As we approach the end of the calendar year, many nonprofit professionals are gearing up to send heart-tugging, eloquent and compelling year-end fundraising appeals to donors. The urge to bombard donors with requests for support can be hard to resist when fundraising has been so difficult in 2020. But now is not the time to focus on generic asks and mass mailings. It’s time for stewardship.
Stewardship is the part of fundraising where you get to celebrate what you, your donors and your organization have accomplished together. Tampa Bay Philanthropy Week was designed to do just that. This special week is a reimagining of National Philanthropy Day — a day traditionally used to give awards and honor extraordinary philanthropists in the nonprofit community.
Tampa Bay Philanthropy Week — November 9-13 — is a week-long digital celebration of how the Tampa Bay community has come together during this unusual time. The movement is hosted by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Tampa Bay Chapter and is presented by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.
Here are five ways to include your donors in Tampa Bay Philanthropy Week.
1. Share their story.
Do you have a philanthropist who made a huge difference for your organization this year? Did a volunteer go above and beyond to ensure your organization could continue providing essential services? Did someone share an innovative idea with you and then help you make it a reality?
This has been a year of exceptional generosity. Amidst a negative news cycle, it’s important to remember that people are still out there doing good. Sharing your donors’ stories of generosity, resilience, innovation and leadership is a great way to let them know that you appreciate them. It allows a public platform for recognition without limitations.
2. Feature donors in a visual collage.
Tampa Bay Philanthropy Week was designed to be a multimedia project, including written words, photos, videos and podcasts. The Heart of the Community Gallery is a place where you can share a short-form story (250 words) with a photo about your donor(s) and their impact, creating a visual collage of exceptional people who are making Tampa Bay a better place to live, work and play. Learn more and see the gallery here.
3. Share the Tampa Bay Philanthropy Week podcast with your donors.
Who doesn’t love a good podcast these days? The Tampa Bay Philanthropy Week Podcast features personal, casual conversations with and about people who are making a difference in their communities. It’s hosted by Wilma Norton from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. The podcast includes both longer episodes (15 to 25 minutes) and shorter “mini-cast” episodes (5 to 10 minutes). Listen to the podcast here.
4. Tag donors on social media.
Share a post on social media highlighting your donor(s). If it is a business or foundation, tag them! Make sure the world knows what you know: that your donors are sensational and that you’re grateful for their support. Be sure to tag #TampaBayPhilanthropyWeek and #TBPW so everyone can see them and reshare.
5. Invite donors to participate in the celebration.
After you honor your donors during Tampa Bay Philanthropy Week, invite them to join you! If you have a fabulous donor, chances are they know someone fabulous, too. Tampa Bay Philanthropy Week is meant to celebrate philanthropists, organizations and nonprofit leaders. Encourage your donors to participate in Tampa Bay Philanthropy Week by sharing a story about someone they know who is making a positive impact in our community. Helpful hint: Make sure they know you are not asking for return kudos when you invite them to participate!
Our donors deserve more love letters and less begging hands this year. Yes, we need to keep asking; that’s part of our job (and we are really good at it). But we also need to keep thanking and celebrating them. Our impact as nonprofit professionals would not be possible without their generous hearts and their love of humankind.
To learn more about Tampa Bay Philanthropy Week, visit https://philanthropytampabay.org.
Holly Moon is a fundraising leader who is passionate about philanthropy and lifting up young professionals. She has dedicated herself to making Tampa Bay a better place through her fundraising efforts. Holly serves on the Board of Directors for AFP Tampa Bay, where she is the co-chair for Tampa Bay Philanthropy Week and on the Emerging Leaders Task Force for AFP Global. Holly is currently the foundation manager at the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant and Research where she manages the annual fund and Foundation marketing efforts. Holly holds degrees in marketing and international studies from the University of South Florida. She lives in Plant City with her partner, Derek, and their dogs Piper and Lana.