Your Fundraiser Is Over: Now What?
Often as a fundraiser winds down, organizers take a deep breath and look forward to relaxing for a while. However, some of the most important work happens in the days immediately following the end of your fundraiser. It’s important to not only show appreciation to everyone who has worked so hard but to lay the foundation for next year. Here are a few things you should do at the end of every fundraising season.
No matter how busy everyone is, the end of your fundraiser should include a celebration. Invite everyone involved with making your campaign a success and acknowledge each of them. If your budget allows, provide a small token of appreciation to each person. By recognizing the hard work of your volunteers, you’ll establish a reputation as an organization that cares. This will not only increase the chances those same volunteers will return next year, it will also make it more likely they’ll refer your fundraiser to others looking for volunteer opportunities.
Send Thank You Letters
From a young age, many children are taught the importance of sending thank-you letters. During your fundraising campaign wrap-up, letting your donors know you appreciate their assistance is essential. These days, thank you letters are often in electronic form. Send a short message to donors, sponsors, and everyone else who helped you reach your goal, letting them know that their help made a big difference. Some nonprofits make a habit of also sending a thank you message during the holiday season to show appreciation for a great year.
Every successful business learns from past experience. With each fundraising campaign, your team should stop to study the results, recognizing what worked and what didn’t. This is also a good time to make notes for next year’s campaign, while things are still fresh on your mind. If you plan to stay another year, this will give you a good start next year when you sit down to strategize the upcoming campaign. If new leadership takes over next year, your notes will help them understand the lessons you learned from last year’s campaigns.
Organize for Next Year
The more work you can begin to do for next year’s campaign, the better. Just as a store closes out its cash register and cleans up at the end of each day, you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared to get started next year. Close out your books and leave a message on your social media sites that let your supporters know you’ll see them next year. Consider all of the things you’ll do to strategize your campaign next year and do anything you need to make sure you have a good start when you reconvene. Identify your target audience for both volunteers and contributors and consider how you’ll reach that market next year.
In the final days of your fundraiser, it’s natural to enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done. But by taking a little time to evaluate your wins and your mistakes, you can prepare yourself to get to work next year.