The Dreaded ‘6/30’

To me tomorrow’s date, June 30th, has always seemed like a cruelty of nature. Like that of covering a dog in hair and then not giving him/her sweat glands, for many organizations 6/30 means the last day of the fiscal year… the last day to meet your fundraising goal and balance the books for the fiscal calendar. The cruel part? Trying to raise money during what many see (and has always been the case for me) the slowest fundraising time of the year.

I’ve never understood why organizations that have a 7/1 – 6/30 fiscal calendar don’t approach 6/30 like they do 12/31. I know the “spirit of giving” wave isn’t rolling in during the heat of summer but the deadline is still just as important. You have a forecast to meet… A budget to balance… Programs to fund.

So if your fiscal year is ending tomorrow, what have you done this month to reach (or exceed) your goals? What is your plan for a final appeal tomorrow? I’m willing to wager that less than 2% of nonprofits whose fiscal year ends tomorrow have a “last chance” appeal queued to go out tomorrow.

If you don’t have an email ready for tomorrow, here’s my recommendations…
Spend the rest of today looking at every budget line-item and see where you can make one last appeal for support of a specific program. Strongly appeal to supporters that by midnight tomorrow night your budget has to be balanced and that the gift they make could be the difference between your organization continuing vital services or being forced to reduce resources for those in need.

Don’t have enough time to create a new email? Take a look at your past year’s appeals. Which one performed the best? Can you revise it into a new appeal that gives an update? I bet if you look close enough you’ll find a gold nugget of an appeal that would be perfect.

I know time is short if you haven’t already started, but if you have time, take a look at your donors whose last gift was during your end-of-year campaign, especially your last-minute 12/31 donors. These supporters should receive a message acknowledging their EOY gift with an appeal stating the importantace of meeting your 6/30 goals.

And my biggest recommendation…
(In my best southern-drawl double-negative voice) DON’T DO NOTH’N! Finish your fiscal year strong! You’re almost to the finish line… or back to the starting line… depends on how you look at things. After you’re done, celebrate reaching your 6/30 goals by taking a cool dip in the pool!

Happy 4th of July and Happy Fundraising