Warning: Have You Caught Deadly Nonprofit Lemonade Standitis?

Lemonade Standitis is a bit like Zika virus.

Silent, but deadly.

It infects you, but you may not realize it.

The symptoms can be easily misdiagnosed, only showing up later down the line in a different form.

By then, it’s too late.

If you’ve got it, you’re no doubt leaving money on the table, working harder than you need to, and putting the long-term sustainability of your nonprofit business at risk.

Want to avoid this dreaded sustainability killer?

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Are You Reading Your Major Donors Right?

Last year I had the opportunity to present a major gifts master class where Jay Love, Founder and President of Bloomerang (and a board member and major donor himself) offered his thoughts on major gifts development from the donor’s perspective.

Since I’m constantly encouraging you to come at donor development from a donor-centered perspective, I want to share his viewpoint with you.

Not surprisingly, major donor development begins and ends with the same thing.

Can you guess what that might be?

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THANKS(for)GIVING: 9 Mistakes Nonprofits Make Thanking Donors

Thanking donors is the one thing most nonprofits do not spend enough time thinking about. Too often I find that staff spend 95% of their time crafting their fundraising appeal and getting embroiled in project management — design, layout, printing, postage, etc.  Finally, the letter (or e-appeal) is ready to launch.  The mailing is dropped. The button is punched. And… voila!  Gifts start to arrive! But then what?!

After you’ve sent out your appeal is too late to start thinking about what your thank you letter or email will say. Or who will sign it. Or whether someone who donates online will also receive an actual letter. Or thank you call. Or who will make the call. Everything must be well thought-out in advance. You must be ready to go, with different templates and strategies for different target audiences, well before you’ve asked for your first donation.

What would Miss Manners have to say about the way you too often focus more on the gift than on the giver? She would not be happy.  Not happy at all.  So, make a vow to remedy this situation before we kick into prime giving season.

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Clairity Click-it: Cornucopia of Free Nonprofit Resources

This week’s Click-it is a cornucopia filled with an eclectic mix of goodies. Maybe not as good as Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes or pumpkin pie, but… sometimes your mind and soul need feeding too!

To my friends in the U.S. who celebrate Thanksgiving this week, have a good one filled with many blessings. For those of you scattered elsewhere around the globe, make yourself a nice meal anyway and gather together with people you love. Life’s too short not to.

This poem I wrote several years ago seems particularly appropriate this year, so check out “Attitude of Gratitude” if you’ve a mind to.

And if you can, try to find some time this week to dig into some of these resources.

Now… go make our world a more caring place, and hug yourself some hope!

I am thankful for you,

Claire
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Philanthropy – Love of Humankind: Needed More Than Ever

For many, this has been a gut-wrenching week. People are struggling with how to make sense of global events. Not just the American elections (though this is a huge sea change), but also escalating, senseless violence across the planet, threats to free speech, the spread of fake news, a deepening divide between classes, and a creeping sense of dread as events begin to seem out of our control.

There’s a lot for people to digest.  The world can seem a cruel and barbaric place. Philanthropy – love of humankind — can seem elusive.

Yet it’s right here. In each of us.

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Clairity Click-it: Bounty of Free Nonprofit Resources for Year-End

Friday is Veteran’s Day in the U.S., so let’s give gratitude to all those who served and serve so that others will have better lives.

That counts you in too (Big time IMHO) – so here are links to articles you may find helpful whether you’re a veteran fundraiser/nonprofit marketer or a newbie. I’m emphasizing strategies to help you with this critical year-end time of year, when folks do their most significant giving.

Plus, as usual, you’ll find plenty of free resources – downloadable templates, webinars, cheat sheets, and more.

Thanks for doing the important work that you do. It gives me great comfort in these turbulent times to know you are there. Helping. Listening. Opening yourself to understanding. Holding people accountable. Restoring faith. Extending kindness. Kicking butt when you have to. Being the very best you can be, and the best of what humankind has to offer.

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Fundraising Appeal Psychology: Show People How to Avoid Loss

I’m about to clairify a subtle but very important point about what motivates philanthropic giving. After all, that’s what “Clairification” is all about.

It’s often said that people give to people.  So true.

But people are funny.

People will often give more to people who show them the pain that can be avoided through their gift, rather than to the people who show them the good that can be gained.

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How Important is Email to Nonprofit Fundraising? Very!

Here come 14 steps to successful email fundraising.

You’re no doubt planning your year-end fundraising strategy now. How big a role is email going to play?

If you’re making your email campaign an afterthought, don’t. That holds for this year, and the foreseeable future. It holds before, during and after  your pitch.

If you get good at email marketing and fundraising, you won’t be wasting your efforts.

Not today. Not tomorrow.

Since the end of the year is when most of the money is raised, there’s no time like the present to begin.

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