Welcome back from summer – at least for my North of the Equator friends. I hope you had the opportunity to read through some of the resources I offered up in my Summer Click-it Extravaganza. If not, there’s still time over this long week-end.
Now it’s time to get serious about end-of-calendar-year fundraising. It’s when folks are most generous, and you don’t want to miss out. So while I’ve continued to offer links to articles and resources aligned with my top “Dive the Five” fundraising fundamentals for 2016, and beyond, I’ve also included practical, basic stuff that falls a bit outside these categories. It’s all good stuff and, as usual, plenty of free resources too.
Click-it: Year-End Fundraising Season: Top Tips to Prepare Your Nonprofit. What a fabulous comprehensive article from Amy DeVita at Top Nonprofits with everything you need to consider to get this year’s annual campaign in tip-top shape! I couldn’t have written it better, so… sharing it with you directly. I suggest you use it as a planning tool. Start now!
Click-it: Simple Lettershop Secrets For Seamless Direct Mail. The specifics in this article from the Good Works blog apply to Canada, but you should consider the same questions/issues wherever you’re located. Time to get ready for the busiest fundraising time of the year!
Click-it: Playing Telephone With Your Donors Gets Tougher. With less folks having land lines these days, what does this mean for your phonathon and thankathon strategies. Check out this post in The Nonprofit Times for some quick tips.
Click-it: Annual Fund Development: Fundraising Strategies & Nonprofit Tech Carnival. There’s a new blog carnival in town! This inaugural issue includes:
- General Annual Giving Best Practices and Improvement Tactics
- Tips for Better Annual Gift Solicitation (you’ll find a post from me here!)
- Annual Fund Communications
- Ideas to Grow the Annual Fund Through Fundraising Events
- Strategies to Build Donor Trust
Major Gifts Fundraising
Click-it: 15 Body Language Secrets of Successful People. As we approach major gift solicitation “high season,” you may find these tips helpful. You are making face-to-face asks, right?
Click-it: Gain Major Donors for the Small Shop. Listen in on this podcast on Nonprofit Hub to hear why fundraising guru Jay Love suggests that even small shops should be devoting at least one day per week to fostering relationships with major donor prospects. There’s lots to do! It takes 12 – 15 “touches” before you’re ready to make the ask.
Click-it: What’s Wrong with Sending Donors Mail? Nothing! In fact, it may be the most personal way you can communicate today per this article from the fellows at Veritus Group. So if you’re veering in the direction of more email and less real mail, read this and re-think.
Integrated Donor-Centered Content Marketing
Click-it: 3 Types of Social Content Marketing Every Nonprofit Needs. I’m talking about the importance of content marketing everywhere these days, including this guest post on the Guidestar blog. If you’re thinking about how to create greater awareness for your cause, begin here.
Online Social Fundraising
Click-it: 11 Ways Small Nonprofits Can Stand Out Using Social Media. Just in case you missed my post last month on Maximize Social Media, here it is! You’ll really want to give some thought to multi-channel fundraising as year-end approaches. Social media helps to leverage your annual mailed and emailed appeal – giving it a greater chance of success.
Click-it: You Can Now Fundraise on Facebook for Your Favorite Charity. Julia Campbell is one of my favorite go-to nonprofit social media gurus. Read this to get ready to use Facebook to leverage your year-end fundraising campaign.
Click-it: Facebook Launches New Site to Help Nonprofits Master the Platform. All year I’ve been exhorting nonprofits to master their social media strategy. Simply “doing” social media won’t help you much. You need a plan to reap the benefits. This article by Allison Ebner on Nonprofit Pro reveals how to do so for Facebook.
NOTE: I’ve got a ton of free resources for you in this “online social fundraising” category in this issue. Please see below so you don’t miss them!
Food for Thought
Click-it: Don’t Let Future Shock Happen To Your Nonprofit. In case you missed my article for Bloomerang, you may want to take a quick read to see if you suffer from any of the symptoms that may be jeopardizing your nonprofit’s future. Make sure you’re not blinding yourself to the reality of how the world works in our digitally revolutionized times. Maybe it’s time for a SWOT analysis or a new strategic plan?
