3 Tips to Jumpstart Your Fundraising in 2018

2017 is over, the holiday season has come and gone, and we’re still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed about the new year.  But with the new year comes new (and some old) challenges.  One of the biggest challenges facing nonprofits is also one of the most critical: How do you maintain fundraising momentum?

December is a wonderful month for last-minute donations, but January can be tough for many nonprofits.  Here are five ways you can leverage an end-of-year boost to keep the wind in your sails well into 2018.

Develop donor impact stories

We all love a good story, especially in the current news climate.  Sit down with your team and discuss the wins of last year: relationships with new or top donors, fundraising milestones, and successful events.  Most importantly, think about how your mission has impacted your community.  Quantify your organization’s contribution measured against donation dollars.  Combine this with a qualitative approach: interview donors, board members, volunteers, and everyone impacted by your mission.  Then, create a story (or several stories) using all this information.  You might tell your organization’s story as a written case study, email newsletter, infographic, social media posts, or a video.  Telling your story is a great way to thank donors, boost morale among staff and volunteers, and inspire others to give.

Consider this impact story from the United Way of Prince Edward Island.

Thank your donors

Speaking of donor appreciation, have you sent out any thank you messages to your donors yet?  These might come in the form of emails, phone calls, gift baskets, handwritten cards (bonus if the card is written by someone directly aided by the donor’s contribution), and much more.  If you’d like to send out special messages to your top donors, consider screening your database to highlight your biggest donors.  For more thank-you ideas, read this blog post.

For inspiration, watch this thank-you video again from the United Way of Prince Edward Island.

Set up an online donation system

Many organizations already allow donors to make contributions directly via the organization’s website.  But if you don’t, it’s time to join the club!

At this time, online donations definitely aren’t a replacement for fundraising intelligence and prospect development.  But why turn away donations from people who want to help by giving a few dollars at a time?  And it’s not just young people who are donating online.  According to this survey of 2017 online giving trends, two thirds of adults aged 40-59 make online donations.

Check out this article on how to set up online giving on your organization’s website.

What are your ideas?  How are you working to maintain fundraising momentum in the early months of 2018?  Share your thoughts below or reach out on Twitter @iWavePRO.

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