Year-End Results and Moving Forward
Well, we made it at least this far. I don't know what most people expected, but as the year changed, all I could think about was how well so many organizations had done with their Annual Appeal. The majority of the organizations I know or work with did better than they expected. This included Acquisition Appeals. With a relatively small individual giving program, one organization increased its new donors by 25%, which is a huge increase for this organization. The renewal rate stayed at about 80%, which is about average, in my opinion.
Well, the most obvious reason is that people are home and read mail they might have just thrown away in pre-pandemic days. I also think that by November- December 2020, people were feeling better about the world and wanted to make a difference. I have not found that the $300 in the CARES Act making a difference. It might be interesting to survey your new donors and see if the $300 deduction affected their giving. Surveying new donors soon after their gift is always a good idea, anyway.
Considering we have not idea what 2021 will be like, I recommend that organizations focus on Stewardship. Pulling these new donors closer to the organization is vital if we want them renewal their gift or make an additional gift during the year. Let's not take them for granted.
Now is also an excellent time to provide different options to donors like Monthly Giving and Planned Giving. We should reach out while we have their attention.
No matter what you decide to do, remember, this is a unique opportunity to build relationships with your donors during an unusual time. It would be best if you did not let it slip away. Prospects and donors want to hear from us.
A Holiday Wish
May the end of year giving be all that you have hoped and planned for it to be. This has been a weird year and hopefully, something good will come from it for your organization. Here's to whatever 2021 holds for all of us.
It Occurs To Me
It has been an amazing year, to say the least. I am part of a group of senior-level fundraisers who meet monthly to talk about the issues we face doing our jobs. We discuss everything from staff issues, board relationships, and managing up, down, and all around. This group has been very helpful to me. If you don't have a space like this maybe you should do the thoughtful thing and start one. Contact your peers even if you don't know them. You have a great deal in common and I bet they will appreciate the chance to meet. Give it a try.
Please leave a comment, thoughtfully.