Spring is finally here and with it comes one of my favorite activities, spring cleaning. Time to roll up your sleeves and re-establish order in your world.

However, spring cleaning isn’t limited to our closets and garages. It’s a great time to organize some of our fundraising work.

What might spring cleaning look like for fundraisers? Here are a few ideas that may awaken your inner Marie Kondo.

DONOR ENGAGEMENT – With so many audiences and ways to stay connected, your donor communication activities can easily feel cluttered and disorganized.

Let’s start with major donors. When was the last time you had a personal interaction with each of your major donors? Do you have a unique communication plan for your top donors? Being proactive and having a written plan for the rest of the year will bring clarity and organization to your major donor communications.

When Marie Kondo organizes a closet, the first thing she will do is take everything out and categorize it. Take inventory of your current donor communications then ask:

    • Who is our target audience(s)?
    • What do we want to share with them?
    • Is our message consistent?
    • What are we doing that isn’t reaching our audience?
    • What should we be doing to better engage with our desired audience?

THE DATABASE – The thought of cleaning your database may be paralyzing. Remember, effective fundraising requires good data.

Just take it one small step at a time. One way you can get started is by reviewing donor profiles.

Create a list of constituents who you aim to build meaningful relationships with. Start with 25 then go through another round of 25 when those are done.

Think of donors who have given for a long time, made major gifts, served on the board or other volunteer service, etc. Review their donor profile in the database. Does any info need to be removed, updated, or added? Is their giving history accurate?

Also, make a note when you’ve reviewed the profile so you and others will know the last time the donor’s info was updated.

This can also be an engagement opportunity. Ask major donors what they think about the organization’s donor communications and how they prefer to be contacted and receive info from the organization.

For broad donor feedback, send a donor survey asking why they give, what they like about the organization, what they want to learn more about, and what methods of communication they prefer.

LOGINS (PRACTICAL TIP) – We have to keep up with a ton of usernames and passwords, personally and professionally. Keeping them updated and sharing them appropriately is key in protecting your information and data.

Make a list of every subscription, software, app, and website. Document the username, password, and email address associated with the account for each. While situations vary, it’s generally a good idea to make sure your supervisor is aware of where this information is kept.

This may also be the year you invest in a password manager. They can be a great tool for keeping your login information organized and increase your password strength. There are many great options. I’ve used Dashlane for years and found it to be very helpful.

Happy spring everyone! As always, please reach out if you want any guidance and support in your fundraising efforts.

​All the best,

Kenny Sigler, CFRE