lucy and ethelWow, summer is flying by! Just last week I heard from several nonprofits that were happily reporting strong results on their annual fund campaigns. Their hand-signed donor thank-you letters were already out the door and many development professionals were breathing a sigh of relief during their summer break.

Between trips to the beach, I hope to see many of you at the 9th Annual NC Philanthropy Conference in Concord, NC on August 16. It’s a great place to learn from your peers, and collect some good strategies to plan your annual fund appeals.

Does your fundraising plan for the new fiscal year include increased response rates? It should, and there are some easy steps you can take to make it happen.

A thorough analysis of your donor database isn’t as time-intensive or costly as many organizations think. I often see so many missed opportunities because the process seems overwhelming. Perhaps it sounds too technical: donor data and trend analysis, segmentation, and personalized messaging.  After all, it comes down to learning more about your donors so you can talk to them in a more relevant, personal way that will produce stronger results.— Mary Craig Tennille