificial intelligence can empower your organization to have a culture of philanthropy, personally reach new donors, and inspire giving at scale, connect with Gravyty today.