Here are some goodies to help you raise as much money as possible during the last quarter of the calendar year! Keep your focus on inspiring storytelling that sets you apart from everyone else, yet don’t forget that who you tell your story to matters as much as how you tell it. As does where you disseminate it (hopefully not just by snail mail, but also online and face to face). Click on these links to helpful articles I hope will delight you.
As usual, you’ll also find plenty of free resources – downloadable templates, white papers, studies, assessment tools and more. And this month I’ve got THREE free webinars for you! Take some time to continue your professional growth and education. A little learning break is good for the soul, I promise (share with others on your staff too).
Annual Fundraising Appeal
Click-it: How to instantly find the email address of a potential donor, for free. Have a snail mail list but not very many emails for these folks? Here’s an article from Maher Arar of Cause Square that describes ways to find these addresses. Since more and more folks give online, and you can cost-effectively mail this way multiple times, it just makes sense to check this out.
Click-it: “The Science of Ask Strings” and a surprising idea to test for fundraising results. If you’ve ever wondered how much to ask for on your remit piece or donor landing page, you must check out this guest post from George Crankovic of “The Clued-in Copywriter” on the Future Fundraising Now blog. Great stuff!
Scroll to the very bottom for more help with your annual appeal.
Click-it: Managing Your Donor Data: 9 Helpful Resources (Nonprofit Tech Carnival). Here you’ll find a collection of 9 different articles to help you better manage and get the biggest bang for your donor data buck – including how to use data for stewardship. Without strong donor database management, it’s very difficult to have strong fundraising results.
Major Gifts Fundraising
Click-it: What to Do If Your Non-Profit Board Won’t Help Fundraise. I could not agree more with every point Joe Garecht makes in this article. If you’ve got a recalcitrant board, it’s a ‘must read.’
Integrated Donor-Centered Content Marketing
Click-it: How to Build a Well-Oiled Nonprofit Online Content Marketing Strategy. I wrote this and shared it in my monthly column for Maximize Social Business. It’s got a little “true or false” quiz to help you assess the strength of your current strategy.
Click-it: How to Get Your Nonprofit Into the News During the Holidays. Here are four ideas from media expert, Peter Panapento, posted on Kivi LeRoux’s Nonprofit Communications Blog. In a nutshell: Highlight an inspiring volunteer; Recognize a donor; Spotlight a trend, or showcase your impact.
Online Social Fundraising
Click-it: Small Nonprofit? 11 Ways to Stand Out Using Social Media. I offered up these tips in one of my monthly articles for Maximize Social Business. They’re all easily manageable, whatever your size.
Click-it: 8 Tips for Mobile Optimization in 2016: The Zen of Mobile UX. It seems I’m confronted almost weekly with a new study showing that the number of folks opening emails on smart phones continues to increase. If your website and campaign emails aren’t optimized for mobile, you need to get ON it! Thanks to the folks at Mobile 1st for this handy “how to.”
Click-it: 95/5 is No Way to Live. This article from Matt Wasserman on the Community Funded blog discusses how fundraising strategies that worked with boomers don’t work so well with GenX and Millennials. Bottom line: embrace crowdfunding as a key avenue for increasing your major gift pipeline.
Click-it: Why is people-based fundraising the future? [Podcast]. Conversation on Cause Vox blog about where fundraising is heading. It’s a sea change. Technology has made it easy to set up online campaigns and easy-to-use, branded websites. Plus social media makes it easy for folks to share your campaigns. If you’re not adapting to these changes, you’ll be left behind. So… listen in! Good news: People haven’t changed. You’ll still want to connect based on shared values. Just using different tools and channels.
Talking about Overhead
Click-it: Truth, Transparency & Overhead comes from Peter Drury, who aims to help you persuade donors that overhead is not evil. He says it’s more like cholesterol. There’s good and bad. The key is telling the truth, and articulating value creation. Take a look.
