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July is almost December in the fundraising world

Yes, it’s already almost July.

I’m a one-day-at-a-time kind of guy, and think it’s a great idea to begin your year-end fundraising plans sooner rather than later.

Experience tells me that before I know it, it will be October (sorry!).

July is the time I like to encourage clients to begin creating end of year fundraising plans. To at least start thinking about it. What does it look like? What would success look like? Who is involved? When does it officially begin?

July is a good time to begin creating your end of year fundraising plan. Invite your team for a metting. Ask everyone to bring their calendars, creativity, and ideas.

Sitting down with your team of fundraisers and development staff (you choose who this is for you) start plugging in dates. I start further out and work back. For example, when do I want our first direct mail piece of the campaign to land? I write that in and then work back all the way to the date where we first discuss the piece.

Who do I want to be involved in the end of year fundraising? Do we do just one mailing or more? Any events?

#GivingTuesday is right in the middle of my typical campaign so I have begun using that to support my efforts. Any board or other donor holiday parties or gatherings can be helpful too.

Then there all of the face to face meetings with donors, my favorite!

Finally, when everyone else is taking off, the last few days of the year can be spent calling every donor who gave the year prior but has not yet given. It could be several hundred calls. Where I have worked in the past, the office was closed the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Yet the development team was always there making calls, answering the phones and making sure they were available for any last minutes donor needs. Then the team would take the next week off!

How you work your end of year fundraising is all up to you. It can be the most fun part of your year.

The main thing is to start planning it now.

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

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