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Integrate Fundraising and Content Marketing for Nonprofit Survival

Your year-long “Dive the Five” virtual course continues!
Integrate Fundraising and Content Marketing
I’ve selected five major themes – fundamental nonprofit fundraising strategies — 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 commit to 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.

Some of these skills will seem familiar, but the way you employ them may need to be tweaked in order for you to survive and thrive in our digitally-revolutionized society. Other skills may be things you’ve thought about, or dabbled in, but haven’t really committed to with serious intent and dedicated resources.

Clairity Click-it: Social Content Marketing for Fundraising; Giving Psychology; Donor Metrics; Boards

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What did one mouse say to the other mouse? Click-it!

To all my friends in the U.S., Happy Independence Day and I hope you get to enjoy a long, lovely refreshing week-end. To everyone else, why not pretend it’s a holiday and do something just for you?!. Because it’s summer, I’m giving you a light reading load this week. If you get a chance, let me know if any of these articles resonate with you. Have a good one!

P.S. Registration for the Donor Retention Master Class closes Monday at noon. If you meant to register, now is your last chance (you can read more about it below).

R.I.P: Top 3 Things Required for Content to be King + 17 Questions You Should Ask Before Building a Content Marketing Strategy

 

Is your content pushing up daisies?  It should be.  That’s the way to grow and blossom.   I call it  the R.I.P. Content Marketing Strategy:  (1) Relevance; (2) Ideas; (3) Plan. [Coincidentally, adhering to these principles should bring peace of mind so that you can rest easy in the knowledge you’re doing the right things (relevance; ideas) in the right ways (plan).]  So, to mimic Do,Re,Mi from the Sound of Music:

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R.I.P: Top 3 Things Required for Content to be King – And 17 Questions We Should Ask Before Embarking on a Content Marketing Strategy

Is your content pushing up daisies?  It should be.  That’s the way to grow and blossom.   I call it  the R.I.P. Content Marketing Strategy:  (1) Relevance; (2) Ideas; (3) Plan. [Coincidentally, adhering to these principles should bring peace of mind so that you can rest easy in the knowledge you’re doing the right things (relevance;…

Clairity Click-it: Culture of Philanthropy; Content Marketing; Newsletters + Opportunities

Clairity Click-it includes links to fundraising and nonprofit marketing resources from around the web.Hope you enjoyed/are enjoying the week-end! Please also enjoy these links. There’s all sorts of interesting stuff for you on boards and fundraising, storytelling, newsletters that make money, how to get better results from snail mail and more.  You’ll find some great training opportunities and five (count ’em!) free resources.

Culture of Philanthropy

Click-it: Turning Board Members into Fundraisers: Q&A with Claire Axelrad. Emily Wang of Network for Good recently interviewed me on this subject. If you missed it, here’s your chance to check it out.

Clairity Click-it: Social Media + Content; Cause-Related Marketing; Events; Business Cards; Coaching; Free Stuff; Last Day for Year-End Appeals!

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Click it!

I’ve a really eclectic mix of links this week, ranging from marketing to fundraising to management – and then some! Plus you’ll find some free resources and your last chance opportunity to improve your year-end fundraising (scroll to the bottom). Can you believe this will be the last “Click-it” in August? How’d it get to be September so soon? You know what that means – year-end fundraising is right around the corner! Stay tuned to my blog as I’ll be offering lots of tips to help you out. Meanwhile… enjoy the rest of the season.

Clairity Click-it: Looking Forward to 2015 Edition w/Board, E.D. and Staff Roles, Social Media; Content Marketing; Donor Databases

Today I’ve got my looking forward into 2015 edition with some ideas as you’re continuing to make your plans (aka New Year’s resolutions) to get you off on the right foot and assure you blast through your 2015 goals and objectives (I know, it usually comes on Friday, but I was playing hooky last week). I’ve also got some of the best posts from around the web that you may have overlooked last year.

Plus don’t miss the announcement of 40+ FREE nonprofit webinars at the end!

Before we begin, please accept my personal best wishes for a year ahead that brings many blessings, both to you and your nonprofit. May you wish upon a star… and have anything your heart desires come true for you.

