Winter’s Deep Freeze Doesn’t Mean Fundraising for Summer and Fall Programs Must Remain On Ice

Recently, National Geographic explained that hibernation is a complicated topic. At its heart, it’s still a biological process dedicated to energy conservation. The first quarter of the new year can similarly can feel like hibernation for many nonprofits—not due to any biological processes—but rather, because of the mistaken belief that donors and engaged members of their community won’t be responsive until the winter cold (and the holiday hangover) depart, usually at the beginning of spring.

This kind of limited thinking is especially prevalent for those organizations that primarily operate in the summer and fall months, whether it’s running enrichment camps for children or an outdoor concert series. Now for the good news. February doesn’t have to be slow. Seriously.

Still, it’s undeniable that spring, summer, and fall events may be the last thing on so many people’s minds in the dead of winter. To this point, University of California Irvine psychologist Dr. Gloria Mark explains that attention spans are shrinking in measurable ways—a inconvenient fact experienced firsthand by every fundraiser who has ever made a call about an event planned months into the future. Despite this reality, every DonorSearch client learns an important lesson as they start to work with our AI data.

The lesson is this: engagement never sleeps.

The individuals that feel deep engagement to your organization’s summer and/or fall activities still have that affinity, even in the middle of winter. You can use this reality to your fundraising advantage. For one thing, stakeholders are simply not used to hearing from nonprofits until things have thawed out a bit. Yet by tapping into DonorSearch Ai data and leveraging the scores it provides on donors and potential donors, you can be empowered to change your community’s thinking about programs that are many months into the future—even if you are located in Chicago and experiencing a “frost quake.”

Actually, it makes a lot of sense that people want to think about the summertime and the memories effective organizations build for kids and their families while mired in the middle of winter. Much like fantasizing about a vacation in tropical paradise while trudging through the snow, such lofty thoughts can give us the mental and emotional energy to keep going—no matter how harsh the weather gets.

With that perspective in mind, the question becomes “So, who do we talk to?”  Here’s where DonorSearch really shines. DonorSearch AI empowers fundraisers to conduct the right conversations with the right people, no matter what time of year it is. Even better? Practically every DonorSearch client is surprised to learn about prospects they’ve never had on their radar before. Building such relationships with potential donors in the wintertime is a great activity likely to pay dividends all year long, and potentially for years to come.

Christine Dixon of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, known for its stunning outdoor concert and event venue that is so filled with life all summer, explains: “[DonorSearch Ai] takes my question every day of, ‘Who should I be speaking with?’ and, ‘Who should I be reaching out to today?’ and makes them very real. And it’s bringing names of people who are already in the fold to light that I might not have seen otherwise.”

Even though Dixon’s organization focuses on summer and fall programming, Dixon has enjoyed tremendous success with DonorSearch throughout the seasons because she is regularly contacting engaged members of the community all year long. Saratoga isn’t known for its particularly harsh winters, but engaged potential donors are still happy to step away from cold winter temps to make engaging summer programming a smashing success.

Also, just as important as providing the best engagement data possible is the knowledge as to how to transform it into actionable intelligence. This comes about by enabling the right data to enter your day-to-day workflows. Geoff Klein of the Wildlife Conservation Society explains: “One of the great things is having Salesforce and DonorSearch interactively talk to each other, and we are able to get the results from the screening directly into Salesforce, so fundraisers are able to review what they see for prospects and donors in campaigns.”

As Executive Vice President and Co-Owner of DonorSearch Sarah TeDesco explains, “Whether your nonprofit is seasonal or engaging in good works all year around, the first quarter should no longer be thought of as a slow time of year. Instead, DonorSearch is dedicated to helping nonprofits achieve fundraising goals by identifying prospects that you might never have spoken to before. Strengthening relationships with engaged members of the community can be immensley productive—no matter what time of year it is.”

To begin the conversation about how your organization can boost its own fundraising by better understanding deeper engagement, please contact DonorSearch for a demo today. And if you are an experienced non-profit professional interested in helping new nonprofits build for future success daily, consider a career with DonorSearch.

Additional Resources

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