At Blakely, we have a step in our process for every campaign called the “variable strategy review”. It’s a meeting when the fundraising strategist (me), the project manager, the data programmer, the production specialist, and one of our senior strategists or a member of our Insights team all come together. We look at the mail package or email or any creative with variable elements and review everything to make sure:
- We have the info we need in the data to feed into the variables
- The variables make strategic sense
It’s a critical step in the process to catch any issues or “gotchas” as my colleague Jeff calls them. But it’s also an opportunity to strengthen strategy and ensure it’s sound.
We have a busy workplace just like you, especially at this time of year. So you would think we’d have our minds elsewhere during this meeting or be rushing to get somewhere/do something else. But no.
We went through every item. We asked strategic questions. We changed variable copy. We put ourselves in the donors’ shoes and thought about whether what we were saying would really reach them.
I’m not saying all this to note how awesome Blakely is (though we are). I’m saying this to encourage you to slow down even when work is crazy. Yes, “done is better than perfect”, but sometimes we really need to stop, ask questions, and think strategically about the donor and how we can inspire them and motivate them to give.
Take an extra 30 minutes this week to slow down and work through something more strategically. And when you do – share it in the comments. Good luck! It’s fundraising season, baby!
Written by Maeve Strathy
Maeve is the Founder of What Gives Philanthropy and has been working in fundraising for eleven years.
Click here to learn more about Maeve.