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Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Take Time to Write Down Your Recipe for Next Year’s Fundraising!

I have been appointed the keeper of the dressing recipe from Mom. (See the print out beside the bowl.) My two sisters taste as I mix and say over and over, “You need more sage,” or “Make it like Mom’s,” or “Something’s missing.”

Before Mom passed away in 2010, she wrote down her famous dressing recipe, and without ever officially anointing me, my sisters, Bethany and Sheba, decided it’s my responsibility each year to decipher Mom’s delicious intentions and recreate this most important of all family Thanksgiving traditions.

In other words, my dressing should taste like Mom’s even though her recipe gives no spice measurements, but simply says, “Add pepper and sage and poultry seasoning to your taste.”

“Who’s taste?” I wonder as I mix and add spices and pass around spoonfuls until I get it as close to Mom’s as possible.

During this week of Thanksgiving, I’m sure you, too, have spent time with friends and family whose love and traditions bring joy and happiness not found any other time of year.

It’s also a great time to say thank you to you, my blog audience, for opening these emails each week and occasionally sending me a note of feedback. I truly appreciate your interest and engagement.

It’s also a great time of year to write down your fundraising plan for 2019, to create a calendar to guide your asks.

Like Mom’s recipe, your plan may be general, but in the end, you want to recreate successes of the past and improve on the future.

Tips for Your Fundraising Plan

Start with Annual Plan Giving Strategies
In your calendar, first lay out annual fund strategies such as newsletters, snail mail mailings, and special events. Then add electronic appeals.

Back out at least four months and pencil into your calendar a plan. For example, you may include, “Write Draft for Summer Letter Campaign.”

Include Government and Foundation Grant Deadlines
Recheck these deadlines online as you’re completing your calendar. The good news is that most processes for receiving these gifts are the same and you can count on the outcome.

Also, include Grant Reporting on your calendar. Often, your organization is required to report on the impact and outcomes of past gifts before submitting a new grant.

Run a Major Gift Report and Include Donor Names in Your Calendar
Choose donations of $5000 and up, for example, and include the donor’s name in the month they made the gift in the past. The number one reason philanthropic organizations don’t receive repeat gifts is that they forget to ask!

Ask for Feedback from Your Peers
Like my sisters, your co-workers will want to provide input on your recipe for next year! My older sister now brings the sage to the dinner table because the dressing never has enough sage. You may have co-workers whose fundraising tastes are outside the plan, so work to accommodate them and move on.

Sprinkle Gratitude Throughout!
As I’ve written in past blogs, planned gratitude is often called Stewardship, and it’s rooted in a deep appreciation for every donor and every dollar!

Want a professional perspective on your project? Contact Phoenicia.

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