Have a heart- and people- centered, colorful year!
Here are the 10 most popular Clairification articles from the past year, according to Google Analytics.
Plus, at the end, I’m sharing some photos I hope you’ll enjoy!
Here I explore the “overhead myth,” and what to consider as an “appropriate” amount of overhead. It should be no surprise that measuring overhead does not neatly correlate with a nonprofit’s impact or effectiveness.
Money is part of it, but by no means the top reason. More to the point? Support. Culture. Infrastructure. People will hire fundraisers, but they then often don’t want to touch them with a 10-foot pole. They don’t want to have to help those “evil” or “money grubbing” people. Or nurture them… collaborate with them… listen to them… support them… or even talk to them! Here I write about what pre-conditions must be in place for a fundraiser to be effective at their job.
With the average amount of time a fundraiser stays in their job at just 16 months, it pays to consider ways to improve employee retention. The reason this is crucially important is fundraising is a relationship-building game. Staff turnover leads to downgraded and lapsed gifts. When a donor doesn’t get the meaning they need, they drift away to other causes offering them a better return on their engagement. Trust me, employee retention costs a fraction of employee recruitment, training and on-the-job learning. Here how I explore different ways to be flexible and keep more fundraisers (and other staff) longer.
This is an oldie but goodie; one that’s been picked up by numerous other blogs over the years. I’m so glad people are getting the message, because the simple tips in this article can give a meaningful boost to your fundraising results.
Apparently I got this to you in the nick of time, as a lot of you were waiting until the last minute to plan your year-end fundraising strategy. How about reading this NOW, and tucking away these tips to plan ahead for next year? You can use the 5 tips for taking people on an emotional journey all year round!
Just like what I like to call “Giving(back)Tuesday,” this is one of the days of the year I prefer to dedicate to donor gratitude rather than fundraising. There are 363 other days of the year on which you can fundraise. I dare you not to find at least one fun idea to try!
Speaking of gratitude, not all thank you’s are created equal. Here I offer up a baker’s dozen of simple, foolproof tips learned from my 30 years in the trenches. Brilliant, warm, authentic, personal communication stands out and leads to renewals. And this is a much less expensive strategy than new donor acquisition. So… what are you waiting for?
The best way to get inside a donor’s head and heart is by telling a dramatic, emotional story. Something that taps into their core and arouses their curiosity, or some deeper feeling like sadness, fear or anger. There’s a story for your fundraising appeal… maybe a different story for your follow-up appeal… maybe several complementary stories, in video form, on your website. In this article I describe the steps you need to take for each story.
Here I explore the ways jargon — which can be insidious — is the opposite of constituent-centered writing. It’s to be avoided because it deters understanding, slows your reader’s progress, and fails to differentiate you from your competition. You can’t stand out by using jargon, buzzwords and pablum. Jargon won’t help search engines find you either. Remember: you have a mission and product or service you’re trying to convey as unique. Otherwise, why should any reader support you over another charity?
Enjoy, keep in touch – and let me know what topics you’d like to read more about in the coming year!
You Give Me Hope
In this time of pain, turmoil, and loss there has also been joy, creativity and love. You’ve risen to the challenges and found much to sustain us and bring meaning to peoples’ lives. Through your work you have brought healing and hope to those who rely on your mission, as well as passion and purpose to donors seeking to be of service.
Whether you embraced baking, piano, art, learning a new language, poetry, classics, yoga, nature walks, meditation, or any other revivifying pursuit to go on with as much optimism as possible over the past few years, you did it! You made it through; you helped others make it through. Knowing you were there, continuing to do what you do best in the face of unprecedented obstacles, helped me make it through too.
Thanks so much for being a member of the Clairification community this year. Your support means a lot to me, as does the knowledge you are fighting the good fight – working to make our world a better, more caring and more just place. If you’ve not done so already, I hope you will enroll in Clairification School to read all my articles when they’re published.
Want to start the year off with a systematic plan to assure you’ve all the preconditions in place for dynamic fundraising? Unlock your nonprofit’s fundraising potential through a series of “clairifying” worksheets and exercises. (1) Values. (2) Stories. (3) Brand. (4) Social Channels. (5) Support Constituencies. (6) Engagement Objectives. (7) Resources and Systems. This guide will help you take the time you need to be thoughtful about your goals and objectives, as opposed to just mindlessly editing or tweaking last year’s plan. Want to dig deep into why you’re doing these things? Then thisSPECIAL GUIDE is for you.
Not satisfied? No worries. You always have my Clairification no-questions-asked 30-day 100% refund guarantee. Why not give it a whirl?
To your success!
And, as promised, I’ve been so fortunate this year to continue with my Covid Tree Walks and other peregrinations around San Francisco and the greater Bay Area, and am sharing a few photos below. They bring me joy, and I hope one or more will bring a smile to your face as well.
To Your Health, Happiness And Success In 2023!