by Terry Fairholm on 2011-06-13
As we enter the summer months, make sure to take some time off to enjoy the good weather with friends and family, relax and ‘sharpen the saw’, then get back to business! Summer is the time when you should be creating your development plan for next year. At the top of your list at this particular time should be your annual fund. All plans and preparations should be completed by mid August with a first mailing date in September. Remember, one of the best ways to increase your annual fund is to solicit the top prospects in person. Make a list of your top prospects and seek personal appointments with them to ask for their annual fund commitment. Move them up the giving pyramid – if they gave $500 last year, ask for $1,000 for this year, etc. Once your annual fund plan is complete and in progress, work on your major gift plan for the year. This element of your plan must compliment your annual fund plan – make certain to ask your major gift prospects for their annual fund commitment but think strategically! Ask for an amount that makes sense (do research and strategic thinking) but present the ask comprehensively. For example, if the right ask is $50,000 and we are proposing a 5 year pledge period, suggest that a portion of it be dedicated to the annual fund (say $3,000/year) and the balance to the project the strategic plan/case for support has identified as a top priority and coincides with your prospects interests.