The fundraiser’s spring cleaning checklist

It’s that time of year again. Time to clean out your development operation, reorganize and re-prioritize your efforts and rid your organization of the fundraising clutter that keeps you from maximizing your success.

Use this fundraiser’s spring cleaning checklist to help get your house in order and get you focused on the most important tasks for your organization:

Build your development plan (if you haven’t already). Establish goals, budgets, strategies and tactics for your success.

Map out an integrated communication plan. Instead of planning month-to-month, take a few days early in the year and map out your communications and fundraising efforts for the entire year. This will give you vision to opportunities for integration and allow you to plug holes you didn’t realize existed.

Review your prospect list. If there are prospects you haven’t been able to engage over the last year, move them to the bottom of your list. They are a low priority. Focus on those who are most engaged and who have the greatest capacity. Don’t waste your time on people who aren’t interested in talking with you.

Update your major donor cultivation plans. You’re coming out of the busiest fundraising season of the year. Chances are you worked so long and hard over the last few months that you may not have taken the time to fully update major donor records in your database. Do that now, and incorporate what you learned over the holidays to make necessary changes to your ongoing major donor cultivation plans.

Invest in Search Engine Marketing and online display advertising. If you aren’t already running SEM and online display, now’s the time to start. Done right, many nonprofits can achieve a 1:1 ROI or better on combined SEM/display campaigns while also acquiring new, high value online donors.

Re-evaluate your special event efforts. If your events aren’t producing the results you expect, stop doing them. Ineffective events waste more time, money and goodwill than you might expect. Redeploy your resources where you’ll have better ROI.

Refresh your thank you receipt copy. If you’re like a lot of nonprofits, you probably use a static thank you letter for most, if not all of your donor gifts. It’s quick and easy for you. But your donors are bored with it, and by sending the same thank you letter copy every time, you’re showing donors you don’t care about them and their needs – just their money.

Get out there and ask!

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