It’s called “the race that stops the nation”. In Australia, today is the Melbourne Cup. And many of us will pause this afternoon to watch this horse race with friends and colleagues. For some, it’s a public holiday; for others, we simply might not return to working in the afternoon.
If our role is fundraising for a charity, we are also in a race today – one to hit our goal or target by 31 December. So, the first Tuesday in November is when we are coming down the stretch to the end of our calendar year – and, for most of us, halfway through our financial year. Whether we are in the back stretch or home stretch, we want to come in first and take home the cup!
Since many of us will put a wager on the race today, I thought I’d play ‘punter’ and give some tips for being the winning jockey in your race to raise dollars for your non-profit.
- Perform data hygiene on your data set before you drop the year-end appeal to acquire changes of addresses prior to dropping the mail out; ensuring less return to sender (RTS) mail
- As part of your stewardship, call donors who give over $100 to your appeal and thank him or her for their gift. Gain new information from these donors on the call and record this information in your database
- Add a seasonal message to your acknowledgement letter/receipt, such as “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year”.
Bonus tip: don’t forget a special message and effort to your LYBUNT and SYBUNT groups.
Doing any of these things today may ensure you a win, place, or show. But I’m hopeful you will go for the trifecta and do all three. Only by taking some chances and being aggressive down the stretch will you get over that line ahead of the others. And within your organisation – everybody wins – you and your charity!