Happy New Year!
Here comes the first 2016 “Clairity Click-it” — an eclectic kick-off to the year.
I find so many great resources across the World Wide Web, some from other disciplines, and I want to share those I find most helpful. There’s so much the nonprofit sector should be learning and borrowing from others – we don’t always need to reinvent the wheel!
I’m also trying 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 your Guide!
Throughout the course of the year, we’ll look at each of these five essential areas – keys to your nonprofit’s success – and I’ll enlighten, “clairify,” bring in other points of view, cajole, cheerlead and deliver lots of actionable tips to help you get important things done.
Consider the Clairification Blog in 2016 your year-long course on fundraising and nonprofit marketing communications. We’ll cover all levels – beginner, advanced and seasoned pro. Some stuff you’ll know; a little basic review never hurt anyone. Some stuff will be new; I’m going to explain why it matters and teach you how to do it with aplomb.
By the end of the year you’ll have a virtual degree – a B.A., M.A. or Ph.D. in philanthropy!
But more on that later. And, yes, I’ll be asking you for a little feedback.
But today is “Click-it” day!
I want you to know that in 2016 I’ll still regularly throw in my collection of mixed-links. While they may or may not relate to the five major themes we’re exploring, I promise they’ll be useful to you – plus all year long I’ll still include lots of Free Resources I find for you (scroll to the bottom).
So, why not begin with some tips from other experts about what they believe will be the best ways to raise funds in the coming year?
I look forward to joining you in 2016 on your journey towards personal and professional success.
Nonprofit Ticket to…
Click-it: 21 Top Fundraising Experts Share Their Best Tips for Nonprofits on How to Raise Funds. Kick the New Year off right by taking all this great advice to heart. Resolve to think from your donor’s perspective… use emotion to tell your story… call for the actions you desire… just take some time to consider doing as many of the good things recommended in this article as you can. Thanks to Andreia Iorgovan for pulling this all together on the Fundlio blog!
Click-it: 15 lessons for the nonprofit sector we learned in 2015. This comes from Vu Le at Nonprofit with Balls, a fun new blog I just discovered. Vu thinks 2016 will be a game changer. Will it be one for you and your organization? I suggest you check out (#1) talk seriously about your values; (#2) address the elephant in the room; (#8) take some risks; (#12) partner authentically with your donors, and (#15) value your unicorns.
Click-it: You’re Bound to Blow it With a Donor or Two. Is one of your resolutions to make this the year you really get donor-centered? I follow @whinydonor on Twitter and you should too. She tells it straight, from the donor’s perspective. Here’s an article she wrote for the 101 Fundraising Blog with examples of where too many nonprofits go astray. A cautionary tale if you want to retain more donors. [And you better if you’ve read the depressing data from the most recent Fundraising Effectiveness Report – on average nonprofits retain less than 2 out of 10 new donors!]
Click-it: Nonprofit Firsts in 2015. Interesting food for thought in this article from the National Council of Nonprofits. The most important take-away for me is that nonprofit overhead is no longer a dirty word. Or, at least it shouldn’t be. It’s beyond time to retire the overhead myth. Super low overhead, to me, is a sign you’re not doing enough. Swim, don’t sink! It costs money to get things done! For more on this issue check out What to Say When Your Donor Asks: How Much do you Spend on Overhead?
Click-it: Read This Google Email about Time Management Strategy. I LOVE this post on the Fast Company blog. It suggests there are “makers” (who must schedule their day in half and full day increments to get things done), and “managers” (who schedule in 30-minute increments and shift their focus continually). “We all need to be makers.” If you want to make more time to think and create this year, click this link.
Click-it: A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Nonprofit Fundraising Software. If you’re in the market for a fundraising database, especially if you’re a small nonprofit, check out this useful analysis from the folks at Webserves. The digital age requires new considerations.
Click-it: 7 Ways to Gain Corporate Partnerships: Ignite Your Nonprofit’s Economic and Social Impact. Amy DeVita at Top Nonprofits/Third Sector Today recently shared these great resources from “The Father of Cause Marketing,” Bruce Burtch. One is a recorded interview (click the link above) and the other is a free copy of his book, Win-Win for the Greater Good.
Click-it: 10 Best Cause Marketing Promotions 2015. Nonprofit cause marketing guru, Joe Waters, has pulled together these awesome examples for you. To quote Joe, here’s hoping these will “inspire you to create interesting and effective cause marketing promotions that raise gobs of money for your cause.”
Click-It: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your 2016 Editorial Calendar. Jay Baer at Convince and Convert recently shared two resources to help you with your 2016 nonprofit communications strategy. The first is a great article + Slide Share from PR Newswire (click the link above) with step-by-step instructions for planning your content for the coming year. The second is a free editorial calendar template from Co-Schedule; it’s a seriously useful resource.
Click-it: Social Media Posting Guide [Free Download]. Top Nonprofits offers up this one-page social media posting guide to serve as a helpful free resource to anyone on the web. The guidance here is for organizations that do not have full time social media staff or unlimited resources and thus aims for maximum impact with the limited time you have.
Click-it: Top Social Media Predictions For 2016. I’m borrowing again from the business world and bringing you some top predictions for social media use in the year ahead. This comes from PC Tech Magazine. My favorite prediction that’s super adaptable for nonprofits? Real-time updates. Think about how you can show your donors the impact of their giving using Instagram, Snapchat, Youtube video and so forth.
Click-It: Creating Quality Videos for Entrepreneurs & Nonprofits. How about a free course on video production. If you’re a LinkedIn member, Louanne Saraga Walters is offering this to you for free. Since video is a huge trend in content marketing – you’ll capture more attention and convert more leads – why not take advantage?
Click-it: Set Up a 2016 Fundraising Calendar for Success [Free Webinar]. Top Nonprofits is offering a free webinar January 27th to help you develop a strategy of planned urgency in your communications, develop a cadence that keeps folks consistently engaged and offer opportunities for involvement beyond cash donations. Register here.
Click-it: Going Digital for Major Gifts [Free Webinar]. Justin Ware is offering a free webinar to help you acquire more major donors through online giving. It looks like it will be filled with all sorts of cutting-edge strategies, and I can assure you Justin really knows what he’s talking about. Why not check it out?
Click-it: Key Secrets to Inspiring Your Board to Fundraise [Free Webinar]. I am partnering with 4GOOD on Wednesday January 13th to help you overcome your board’s fear (and your own) of fundraising. Learn where you’re going wrong, and what you can do to turn things around – and raise more money!
AND TO LEARN MORE about how to ‘get real’ about major gifts this year…
Don’t miss Winning Major Gift Strategies for the small and medium-sized shop. This is my most popular e-course – a full six weeks of curriculum plus BONUS webinars, templates, e-guides and all sorts of helpful resources! You’ll find it more robust than most courses on the market — and it will only be offered once this year. This course will more than pay for itself, because raising major gifts from individuals is the most cost-effective form of fundraising. You can enroll up to six members of your team – volunteers too – for one low all-inclusive price. Grab the “Early Bird” before January 15th and I’ll knock $50 off the price. Plus all my e-courses come with a 100% guarantee! Register here now. [HINT] Mastering one-to-one major gift fundraising is one of the “Dive the Five” themes I’ll be covering this year – it’s that important. So… give yourself a head start!]
Photo: Flickr, Isaac Torronterra; Images courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net