WP Remix

30
Sep

September 30, better known as The Day Before the 4th Quarter has arrived. Beginning tomorrow we’re off to the races. October 1 thru December 31 is often the busiest part of the year for fundraising professionals, especially those in the annual fund world. And there is no better time to take a moment to regroup.

For many, the fourth quarter of the calendar year is ‘make it or break it’ as year-end mailings, phonathons, emails and more are increased to frenzied levels. While I’d recommend a more balanced strategy throughout the year, it’s hard to deny the culture of giving that exists during this period.

As nonprofits begin the giving season, it’s the perfect moment to step back and examine your readiness for the next 90 day period. Missing a deadline or two can make the difference between success and failure. Even a few days can have a significant effect. I can’t tell you how many horror stories I’ve heard of nonprofits with mailings set October 15 or November 1 that miss deadlines by a couple of weeks. This, in turn, effectively reduces the solicition cycle prior to 12/31 by the same amount of time.

Take a few minutes today to meet with your staff. Review your solicitation calendar, your timelines and progress. Are you ready? If you’re producing mailings in-house, do you have the materials? Have they been ordered? Has your team dedicated the time necessary to produce and mail everything on time? Do they understand the importance of the deadlines you face?

If you use outside printers or mailshops, are they ready? It’s their busy season too. Have they set aside time for your projects and understand the importance of delivering them at the proper time? There may be instances where a deadline can be missed by a day or two without a negative effect. This is not one of them. Deadline means deadline, and everyone involved must understand this.

A few minutes today may save days or weeks later. Having everything ready to go will make your holiday plans more enjoyable if you aren’t worrying about your mid-year numbers.

Good luck! May your 4th quarter be your best yet.

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