Plan for the year ahead

November 19, 2014

With year-end campaigns ready to launch, it’s time to turn your strategic thinking towards the year to come. The LKA staff put our heads together to create this set of recommendations for you.

GET MOBILE: Mobile has officially taken over the world of communications. If you’re not there yet, make it a priority to develop mobile-responsive emails and giving forms. A shrunken version of your web experience doesn’t count. Make sure all of your efforts to share great content pay off and don’t end up in the recycle bin.

STAY OLD SCHOOL: What’s old is new again. As donor habits evolve and monthly donor programs grow in importance, old school techniques like telemarketing and canvassing are experiencing a resurgence and have demonstrated strong results for many programs as they seek to boost new giving habits even further. Don’t discount a technique just because it’s been around forever. Take the time to check out if it could deliver results for you.

EMBRACE DATA: Most organizations aren’t large enough to take full advantage of the “big data” that now drives large political and national campaigns. But your data is still priceless. Take time to review your practices, ensure consistency, implement efficiency, and look for ways that you can discover and record even more about your donors and prospective donors in order to be more targeted, efficient and effective with your solicitations and communications.

BEGIN WITH STRATEGY: Stop before you go. As it becomes more and more difficult to break through the noise in our active, media-centered world, it’s essential to target your most important priority and follow it relentlessly. Take the time to sit down and figure it all out, then find ways to eliminate activities that distract from your goal. This might even include changing some long-standing programs or ways of doing business that are no longer effective.

ASSESS YOUR PERSONALITY: The better you connect, the stronger your impact. Clear your mind of your insider knowledge then check out your communications with fresh eyes. Check for engaging language. Make sure your communications offer something of value – not just what you want to say – but what they want to hear. Assess whether you speak to or with your donors. Look for signs of a human, personal, passionate, and energetic voice. And don’t leave anyone behind by making assumptions in your communications.

QUESTION EVERYTHING: When you can confidently answer the what’s and why’s, all of your strategies and tactics will become even more effective. Why are we doing this? Why are we doing it like this? Why do we want to change this? Why do we want to test this? What do we think will happen? What do we hope to learn? Never stop asking the questions that matter. This is the foundation of a strong program that has the potential to deliver growth.