4 Questions to Ask Yourself for Even Better Year-End Fundraising in 2022
The 2021 end-of-year period is finally over—but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start planning for year-end 2022. In fact, right now is the perfect time to analyze your campaign successes and implement the changes you’ll need to succeed in the coming year.
We asked Lily Ickow, EveryAction’s VP of Payments and Online Fundraising to tell us how nonprofits can improve their fundraising in 2022. Here’s what she had to say.
Q: What are some steps my organization should take right now, while we have the information fresh in our minds, to build on our successes for year-end 2022?
A: I know it’s probably not what anybody wants to hear right now, but January is a really great time to start preparing for the next end-of-year period.
I know a lot of times, in early January, we’re all exhausted—we want to be done with end-of-year, and we don’t want to think about it again. But I’d really recommend setting aside time now to have some follow-up conversations on year-end, and really reflect on how your fundraising programs went.
Questions you should ask yourselves right now to build off of this year’s successes and see even better results at year-end in 2022 are:
- Did we meet our projections and goals?
- Was there anything that surprised us?
- Did we exceed or fall short of our projections, and by how much?
- Did we have any technical issues—was the donor services team getting calls from donors who weren’t able to donate? Or did we have trouble with our reconciliation processes in those first couple days of January?
These questions will impact your organization’s decisions over the short term and the long term. Here’s what that means.
In the short term: measuring progress to fundraising goals
Time is of the essence when it comes to capturing information about the success of your end-of-year campaigns. You want to ask the following questions right now, not only because the answers are fresh in your mind, but also because you’ll use the most recent year-end campaign performance metrics to adjust your goals and plans for campaigns in the coming year.
- If your campaign exceeded your expectations and you find yourself with additional resources, what are some projects that can now come off the back burner and receive more attention?
- If your campaign fell short of your goals, what are some strategies you can use to course-correct and make up for lost revenue?
These are questions that are relevant right now and analyzing your year-end performance in January is the first step to answering them.
In the long term: overall strategy changes
January is an important time to reflect on your overall goals as an organization. For those who saw success in 2021 and want to set more ambitious goals for this year—you can start your end-of-year planning even sooner than before. But make that decision now! Build those plans into your calendar for the year while you still have time. In a few weeks, you’ll be busy with a new year of programming and may start to forget the lessons you learned from last year. Now is the time to capture the insights you gained from this end-of-year.
The start of the new year is also an opportunity to make decisions about broader changes as an organization. One example is resolving any technical issues that cropped up at year-end. Discuss any technical issues with your team as soon as possible to figure out what you can do to prevent the same issues from occurring next year. Additionally, if you had a strong response from your donors at year-end, you can start planning now to scale up the tools you’re using to better support your growing audience.
The new year is a crucial time to identify bigger changes you need to make as an organization. Altering how you work with vendors, and other big projects, can set you up for success but they take time to plan and execute properly. Start thinking about that now, analyze your 2021 results, and plan for 2022 so you can keep learning and improving year after year.