Change and Inspiration
November 13, 2019
Five Things to Do Before You Leave for the Holidays
December 19, 2019

The Marathon Runner’s Guide to Surviving a Fundraiser’s December

The race is on! Between now and the end of December, you’re responsible for raising LOTS of money – perhaps more than half your annual goal.

There may only be 31 days in this month (fewer if you account for the holidays), but I know from experience that it can feel more like a marathon than a sprint.

With that in mind, I searched the blogosphere for how to survive a marathon. Here are some tips that we fundraisers can adapt:

Pace yourself

Follow a day-by-day plan for the month. If you haven’t created it yet, here’s a previous blog by Leslie to help you map it out.

Have good gear

Here are a few essentials: a solid and consistent year-end story that captures why you need donations now and what impact they’ll make for your clients; a prioritized list of prospects and donors that you need to touch base with in the next few weeks; a daily reporting system that lets you know exactly where you are against goal. If you don’t have this kind of toolkit in place, try to get it together right away!

Deploy a support team

In the world of marathons, a team cheering you on can make all the difference. In fundraising, you need hands-on assistance. Provide your CEO, board, and volunteers with specific activities they can do to help the organization meet goal.

Fuel and hydrate properly

Don’t expect yourself to run on fumes. Take good care of yourself – mentally and physically. Your organization needs you to be sane and healthy. This blog has some ideas for making December manageable.

Don’t try anything new on race day

Now is not the time to re-invent your fundraising program. Remember – slow and steady wins the race. Be focused and diligent.

Enjoy yourself

We fundraisers are so goal oriented, we sometimes forget to stop and appreciate the pieces that make up the puzzle. When a special gift comes in, stop and celebrate. Pat yourself on the back. Treat yourself and your team to a latte.

Savor the finish!

The work you do is amazing. You pull together a community of caring people to put their values into action and make a real difference in the lives of others. On December 31, look beyond the dollars and celebrate the change you’re making in the world.

Now lace up those shoes and get out there. You’ve got this. We know you do!

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