This week’s Click-it is a mélange of fundraising wisdom, beginning with mission statements, target markets, email tactics, fundraising psychology and some insight from the invariably provocative Seth Godin.
And, as always, if you scroll to the bottom you’ll find some free resources I’ve found just for you.
You may recall that I promised to do new something new this year – “Dive the Five.”
I’ve selected five major themes to discuss with you this year in depth. Strategies that are so important to your success in 2016 – and beyond – that I want to be certain (1) you’ve got them on your priority list, (2) will begin to dedicate some serious resources towards them, and (3) will practice them regularly, until they become almost second nature.
If you learn to “Dive the Five” you’ll be able to raise money for anyone, any place, any time.
And I’ll be back in February to be your Guide! Stay tuned for lots more fundraising best practices and strategies to help you stress less and score more – more philanthropy, of course!
Today, I’ve got some great take-aways for you.
Click-It: Great Mission. Bad Statement, published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, discusses why nonprofits should worry more about words. When people are confused, they don’t fully engage. When no one can understand what you’re saying, you have to spend a lot more resources to get folks to pay attention. Read this if you believe you may have this problem. “If you tell someone everything, they generally remember nothing.”
Click-It: The Eight Word Mission Statement. This is an oldie-but-goodie from SSIR, claiming the best mission statements are 8 words in length. It forces you to remove all the jargon and fluff – stuff like “empowerment,” “capacity-building,” and “sustainability,” which don’t distinguish your organization from any other. And abstract concepts like “creating awareness,” “empowering” somebody, “changing attitudes”—those aren’t real impacts. They may be necessary steps on the path to impact, but they don’t tell you where that path was supposed to end up. A good mission statement is about the what, not the how.
Click-it: Peers, co-workers are main influence for millennial giving. Millenials are the largest living generation in the U.S. One study found that 30% of them give online. They want to “invest” rather than “donate.” Read this if your board is constantly asking “How do we involve more young people?”
Click-it: How Make-A-Wish is Telling New Stories with Audience Personas. This is an incredibly useful piece from See3 that will help you learn how to get to know your constituencies much better. I also suggest you check out this post on Nancy Schwartz’ Getting Attention blog: Create Personas to Bridge the Gap with Target Audiences. By putting together a comprehensive profile of your audience, your nonprofit is better able to create personalized content that speaks to your audience and drives them to action.
Click-it: Nonprofits Lose an Average of $15,000 a Year Due to Spam Filters, Study Says. I came across these useful tips in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. One suggestion: See what can be done to prevent emails from bouncing back; too many occurrences are a red flag for service providers. Remove an email address from your list if messages bounce back more than a few times. Share this article with whoever is in charge of your email lists.
Click-It: 4 Ways to Boost Nonprofit Email Acquisition in 2016. This article by Kristy Kosak on Media Cause offers four practical ways to acquire promising new leads that may eventually be convertible into supporters. Plus there are bonus tips on how to transform these folks into donors.
Click-It: Master Nonprofit Email Marketing. This is a great series of articles, plus a free downloadable checklist, from Jeremy Koch of Empower Nonprofits. You’ll find a lot of useful material here about the most effective ways to communicate with your constituencies.
Click-It: 3 Psychological Triggers That Can Help You Win Donations. Super interesting post by Elizabeth Chang on the Classy blog. Did you know there’s research showing folks will give more if they have to endure pain to do so? I know. People are weird. It’s called the “Martyrdom Effect.” Find out more about donor psychology by downloading their free “Pocket Guide to Fundraising Psychology.”
Click-It: Deconstructing urgent vs. important. Do you get caught up in the “urgent” at the expense of the “important?” How often do you spend the lion’s share of your day simply responding to email? You feel like you put in a full day’s work; yet, you accomplished very little important work. The year is young. Make this the year you resolve to prioritize what’s truly important? Thank you Seth Godin for always giving me pause.
Click-it: 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends [INFOGRAPHIC] The results of the 6th annual 2016 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report conducted by Kivi LeRoux Miller, are in. John Haydon summarizes them on the Socialbrite website. Print this out and pin it on your bulletin board as your guide for the coming year. It shows you where your peers will be focusing their efforts – and you should too! Of particular note:
- Your website is still the most important communications channel.
- Facebook, Twitter and YouTube remain the top three social media sites for nonprofits.
- Your peers are posting to Facebook at least once a day.
- 59% of nonprofits will pay for Facebook advertising in 2016.
- Social media (71%) has overtaken email ((67%) for online communication.
- One-third of nonprofits will send no direct mail newsletter this year.
Click-it: The 10th Annual Gold Awards for Fundraising Excellence. Steal these ideas! This is the 10th year in a row that Nonprofit Pro has given awards in different categories (e.g., direct mail, email, multi-channel, peer-to-peer, monthly giving, special appeal and special event). Check ‘em out!
Click-it: The Fundraising Career Conference. OK this isn’t free but pretty near free if you sign up before January 30th. I am proud to contribute one of 12 expert-led sessions, including Tom Ahern, Marc Pitman, Lynda Lysakowski, Mazarine Treyz and more, at this amazing online conference – April 6 – 8, 2016. It’s all designed to help you move up in your nonprofit career.
Click-it: The Storytelling Nonprofit Virtual Conference Want to learn how to raise money and awareness through storytelling? The speakers at The Storytelling Non-Profit Virtual Conference speakers will show you how! Sign up for this FREE online conference from February 10 to 12. Plus – when you’ll sign up, you’ll get access to the Virtual Conference Goodie Bag with gifts from many of the presenters, including one from me!
“Clairity Click-it” is intended to help you unlock your nonprofit’s fundraising potential. Each week I link to useful resources and insights I find across the web. My selections are inspired by 7 Clairification Principles designed to help you push your organization towards transformative change. Learn more with 7 Clairification Keys to Unlock Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising Potential. It will reinvigorate the way you approach your work. To your success!
Photo: Flickr, Isaac Torronterra