The Follow Up
The key to continued fundraising success is to follow up afterward.
By Kimberly Reynolds
Kimberly Reynolds is the author of Fundraising Success and maintains her Web site, Fundraising Ideas for Fundraisers, at: www.fundraiserhelp.com.
(excerpt from Reynolds's Fundraising Success!)
"Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley
The key to continued fundraising success is to follow-up afterwards:
Supporters and participants need to be thanked.
Merchant contributors need to be debriefed on their results from participating. Records need to be gathered, copied, and stored.
Communicate the results to everyone involved.
Informing everyone who took part in your most recent fundraising is of utmost importance. Nothing charges up your organization for the future better than a group celebration.
Give recognition to your volunteers.
Enjoy the sound of "We did it!"
Conduct a post-mortem analysis of the fundraiser just completed.
Gather information and record impressions while everything is still fresh. Make notes about supplier relationships, any process problems, and what aspects need fine-tuning for the next time around.
Gather those recommendations for future fundraisers.
Brainstorm with your team and write down all the possible ways to improve. Circulate a written evaluation form to gather multiple viewpoints for the permanent file.
Make plans while everyone is still excited from this success.
Strategize how to increase the number of volunteers. Plan to promote those who excelled this time around to positions with more authority.
Ask your merchant supporters what you could do better.
In the long run, it's important to help them even more. Now is a good time to ask them for increased participation during your next big drive.
Review all records for completeness.
Work up the statistical analysis covered in the section on Goal Setting (in Fundraising Success!). That will save time in the future when you want to set your benchmark
Post the results on your Web site.
Let everyone see how well you did along with multiple pictures of your team in action. When describing your success, be a shameless namedropper. Everyone likes to be thanked publicly.
Most importantly, put the funds you've raised to good use.
Your fundraising follow-up is the foundation for your future success. Don't give this area short shrift. Pave the way for even better results next time.
Be grateful for the support your organization received from the community. Nurture every relationship. Treat your team like a garden work the soil to prepare it for next season. Do the activities now that will make your future efforts blossom. Always remember to thank yourself. You took on a huge job, made it better, and improved things for your successor.