We may not be in retail where everything is focused on the holiday season, but for fundraisers, the fall season is just as important. Most of us have a major event or two scheduled for these important months. It is critical that we make the most of them.
At the same time, fall is hectic for everyone. Our stakeholders can be extremely busy, even hard to reach, right when we could use their input, support, and attendance at events.
What’s a busy fundraiser to do? Think ahead and maximize your fall effort. Let these 5 tips give some structure to your brainstorming and activities and start dreaming of your fabulous fall.
Tip 1: Finish your fall fundraising plans before autumn hits.
With the start of a new school year, it’s a great time to boost your fundraiser results by trying a new technique! See how much better event results can be when you try tactics like sending targeted text blasts to event guests, or adding a silent auction.
Tip 2: Communicate with all of your stakeholders.
At this busy time of year, get in touch with your board, key donors, and staff sooner rather than later. Tell them how much a successful fall means to your nonprofit, and specify in detail what you will need from them to make this happen.
Tip 3: Start using fundraising software.
Adopting a digital fundraising software increases productivity, organization, and impact. With it, here are a few of the new activities you can do at your fall event:
- Use an event dashboard and checklist to better manage your fundraiser
- Upload an updated contact list to maximize your outreach, and segment your contact list to maximize your results!
- Increase the size of your silent auction, as managing items digitally is easier and more secure.
- Cut the time it takes to plan guest seating charts in half.
- Add a live donation tracker to keep guests informed and inspired throughout the evening.
- Produce custom reports throughout the fall to keep your stakeholders informed.
Tip 4: Trouble-shoot!
There’s no such thing as a perfect fundraising campaign. Something unexpected always occurs: a solicitation letter falls flat, a key employee leaves, or the event MC gets sick. Still, while there may be no such thing as a 100% foolproof fundraiser, we can still go a great distance towards being error-free by expecting the unexpected! When planning your fundraiser, ask yourself the following types of questions to uncover potential issues:
- Who haven’t you talked to?
- What haven’t you done yet?
- Is there an elephant in the room that we’re not addressing?
- What could throw you off schedule?
- What could we do differently?
Tip 5: Inspire your co-workers at the outset of fall.
Knowing fall is the busiest time of the year for fundraisers, gearing up can be a challenge. Use this as an excuse to provide a little TLC for your staff! Wow your employees with an exciting calendar and plan, recognize their hard work to date, and celebrate recent “wins.” Ask them what they need from you or the organization as a whole to improve their job performance, and encourage them to expand their skill set — offer an advanced Excel tutorial, a day to organize their filing system, or even a public speaking class!
Ready to get started on your fabulous fall? Start off with the behind-the-scenes part — adopt a fundraising software today! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a BidRocket demo. We will have your nonprofit operating with a fundraising software in as little as one week – just in time for autumn!