“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.”
Celia Thaxter, American author and poet (June, 1835 – August, 1894)
The Dog Days of Summer
The dog days of summer refer to the hottest season in the Northern Hemisphere. Named after the Dog Star, Sirius, in the constellation Canis Major (the Greater Dog), it is during this time of the year that many fundraisers feel tempted to hit pause or, at least, clock out emotionally.
It’s hot. Donors are taking extended vacations. Development staff are coming and going for days and weeks at a time. You receive nearly as many automated “out of the office” replies as you do emails. Schedules are erratic, and the cool, holiday giving season feels far out in the distance.
Here are a few tips for keeping your cool and taking advantage of the last days of summer:
Send greetings and gather stories
Use this time to send handwritten notes of appreciation to major donors. Make non-fundraising connections and find ways to deepen the relationship. Gather recent stories that showcase the mission and underscore the good work your nonprofit has accomplished. Giving season will be here before you know it. Gather stories now, so your end-of-the-year messages will inspire donors to give.
With vacations behind them, donors may feel more inclined to schedule a future appointment for the fall. If you wait too long, once the last quarter begins, schedules solidify and the holidays loom, donors may be tempted ask if they can wait to meet “after the New Year.” Get on their calendars now.
Set timetables for the giving season
This year, Thanksgiving will come in November, the holidays in December and the New Year in January. Of course, this is always the case, but if we are not prepared, somehow it slips up on most of us every year. Use the dog days to plan the roll out of all your giving season tasks. Then, when the weather cools and the first chill of autumn hits, you won’t be surprised. You’ll be ready.
To learn what Hartsook can do for your organization, contact us
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Hartsook’s Growing Philanthropy Tour
Contact [email protected] to schedule a Hartsook consultant to speak at your conference or organization
November 6-8, 2019
Missouri Community College Association
55th Annual Convention & Tradeshow
Major Gifts from Inspired, Motivated Donors Represent the Greatest Opportunity for Increased Funding to Community Colleges
Matthew J. Beem
November 14, 2019
2019 National Philanthropy Day
AFP Mid-America Chapter
Presenting Sponsor: Hartsook
Book of the Month
Hartsook President and CEO Matthew J. Beem’s book Performance-Driven Fundraising: Taking Control of Your Success shares decades of fundraising insights and features campaign success stories. Performance-Driven Fundraising will help accelerate anyone’s learning curve and serve as a valuable reference tool for new and seasoned fundraisers.
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