Generally, I enjoy nothing than writing, writing and writing to share with you everything I’ve been learning from my clients… my coaching… my teaching… my reading…my research and studying… just what I’m absorbing from the ether. I absolutely crafting articles for you filled with strategic fundraising tips, advice gleaned from years of in-the-trenches…Details
“racism requires our silence to perform its wicked dance bigotry carries a golden watch to put us all under its trance prejudice is an old world sailor who tied our tongues into a knot intolerance is an un-blindfolded firing squad who can’t wait to take their shot we say that we’ve changed and now…Details
Is there a best way to raise money?
That question is really at the heart of what most nonprofits want to know.
And recently I was reminded of this when asked a question for a Virtual Summit for Nonprofit Changemakers in which I’m participating in the early Fall. [There will be a ton of useful content presented in this online conference – by 20 of well-respected experts over two days – so please check it out.]
Here’s what I was asked:
What is the best advice you can give to a fundraiser… and does it hold true in times of crisis?
I thought about this long and hard. Because I’ve lots and lots of advice!
But… my best advice? Hmmn…
And then it came to me.
I recalled a favorite quote.
“If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend fifty-five minutes thinking about the problem and five minutes thinking about the solution.”
— Albert Einstein
That’s the advice!
You see, one can’t really pick a best fundraising strategy without first fully describing the reason money is not already flowing in. In other words…
You must identify and define your problem before attempting to solve it.
The time you spend doing so will be well spent. And when it comes to fundraising, worth its weight in gold.
I like to go through an iterative process of asking why, why, why, why…. until I’ve exhausted every question. It looks something like this:Details
Every day this virus haunts us. It reminds us of what is truly important. Coming together. Helping each other. Giving. Receiving. Finding balance. Finding meaning. Being grateful for tiny beautiful things. Acting with purpose. Helping others act with purpose. Bringing joy. Experiencing joy. Feeling what it is to be human. To support. And to lean.…Details
The times we’re in are extraordinary, and ‘business as usual’ isn’t. Having strong coping skills today are truly important. As is being more thoughtful and strategic than usual, because you can’t rely on the ‘normal’ playbook.
I recently happened on a thoughtful article I want to share from the University of Colorado, Something for Everyone: 25 Tips to Get Through Your Day. I’ve selected what I believe are the Top Ten Tips for nonprofits.
Use these tips to help you make the most of this time into which we’ve been thrust. See if you find anything that speaks to you. Apply to both your personal and professional life to the extent you can. I’m quoting from the author in the highlighted segments, and following with a number of targeted fundraising and donor communication strategies you may want to consider.Details
Balance. That should be your ‘today mantra.’
I’m talking about balancing self-love with donor-love.
You can’t help others unless you first take care of yourself.
This is really a truism you should carry with you throughout your life. But it’s never been truer than the times in which we’re currently living.
At the bottom of this article, I’m going to offer you some ‘don’t panic’ self-care strategies.
Since, however, you primarily look to me for fundraising advice, let’s begin with some specific strategies to try right NOW.
FIRST: Take Care of Your Donors
Connect, Connect, Connect – with Everyone!
Talk to your donors about how they’re doing. It’s always been good practice to stay in touch with your supporters. In fact, the numero uno reason donors stop giving is due to your poor communication with them. So use this time as your reason to – finally — get your donor love and loyalty plan off your back burner!
Take this opportunity to connect with folks with sensitivity and empathy. Show you care about them. As people, not just donors. Let them know you’ve no idea how this pandemic may be affecting them, personally and professionally. Listen and empathize with what they tell you. Depending on what your organization does, you may even be able to help them. At least put out an offer of help, and a listening ear, should they need you in the coming weeks and months. Then – as appropriate — share with them the situation for your organization and those who rely on your programs and services.
NEXT: Take Care of Your Mission with Specific Strategies to Try Right NowDetails
There’s a lot about fundraising folks take for granted. And not in a good way. Because… much of it is untrue!
In fact, if you, your executive director, your board members or anyone else where you work subscribes to these fictions you’ll be in for a lot of pain and suffering. You won’t raise near the money you could otherwise raise. And you won’t enjoy your work.
But there’s a fix!
Previously I wrote about certain self-evident fundraising truths. Truths you want to hold close to become a fruitful philanthropy facilitator. The problem? These tenets I call truths are too often not apparent at all.
A disinformation campaign is unconsciously being waged by leaders who:
- Don’t understand how fundraising works.
- Don’t understand pre-conditions must be in place in order for fundraising to flourish.
- Don’t want to understand because then they’d have to step up to the plate and do things that make them feel uncomfortable.
Oh, dear. Guess what?
Like anything else worth doing, fundraising must be done well to succeed.
You get out of it what you put into it. And… the truth shall set you free!
If you believe any of the following untruths, your fundraising program is in jeopardy. And so is your mission. Let’s break these down.Details
Ask someone on the street if there are too many nonprofits addressing the same causes. Most likely, you’ll get a resounding “yes.”
When there’s a crisis, folks are confused as to which relief agency they should give their money. When a friend is diagnosed with cancer, they aren’t sure which organization will make the best use of their donation.
This confusion leads to “drop in the bucket” donations. Folks want to at least doing something, but don’t want to risk throwing their hard-earned money into a black hole.
This behavior stifles the entire nonprofit sector. Folks don’t trust their philanthropy will be effectively stewarded, so don’t give as much as they could. Even worse, folks with track records of investing — philanthropic (aka “social”) entrepreneurs — sit on the sidelines waiting.
Waiting for what?
Waiting for the social benefit sector to do something that, up until now, it has not done well.Details
We live in an age of information overload.
As a result, many of us (me included) have gotten into some really bad habits in an effort just to “keep up.”
These habits are not only killing your productivity, they’re killing you!
So today I thought I’d take a step back from offering fundraising tips and tools, and offer up some brass tacks advice to lighten your load.
And I want to take on the killer of all time sucks.
What’s in a name?
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” said Shakespeare.
But, would it?
Seth Godin thinks words matter. As do I.
The meaning of the word is the reason we used the word.
If we don’t agree about the meaning of the word, we haven’t communicated.
Instead of, “that’s just semantics,” it seems more productive to say, “I’m confident we have a semantics problem.”
Because that’s all of it.
The way we process words changes the way we act. The story we tell ourselves has an emotional foundation, but those emotions are triggered by the words we use.
— Seth Godin
What do you call the folks who respond to your fundraising appeals?
Are they donors?
Maybe that’s okay. Or perhapsDetails