Rose Report: Issue 33

Nonprofits: Gear Up Now for the Busy Season Ahead

Rose Report Nonprofit PlanningNo matter who you are, you can’t deny you smile a bit more during the holiday season. Those weeks in between a Thanksgiving turkey dinner and a holiday ham have people cheering from the break they just had, and looking forward to the break that is soon to come. As many nonprofit professionals know, this is typically the time that donors are feeling the most benevolent—not to mention evaluating their charitable giving for the year and looking at tax implications.

Although those cold winter months may seem far away, it’s never too early to start your preparation. The end of summer tends to be a slower donation time, as people are in and out of town and making the most of the warm weather. This leaves you with an opportunity for your organization to proactively strategize and plan for the busy season ahead. Here are some ways that you can start to get ahead on the fundraising front.

Get online
If your organization hasn’t gotten online yet, this may be the right time to build that presence! While creating your website, make sure it is compatible with mobile devices and simple to navigate. The donation button should be clear, easy to find and eye catching. Donation pages should be uniform with the theme of the website. And remember, your page should be optimized with the most up-to-date security settings to protect each donor’s financial identity.

Many organizations use different software applications to keep track of mailing lists, tracking donations and volunteer information. Consolidating your system to one platform during the off season is a great investment. Juggling multiple management applications increases the odds of lost, duplicated or outdated information. Not to mention that bringing these together saves time in the future, and allows you to do some much-needed database cleaning at the same time.

Be strategic and creative
Use your downtime to create a long-term strategy for your fundraising efforts. It is important to think outside the box and draw on your organization’s creativity. Simple steps like adding pictures and incorporating a fun newsletter into your organization’s routine can help you attract and retain donors who appreciate the effort that is put into maintaining relationships with them. Also, by using your organized donor database, you can identify the different audiences you are trying to reach and create personalized strategies for each. When doing this, you should be focusing on the strength of their relationship with the organization and how active they have been in the past. By personalizing your campaigns and reaching out in new and creative ways, you can enhance your organization’s visibility for each target group.

Make sure you have financial clarity
Summer is also a great time to ensure that your accounting system is ready for the busy fundraising season. Inside membership-based organizations and public charities shouldn’t overlook the importance of accurate, timely and consistent financial reporting. Rose Financial Services can help bring clarity to your organization’s financial information and has extensive experience assisting nonprofits with their tax reporting.