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Your Plate Is Full. How do you prioritize the list?

All of us are starting a new year with great expectations and goals. We have a long list of tasks we both want and need to do. Your plate is already full, and we are only a couple of weeks into 2024. Where to begin?

My Recommendations

• Write or update your organization’s case for support.

• Run 2023 data-analytics.

• Based upon those insights, determine your 2024 fundraising goals and strategies.

• And finally, write the fundraising plan.

Yes, I get it. You are still doing data entry for your 2023 year-end gifts and need to get letters out to secure auction items for the Spring event. Truly, your plate is full.

While all those tasks “need to be completed immediately,” there is one item that should top your list – your donors! The most important person/entity in the fundraising equation is the donor. Without donors, organizations have a pretty ugly bottom line.

Your Most Important Task

In January, your most important task will be to again thank every 2023 donor for their 2023 contribution and make them aware of the value and impact of their gift. Please note that means a piece of personalized mail with a postage stamp and a hand-written signature. It might even include a PS that “makes the donor feel connected.”

You might consider following the warm, fuzzy PS with a second PS and ask them to consider becoming a monthly donor. Let them know how meaningful monthly donors are and how easy the process is to sign-up by going to your website. You can do this in a very few words.

A week later, send all those 2023 donors a follow-up with an email or text message that contains a link directly to your donation page. You want to again ask them to consider becoming a monthly donor and direct them to the donation page.

Your CRM should allow you to separate those individuals who are already monthly /recurring donors from the other 2023 donors. The donors who are already monthly donors need to be thanked for being monthly donors and encouraged to increase the amount of their monthly gift.

Several Fundraising Initiatives

This process sets up several initiatives that steer your organization in the right direction for 2024 and can all be completed in a couple days:

• By thanking ALL 2023 donors again, you increase the probability of improved donor retention numbers in 2024.

• You are encouraging the growth of the number of monthly donors.

• You are raising additional dollars from current monthly donors.

• You are using multifaceted channels to communicate with and raise money from donors.

Some of you might be thinking, I don’t have time for this. By doing this now, you will make your job easier later in the year. You will have started January with GRATITUDE! It never gets better than that.

You will have placed an important fundraising initiative in motion – monthly giving. That initiative alone will boost your fundraising results. You will also have tried your hand at multi-channel fundraising.

Now, if you opened this email and read this far, you have just a couple of weeks to the end of the month. What are you waiting for? Let the gratitude flow.

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