How To End Your Fiscal Year Strong

June 1, 2020
in Blog, Brand Management, Business Management, Fundraising, Marketing

For most organizations, the end of a fiscal year can present increased stress and required energy – in a good year. Layer on the most recent COVID-19 pandemic and there are many who are scrambling to end on a positive note.

For over a decade we’ve been working with countless colleges, universities and non-profits. And throughout that time we’ve identified trends in what the successful organizations do, regularly, and how it sets them apart from those who continually struggle to hit their numbers year after year.

We know that these past few months have presented even more challenges – cancelled in person events, fearful donors who are cutting back on gift commitments, a remote work situation which makes collaboration difficult. The challenges are many.

The good news? There are things that you can implement TODAY to help keep your organization moving forward. These activities will be the donor building initiatives you need to end the 2020 fiscal year strong AND position your organization as we kick off the new year.

  1. Identify donors who typically make a gift but haven’t yet. Take that list a step further and identify those LYBUNTs who have given consistently for the past 3+ years. If they haven’t made a gift yet – reach out to them personally. Instead of sending a mass email blast, split the list up amongst your staff and reach out personally. Personal connections and sincere conversations are what prospects are craving. Make them feel special.
  2. Be transparent on what your organization needs and why donor support is critical for the long term success of the organization. What programs are going to be postponed if you can’t raise enough money? How will students (if you’re in higher education) be impacted if you don’t hit your Annual Fund goals? If you don’t clearly communicate what it is you need, your donors can’t respond accordingly.
  3. Adjust your outreach efforts to there’s a consistent message. This is HUGE. All too often organizations have disconnected marketing efforts. Their brand isn’t consistent, their message is scattered, and prospects are left wondering what it is you need from them. Take these next few weeks and be crystal clear on what it is you need and CLEARLY and CONSISTENTLY communicate that message.
  4. Don’t be afraid to use direct mail. Yes, we said it. You need to be mailing. We’re not suggesting you mail to everyone (in fact we rarely ever recommend that). Direct mail has declined dramatically since the COVID pandemic – which means your message won’t be fighting against a ton of clutter. Statistics are being reported that DM has declined by almost 50%*. Use this time to identify key donors and supplement your personal outreach efforts with a highly personalized, very direct appeal that outlines specifically what you need from them and why.

If you’re still struggling to find ways to get your organization on track OR don’t know where to start – consider using this strategy guide. It’s an easy to use document that will take you through a step by step process on revamping your solicitation efforts!

Download our Philanthropy Marketing Strategy Worksheet here.