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1-1-1: The year is half over – focus on what matters most



1 lesson from me

You're half-way through the calendar year. Your energy and enthusiasm may be waning. Your donors are vacationing and generally harder to reach in the Summer. How do you sustain the momentum you created earlier in the year while remaining centered?

This lesson focuses on YOU and how to shape your mid-year strategy and mindset. Set yourself up to take-on the remainder of the year with vigor, vitality and a clear focus on what matters most.

1. Assess your fundraising progress year-to-date (what’s working and what’s under-performing?). Meaning, review overall fundraising performance for the year including projected revenue vs actual, and note the variance. Also review your overall donor retention, first-time donors, and the performance of your individual fundraising channels.

2. Understand and leverage the latest giving trends and donor behaviors from online giving to major giving and donor advised funds. Be prepared to adapt your strategy in this challenging economy. For example, increase focus on supporters with donor advised funds. That money has already been given (perhaps to your local community foundation) and is available for distribution should your donor be so inspired!

3. Determine your fundraising strategy for the remainder of the calendar year and the resources needed to execute it. Which strategies have the highest return on investment, and low to moderate cost per dollar raised ratios?

Gain clarity on your 80/20 fundraising focus areas including but not limited to individual donors, grants pipeline, and year-end appeal campaign. What are the must do engagement activities that produce 80% of the remaining funds to be raised?

Identify the top individual major donors currently in your database. Focus on annual giving results during the last calendar year by total gift value, last gift value, years of consecutive giving, cumulative lifetime giving, capacity to give, and quality of donor relationship.

In my LIVE member training, "The year is half over – focus on what matters most," I provide additional considerations including major gift success factors, major gift investment menu, and key data points you should review along with supporting templates and gift charts.

4. Identify ways your staff, leadership and board members can provide support. What are ways you can delegate, collaborate and gain agreement on your ‘stop doing’ list? Let's face it, you can do anything – but you likely can't do everything!

Ask more of your development committee and determine ways can you maximize board members in Q3/Q4 donor engagement.

5. Create a timeline and dashboard for key initiatives. In my LIVE member training, "The year is half over – focus on what matters most," I provide an approach to developing your Q3/Q4 calendar year strategy by fundraising channel. I also share year-end appeal success factors, fundraising event success factors, asking myths and self-limiting beliefs to help inform your strategy.

6. Banish your negative self-talk to empower yourself for the remainder of the calendar year. In my LIVE member training, "The year is half over – focus on what matters most," I share four types of negative self-talk, and four steps for overcoming negative self-talk.


1 quote from someone else

"How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game."

Source: Lou Holtz, Legendary Football Coach & Author 


1 question for You 

What second half strategies are you using to ensure year-end fundraising success for your organization? 

To share, just sign-up for a free Mentor membership in my Fundraising Transformers Community. After you log in, click "Lessons Learned" under Mentor in the left sidebar and share your thoughts.


Keep transforming your fundraising,
Tammy Zonker
Fundraising Strategist & Keynote Speaker
Recognized as one of America’s Top 20 Fundraising Experts
Creator of the Fundraising Transformers Community 


p.s. To take a deeper dive on how to assess your fundraising progress year-to-date, and make my recommended adjustments to help you stay on track to achieve your fundraising goals, join my Fundraising Transformers community as a Growth member and get immediate access to this on-demand training today including my strategies, tools and charts.

p.p.s. If you find this lesson helpful, please forward this post to someone else you know who may benefit.



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