As the weather starts to turn a bit warmer this time of year in the Southern Hemisphere, it can be a good idea to think of things that keep us warm and help us get excited for summer – the sun, the beach, a barbeque picnic. As a fundraiser, what keeps me warm this time of year? I try to think of my “hot” prospective donors. Who might donate to my organisation this time of year? This is especially important as we come closer to the end of the calendar year.
As Blazing as the Sun – LYBUNT
This first place to look are to those people and organisations who supported you last year, but have yet to make their donation this year, commonly referred to as LYBUNT (Last Year But Unfortunately Not This). Most fundraising database software programs have this report built into the system and should report on those individuals who donated last year, but not during a specified date range, usually compared to this year.
These potential donors are about as “hot” as you can get when it comes to raising money for your charity. Once they have started making donations to our cause, we don’t want to lose them, since it usually takes a good amount of effort and money to acquire a new donor to our organisation. If we have been working hard all year, the list of our LYBUNT’s shouldn’t be too long. Consider getting a short letter to them in the mail today, stating your immediate needs and include an ask and reply envelope. In two or three days, start making follow-up phone calls with the message to make sure they received the letter and to ask them to read it and consider replying by the end of the week. If you divide the list among staff members, it shouldn’t take too long to reach everyone. If you sort the list in previous gift amount order from highest to lowest, you’ll be sure to connect with your higher amount donors first.
As Burning as the Beach – SYBUNT
The Some Year But Unfortunately Not This should report on those individuals who donated some year in the past, but not during a specified date range, usually compared to this year. These previous donors can also be referred to as lapsed donors.
Although it may have been a few years since these people have supported your organisation, it should be a lot easier for you to convince them to support your cause again versus someone who has never given to your organisation. Your message to them could be about how the program they supported still needs their help today; or maybe mention a new initiative they can consider supporting.
If you don’t think you have time to reach all your LYBUNT’s and SYBUNT’s, narrow your focus to those who are also Trustees, Board members, Volunteers, or Committee members. They are leaders for your organisation and should understand the need and importance for your cause.
So, as you get thinking about the sun and beach, turn towards your “hot” prospects. With their continued support, you will feel warm and your organisation will continue to move forward with its mission and goals. Summer will be here before you know it!