Life. Liberty. Pursuit of happiness.
We hold these truths to be ‘self-evident.’
If you’re human, they should be.
But there’s too much inhumanity going around.
We’ve been presented with other times to wake up to this.
What about this time?
All of us in the philanthropic – ‘love of humanity’ is in our definition – sector must take heed.
It’s our job to bring these truths to light.
To right abuses of power. To address grievances. To turn wrongs to rights. To restore balance to imbalance. To bring healing to hurt. To stand up for those cannot stand up for themselves. To look racism and all forms of bigotry in the face and say NO.
Last week I quoted Oprah Winfrey, speaking to the Class of 2020, who told them they were “the chosen class for such a time as this.” She was referring to the Covid-19 pandemic then. This additionally applies to the pandemic of systematic racism now.
You, as a nonprofit leader, are also chosen for this role. You are a philanthropy facilitator, whose job is to create a bridge between people who want to help and vital work that needs to be done.
I hope some of these resources I’ve collected for you will help you.
You are making the world a better, more caring, more just, more hopeful, more inspiring place.
Yours with gratitude,
P.S. Many thanks to Bloomerang for sponsoring the Clairity Click-it. Please remember to bookmark the Ask an Expert page — my fundraising advice column on their website! Ask your question here and see the recent “How to Measure Donor Acquisition Costs.”
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
SPECIAL CATEGORY: Tips for Not-So-Normal Times
Click-it: Moment of Sunshine Appeal. The folks at Solar Aid took their regular mission and positioned their online appeal message to make it germane to the current crisis. They also used their networks to spread a health-related message not part of their usual mission. The net effect is to make them look extremely nimble, relevant and compassionate.
Click-it: Fundraising successes at a time of catastrophe – part one. Ken Burnett writes on the SOFII blog with a number of examples of smart and winning appeals.
Click-it: 6 Creative Campaigns Fundraising Through the Coronavirus Pandemic. Check out this exploration on the Classy blog of crowdfunding, P2P fundraising, events, and donation pages for six different organizations. Some really creative ideas!
Communications and Marketing Examples
Click-it: RAFA Project Entertain. The adaptable fundraising team of the Royal Air Force Assoc. in the U.K. developed ‘Project Entertain.’ They send weekly content to keep people occupied from quizzes, to live interviews with pilots, history seminars, 40’s singalongs and a popular fitness class run by an RAF fitness instructor for all ages. As a result, sign-ups to their email list are increasing and their Covid-19 Emergency Appeal is doing well.
Click-it: 5 Ways to Check-In on Donors During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Donor Perfect shares some terrific tips. They conclude with: “The most important element of your donor communications right now is empathy.”
Click-it: Overcoming the Racial Bias in Philanthropic Funding. Sometimes bias, conscious and unconscious, results in philanthropy ends up reinforcing the very social ills it says it is trying to overcome. Learn more in this article in Stanford Social Innovation Review. It’s a long and thoughtful piece.
Click-it: Time to Untether Philanthropy to Back Black-Led and Defined Work. Ruth McCambridge, Nonprofit Pro, pulls together multiple voices that challenge philanthropy to release unrestricted funds to fuel the movement for racial justice.
Strategy, Management and Leadership
Click-it: Yes, Your Cheese Has Moved. Some recommendations to help you with change management. Hunkering down and waiting for this to all blow over is probably not your best strategy – from Ann Goldman, Front Range Source.
Click-it: Racism, privilege, facilitation, training – and sharing the wealth. Andy Robinson of Train Your Board talks from his own experience as a trainer about how racism plays into facilitation and training, among other things. He suggests seeking out teachable moments.
Click-it: Good News…or Courage? Renee Rubin Ross, The Ross Collective, shares thoughts to help your organization step forward, take a stand and lead. While it may not be clear what you can do, at the least you can make a public-facing statement. She shares examples to help you through the process, and concludes with: “If you take an action that feels uncomfortable, it’s probably the right thing.”
Click-it: How Nonprofit Fundraisers are Evolving in the Face of Uncertainty. Colin Stewart of Merkel sat down with three nonprofit leaders to find out how Covid-19 has impacted their strategies. This one comment struck me: “The strongest brands aren’t asking when will this end, but how can we continue.”
Click-it: The top twelve tips on successfully taking an in-person fundraising event virtual. Robin Cabral, Development Consulting Solutions, discusses when you can, and can’t, take your event online. Then, if you’re going there, she suggests what to do next.
