- Author: Kelly Scott
In 2020 everything was officially tossed up in the air, and all of the rulebooks were thrown out the window. This past year it has been hard to predict how the year-end fundraising efforts statewide would fair. The fundraising team at UC ANR is still calculating the totals raised for this year. However, preliminary reports show the UC Master Gardener Program saw incredible growth in the number of gifts received and total dollars raised for the year.
2020 Fundraising Campaigns:
- $45,930 raised on Giving Tuesday (56%+ increase)
- $60,425 raised on Big Dig Day (294%+ increase)
- End of Year appeal totals are still being collected and processed!
Collectively across the state, the UC Master Gardener Program raised $213,391 in fiscal year 2019-20, an increase of 129% from fiscal year 2017-18! Our current fiscal year is on track for similar success.
This support is truly humbling, especially during a time of so much uncertainty, and reflects the UC Master Gardener Program's importance to our donors.
As we look forward and consider ways to further engage with our supporters, the single most important thing we can do is communicate back to our donors how their gift made a difference. If we can do this, we can establish a positive feedback loop that will ensure donors feel valued and more likely to continue to support our programs in the future. This self-reinforcing fundraising strategy is known as the "Virtuous Circle."
The Virtuous Circle starts with the ASK, and the donor makes a gift, we THANK the donor and let them know how grateful we are for their support, and then we REPORT how the gift made a difference. This communications strategy honors the donors, keeps the donors for longer, and helps raise more money.
(Image description: A woman standing in the middle of a circle of text. Text around her reads: 1. Ask. She gives a gift and feels Great but she doesn't know what's going to happen 2. Thank. She knows the gift was received and appreciated, but still doesn't know if her gift made a difference. 3. Report. She sees how her gift made a difference, feels great, trusts your organization, and is more likely to give again. Repeat!)
UC ANR Development Services is available to work with you on how to craft these "you made a difference" messages, whom they should go to, and when they should be sent. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you would like to discuss donor communications or to review your gift totals for the year. Keep up the great work!
Donor Relations, Major Gifts Officer
UC Master Gardener Program