I’m trying something new. I must read over 100 articles every week, and many of them say things with which I agree. In fact, some say them better than I could have said it (Yup!). So I’m putting together the very best in an easy-to-“click-it” format with links to this week’s best and brightest in fundraising, marketing, social media, leadership, change and all the good stuff. You’ll find it to be an eclectic array, often sourced from more than one discipline, as I believe we can learn a lot from our colleagues in other sectors.
Of course, I can’t help but add in a few comments of my own. I hope you’ll find it useful. Let’s begin:
Click-it: Where Is The Hole In Your Social Media Strategy? From Heidi Cohen, actionable marketing expert, come 13 ways your social media strategy may be missing something – each with an actionable tip to help you fill each hole. My favorite example (it was hard to pick; they’re all good): #3. “No understanding of where your audience engages on social media. Customers use social media for a variety of reasons from keeping up with family members to gathering information. They also participate across a diverse set of platforms. Actionable Social Media Tip: Create a social media persona to ensure that your social media strategy is aligned with your target market’s activity.”
Click-it: The Future of Social Media All the way from Conor Byrne’s social media blog in Ireland comes this reminder that social media is about people: “what people are consuming, what they are interested in and how you can enhance that. If you get that right, then you can tweak it for the right social channel.”
Click-it: Ask an Expert: How to Raise Money With a Newsletter. From Tom Ahern via The Chronicle of Philanthropy comes… nothing but the truth! In my years in the nonprofit trenches, organizations with which I’ve worked always received a steady stream of gifts enclosed in envelopes inserted in newsletters. I’ll add my two cents to Tom’s: Even though it seems counter-intuitive in today’s environmentally conscious society, making newsletters 4-color and filled with great visuals does not turn folks off. To the contrary, whenever I improved the quality of my newsletters (within reason, of course) the ROI was positive. That being said, don’t forget that whatever you receive in those envelopes must be netted out of what you’ve invested. So you may do less print and be more selective as to when you mail. A great strategy is to send a newsletter about a month in advance of an annual appeal so the great stories you share will create the preconditions for greater success with your appeal mailing.
Click-it: What Can Fundraising Professionals Learn from L.L. Bean? From donor-centered planned giving guru Michael Rosen comes this cautionary tale. Let me hasten to point out this story is not about planned giving per se, so do read it if you want to become more donor-centered. Here’s the L.L. Bean motto Rosen channels: A customer is not an interruption of our work; the customer is the purpose of it.
Click-it: The 5 Immutable Laws of Great Non-Profit Fundraising. Here are some basics from Joe Garecht of the Fundraising Authority. Do you agree with these laws? I think they’re great, though I’d probably apply the Pareto Principle to #2 as well. I find folks working in nonprofits to be so overloaded these days that focus is increasingly difficult. So planning becomes increasingly vital. Spend more time on it, but not too much. And in #4, I find that today the difference in effectiveness between email and snail mail depends on the recipient and how they prefer to communicate.
Click-it: The Power of Online Fundraising [Infographic]. If you’ve not yet jumped on the online fundraising bandwagon, this may persuade you that it’s high time. It comes from Nonprofit Hub and borrows from the 2013 eBenchmarks Study published by NTEN and M+R.
EMAIL LIST BUILDING
Click-it: Six WIIFM Incentives to Build Your Email List. From John Haydon, nonprofit social media marketing whiz, comes this reminder about the importance of the carrot. The perceived gain from joining your list must be greater than the perceived pain. How are you getting your would-be supporters over the hurdle of joining your list?
Click-it Counterpoint: Everything That You Know About Spam is Wrong. A reminder from Peter Campbell of Techcafeteria that the quality of your email link trumps the quantity.
The Clairity Click-it is a weekly publication linking to insights inspired by the 7 Clairification Principles that help you “clairify” your values, stories, branding opportunities, social marketing channels, support constituencies, engagement objectives and resources. Your comments are welcomed!
For more on using these 7 Clairification Principles check out my 23-page Special Guide to Unlock Your Nonprofit’s Fundraising Potential with worksheets and exercises to help you reinvigorate your approach to your work.
Photo: Flickr, Isaac Torronterra