Clairity Click-it: Special Announcement! Plus Content Marketing; Social Media; Year-End Fundraising & Weekly Gift

First a Clairity Click-it announcement: I’m deeply honored, humbled and proud that I made the Top 100, and Maximize Social Business (for whom I write a monthly column on social media for nonprofits) made the Top 50, of the Top Content Marketing Influencers on . If you’re not familiar with Maximize Social Business and its founder,…

Clairity Click-it Donor Communication Special: Eliminate Silos; Customer Service; Social Media; Content Marketing; Using the Phone + Call for Submissions

Donor Communication Special Edition

I cannot say this strongly enough. Do not segregate marketing and fundraising as separate silos.

When it comes to fundraising, communication with your donors should not be an “add-on.” Nor should it be relegated to the marketing department. As the guru of donor-centered fundraising, Penelope Burk, states:

It is a core fundraising function that produces long-term income security. Make meaningful communication with donors your development department’s top priority.

Here are some tips from experts across the web to show you how to do a more effective job with your donor communications.

Clairity Click-it: How Philanthropy is Changing; Giving Tuesday; Content Marketing; Retention; Color Psychology; Thank You

Changes in Philanthropy Click-It: On Nonprofit Fundraising, Physics and Utopia. Heidi Hancock of Mosaic muses on the nature of nonprofit growth, and why it’s probably not realistic to think you can raise an endowment that will set your nonprofit up for life. Giving Tuesday Click-It: Expert Advice on Taking Advantage of #GivingTuesday comes from the…

Clairity Click-it: Finding Donors, Power of Parody, Gratitude, Leadership, Content Marketing

Mixed bag today. From funny and unusual to serious and thought-proving. You’ll definitely find something of interest here. Take a lo! Finding Donors Click-It: Low Hanging Fruit. This cartoon from Hugh MacLeod at Gaping Void made me wonder. How might this apply to your donor cultivation strategy? Maybe the reason you’re not finding donors…

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The Winter of our DisCONTENT: Why, even with a content plan, marketing feels so cold to much of our audience

We’re leaving too much of our audience cold, despite the fact that we now have content plans. Brian Solis of the Altimeter Group  bloggedon a new report released by his colleague, Rebecca Lieb, “Content: The New Marketing Equation Why Organizations Must Rebalance.” A principle take-away is that, while we’ve been conscious about creating what…

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How Jargon Destroys Nonprofit Fundraising & Marketing

I hate jargon. With a passion.

Hate it. Hate it. Hate it.

Just. Can’t. Stand. It!

Yes, I guess you could call it a pet peeve.

But, really, why would you ever use jargon if you wanted to truly communicate with someone?

Just check out the definition:

“language used by a particular group of people, especially in their work, and which most other people do not understand”

— Cambridge dictionary.

Jargon = Failure to Communicate

When you talk to people in words they don’t understand, really, what’s the point?

Are you just trying to make yourself look smart?

Because, trust me, that’s not how it comes across.

Leverage Millennial Marketing Strategies to Woo ALL Nonprofit Donors

Marketin to MillenialsDo you ever worry you’re not doing enough to attract the donors of the future?

Does thinking about how to market to Millennials (who already are the largest segment in the workplace, will be 50% of the U.S. workforce in the next two years, and who will be 75% by 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) fill you with anxiety, because it’s just one more thing to add to your overflowing list?

Fear no more!

Today I’m going to tell you how you can have it all – and with very little extra work.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not dissing a multi-generational strategy. If you can manage to treat different types of donors differently, you absolutely will get the biggest bang for your buck by so doing.  However…

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Use Stories to Knock Down Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising Siloes

A recent article on Beth’s (Kanter) Blog by Miriam Brosseau and Stephanie Corleto was so well-written I was inspired to share some of it with you.  I 100% agree with everything it says – and strongly believe you absolutely must do what the article suggests.

What’s that?

Bust down your siloes!

Specifically, turn those puppies on their sides so they form a pipeline, and let the free flow of ideas between programs, marketing and fundraising begin.

Can you picture this?

Imagine your program staff is hoarding all the inspiring stories of impact, and failing to share them with your development team. That’s a silo that needs to be toppled. Because…

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How to Modernize Your Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising

In Part 1 of this two-part series I reviewed the ways nonprofit marketing and fundraising have significantly changed in recent years, and what this means for your ability to succeed in raising awareness and money.

