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Fundraising Tip: January Relationship Building and Fundraising

January can be a great month for your annual fundraising.

As much work as we put into fundraising in December, we know that our efforts cannot stop in January.

I hope you were able to take some time off and practice self care during the last (and busiest month) of fundraising. If not, be sure to take some time this week.

January can mean different things to different fundraising teams, depending on when your yearend is. If yearend is December, then you have some breathing room. If yearend is June, you’re half-way through.

Before I continue, I’m a nonprofit fundraising professional who believes that there is always time for breathing room.

Regardless of when your yearend is, it’s a good idea to reach out to donors who have consistently donated in December, but did not this past December. Time flies, and they most likely forgot. It’s up to us to engage with them and ask about a donation.

January is also a good time to send donors personal emails about how the past year was for your organization, the successes and the challenges. Within that email remind them of their impact, and say thank you.

It’s also the perfect time to begin building your foundation for yearend giving, meaning your fundraising campaigns that begin in October and November. The stronger your relationships are with your donors, the better your yearend fundraising is going to go. That means consistently working on those relationships throughout the year.

Keep close with those on your program teams. The more information you get from them about the impact of your work on those your organization serves, the better. Share that information with everyone.

Lastly, for now, create a plan for the next several months focused on building your community of supporters. This goes beyond donors. It includes those affected by your mission, program officers at foundations, electeds, and your volunteers. Really anyone who supports your impact.

Starting the year off with actions to take now and plans for the next several months will strengthen your fundraising efforts throughout the year.

Take a risk. Be of service. Support your friends and colleagues. Be kind.

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