Who has time to implement an online fundraising strategy in December?
And, yeah, this December! As in 2012.
I promise you, you can do it in 15 minutes. You can get started right after you finish reading this. And you can thank me in January.
First, take 3 minutes and write a short and sweet thank you email to a donor for being a donor. Tell them how awesome they are, thank them for their gifts, and tell them how those gifts have helped, even if it that last sentence is pretty general. There you go. 3 sentences, 3 minutes. Now, take 2 minutes and do a simple query in your database (or get your administrator to help you) and create a list of all your current donors with an email address (that you have permission to email). Send them this email this week. Thursday, before 10 a.m. is a great time.
Now next Monday, that’s the 17th of December, take 4 more minutes and write a quick email to let your favourite donor from 2011 know that you haven’t heard from them yet this year. Remind them the year is almost over and that your organization really needs their gift to continue doing the great work you do (one simple example of the great work you do should make it in this email). Ask them to click a link to make their gift right now. Thank them for their caring and loyalty. Take another 3 minutes to prepare a data file that includes every donor with an email address (and permission to email) who has not made a gift in 2012. Use this email you just wrote to your favourite 2011 donor and get ready to send it to the larger file on the 27th of December.
Then on Friday, 21 December, take 1 minute to write a very short email reminding your second favourite donor from 2011 that they only have one more chance to help your charity this year. Make sure that email has a link to your giving page. It should also mention that have done your do your best to make sure your records are as up-to-date as possible, but there is a possibility their very recent gift and this email may have crossed paths. Thank them very much for responding faster than you could update your records! Then on the 31st of December take 2 minutes to build an updated list of everyone on your file (again, with permission to email) who has not given in 2012. Send this last email out on 31 December at 10 a.m.
In early January, you’ll want to set aside 4 more minutes to count all the additional gifts you received online over the last week of 2012, including at least 2 minutes to pat yourself on the back (or for self-high-fiving) for reactivating donors that would have otherwise have lapsed in 2012!
And if you can spare a final minute, please send me a note in the new year to tell me how you did!