[Strategies for Success - Smart fundraising ideas from Hartsook]

August 20, 2019

“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.”
Celia Thaxter, American author and poet (June, 1835 – August, 1894)

The Dog Days of Summer

imageThe dog days of summer refer to the hottest season in the Northern Hemisphere. Named after the Dog Star, Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major (the Greater Dog), it is during this time of the year that many fundraisers feel tempted to hit pause or, at least, clock out emotionally.

It’s hot. Donors are taking extended vacations. Development staff are coming and going for days and weeks at a time. You receive nearly as many automated “out of the office” replies as you do emails. Schedules are erratic, and the cool, holiday giving season feels far out in the distance.

Here are a few tips for keeping your cool and taking advantage of the last days of summer:

Send greetings and gather stories

Use this time to send handwritten notes of appreciation to major donors. Make non-fundraising connections and find ways to deepen the relationship. Gather recent stories that showcase the mission and underscore the good work your nonprofit has accomplished. Giving season will be here before you know it. Gather stories now, so your end-of-the-year messages will inspire donors to give.

Schedule appointments

With vacations behind them, donors may feel more inclined to schedule a future appointment for the fall. If you wait too long, once the last quarter begins, schedules solidify and the holidays loom, donors may be tempted ask if they can wait to meet “after the New Year.” Get on their calendars now.

Set timetables for the giving season

This year, Thanksgiving will come in November, the holidays in December and the New Year in January. Of course, this is always the case, but if we are not prepared, somehow it slips up on most of us every year. Use the dog days to plan the roll out of all your giving season tasks. Then, when the weather cools and the first chill of autumn hits, you won’t be surprised. You’ll be ready.

H. Layton (Bud) Cooper, DMin, Senior Executive Vice President, [email protected]

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Hartsook’s Growing Philanthropy Tour

Contact [email protected] to schedule a Hartsook consultant to speak at your conference or organization

logoKansas City
November 6-8, 2019
Missouri Community College Association
55th Annual Convention & Tradeshow
Major Gifts from Inspired, Motivated Donors Represent the Greatest Opportunity for Increased Funding to Community Colleges
Matthew J. Beem

Kansas City
November 14, 2019

2019 National Philanthropy Day
AFP Mid-America Chapter
Presenting Sponsor: Hartsook

Baltimore, Md.
March 29-31, 2020
2020 AFP International Conference
From Reliable to Remarkable: Growing Regular Gifts
Karin Cox
Janell Johnson

Past Stops on the Tour

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Book of the Month

Hartsook President and CEO Matthew J. Beem’s book Performance-Driven Fundraising: Taking Control of Your Success shares decades of fundraising insights and features campaign success stories. Performance-Driven Fundraising will help accelerate anyone’s learning curve and serve as a valuable reference tool for new and seasoned fundraisers.

 

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