Will Your Year-End Fundraising Be Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing?

I love my Agitators, I really do. I’m hoping they meant to provoke, and were really being tongue-in-cheek with their recent article.   Forget About Donor-Centric is very provocative, and certainly there’s truth here. Nonprofits do seriously ramp up their fundraising activities at this time of year, and it may appear they’re thinking more about money than their donor. It’s solicitation time, not stewardship time.  And “Donor Tom” (Tom Belford) tells us he understands. He reasons that at this time of year he’s going to be so bombarded by appeals that he’s not going to be thinking about building a relationship with you. He just wants to give to those he’s already given to and “escape with some spending money for Christmas presents.”

That’s exactly the perspective you don’t want your donor to have.

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Are You Leading Your Nonprofit Backwards? How to Change

Philanthropy, Not Fundraising

More than ever before nonprofit leaders must lead from vision, not mission.  Why?  The world is moving really, really fast.  Blame it on the digital revolution if you wish.  But why waste time laying blame?  It is what it is.  Instead, get into the 21st century. Now.

The present (what you’re doing) is nothing more than a springboard to the future (the change you’re endeavoring to bring about). That’s what folks want to invest in. Positive change.

Nonprofits have tended to forget their visions in order to justify continued existence.  Sometimes founders and other leaders become too wedded to the status quo.  They can’t let their babies grow up. 

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Weekly Clairity Click-it: Giving Trends, Cause Marketing, Email Marketing, Data Conversion, Donor Retention

Free Webinar alert below…  Now, on to this week’s great links…

Giving Trends

Click-it: ‘Strategic Philanthropy’ Shifts Too Much Power to Donors. This is a provocative Chronicle of Philanthropy article about the way foundations give today. Did you know that 60% of them don’t accept unsolicited proposals? The trend is towards a Madisonian approach where foundations determine which issues are meritorious vs. a more Jeffersonian approach  in which nonprofits, community groups and their constituents determine where resources are most needed. On which side of the debate do you fall?

Click-it: How America Gives. This is a super-awesome interactive guide

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Labor Day Week-end Clairity Click-it: Planning/Calendaring, Development Director Mistakes, Time Management, Writing, Psychology, Gratitude

First, some words:

  1. Time to say thank you for your labors.  And thank you for reading Clairification. Your work inspires me and truly creates a more caring community and better, more humane world. Your readership makes my days, months and year. Truly, I appreciate you. Please… rest, reflect and recharge this week-end. You deserve it!
  2.  Last chance to get your highest ROI fundraising management tool (see below). Yes, I’m charging a bit. But not too much (especially given the fact my prodigal son has returned and is eating me out of house and  home!), and way less than what you’ll get out of it. I promise. Guaranteed.

Now… on to this week’s great links…

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Are You Treating Your Donors Like Gumballs?

Want your donors to sustain you? Then you can’t consume them in five minutes.

Yet all too often nonprofits treat their donors exactly like a gumball dispensed from a machine. Chew it up. Spit it out. Done.

Oh, yeah… maybe you send a quick thanks to whoever gave you the change to buy the gum.  But that’s as far as your gratitude takes you. You’re over it. You never even think about that gumball again. You probably can’t even remember what color it was. You’re off hunting down your next snack.

Little snacks are nice.  But they won’t sustain you over time.

One-time donations are the same way.  And they’ll stay that way – one time – if you treat them the way you treat your gumballs.

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Weekly Clairity Click-it: Body Language, Purpose of Social Media, New Tools, Fundraising Basics, Thanking

This week’s Clairity Click-it – your eclectic array of easy to-“click-it” links to posts I’ve found thought provoking. With, of course, a few comments of my own.

Body Language

Click-it: 4 Body Language Cues You Need to Know When Networking. It’s important to remember that first impressions count. A lot. You may be unconsciously giving the wrong one. This article by Ivan Misner in Entrepreneur describes how to avoid this. I myself have to constantly remind myself not to keep my arms folded (signifying boredom or being closed off). If you’re up for the challenge, try this suggestion from Misner:

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What Sherpas Can Teach Fundraisers

Earlier this week I posted an article talking about how fundraising professionals need to become Engagement Journey Guides. One of my readers, Amy K., suggested that was a mouthful and offered up the term “Engagement Sherpa.”  That got me thinking, so I looked up the word. Sherpa means “a member of a people noted for providing assistance to mountaineers… [and who] have achieved world renown as expert guides.” Hmmn. I really like that!

Think of your donors as mountaineers.  They’re on an ascent. It’s not just towards the top of your donor pyramid.

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How the ‘Diva of Dollars’ became the ‘Engagement Journey Guide’

 

Two equestiran riders on a journey
It’s about the journey, not the money.

Philanthropy, Not Fundraising

Here’s a true story.  Some years ago, while working for a family service agency, we became involved in a discussion about job titles.  Should folks stay as directors or become v.p’s? Should my title remain ‘Director of Development’ or switch to ‘Advancement’ or ‘External Relations’? I researched titles elsewhere. Yada, yada, yada.  I finally said I really didn’t care.  Just call me ‘Maven of Money’ or ‘Diva of Dollars.’

I didn’t get it.

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Weekly Clairity Click-it: Content Creation, Storytelling, Practical Social Media, Asking, Thanking

This week’s Clairity Click-it – your eclectic array of easy to-“click-it” links to posts I’ve found thought provoking. With, of course, a few comments of my own.

Content Creation

Click-it: 25 Brain Lubricants to Generate Content Ideas. This guest post on the Convince and Convert blog comes from creative director Barry Feldman. If you feel like you don’t have enough content to fill a blog (and if you read me at all you know I believe every nonprofit should have a blog!) check out these great ideas for combating writer’s block.  Here’s one I like: Got a bookcase full of dusty old classics? Crack one open. Try poetry. Hit Pinterest for inspirational quotes. There’s something about great thinkers that makes you think.

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