Your year-end campaign is finally over. You’ve processed all your donations, thanked donors, posted on social media, and updated your website. Now what? While you and your donors are still feeling the warm glow of the giving season, what can you do to build on that momentum? How do you harness that good feeling and infuse it into future campaigns?
Network for Good’s popular webinar series kicks off 2019 with a topic that’s top of mind for many fundraisers—how to take all the goodwill from a year-end campaign and roll it over into the new year. In Fundraising in the New Year: Leveraging the Post-Campaign Phase, Vanessa Chase Lockshin, explores how to capture the spirit of giving all year round.
Register today and keep reading for a sneak peek of some of the many insights Chase Lockshin will share, from what data to review to what to do next.
Data Points to Explore
“The bedrock of where any analysis starts is with the data,” says Chase Lockshin. “Being able to access and review your data in one place is very important. When you have the data in front of you, you can see everything at a glance and it’s much easier to unpack the numbers and investigate why you got certain results and outcomes.”
Before you close the book on your year-end campaign, take the time to analyze your results. Review your original campaign strategy document and evaluate how well your campaign performed. Establish a set of questions or discovery process to review your campaign.
- What was the intention of the campaign? Did we achieve it?
- What were our goals? Did we meet them?
- What action items did we plan? What did we execute and what fell through the cracks?
- What worked and what didn’t?
- What lessons did we learn?
- How can we integrate those learnings into future campaigns?
Look for trends or patterns in your data. Examine everything from your financial results to communication methods and engagement activity. Do your year-end numbers look like what you generally see in other campaigns or is there an outlier? Investigating patterns will produce better campaign planning and more accurate projections.
Another question Chase Lockshin advises asking at the end of campaigns is “What did I miss?”. Reviewing missed opportunities and parts of your strategy that didn’t meet expectations can reveal blind spots to avoid in future campaigns.
3 Strategies to Maximize Year-End Momentum
Many nonprofits see a year-end bump in donations, both in the total number of gifts and the number of new donors. To capture that momentum and use it to energize your fundraising in the new year, Chase Lockshin advocates three essential strategies.
Focus on stewardship
Organizations that focus on stewardship in the new year—especially January and February—take advantage of the opportunity to demonstrate that they are interested in a deeper relationship with donors. In addition to your existing stewardship efforts that you know donors appreciate, brainstorm efforts that are surprising, creative, and bring delight into the donor relationship.
Plan your next campaign right away
You just finished one of your biggest fundraising efforts of the year. It’s time to rest and regroup, right? Wrong! As the saying goes, there’s no rest for the weary. It can be daunting (and exhausting) to think about planning another campaign immediately after finishing such an all-encompassing one, but now is the time to return to planning mode. You don’t have to launch a new campaign right away. After all, you don’t want to exacerbate donor fatigue. But take advantage of this time when you have your campaign fresh in your mind. Plus, you have all those new learnings to test out and improve upon.
See the whole board
Imagine fundraising is a chess match. Take your time. Think each move through before you act. Incorporate your year-end discoveries into future campaigns and prioritize successful efforts in your annual development plan. Your year-end results are a clear indication of what channels and messaging are returning 80 percent of the results from only 20 percent of the effort. Based on your year-end data, make strategic decisions about where to invest your resources in the year ahead.
Identify and solve the obstacles you came up against last year. Prioritize these obstacles as projects to crack wide open. This will streamline your efforts and make your fundraising more effective. The obstacles that you’re facing—technology, staffing, time, access—those are the real problems to address. Build a fundraising plan that takes those issues into account and solves them.
Want to learn more about how to build on the momentum from your year-end campaign? Register for our webinar, Fundraising in the New Year: Leveraging the Post-Campaign Phase with Vanessa Chase Lockshin.