Part 1 of a 5-part series: The Mid-Year Major Gift Check Up List
We’re approaching the middle of the calendar year, and now is a good time to check in on how you’re doing with the donors on your caseload. Why the middle of the calendar year? Because you’re a mere six months away from the best giving part of the year, and there’s no time to waste in doing the additional analysis and planning to make sure that…
- You’re on track with your donors – every one of them. And it doesn’t matter if you’re on a fiscal year just started.
- You’re ready to make some bold asks during the fourth quarter of the calendar year.
I’m going to address this checkup subject in five blog posts as follows:
- The Last Year vs. This Year Check, or “Looking to see who’s been left behind” (today’s post).
- Do You Have Your Donors Tiered? – This is revisiting the subject that not all donors are the same and, now that you have more time under your belt with each of them, you should know a lot more about how to steward each of them.
- Upgrading the 20% – Here we’ll explore the subject of upgrading and what you should be doing and achieving to upgrade your good donors.
- Identifying TWO Donors to Give Big – I want to challenge you to find just two donors in your caseload with whom you’ll do something remarkable in the next six months; donors who, if YOU do the right things, will do something remarkable with YOU.
- Are YOU Taking Care of Your Heart? – This is a good time to check back in and ask yourself how you’re doing in your own journey with the great cause you find yourself in.
So, that’s where we’re going in the next five posts.
But today, I want to talk about “Looking to see who’s been left behind.” While this may seem like a fairly straightforward thing to do, Jeff and I are constantly amazed at how many MGOs don’t stop to take a look at which donors are “missing in action” from last year or the last cycle.
All it takes is a mere tiny little report and an hour or so to scroll down the list and get yourself acquainted with those donors who were giving before but now have stopped.
The second you see that a donor has stopped giving or is missing a cycle, your curiosity should be fully engaged with the WHY question: “Why have you gone away? What is going on with you? Have we done something wrong?” etc.
Your next impulse should be to pick up the phone and get in touch. Don’t leave it till next week. Get on it right now! Here’s why this is so important.
Sometimes a donor may change behavior, not because of any financial circumstance, but simply to check and see if he is missed, and if the relationship and his giving is REALLY making a difference. So he will pause, and then, upon not hearing a peep from the organization, will move on to where he can make a difference.
If that seems silly to you, think about it this way: if I, as a donor, matter only to you because of the money I can give you, and you really don’t care about me or my need to express MY vision for the world through you… why should I feel connected to you or valued by you? I shouldn’t. And THAT, my friend, is the killer in our relationship.
But there are other circumstances that may cause a change in your good donors’ behavior; changes like a business failure, a lost job, a personal crisis – a number of things.
And think about how comforting it would be if you were in a difficult situation for the representative of your favorite charity to (a) miss you, (b) wonder about your changed giving behavior, and (c) understand and support the change you’ve made. Wow! It’s not just about the money! Believe me, if this happened you would make a friend for life.
So, now is a good time to check in and see what’s going on with your donors and determine whether anyone has been left behind. Stop and spend this time to do this important work.
Just like you may be wondering why you haven’t heard from that good friend of yours in a long time, your donor may be wondering if his or her relationship to you really matters. Or something may have changed that he or she would feel relieved to talk about.
Now is not the time to be silent. There’s a relationship to steward.
Read the whole series — Mid-Year Check Up:
- Mid-Year Check Up #1: Look to See Who’s Been Left Behind (this post)
- Mid-Year Check Up #2: Which Donors Require More of Your Time?
- Mid-Year Check Up #3: Are You Upgrading Your Donors?
- Mid-Year Check Up #4: The Two Donors Who Can Give Big!
- Mid-Year Check Up #5: Are You Taking Care of Your Heart?