#ClairityClick-it is a bi-monthly publication linking to useful resources and insights I find across the web. This year I’m also selecting articles that highlight the “Dive the Five” 2016 fundraising fundamentals we’re collectively digging into in depth over the course of this year. For more on this, read Want to Guarantee Fundraising Success? Dive These 5 Fundamentals on NonProfit Pro. Of course, I’ll add in other food for thought that I just can’t help but share with you as I come across it. As always, if you scroll to the bottom you’ll find some free resources and upcoming learning opportunities.
Click-it: Three Steps to Securing Bigger Gifts. Ever feel like you just don’t have any major donor prospects? Here’s some super practical tips from the Veritus Group to prove that you’re wrong. Any nonprofit can find major donors if they look for them, present them with the right offer and, most important, believe that they can!
Click-it: Are You Stuck in the Fundraising Dark Ages? If you’re still trying to raise most of your money from special events, foundation grants or business sponsorships, take a gander at this article from Robin Cabral at Development Consulting Solutions. It’s a good reminder that the once dominant paradigm of transaction fundraising has moved to transformative relationship building for long-term sustainability.
Online Social Fundraising
Click-it: Online Fundraising and Charitable Solicitation Registration. Here’s something most local charities never used to worry about. But now that you can reach folks nationwide and even worldwide, you’ve got to be in compliance with charitable solicitation guidelines in all those places where you raise money. In other words, online social brings opportunity; it also brings responsibility. This article on Guidestar by Harbor Compliance explains what you need to do to stay out of hot water. Were I in your shoes, I’d share this with my COO or CFO.
Click-it: 5 Nonprofits With Successful Content Marketing Campaigns. No need to always reinvent the wheel. They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So check out what’s working, courtesy of the Capterra blog.
Culture of Philanthropy
Click-it: A Nonprofit “Culture of Philanthropy” is Not Enough. Nell Edgington of Social Velocity is one of the smartest, most thought-provoking writers in the sector, and she does not disappoint here. This is a critique of a study by the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund’s interesting report: Beyond Fundraising: What Does It Mean to Build a Culture of Philanthropy? What she (and I) applaud is the attempt to take a critical look at “entrenched organizational factors that contribute to the inability to establish development as a shared function and nurture an organizational culture to sustain it. The right development director hire alone will never break the cycle, but the right person inside an organization that has a culture of philanthropy, can.” Where Nell differs is in her belief that a more holistic approach to financing, not just fundraising, is needed. She asks: “Why is long-term organizational and financial planning not encouraged and supported throughout the sector?” It’s a persuasive argument.
More Food for Thought
Click-it: Netflix Re-Wired Our Brains. Intensity Is the New Marketing Currency. Think about how this applies to nonprofit marketing. This thought-provoking article by Todd Unger, Chief Digital Officer of Daily Racing Form, describes a “Tornado Funnel” that’s similar to the “Nonprofit Vortex” I suggest as a replacement for the traditional “Donor Pyramid” To whit: “We used to think about the marketing funnel as a sequential process. Now, the key is to move someone from awareness to closing the deal before they lose attention. That means creating a fluid funnel experience and painstakingly removing all obstacles, across all platforms (especially mobile).” How integrated is your content marketing with your online social fundraising strategy?
Click-it: The Best Non-Profit Fundraising Blogs and Websites of 2016. Joe Garecht of The Fundraising Authority has put together this great list – all opportunities for you to find some free online education. So check them out when you get the chance!
Nonprofit Content Marketing
Click-it: Nonprofit Content Marketing 2015: Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends [Free Download]. A collaboration between the Content Marketing Institute and Blackbaud, this thorough report lays out content marketing practices of today’s nonprofits. It’s a great way to benchmark yourself against your competitors and to see which practices are considered the most, and least, effective.
Click-it: Concord Leadership Group’s 2016 Nonprofit Sector Leadership Report [Free Download]. Are you one of 49 out of 100 nonprofits operating without a strategic plan? Does your CEO have their performance evaluated annually? Do your employees? Do you think of “benefits” as a creative recruitment strategy? Do you do succession planning? Poor leadership holds nonprofits back even more than poor fundraising. Check out this report to see how your nonprofit measures up – especially if you’re at any kind of leadership crossroads in your organization.
Click-it: Virtual Fundraising Career Conference — April 6 – 8, 2016. Okay, this isn’t free, but it’s very low cost for the value you get in return ($5.58 per webinar). I am proud to contribute one of 12 expert-led sessions by such fundraising leading lights as Linda Lysakowski, Mazarine Treyz, Sheena Greer, Marc Pitman and more! All sessions will be recorded for you to peruse when it’s convenient for you.
Spring is donor retention season. You’re not in full-on end-of-year fundraising appeal mode, so take the time to show some gratitude and get folks in the mood to say “yes” next time you do ask them. You should be making about 7 “touches” for every “ask.” Need a little help with this? The Donor Retention and Gratitude Playbook has you covered! Broken into six Companion Guides,it’s easy for you to manage and not overwhelming. Get just the ones you need, or grab the Bargain Bundle at more than a third less than buying them separately.
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