Five steps for a half-year fundraising review

11th July 2016

Summer holidays are just around the corner but before you head off to the seaside or the countryside make time to conduct a fundraising review and adapt your plans for the rest of the year.

Here are five simple steps you and your team can take for conducting a half-year review:

  1. Review your fundraising and marketing plan and mailing schedules. Print out your fundraising and marketing plans and evaluate them. Are you sticking to the plan or not? What activities are running behind schedule and how they might impact other activities and mailings?

Get your team together, look at the plans with them and update the plans and schedules as needed to insure that you can be as effective as you can during the second part of the year.

  1. Calculate ROI’s and update your dashboard of reports. I know several charity marketers who run fundraising and marketing reports but rarely find the time to stop and reflect on them and adapt their actions accordingly.

So, right now take this opportunity to review the ROI’s of key fundraising activities for the first half of 2016. Review the income trends, the response rates to your appeals, emails and other campaigns. Review the numbers of new contacts and new supporters acquired and where they came from. Review income from major donors and grant making trusts.

See the bigger picture and determine whether you are reaching your goals, discuss the findings with your team and make any adjustments needed to ensure that you meet your income generation and donor involvement goals.

If you need some help in this area consider taking our Fundraising Fitness Test.

  1. Spend time with your charity’s finance and programme managers because the success of your work is dependent on collaborating with them.

Discuss current income and expenditures with the finance director and work with them to make any adjustments. Update them about key fundraising initiatives and discuss potential outcomes. Get them to see the importance of investing in acquiring and cultivating long-term donors.

Get the latest news and stories from the ministry programmes director. Listen to them, ask questions about recent trips and opportunities, make notes about potential impact stories you or others can use in future emails, appeals or newsletters.

  1. Make plans to see some major donors and prospects in the Autumn. If you are leading a team or are a sole fundraiser set a few hours aside to plan your major donor visits and meetings for the second part of the year.

If you have a major donor fundraiser ask them to plan the major donor meetings and add the dates in your diary. If you are a sole fundraiser do some planning and talk to your CEO in advance so they can block time in their diary to visit some major donors and prospects with you in the second part of the year.

  1. Conduct some informal research to get feedback on your charity’s communications. Share a handful of your charity’s communications with friends in your church at a BBQ or another summer event.

Ask them to read your charity’s appeals or newsletters and to give you some honest feedback about the stories used, the images, the length of each piece, the language used, etc. Get other team members to do the same with some of their friends, collate the information and discuss the changes you could implement to make your communications more supporter friendly.

Are there any other steps you would like to add to this list? – We would love to hear from you.