Last week I published Maya Angelou’s poem, When Great Trees Fall. I’ve taken a line from that poem as inspiration for the title of this week’s Clairity Click-it. Here’s another excerpt I love:
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.
The resources I share in this newsletter come from “great trees” far and wide. They whisper to us. They show us the way forward. Our minds, and fundraising practice, are “formed and informed by their
Now, more than ever, is a time to look for radiance wherever it is to be found. By finding the light, we’ll find our way out of the darkness.
It’s not easy. I’m reminded of a post by the inimitable Seth Godin.
“Wake me when it’s over,” is a natural instinct during a short-term interruption in our usual pattern. A crisis is there to be managed or waited out. The goal of each day is to simply get through it. Until things are back to normal.
But sometimes we’re dealing with a slog. Where the number of days is not small enough to simply throw them away. In a slog, the pattern of only getting by undervalues our days and diminishes our ability to contribute.
During a slog, we have a chance to accept a new normal, even if it’s temporary, and to figure out how to make something of it. You don’t have to wish for it, but it’s here. There’s very little value in spending our time nostalgic for normal.
When we get to the other side of the slog and look back, what will we have contributed, learned and created?
We’re in the slog now. But it’s an opportunity too. A time for creativity, innovation and learning. What will you learn this week? What will you create next week? What will you look back upon as your unique contribution once we emerge from this marathon?
I hope you’ll find something in the resources I’ve collected for you to help you and your constituents along the path to passionate philanthropy. I want to thank my sponsor Bloomerang for making it possible for me to spend the time to do this for you on a biweekly basis. It is a labor of love for both of us.
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
SPECIAL CATEGORY: Tips for Not-So-Normal Times
Boards and Leadership
Click-it: 5 Steps the Best Boards Are Taking Right Now. Joan Garry, Nonprofits are Messy, always offers spot-on advice. This comes from early in the pandemic, yet it’s just as important to take to heart today as the road ahead remains a long one. Pick something you’re not doing as well as you could (I like #5), and give it a try!
Click-it: Retaining donors in crisis. Now is a time to step up your donor retention efforts so you don’t lose your most loyal supporters. This article from Ronald Pruitt of 4aGoodCause suggests specific strategies for the new normal in which we’re living.
Click-it: How to Create an Engaging Virtual Experience. Check out these seven tips from Heroic Fundraising to successfully engage with donors when you can’t be face-to-face.
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: Future Proof Your Nonprofit Mission: Promote Legacy Giving, Even Now. Imagine if past generations had left a legacy endowment from which your organization could now be drawing upon. When you promote and secure legacy commitments today, you leave an inheritance for those who’ll come after you tomorrow. In this article for the Bloomerang blog I offer some simple steps you can take, without appearing like a creepy ambulance chaser.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Mid-Pandemic Fundraising Strategies Checklist: 13 Items to Move off the Back Burner. What you don’t do right now will come back to bite you in the butt. Because you exist within a fast-moving, competitive environment. If you’re not actively cooking things up you’ll have little nourishment to offer. So, whatever is on your back burner, move it to the forefront and get cooking with this fundraising strategies checklist I’ve published for you on the Bloomerang blog.
YOU in this moment
Click-it: To come out ahead of a crisis, lead with compassion. I wanted to at least share this excerpt from an article on the Fast Co. blog about the “Compassion Revolution” taking hold. “To fully embrace this moment of increased compassion, you must publicly commit to changing the way your organization operates. Work on developing and exhibiting your own emotional intelligence and highlight for your team the real-world examples of EQ you see to consistently reinforce the effects of compassion in action.”
WEBINARS & PODCASTS
Click-it: Fundraising During a Crisis (or Any Other Time) [Register for free webinar, 10-8-2020]. I’m offering this session, courtesy of Top Nonprofits, to help you become more thoughtful and strategic, especially when you can’t rely on the ‘normal’ playbook. There’s a time for fast and nimble and a time for slow and steady. We’ll discuss how to get things in balance. You’ll learn 10 strategies to stay sane and focused during times of uncertainty, 8 principles of successful fundraising during any time, and get specific fundraising and marketing ‘to-do’s.’
Click-it: “Unprecedented”: Talking to Donors in the Age of COVID-19 [Listen to on-demand webinar]. In the best of times, you can lean on long-term industry best practices to formulate your fundraising messages. But these are not the best of times. The folks at TrueSense Marketing are here to give you insider tips to help your nonprofit build strong donor relationships in the age of COVID-19
Click-it: How to Stream Your Virtual Fundraising Event: Tech Tools & Tips [Register for on-demand webinar]. Hosted by Mobile Cause, this panel presentation reveals how a small nonprofit with no livestreaming experience found and implemented the perfect streaming solutions for their virtual fundraising event. You’ll learn how to livestream, offer a recorded program or do a combination of both.
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: How to Survive the Coming Recession and Keep your Donors [Register for free webinar, 9-30-2020]. Jeff Schreifels and Richard Perry of the Veritus Group will share how to recession-proof your fundraising this year, especially as it applies to major gifts. If the Covid-19 pandemic is causing you to rethink your strategies, you owe it to yourself to carve out an hour to grab some of these great ideas. I’ve never listened to either Jeff or Richard and not taken away at least one golden nugget I could act on – usually immediately!
