As the host of this month's Nonprofit Blog Carnival, I was pleased to receive a few well-thought-out perspectives on this key issue: At a time when resources are scarcer then ever, and competition for attention is tough, how can your org use Q4 to close 2009 with bang and move strongly into 2010?
I recommend that nonprofit communicators focus on these big three steps to ensure that your communications work is contributing as much as possible to advancing your organizational goals:
- Evaluate how you're doing in reaching your communications goals (you have to have tracking system in place to do so, if it's not getting that up and running is your Q4 priority.
- Fine-tune your communications plan to reflect what's working and what's not, and the changes (they are there, and significant, even if you're blind to them. Look harder.) in the environment in which you work.
- Ramp up to launch the revised approach in January. Even if this work takes you off of cranking out planned Q4 communications products, it's a must, and well worth it.
Fundraising superstar Sandy Rees shares this guidance:
- Communicate with your donors, ideally via stories. Donors want to hear about the good work you’re doing. It affirms their decision to give, and inspires them to give again.
- Thank donors for their past support. Simple but highly effective. Donors appreciate and remember organizations that show their appreciation. It's not as many as you think.
- Ask. Make it clear that your organization is asking for a donation. Don’t assume that people will give if they can.
Barbara Talisman, specialist in nonprofit management and fundraising, urges organizations to add social media to the mix in Q4. She blogs about the power of friend-raising, reaching out to your friends and followers (including your literal Facebook friends) and urging them to spread the word.Initial impact may be modest but these friends become part of your organization's larger communities and if you're common friend continues to act as a communicator/fundraiser on your org's behalf, you build a powerful network.
What are you strategies for Q4 communications and fundraising success? Please share in the comments box below.
P.S. If you're daunted by marketing planning for Q4 or beyond, break it down into more approachable 90-day chunks. Learn how here: How to Do Grand Plan Marketing 90 Days at a Time (Case Study)