I talked about how easy it is for leaders to blame staff, and vice-versa. It’s also easy to get sidetracked, because we’re operating in something of a Wild West frontier.  And no one really is clear on the rules of the game.

Within the current zeitgeist, the job of the development professional becomes critical.  Your organization needs you to lead.  They need you to be an expert strategist, even if they don’t always know this.

If you’re just put into a corner and told to “go forth and raise money” or “go forth and make our name known,” you’re in for a bumpy ride. But you have the power to smooth the way!

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What’s Ruining Your Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising?

There’s something killing your nonprofit’s marketing and fundraising.

Corrupting. Sullying. Debasing. Adulterating.

Yup, yup, yup, yup.

A silent killer. Insidious.

Know what it is?

I’ve crafted a two-part series of articles to tell you not just what it is, but also how to stop it from happening.

Before I tell you, think about this for a moment.

What’s holding you back?

Why aren’t you able to be more effective when it comes to raising both awareness and money?

I know you try. A lot.

But the progress just seems so incremental. Or, even worse, non-existent.

What’s the deal?

I’m going to give you both an answer, and a solution.  But first…

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3 Content, Online and Social Media Venues for Every Nonprofit

Nonprofit fundraising and marketing is very different today than when I began. Yet not every nonprofit I encounter seems to have received the message.

That’s why I’m writing.  Because the road to success has changed more in the past five years than the preceding 50.

Why?

It’s been called a “digital revolution,” a “disruptive” force and the “end of business as usual.

Outbound marketing” has been proclaimed dead, making way for “inbound marketing.”

The world is networked digitally in a way that was, until recently, unimaginable to most of us.

So… what does this mean for nonprofits? Especially for small to medium-sized nonprofits who don’t have staff with titles like “Online Fundraising Coordinator,” “Digital Communications Associate,” “Social Media Specialist” or “Digital Philanthropy Manager.”

How can you compete to raise awareness and support among your likely constituents?

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Risk vs. Reward: Rethink Nonprofit Marketing & Fundraising Best Practices

As you plan for the year ahead, it’s smart to think about risk vs. reward.

Sometimes you feel like a risk; sometimes you don’t.

If everything is going along swimmingly, and you want to take things to the next level, then taking a calculated risk may be just the thing.

If you’re not yet maximizing return using tried-and-true best practices, then going the risky route may make less sense.

If you’re wondering when to take risks with your nonprofit’s marketing and fundraising, here’s my answer: When you’re ready.

Begin by determining which current strategies are your most rewarding. Do you have good basics in place?

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Boost Nonprofit Marketing Results: Message, Time, Place

As year-end approaches, you want to consider leveraging your message across channels. You also want to tailor your message to meet the needs of different target constituencies.

One-size-fits-all messaging seldom works as well as segmented messaging.  The former is all about you, your convenience and your needs.  The latter is about your constituent’s needs.

Successful fundraising and marketing is customer- and donor-centered.

Is your year-end strategy setting you up for success? Are you truly putting your best foot forward?

If you’re not inside your constituents’ heads, you need to get in there! To be constituent-centered requires you to (1) talk to the right people,  (2) with the right message, (3) at the right time and place. Recently, I enjoyed a post on precisely this subject. I share it with you here, and if you’re not yet hip to the Marketoonist, allow me to introduce you.

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Using Visuals to Enhance Nonprofit Marketing & Fundraising

Is your nonprofit using Instagram yet? Pinterest?

I’m going to suggest you give it some serious consideration.

Why?

We live in the age of information overload. A wealth of information creates a scarcity of attention and thus a need to efficiently allocate attention.

Visual to the rescue!

Visual is a huge trend in marketing, using the power of digital to communicate your message and stay within the diminishing attention span of today’s online readers –8 seconds (one second less than the attention span of a goldfish).

Glub, glub.

If human minds are adapting to information overload this way (to multitask, prioritize, and consume quickly and efficiently), it makes sense for your nonprofit to adapt as well.

Otherwise, you’ll work really hard to put messages out there – that no one will read.

Want to stop working just hard and start working smart?

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Nonprofit Marketing & Fundraising Are Like Peanut Butter & Jelly

They’re meant for each other. Yet it may take a while to bring them together.

