Fundraising during your off season

Well, the worst part of the year is behind most of us. Here’s what a recent Super-Scientific Poll showed. When asked In which month do you get the least revenue from fundraising? participants responded this way:


Worstmonths

No matter what you do, you’re going to have a worst month. And that month can have painful impacts on cash flow and the psychology of your organization. Here are some things you can do with your fundraising during your bad months:



  • Reality check. To what extent do you have a bad month because you expect it to be bad? It’s entirely possible your results are self-imposed. You “know” the month is going to suck, so you don’t try to make it not suck. That may be the case. Be sure the problem is real and not only attitudinal.
  • Cut your losses. If your fundraising isn’t working, do less of it. You don’t have to send stuff just because the calendar says it’s time. You’d be much better off canceling weak-season impacts and moving them into your strong season.
  • Tighten up your selects. Scale back your fundraising to your strongest supporters: Those who’ve been with you the longest, those whose giving is highest, those who’ve given most recently. These folks are most likely to respond, even out of season. When you focus on them, you can get revenue at an acceptable cost.
  • Sweeten your offer. Give donors an additional reason to give: Offer to double their dollars with matching funds. Or offer better-than-usual benefits. These things can boost response from poor at least to fair.

Doing these things won’t turn July and August into November and December. But they can lessen the pain.


Comments

6 responses to “Fundraising during your off season”

  1. I love your scientific chart! It reveals what we all know about the summer. However as you state it does not have to be that way. Smart people plan for that down time. My wife and I actually responded to a non-profit this summer that we typically only give to in the fall. The reason? First, they asked for monthly support through the summer. Secondly, the appeal was done well. The result was donations at a time when we would not normally have given them any. They developed a plan and worked their plan!
    I also like your thoughts cutting your losses. As I tell my clients and ask is an ask. If you ask too often I get tired of your hand in my pocket and might stop supporting you altogether. The lesson I have learned is to make the ask count!
    You do have to be careful how you enunciate that!

  2. I love your scientific chart! It reveals what we all know about the summer. However as you state it does not have to be that way. Smart people plan for that down time. My wife and I actually responded to a non-profit this summer that we typically only give to in the fall. The reason? First, they asked for monthly support through the summer. Secondly, the appeal was done well. The result was donations at a time when we would not normally have given them any. They developed a plan and worked their plan!
    I also like your thoughts cutting your losses. As I tell my clients and ask is an ask. If you ask too often I get tired of your hand in my pocket and might stop supporting you altogether. The lesson I have learned is to make the ask count!
    You do have to be careful how you enunciate that!

  3. How many people particpated in the poll?

  4. How many people particpated in the poll?

  5. Jen: about 130 people responded to an online poll. No, that’s not scientific.

  6. Jen: about 130 people responded to an online poll. No, that’s not scientific.

Leave a Reply

What this blog is about

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Blog policies

Subscribe

Get new posts by email:

About the blogger

Jeff BrooksJeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 35 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com. More.


Archives

Blogroll

Categories


Search the blog

The future of fundraising is not about social media, online video, or SEM. It’s not about any technology, medium, or technique. It’s about donors. If you need to raise funds from donors, you need to study them, respect them, and build everything you do around them. And the future? It’s already here. More.

Recent Comments

About the blogger

Jeff Brooks has been serving the nonprofit community for more than 30 years and blogging about it since 2005. He considers fundraising the most noble of pursuits and hopes you’ll join him in that opinion. You can reach him at jeff [at] jeff-brooks [dot] com.

Blog Roll

someone’s blog