Third in a series: Six Things You Can Do This Summer to Help You Win in the 4th Quarter!
In my first post of this series I wrote, in part, about putting together a little “half-year” report on your caseload for your manager to let him or her know that you are on top of it and have a plan for donors who are behind on the goals you set for them.
Well, I want to take that same idea a little further. During the summer I’m certain there are days that you feel like you’re the only one in the office. It’s great, isn’t it? No one’s there to bother you with endless questions, no one’s breathing down your neck. It’s the perfect time to take real stock of your caseload and do a thorough SWOT analysis.
A SWOT analysis is about analyzing your caseload’s Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats. See the graph below:
Simply draw these four quadrants on a piece of paper or whiteboard. Now, while you’re sitting in your office or in an empty conference room, start filling these in.

  1. Strengths — Who are your best donors? Why are they your best donors? How can you leverage them? How can you get more of your caseload into this category?
  2. Weaknesses — Do you really even know most of your caseload? Are you too event-driven and not enough one-on-one driven? Do you have too many B- and C-level donors on your caseload? Who are your weakest donors?
  3. Opportunities — Perhaps you have some A-level donors who want to introduce your organization to their friends, or you could invite your B- and C-level donors to hear those top donors talk about your organization. Maybe you have lots of on-site visit opportunities that your caseload can take advantage of to witness your mission first-hand.
  4. Threats — The local economy… too many C-level donors… program people who are not geared toward fundraising… can’t get the numbers from finance? These could all be threats to the success of your caseload.

You’ll be amazed at what you can come up with when you have some time to think. And with just over half of the calendar year gone, you still have time to take this analysis and do something with it.
Once you have this worked out, I highly recommend putting this into a more formal document or PowerPoint and present it to your boss, Executive Director or board to show them that YOU are thinking about your donors and are continually planning and strategizing on ways to strengthen your caseload.
You’ll show your organization that YOU are on top of it and are taking time to really THINK about your donors. Believe me, the work you do now will have huge payoffs later in the year.
Don’t wait until things begin to creep up on you. Take the sleepy days of summer and get ahead of the game.
Read the whole series — Summertime Lessons:

  1. Summertime Lesson #1: Create New Plans for Donors Behind Goal
  2. Summertime Lesson #2: Figure Out Who Your Donors Are
  3. Summertime Lesson #3: Get Ahead of the Game! (this post)
  4. Summertime Lesson #4: Learn Something New!
  5. Summertime Lesson #5: Get Deep with Some Donors. Do Something Crazy!
  6. Summertime Lesson #6: Get Some Rest and Get Inspired!