Here’s what I mean:

Peanut butter was first introduced at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. It didn’t get mixed with jelly until 1901, when the first PB&J sandwich recipe appeared in the Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics. It was served in upscale tea rooms, and was exclusive food. Until the world changed.

The 1930 Depression made peanut butter, a low-cost, high-protein source of energy, a star. But not the combo sandwich. Not yet.

Then…WWII.

Peanut butter and jelly were on U.S. Military ration menus. Soldiers added jelly to the peanut spread to sweeten the sandwich and make it more palatable. When soldiers came home from the war, peanut butter and jelly sales soared.

Suddenly this marriage became the norm. Why separate them?  After all, they went together like… PB&J!

We never looked back.

How is Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising Integration like the Marriage of PB&J?

They didn’t start out married, but they belong together.

Here’s what I mean:

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Philanthropy; Not Fundraising: How Inbound Marketing Enhances Opportunity for Human Connection

Dylan Times they are a changing lyricsThis is not the first time I’ve channeled Bob Dylan, calling for a change in the way fundraising and marketing is practiced in the social benefit sector. Because the times truly are a changin’…

Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command, your old road is rapidly agin’…

THEN: When I grew up in fundraising I had a shoe box as my database.  I wrote grant proposals on yellow legal pads.  When we got our first FAX machine I complained that now folks expected us to mail and FAX them (so double the work).  When email came on the scene I complained that now folks wanted us to mail and FAX and email (so triple the work). But it was still the same old road of outbound marketing.  At least I understood what it was all about.

NOW: We’re on a new road entirely.  Because folks are coming to us.  They’re telling us what they want.  They’re defining our nonprofit brand.  And they’re doing so in real time via a multitude of online channels and using a multitude of Web-connected devices.

Opportunity is knocking.

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Is Fundraising Cinderella to Your Nonprofit Marketing Communications?

Cinderalla and Step SistersToo often ‘Fundraising’ is made to sit in the corner while her step-sisters, ‘Content Marketing’ and ‘Online Communications’, get busy dressing up for the ball.

Poor ‘Fundraising.’

Her step-mother and step-sisters think raising awareness is more important than raising money.

They think all they have to do is look pretty, and they’ll naturally get chosen. Nobody wants to be bothered to include Cinderella (aka Fundraising) in the planning.  After all, she’s “dirty.”

Is Fundraising Your Nonprofit’s Dirty Step-Sister?

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5 Proven Content Strategies to Convert More Nonprofit Customers to Donors

Your nonprofit has a variety of different constituencies. You need to devise communication strategies that connect with all of them.

Because, guess what?

All of your ‘customers’ are potential donors.

Which is why you should take mastery of nonprofit content marketing seriously.  It’s not something you should simply delegate to marketing staff.

They need your input. And you need theirs.

Let’s consider your different nonprofit ‘customers’ for a moment.

They begin with actual users of your services… then range to volunteers… social media followers and advocates… community leaders with whom you interact… and philanthropic donors. Then there are your most likely potential ‘customers’ in all of these categories, including

Clairity Click-it: Fundraising Wisdom; Retention; Overhead; Time Management; Software; Social Marketing; Major Gifts

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.

Clairity Click-it: Databases; Content; Leadership; Free Stuff; Learning Opportunity

 

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I’ve got some really cool links for this first week of September. I try to find stuff I think you may not be seeing through your regular channels because it’s fun to get new perspectives. I especially love to find folks who come from other disciplines and see how nonprofits might apply some of their thoughts — art and science — to fundraising, marketing, management and leadership.  Plus you’ll find some free resources and a new learning opportunity (scroll to the bottom). Let’s begin…

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3 Ways to Integrate Your Nonprofit’s Marketing and Fundraising

You can't deliver your message today the way you did 10 years ago
You can’t deliver your message today the way you did 10 years ago

Avoid becoming irrelevant in the digital age. It’s revolutionized fundraising and nonprofit marketing.

There are so many different ways to communicate today that it can be dizzying!

Ground yourself by remembering that though technology has changed, people have not. We have the same drives… needs… yearnings as prehistoric tribes.  We long for connection and meaning. We want to find where we “fit.”

Philanthropy provides that “fit opportunity” in spades (or, more aptly, in hearts). You’ve got the goods; you just need to tinker with your delivery system.

