“Whose needs are being met?” is the mantra of a volunteer counseling organization I know. This wisdom applies to fundraising as well. Take a look at the timing of spontaneous donations to discern when is the best time to make future approaches.
Gone are the days when all donors made their annual gifts during the month of December (to maximize their tax deductions). For constituents today, the annual flow of finances may occur differently. The donor may make a gift on the anniversary date of a specific event in the donor’s life. Your particular appeal (a summer camp, perhaps) may spike interest/publicity/passion at another time of year. A donor’s payday, annual bonus, or annual date of investment payout may reveal the best time to make the next contact. The patterns of giving in your community may be influenced by an unusual factor.
Identify patterns or individual preferences in the timing of gifts received and consider trying a system to make your next approach on the donor’s time schedule. Try this approach on new donors, or others whose triggers you are aware of. Let us know your results! Meet the donor’s need and see if your response rate improves.