We are nearing the mid-year point for organizations whose fiscal year starts in July. Like most organizations, January can be oppressive with the number of goals and to-dos you have to think about. From quick evaluations of holiday giving trends, to requests for next year’s early budget projections, to ongoing pivots tied to the supply chain challenges, the idea of devoting even a few days to looking at Q2 campaigns can feel like the last thing you have time for — but it might be the most important thing you think about.
This is your moment to be opportunistic! We know funds and certain goals may not be movable, but what can you do within the budget framework that meets those goals and gets you results ahead of the next fiscal year? For those of you who remember using coins, it’s time to “shake the couch cushions!”
Questions to Answer to Get You Moving
- What did you learn from the first half strategies and the holiday giving season? Were there digital tactics used in the holidays that you want to employ in Q2?
Budget YTD Trends & Environmental Factors
- Where do your core KPIs stand? Are you hitting your new donor goals?
- Where did you see the biggest increase in package costs this year? Now that you have a chance (hopefully) to catch your breath, it might be time to itemize the impact by component and start looking at different ways to counteract cost increases.
- For those strategies you couldn’t originally afford to fit into this year’s budget, can you find a way to fund them via creative evaluation?
- Tip! Evaluate the bottom ‘tier’ of your most expensive strategy. A $50K investment in a single line item can have sub-level tiers. What is the benefit from that investment compared to the one you are trying to fund (long-term and short-term)?
- It’s time to evaluate your LYBUNT strategy, especially for those COVID-19-acquired donors who came on file in 2020. What was their giving status through the holidays?
Creative Budgeting (Caveat: These Might Only Work for Some Organizations)
- Can you fund a June FY22 initiative as part of the FY23 budget? June isn’t the best fundraising month, BUT there might be something you want to test in June that can impact Fall 2022 results.
Lead Generation Strategies
- Have you explored talking with your marketing team about the shared investment value for funded lead generation strategies? It’s a great time to focus on digital lead gen early in the year so you have those leads to leverage come the fall! Everyone can win and it can take the heat off of one area funding the efforts.
These ideas don’t have to fall squarely on your shoulders. Leverage your agency partner to help with some of these audits/analyses. In your discussions about early FY23 budget prep, integrate FY22 into the discussion. After all, strategies aren’t siloed by fiscal year, so how can you be equally fluid in how the current and future fiscal year budgets support one another?
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