4thQ fundraising: still time

Remember that old movie technique where one of those old fashioned calenders (you may remember when calenders were paper) is shown with the days flipping faster and faster… If you’re in the nonprofit fundraising world, that may fit how things feel right now. If you’re like many, this is THE quarter when you have to deliver income. Much of what you can do, is already planned out and maybe already committed.

You may have some fears or worries about income this quarter. Maybe it’s a bit of anxiety a bouncing around in the back of your mind: “Have I done everything I can do?”

There are still a few actions you can take now that can help connect with donors and improve income this quarter.

Here’s one thing you can do today:

Look at all of your donor communications set to go between now and December 31. Is your copy about you or about your donors? Are you talking about what you want to do or what your donors want to do? Do you focus on your budget needs or the desires of your donors? Is your communication OrgCentric or DonorCentric?

Be the conduit for your donors’ desires and your income will improve.

DonorCentric fundraising will beat OrgCentric. Period.

This isn’t an easy change to make. The strategies and copy techniques are heavily nuanced so you can’t always make this switch quickly, but you can begin now.

Check out last year’s list of “Not Too Late” 4th Quarter ideas…all still excellent advice (if I do say so myself).

Look for more 4thQ Fundraising “There’s Still Time” ideas in the next few weeks. But today, look at your communications, are you focused on what your donors want to do?

What are you doing to maximize your fundraising this quarter? What will your 4th Quarter be like? I love to hear what you’re thinking.

Steve Thomas
Partner, Oneicity

(photo credit: Sister72)

Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

5 thoughts on “4thQ fundraising: still time”

  1. Steve,
    This post reminds me of a comment that Paul Young (author of The Shack) made last week. I’m paraphrasing but it was something like:
    “We ought to always start from the Trinity because that circle of relationships defines everything else from the basis of OTHER-CENTERED love.”
    I think what you’re saying here is a practical way to embody that most foundational of truths – that it started with a “we” and that we (donors and divine help included) is what empowers each of us to do what we do. Thanks for the post.

  2. Donor-centric fundraising would be such an appealing approach as compared to the organization-centric fundraising that is so common in the 4th Q. I visited last year’s blog entry for examples. I would like to see other examples of what NPO’s are successfully using.

  3. @Jeffrey– I’ll let NPOs and others chime in with the specifics of what they’re doing.

    What I will say is that many, many of us (I’ve made this mistake) get so consumed with our issues of budgets and buildings and paying for programs that we forget why donors give.

    As an NPO CEO, I had a donor call me in response to a direct mail letter that had gone out over my signature. The letter was VERY organizational-centric. I’ll never forget the call, he was very nice man but said something very close to: “Don’t ask me to pay for your budgeting mistakes.” In re-reading the letter from his perspective, I completely understood what he was saying. I had allowed my org to communicate that the important issue was our budget, not the good we were trying to do in the world.

    Everyone needs a donor to periodically give them raw, honest feedback. It can be a bit bracing. And helpful.

    Keep it coming, Jeffrey!


  4. Pingback: oneicity // income solutions for non-profits » online fundraising: who are you anyway?

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