It’s July. Are you already thinking about your end-of-year campaign? Raise your hand if you said “no.” But consider this: From October to November, many nonprofits generate a large majority of their revenue as part of their year-end appeal. November and December bring in 32 percent of digital giving and 26 percent of all giving. But, according to a survey by CRM group NEON, 54 percent of nonprofits don’t start their year-end planning until October. With that much revenue at stake, it’s worth the extra investment in time and energy to get started now. You don’t want to look back in December and wish you could have done more.

Principal Consultant, Dolores McDonagh

Starting in July, we’ll be hosting webinars lead by Principal Consultant Dolores McDonagh, providing you with a month-to-month guide to year-end fundraising. In it, we will cover key tasks and goals that will help set your organization up for year-end success.

Assess Your Strengths and Assemble Your Team
You’ve already got a lot on your plate, of course, but this really is the perfect time to take a moment to assess your team’s skills and strengths, and evaluate where you may need assistance. By team, we mean staff in your department, other departments’ staff, outside agencies or vendors, or freelance creatives.

If you take a moment to plan now — acknowledging that an end-of-year campaign is a hard one-person job — you’ll have time to bring together people with the necessary skills. When assessing your current team’s strengths, look at areas you may need to shore up. You want people who can bring the following skills to the table, if necessary:

  • Analysis and strategy
  • Major gift fundraising
  • Database
  • Writing and design
  • Web and email development
  • Social media
  • Google Analytics
  • Project management

Make that last skill a priority. If you don’t already have a project manager, you should get one.

Find a Project Manager
A project manager, whether in-house or contract, is the glue that will hold your year-end campaign together. Project managers serve as a single point of contact to ensure your campaign runs more efficiently. They keep the many moving parts organized and help guard against the dreaded project creep

Good project managers also help manage the team’s time to ensure tasks are completed in a timely manner and handle potential pitfalls and risks, making adjustments where needed. Perhaps most important, they help ensure smooth communication among the team, keeping everyone in the loop and on target to achieve your year-end goals.

Once you’ve assessed and assembled your team, the next step is to analyze the previous year’s results. So, for August, get ready to take a trip down memory lane as we cover analytics and testing.