Advanced Planning Advances Purpose
In leadership, there’s a massive amount of wait and see.
Whether in the middle of an annual drive or a huge capital campaign, I believe development success is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
This is challenging for many…I go so far as to say most people.
The more you grow the number of people who are seeing the next step happen, the more you grow the community.
In the meantime, it’s a numbers game. Chalk up success to bringing glory to God and watch your community grow.
Good news? You don’t have to sit idly by – you can make a move!
Pinpoint your contact.
Remember, you have three groups you should be considering at all times: new donors to retain, donors to regain, and donors to recruit.
When you view every person as needing to be categorized into one of these three groups, you are better able to design how you approach them in order to have the greatest impact for your ministry.
This is called prospect planning.
Everyone who gave in 2017, or the prior year, becomes your new donors to retain list.
Donors who once gave but who are drifting away make up your donors to regain list.
Donors who have never given but who will be invited or spurred to action by an event or enrollment make up your donors to recruit list.
Everyone else? Welcome to your non-donor list. The possibilities are endless.
When you place your prospects, your planning time is greatly decreased.
You’ve already categorized – now it’s time to energize!
Prioritize based on giving recency.
The list of new donors to retain is not going to dramatically change over the calendar year. They gave. We want them to give again. We have until December 31 to make it happen. These donors are the most positioned for securing pledges. They are your focus.
Secondly, you have your group of donors to regain – those who gave a little over a calendar year ago. These are your second focus; their connection to your ministry is relatively fresh.
Last but not least you have donors to recruit. This group of people can be predicted only to a certain extent for they are usually connected to an event or enrollment designed to bring in new people.
Building a yearly calendar is similar to building a year-end calendar that runs in two cycles.
January to June and August to December you thank, report, ask, and follow-up.
January through March, focus on thanking and reporting. In April, ask. May through June spend time following up. August starts the cycle over again with thanking and reporting. In October, focus on asking. Wrap up your year with follow-up in November and December.
There’s a difference between being unconsciously and intentionally competent.
It’s possible you and your team are already doing some of these suggestions without even knowing it.
I am encouraging you to look at whatever you’re doing well and to do it better. This will keep you from dropping too many balls.
You now have a framework, a tight and integrated strategy to work with. I can’t wait to hear how these suggestions impact your ministry!