Articles and Insights from the FIT Fundraising Team




New Year Gurus Wrong Again… DM Will NOT Die in 2014

Make no mistake about it, direct mail is changing. There are fewer donors using the preprinted DM reply devices and reply envelopes. America’s top non-profits are now reporting that between one-quarter and one-third of all direct mail responders use the charity’s web site as their response device. No other channel drives more gifts to your website than Direct Mail!

4TH Quarter Checklist – LYBUNTs: Are you making your list and checking it twice?

LYBUNT is an acronym that stands for “last year, but unfortunately not this year.” This is a term used frequently in the fundraising world to represent donors who gave your organization money last year but, who have not given you money yet this year. Fundraisers typically target this group of last year’s donors differently than people who haven’t made a gift at all.

My Christmas Wish… Keep Our Tax Deduction

Even the famous miser Ebenezer Scrooge came to know the goodness of generosity. As Charles Dickens wrote, “Scrooge was better than his word.. He became as good a friend, as good a man as the good old City knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough in the good old world.” Before the President and Congress send nonprofits a lump of coal, they would do well to remember the lesson of Scrooge and preserve the charitable tax deduction.

4th Quarter Check List – Cancel Christmas Vacations in Your Development Department

Stay open through the holidays. Have at least a few major gift officers in the office that can be making clean-up calls to donors that haven’t given yet this year and thank you calls to donors who make large year-end contributions. They’ll also be available for those last minute calls from donors who want to make gifts of stocks or other assets before year-end.

4th Quarter Check List – Pump Up Your Digital RIGHT NOW!

Most people are shocked to hear that I recommend spending a minimum of 10% of their overall marketing budget on SEM preparing for the last week of the year! That’s right. If you are spending $100,000 annually on (non-staffing) fundraising and development costs at least $10,000 should be ear marked in the 4th quarter for promoting your web site through search engine marketing and digital techniques. And yes, if you are spending $1 million a year on fundraising and marketing costs, then at least $100,000 should be earmarked for 4th quarter search engine marketing.

The 4th Quarter Check List – Have your “monthly donors” been sent the best appeal of 2011?

It doesn’t matter whether you call it a pledge program, recurring gift program, monthly giving program, sustainer program or preauthorized gift program it is the same technique and, as you know, they all add up to a huge additional revenue stream for every organization or charity.

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