Created By: Ryan Grosso and Piper Hardin, CFREFebruary 23, 2023 A lot has changed in the world of fundraising over the last two years. We lived through the outbreak of a global pandemic, witnessed a handful of mega philanthropists take bold steps with transformational giving, and now we are barreling into 2023 on the wave of recession. Despite these changes and challenges, nonprofit organizations of all sizes and across missions haven’t missed a beat. We all know there isn’t a pause button when you have a mission to deliver, goals to reach, metrics to capture, and outcomes to achieve. At Orr Group, we know the beginning of the calendar year can be stressful. As fundraisers, we are often coming out of intensive year-end campaigns, making it hard to see the forest through the trees and much less to know where to start in the New Year. Those of us who have been doing this for a while know that it’s important to pause, if only for a moment, to reflect on the year prior, plan for the year ahead, and make sure our donors are at the center of our work. Here’s how we recommend you approach your 2023 plan: 1. Evaluate Last Year Ask yourself the following questions and then reflect on your answers: What were your methods for outreach, and did they work? Did you meet with everyone on your list, and if not, how many times did you try to make contact? Did you invite your donors to events where they could see the impact of their giving firsthand? What resonated most with donors during your conversations? What did not resonate and how should you adjust your messaging and/or delivery this year? Evaluating and answering these questions will better aid you in matching your organization’s top supporters with their philanthropic vision and passion. Let your answers guide what you should “stop, start, or continue” in your 2023 strategy. 2. Make a Plan Start by prioritizing your pipeline. Based on how you answered the questions above, consider the following: Who do you want to meet with first and when? Who typically supports your organization in the first quarter of the year and how should you ensure they continue to give? How do you grow your organization’s network of support? Your key stakeholders, board, and leadership are an important place to start. Hold strategy sessions with your development team to brainstorm how you can better connect your donors to your mission and how best to engage your organization’s leadership. Assess what your cultivation and stewardship calendar will look like for the year, and plan for meaningful opportunities and gatherings to which you can invite donors. Dwight D. Eisenhower said it best, “plans are nothing; planning is everything.” Very few epic things happen by chance. Make your plan early and remember it’s okay to tweak as you go. 3. Set Tangible Goals Consider setting smaller goals that will help you achieve your larger revenue goal. These may include: Expanding your pipeline and introducing a certain number of new donors to your mission. Conducting a target number of meaningful meetings per month to build long-term relationships with your organization’s supporters. Reaching out to all your donors consistently throughout the year with a meaningful touchpoint. The world of fundraising is always evolving, so don’t forget to set goals that will help you advance your career as well, such as attending industry conferences and lining up a few professional development opportunities. Not only will this sharpen and hone your skills, but it can also deepen your network and open doors to new opportunities to heighten awareness and attract support to your mission. We know the hard work and dedication that goes into raising awareness and funds for your organization. With constant evaluation, strategic planning, and realistic goal setting, you can be confident as you lean into 2023. Orr Group can support all fundraising initiatives, including major gifts, corporate partnerships and foundation relationships, and event strategy and management. Get in touch to learn more. Contact Us Ryan Grosso is a Director and Co-Head of Fundraising at Orr Group. Ryan focuses on developing innovative and actionable strategies and taking a data-driven approach to fundraising. Piper Hardin, CFRE is a Senior Director and Co-Head of Fundraising at Orr Group. She brings 20+ years of fundraising experience to drive investment-based solutions for our partners.