Click-it: 14 Things Ridiculously Successful People Do Every Day. I happened on this article by Travis Bradberry on Entrepreneur and thought many of these tips were quite useful. He interviewed over 200 ultra-successful people, including 7 billionaires, 13 Olympians and a host of accomplished entrepreneurs, asking them a simple open-ended question: “What is your number one secret to productivity?” Take a look at their answers, and think about them seriously. Then commit to doing the ones that makes sense for you. I like #3, #5 and #10. I wish I could do #7, #9 and #12 better. Which do you like?
Click-it: The 8 Keys of a Successful Modern Fundraiser. Johnny Avots-Smith, CFRE, has a new blog, Modern Fundraiser. This is his first post, and I think it’s a good one! Bottom line? “Find your connection to the cause. Find your donor’s connection. Share that.” Couldn’t agree more.
FREE RESOURCES + LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
ONLINE SOCIAL FUNDRAISING & INTEGRATED CONTENT MARKETING
DOUBLE Click-it: Make Personas for Your Nonprofit [Free PowerPoint Templates] and Do Good Org’s Nonprofit Donor Personas [Free Template/Spreadsheet]. Marketing 101 says you must know who you’re targeting in order to make any of your marketing initiatives worthwhile. To help you figure this out, check out these two rich resources for building donor personas. The first comes from the folks at HubSpot. The next is from the do-gooders at EveryAction. Click on the links to their websites for step-by-step guidance on how to use these templates. Why hire a consultant when you can walk yourselves through this exercise on your own? Give it a try!
Click-it: Get Your Social Media Editorial Calendar Template Now! The folks at Co-Schedule offer a plethora of useful free resources like this one. It’s simple and easy to use.
Click-it: The Ultimate Nonprofit Guide to Creating Great Social Media Graphics. Get this free e-guide from one of my favorite nonprofit social media “go-to” people, Julia Campbell.
Click-it: How to Measure the Success of Video on Social [Downloadable Guide]. Learn how to measure the success of video on social media (emphasis on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) with this free guide from SimplyMeasured. You’ll also find tips to optimize your video content.
Click-it: Nonprofit Email Newsletters: 28+ Actionable Tips. The folks at @Pay have put together a nonprofit “Email Newsletters 101.” Lots of useful tips for newbies and reminders for folks who’ve been at the game for a while. Use it as a checklist.
Click-it: How to Set SMART Marketing Goals [Free Template]. If you click on this link, the folks at HubSpot will walk you through how to use their template to set Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Time-bound goals. As I often paraphrase from Lewis Carroll, if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll very likely get there. So… download this! What are you waiting for?
Click-it: 30 Steps to Redesign Your Nonprofit Website [Free Template] Get a free website redesign template from the folks at EveryAction.
Click-it: How to Write an Annual Fundraising Appeal Letter [Downloadable Infographic]. As you prepare your year-end appeal this year, check out this great little summary from Bloomerang, including tips from some of the greats (Tom Ahern, Jonathan Grapsas and Jerry Huntsinger).
Click-it: Peer-to-Peer Fundraising: The Ultimate Guide. Double the Donation serves up a comprehensive explanation of how peer-to-peer campaigns work, complete with best practices, promotion strategies and examples.
Click-it: Free Templates: Super Email Appeals for Your Next Fundraising Campaign. Grab these from the Classy website’s blog. They will guide you through an ideal 4-part email appeal series, complete with templates and best practices for before, during, and after your campaign.
Click-it: Maximize the Lifetime Value of Your Donor Database [Free E-Book]. If you aren’t currently tracking your donor retention rates, and aren’t quite sure how to do so, check out this tool from Bloomerang.
What else could you use at this time of year?
How about Anatomy of a Fundraising Appeal Letter + Sample Template? You only need to raise one additional gift to justify the cost of this e-Guide. I see a lot of truly awful fundraising appeals. Don’t make yours one of them. Grab your e-Guide here! All Clairification products come with a 30-day, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee. To your success!
The #ClairityClick-it is a bi-monthly publication linking to useful resources and insights I find across the web. This year I’m showcasing articles that highlight the “Dive the Five” fundraising fundamentals we’re collectively digging into in depth.