Food for Thought
Click-it: Adlerian Child Guidance Principles. I was recently reading Seth Godin’s blog, and a “P.S.” at the end sent me to these principles. It struck me that they can be really useful in a business setting. For nonprofits, I especially like “mutual respect,” “acting instead of talking,” “take time for training,” “never do for a child what he can do for himself,” “the four goals of misbehavior” (look at your board?), and “minimize mistakes.” Do these strike you as beneficial? Take a closer look.
Click-it: How To Build New Marketing Skills In 11 Simple Steps (Backed By Science). I love this article from the Co-Schedule blog. It fills me with inspiration and hope. It’s got a great embedded video: “Start, Repeat, Improve.” Also a great paradigm for building habits. Good ones. Take-away? You can do anything if you set your mind to it, and – Just Do It!
Click-it: Rights Stuff: Fundraising’s Ethics Gap and a New Theory of Fundraising Ethics v1.1. There’s not enough ethical behavior anywhere these days, and that’s true for the fundraising profession as well. Ian MacQuillan, director of Rogare, the fundraising think tank of the University of Plymouth Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy, has produced this important paper that anyone who is serious about fundraising as a profession should read. No easy answers are provided, but it’s guaranteed to make you think.
Click-it: Next-Level Fundraising with Nonprofit Psychology. If you’ve been reading Clairification for a while, you know by now I’m a huge fan of applying psychology to fundraising. Not to manipulate, but to understand. Fundraising without empathy is not generally sustainable. Thanks to Hubspot and Austin Heineman for this intro article.
Click-it to Register: Asking as an Intentional Conversation: A Better Way to Get What You Want [Free Webinar October 6]. Bloomerang and Andrea Kihlstedt partner together to talk about powerful asking and listening skills that will help you both in your personal and professional life.
Click-it to Register: Online Community Cultivation: The Secret Sauce for Your Next Fundraiser [Free Webinar October 18]. If you’ve been paying attention to Clairification this year, you know that mastering online social fundraising is one of my top “Dive the Five” strategies. So I’m delighted to host Dana Ostomel of Firespring for this free webinar that will explore what crowdfunding is and its critical role in your organization’s integrated fundraising approach. Why not get your free 10-step road map to cultivate a network that will drive positive results? Register here!
Click-it to Register: Anatomy of an Annual Appeal: Create Your Compelling Fundraising Offer [Free Webinar October 26]. Your appeal letter should be an “offer” to join you in something amazing and transformative. Learn how to create this compelling offer by joining me on the 4 Good network for one of my most popular webinars. Register here!
MAJOR GIFTS & CAPITAL CAMPAIGNS
Click-it: Assessment of Campaign Timing (ACT) [Download Assessment Tool]. Jerold Panas, who I consider a major gift fundraising guru, has development this free assessment tool. He says it doesn’t take the place of a feasibility study – but darn close.
Click-it: The Five Steps of Proposal Writing for Major Gifts [Free Whitepaper]. Get this great resource from the Veritus Group. When it comes to major gift fundraising, they know everything.
ONLINE SOCIAL FUNDRAISING & INTEGRATED CONTENT MARKETING
Click-it: “Why Should I Give to You?” [Downloadable Study]. Your ability to secure donations depends a lot on making a specific, unique case for support. This study by NextAfter analyzed 127 nonprofit organizations and scored their value propositions across four different channels. Outcome? Most organizations do a poor job communicating why someone should give to you vs. someone else, or not at all. You’ll find 16 case studies showing what value propositions work.
Click-it: Cultivating Relationships With Your Community [Free E-Guide]. Get this free Guide from Cause Vox to make cultivating lasting relationships with your community your top priority in the coming year.
Click-it: Insider Secrets to Successful Volunteer Management [Downloadable White Paper]. Learn how to recruit and train the best people, and also protect your organization from risks. For a quick “cheat sheet,” check out their excellent infographic 6 Steps for Effective Volunteer Management.
Need some help crafting this year’s appeal?
Grab Anatomy of a Fundraising Appeal Letter + Sample Template, a step-by-step E-Guide that takes you through every element involved in making a fundraising offer your prospective donor won’t want to refuse. This stuff really works! Get your “raise more money” tips here. Not satisfied? All Clairification products come with a 30-day, no-questions-asked, money-back guarantee. You truly can’t lose!