Tonight, all of the major networks and many radio stations will launch a star-studded telethon to raise funds for Americans who have been impacted by the recent devastating hurricanes.
Money is much-needed, and no doubt, millions will be raised.
But where does this leave your organization when it comes to the fall fundraising campaigns you’re in the midst of, or on the verge of launching?
In times like these – and we’re facing a doozy right now, with both hurricane relief in the forefront and a continuing toxic political environment unlikely to end soon – it’s vital to take stock of your strategies over the next few months to ensure that your appeals and timing will deliver the greatest revenue to your cause, despite the challenges we face.
First, consider that a lot of available cash has been, and will be sent to hurricane relief efforts in September, potentially leaving many of your donors with fewer disposable dollars to spend supporting your organization. It could well be a strong strategy to get your fundraising efforts out into October when new paychecks have arrived, re-filling available dollars. That said, also be aware of the timing of your year-end efforts so as not to place them too close to each other.
Overall, the closer you are in geographic proximity to the effects of the hurricane, the more likely you are to benefit from a fresh exploration of your strategies over the next few months.
Most important, remember that the world doesn’t stop, and you can’t stop fundraising just because other priorities have moved to the fore.
Be careful not to be insensitive in your appeals, but remain strong in promoting the value of your organization.
And never apologize for asking for funds.
It’s tempting to take a more more low-key approach in this environment, but it will not help you find success.
The months to come are sure to be uncertain and uneven in their outcome. The most important thing you can do is to think deeply about what your strongest plan can be, then implement it.