Clairity Click-it: Get Outside the Mailbox

Today I’ve got stuff to help you get outside the traditional mail box. It’s a great way to communicate with folks – tried and true – but you have many more options in 2015. If you get stuck in the past you’re going to miss out on a lot of potential donors.

Did you know that when the telephone was invented people thought it would be disruptive and distracting? This is the year to seamlessly integrate strategic social media into all your fundraising and marketing campaigns.

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Philanthropy, Not Fundraising: I Have a Dream 2015

Photo of moon rise
I have a dream…

I have a dream for 2015 – and beyond. I have a dream  this is the year your organization will move beyond defining yourself by what you’re not (nonprofit) and will begin to define yourself by what you are (social benefit). I have a dream  this is the year your people will move from an attitude of taking and hitting people up (aka “fundraising”) to a mindset of giving and lifting people up (aka “philanthropy”). I have a dream this is the year your staff and volunteers will move from enacting transactions to enabling transformation.

I have a dream you will think big, because thinking small will not get you where you need to go. You will understand there is great power in a big, wildly exciting vision. You will share this vision broadly to attract people — and financial resources — to your cause. You will no longer be content to remain a “well-kept secret.”

I have a dream you will learn who your best influencers  and advocates are and you will embrace them.  You will recognize you are no longer your best messenger. You will understand that many forces beyond you influence your donor’s decision to invest with you, and you will expand your thinking and operations from a one-dimensional to a multi-dimensional model.  You will allow your constituents to engage with you at multiple points of entry, and to move freely between these points during the life cycle of their engagement.

I have a dream you will push yourself and your organization towards transformative change.

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Clairity Click-it: What You Missed/Second Chance Edition – Annual; Events; Donor Retention; Nonprofit Communication

Today I’ve got my personal round-up edition with the TOP 10 POSTS on the Clairification blog as selected by you – my wonderful Clairification readers. I’ll no doubt be writing more about these topics in the coming year, but if there’s something you’d particularly like me to address please send me a direct email at Claire@clairification.com. I always love to hear from you!

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7 Proven Keys to Inspire Nonprofit Boards to Lead and Give

My first year as a nonprofit fundraiser was before social media, cell phones, email, computers and even FAX machines. I had never heard the term “information overload” and I wasn’t distracted by interruptions every five minutes.  Why do I mention this?

Because in today’s fast-paced world we are often so bombarded with bells, whistles and flashing lights that we lose sight of the basics. We lose focus.

Back in the day, I focused.

My number one focus was our board of directors. I knew that before we could get others to give, the board needed to give. Passionately.

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What “Chopped” can Teach Fundraisers about Productivity and Passion

passionOne of my secret pleasures is watching the show “Chopped” show on the Food Network. Today I watched an episode that just had me bawling at the end. It was the most heartwarming show I’ve ever seen. And it reminded me of why all of you do the work that you do in the social benefit sector.

So please allow me to share.

I don’t know if I can adequately convey the pathos I felt, but if you’ve had a chance to see this episode I would strongly recommend it. It will make you feel very good. At the same time, it will make you understand — even more than ever — how much work there is to be done.

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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.

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Whither the Nonprofit Sector in 2015? 6 Ways to Assure Yours Doesn’t Wither

I chose the word “w(h)ither” in my title very deliberately. It can mean “Where are you going?” It can also mean “Dying on the vine.” Which does it mean for you and your nonprofit?

If the former, where are you going? You’ll find some “To Do’s” in this article to help you on your way towards a sustainable future. If the latter, how can your prevent this from happening? You’ll find some “don’ts” to help you breathe life into your organization.

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Clairity Click-it: Year End Edition w/Tips, Resolutions, Predictions + More Gifts!

Today I’ve got my year-end edition with some final tips for the end of the year, some ideas as you’re making your new year’s resolutions and a list of predictions to get you off on the right foot in 2015.

Don’t miss the practical, last-minute stuff, and tape these resolutions and predictions next to your computer so you can give them some serious thought when you return from you holiday break. Oh, and did I mention there are a few more gifts at the end?

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Still Time to Get 7 Perfect Holiday Email Subject Lines

Still stuck for subject lines for your year-end emails?

The subject line is like the outer envelope for direct mail. It’s the window into your message. Make sure it’s wide open and gives a glimpse of something that grabs folks’ attention. Make it intriguing, urgent, exciting, compelling, emotional, shocking or funny. The more useful and specific it is the better.

And by the way, if you’re not planning a series of year-end emails — get on it NOW! Did you know that a full third (33%) of December gifts occur on the 31st of the month? If you’re not putting forward your most compelling fundraising offer at a timed when folks are primed to give the most, you’re really missing your best opportunity.

In 15 Subject Line Examples for Your Holiday Email Marketing Ryan Pinkham provides inspiration that applies as well to nonprofits as to retail businesses.  Here are examples I particularly like, with thoughts about how you can use them to boost your year-end fundraising:

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Clairity Click-it: Civil Society; Boost Blog Traffic; Email; More Gifts

Today I’ve got another eclectic Clairity Click-it mix of tips for you from both fundraising and marketing blogs. Plus I’ve got some real food for thought that goes to the heart of your fundraising and marketing strategy. Take a read, and see if you don’t find a nugget or two that makes you sit up and take notice. Oh, and did I mention there are more gifts at the end?

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