YOU in this moment
Click-it: Roundtable for Hold the Line [Register for free Zoom discussion, 9-30-2020]. This interactive panel discussion will bring together M+R and re:power organizers and trainers, nonprofit leaders, activists, and experts in nonviolent movements. They’ll discuss a variety of scenarios that might result from a contested election, the data-driven nonviolent approach recommended for resisting, and how nonprofits can respond. They’ll also share tools to help your organization make a plan. You can also download Hold the Line: A Guide to Defending Democracy.
Other Articles: The Beat Goes On
Click-it: Nonprofits and Donor Advised Funds: Perceptions, Progress, and Potential Impacts. This complimentary Stanford Social Innovation Review program will explore the role of DAFs in the philanthropic landscape, the advantages to nonprofits of working with DAFs to amplify donor benefit, and how nonprofits and DAFs can effectively work together to maximize charitable impact.
Click-it: The Importance of Retaining First-Time Donors (and How to Do It!) [Register for free webinar, 10-6-2020]. Steven Shattuck joins Qgiv to demonstrate why the second gift is more important than the first. You’ll see examples that can be implemented by any organization, whether you are a one-person shop or a large development department. The results can be astounding when put into daily use!
Click-it: Design Tips for a Stellar Fundraising Page. Check out this really useful article from FlipCause – especially important as you prepare to maximize year-end fundraising. Good design can encourage your website visitors to learn more and take action to support your cause. Poor design can mean you lose donations. This is important!
Strategy and Management
Click-it: How to Create Nonprofit Gift Acceptance Policies. Sometime in your career you’ll likely be approached by a donor who wants to give you a gift you probably shouldn’t accept. Before that occurs, it will help you to have created a written gift acceptance policy to serve as an institutional guide. Learn what you need to know in this article I wrote for the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: Who are you talking to? How you think will spill over to how you act. Especially when it comes to how you treat your donors. Mary Cahalane always nails this subject, so I wanted to share this article from her Hands On Fundraising blog with you.
Other Learning Opportunities
WEBINARS & ON-DEMAND AUDIO RESOURCES
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: Webinars You Need to Watch [Free and on-demand]. There are two webinars from Stelter here I recommend to you: “Why Cash Is Not King in Fundraising: Results From 1 Million Nonprofit Tax Returns” with Dr. Russell James and “What Does It All Mean? Incorporating Giving USA’s New Findings and Considerations into Your Planned Giving Work” with David Smith. These are two leading lights in the legacy giving field, and you’ll learn some valuable insights to guide your future fundraising strategy.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Nonprofit Innovation & Optimization Summit [Register for free two-day conference, 9-30 – 10-1, 2020]. Learn from leading experts how to grow your online fundraising and become an innovative digital marketer at this annual conference sponsored by NextAfter. Take advantage of the fact that this year it’s being offered virtually, at zero cost! You’ll learn new, proven, and innovative ways to grow generosity, have an opportunity for live feedback on your emails, donation pages and more, and even be able to attend virtual networking events to connect with your peers.
Click-it: Mobile Marketing Tips for Every Generation [Register for free webinar, 10-7-2020]. Mobile marketing is a key component of any comprehensive marketing strategy. This used to be a nice-to-have; now it’s a must-have. And optimizing your website and appeals for all devices and screens is crucial for staying relevant with today’s audiences. You’ll get useful tips in this session presented by Molly Coke for Firespring.
Click-it: Storytelling for Better Fundraising [Download on-demand webinar + slides]. Rachel Muir teamed up with Qgiv to remind us people give for emotional reasons. Using emotion is not manipulative. As Rachel notes, “It is oxygen for your fundraising.” Listen in for a lot of compelling examples of stories well told. Plus, at the end, you’ll see the best video ever! Get out the tissues.
Click-it: The Experience Impact [Download free white paper]. I love borrowing research and insight from businesses and applying their findings to the social benefit sector. The folks at Merkle work across sectors – for profit and nonprofit – so have a lot to offer. For example, they found 66% of consumers care more about experience than price when making a brand decision. Donors care about experience too. A good one will get them to give more, and vice-versa.
Click-it: The Essential Guide to Nonprofit Email Marketing. From the Wild Apricot blog, this gives you 7 top nonprofit email marketing best practices. Plus it includes some good examples to get your creative juices flowing.
Did You Miss My Recent Articles?
Here are links to the most recent articles on the Clairification blog. I think you’ll find these fairly practical. Hope so!
- Survival of the Most Loving – and Loved (aka, Why do so many charities have ♥♥♥ in their logos?)
- When Great Trees Fall
- How Humanity and Trust Supercharge Nonprofit Fundraising
- Nonprofit Social Media in Time of Coronavirus – and Any Other Time
- Remember Who We Are: Philanthropy Facilitators Pre 11-2020 USA Election
- At the Intersection of Major and Planned Giving: Moving to Asset-Based Philanthropy
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