I'm showing my age here (40) but have to admit that this was my first real experience of a virtual birthday. Thanks to Facebook and their excellent data collection efforts and my own savvy PR efforts :) I received TONS of birthday wishes yesterday from friends all over the country.
This has me thinking:
1) Send happy birthday wishes to your top 100 stakeholders. (No brainer but hard to do.)
2) Brainstorm all of the important events in the life of your organization and use this info to prioritize and promote your fundraising campaigns. Significant events can include anniversaries, births, deaths and key world events.
All good fundraisers and marketers create real (or perceived) deadlines to encourage timely response. Special times in the life of your org or your key stakeholders are great opportunities to showcase what you do and why. Planning around significant events will 1) help you cut through the clutter by giving your cause more resonance on certain dates 2) it will also provide motivation for your staff, volunteers and board. Nothing drives performance like a real deadline!
For example, last year my church celebrated it's 50 anniversary. Quite a milestone in the live of our community. We did hold a luncheon for parishioners (sound familiar)? But we didn't do any additional fundraising. More important we didn't involve outsiders in the celebration of our anniversary. What a missed opportunity!
In our noisy world, it's hard to get noticed. But a little calendaring and planning can go along way. Pick 2-3 dates in 2009 and 2010 that will make your cause come alive and then promote the heck out of these dates.