Here’s how to embrace the change.

1. Let’s begin with your gift of content marketing.

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What is content marketing and what can it do for you?

Content marketing” is buzz-worthy because without it, you’ve got nothing. You’re just a box with nothing inside. Kids like to play with boxes; most folks — when they grow up — are looking for something of value inside the box.

That’s your content.  What you’re all about. The gift you offer the world and your donors.

Clairity Click-it: Keep Donors; Make a Case; Neuromarketing; Appeal Frequency + News to Use

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Want to keep more donors? This week’s Click-It will show you how in a number of different ways. Create magical experiences for supporters by taking a page from Disney. Craft a persuasive case for support by stepping into your donor’s shoes and asking yourself, and your team, some critical questions. Learn more about the importance of personalization by watching a video from Starbucks. Understand the psychology of the three different types of buyers (aka donors). And think critically about the number of appeals you send, and how this may help or hurt your donor acquisition, renewal and upgrade efforts. Plus you’ll find some “News You Can Use” (tons of really useful data and reports) at the bottom of this post.  To your success!

Clairity Click-it: Ice Bucket Aftermath, Integrated Fundraising/Marketing, Prospecting, Change + Learning Opps

There’s a whole bucket full of interesting, practical and inspiring stuff in this week’s Click-It (and I don’t mean an ice bucket)! I’ve got stuff about what you must do to compete in a digital marketplace… articles about integrating fundraising and marketing (which I’m passionate about)…  stuff about types of skills to look for in today’s communications staff and some ideas as to which marketing channels give you the biggest bank for your buck.  And speaking of bang for the buck, there’s info on how to research donor prospects. Plus I’ve got a thought-provoking cartoon for you at the end.  And, as always, some great learning opportunities (scroll to the bottom) you won’t want to miss!

Clairity Click-it: Nonprofit Staffing, Online Gratitude, Neuromarketing, Social Media, LinkedIn + Learning Opps

This week’s Click-It includes some really cool tips I’ve found for you across the web. Lots of practical stuff, plus some interesting data about how the human brain processes information. I also learned about a new website that might help you persuade your board to add a new position (or increase your salary). And, as always, some great learning opportunities (scroll to the bottom) you won’t want to miss!

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Too Many Hats? 3 Secrets You Need to Build a Fundraising Marketing Team

I recently had the privilege of presenting at the ALDE Conference, during the course of which I had the good fortune to listen in on the Keynote Address presented by Kivi LeRoux Miller. It got me to thinking about becoming a nonprofit milliner.

Say what?

Well, here’s the deal. I’m sure I could do a brisk business selling all sorts of different hats based on what Kivi had to say about results from her 2015 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report. After surveying more than 1500 nonprofits, guess what she found?

Clairity Click-it: Year-End Tips; Marketing; Social Media; Holiday Gifts

Today I’ve got an eclectic mix for you from both fundraising and marketing blogs. Everything is applicable to nonprofits, and lots of the advice is stuff you can use right away to increase your fundraising success. Then there’s stuff to help you plan for even greater success next year. Woohoo! Let’s begin with the stuff you need the most now… Oh, and did I mention there are presents at the end?

Clairity Click-it: Leadership; Lead Conversion & Storytelling; Marketing Communications; Social Media

This week’s Click-it has some thought-provoking posts as well as some practical tips.  Hope you enjoy them!  Also, if you meant to sign up for my latest course — designed to help you with critical donor retention — this is your last chance. I know you have the best of intentions. Your donors are super important to you, and you mean to let them know more often. You really do. But somehow you don’t get around to it as much as you should. This course will help you make it a priority — so when this time rolls around next year you’ll be in better shape than you are today.  Sound good?  Okay!

Now… enjoy these articles, please.

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Why Your Nonprofit Fundraising and Marketing is Outdated

 

Philanthropy, Not Fundraising

For too many nonprofits something isn’t working. Change is happening at a rapid pace while people try to employ yesterday’s ‘best practices,’ seeming to work harder and harder to make do with less — while needing to serve more.

Before the digital revolution, an information imbalance existed.  This facilitated a one-way ‘push’ model of marketing/fundraising. We could define our own brand and sell it.  Guess what?