You don’t need to go to a conference or register for a webinar to know that the 4th quarter is important.
We all know how important it is. That’s when the largest percentage of people are thinking about nonprofits, making a difference, and wanting to give.
That means it’s a chance for your organization to raise money, gain new donors, and deepen the relationships you have with your current donors.
With so much riding on it, you need a plan for the 4th quarter.
And just in case you need to hear it: Hope is not a plan.
You can’t cross your fingers and hope your donors will give to your organization—even if they truly do love you and your work. This is too important to just say, “Well, let’s see what happens.”
The ideal plan for your organization probably looks different from the plan for the organization around the corner. But here are the first 2 steps our team does when building a 4th quarter plan.
- Start with New Year’s Eve and work your way backward to schedule appeals, newsletters, emails, and any other communication you plan on sending to your donors.
- Look at when holidays are. How many days before that do you need to be in a donor’s mailbox or inbox?
- Some people like to use a big whiteboard to see everything, some people like to use paper calendars, some like to use a digital calendar. Whichever works for you, there’s one thing you need to remember:
- Integrate your digital and non-digital impacts when scheduling. They should work together, not compete. Looking at the whole picture will help you make a plan that will be effective.
- Next, take a look at last year’s processes. Does anything need to be adjusted? Were there issues that need to be addressed?
- Check in with your team and talk with them. Get their input on how last 4th quarter went.
- Again, hope is not a plan. You really don’t want to just hope that issues from last year have magically sorted themselves out. They rarely do that. (Don’t ask me how I know.)
Lastly, if you’re feeling completely overwhelmed about the idea of planning out the 4th quarter, don’t be. We’re here to help! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Twitter and we’ll schedule a time to talk!