Click-it: Anti-Racist Resources from Greater Good. I often look to the folks at Greater Good for science-based insights into gratitude and inspiration about other ways we can take care of ourselves and help others lead meaningful lives. In response to the killing of unarmed black people by police, they’ve gathered remarkable pieces that explore our potential to reduce prejudice in society and in ourselves.
NOTE: You’ll find more of my own ‘what to do in this crisis’ articles on Clairification (just scroll to the bottom of the Click-it).
WEBINARS & ONLINE CONVERSATIONS
Peer to Peer Fundraising
Click-it: Pivoting Peer-to-Peer Fundraising Events During the Pandemic and Beyond [Register for free webinar, 6-11-20]. Katrina Van Huss and Otis Fulton of Turnkey and Shana Masterson of Blackbaud will share their thoughts on why they think the pivot to ‘going virtual’ will actually reinvigorate P2P campaigns for years to come, and why many are having trouble making the decisions required to execute the pivot.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Using Innovation to Accelerate Impact [Register for free webinar, 6-17-2020]. In this session, hosted by Bridgespan, you’ll learn how to design simple experiments that test innovations cheaply and quickly and then how to adapt solutions and scale effective change.
Click-it: Unbound: Important Discussions for Turbulent Times [Register for free live conversations]. Donor Search is hosting a full week of live conversations all about adjusting to the “new normal” and surviving and thriving. Friday’s session will explore key questions that will shape the future of giving, volunteering and other forms of civic engagement in America.
Click-it: Beyond Virtual Facilitation: How to Maximize Engagement and Tackle Wicked Problems in Your Virtual Meetings [Register for free webinar, 6-9 or 6-11, 2020]. Charity How-To offers this hands-on training with Caliopy Glaros to help you learn the virtual facilitation tools, tips, and tricks needed to build trust, spark ideas, and foster collaboration in your virtual meetings. You’ll also walk away knowing how to master difficult dialogues and tackle wicked problems.
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES & ON-DEMAND AUDIO RESOURCES
Click-it: RNLI – We are one crew [Watch/listen to donor thank you video example]. This is an amazing donor thank you video. Just one minute long, and it gets the tone exactly right. Check it out, and think about how you might emulate it to make your supporters feel good. From RNLI on the SOFII blog.
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: Don’t Pivot, Change It! [Download free white paper]. All moments in history with great adversity leave you, as a leader, with a choice, continue doing what you’ve always been doing and shrinking to the adversity, or changing course and setting a new direction that leads to a more sustainable future. Major gifts experts, The Veritus Group, give you a “playbook” on how to change course, rethink what you’re doing now, and move towards creating more meaningful relationships with donors.
Click-it: Addressing Today’s Marketing Challenges [Listen to free on-demand video]. Experts agree nonprofits need to continue their planned giving efforts, staying top of mind with donors—albeit with some thoughtful adjustments. Learn exactly how to do this from Nathan Stelter. You can also grab some updates here.
Click-it: 15+ Virtual Fundraising Ideas [Download free e-book] .The folks at Qgiv have put together this amazing e-book with ideas for fun virtual events (virtual dunk tank?) and other ways donors can safely support your nonprofit. Real life examples are shared too.
Other Articles: The Beat Goes On
Click-it: 4 Missed Opportunities to Ask for a Donation. Almost nothing bugs me more than seeing nonprofits leave money on the table. In this article, the folks at Sumac suggest four strategies you may be able to better optimize.
Click-it: The right way to ask donors to cover processing fees. Do you ask donors to do this? If so, you may want to assure you’re doing so in the most effective and donor-centered way possible. If not, perhaps it’s time to consider so doing. In this super practical article, Ronald Pruitt of 4aGoodCause lays out the ‘do’s’ and ‘don’ts.’
Click-it: It’s Way Past Time to Raise the Donor-Centric Bar. Kevin Schulman, The Agitator-Donor Voice, reminds us all donors are not the same. And “Real donor centric is no more expensive than the superficial.” The more you take this to heart in crafting your relationship building and fundraising strategies, the more success you’ll have.
Click-it: The most sincere thank you ever written. Reinier Spruit, Reinier Fundraising, shares this beautiful thank you letter, and the donor’s response. Let it inspire your own gratitude program.
Click-it: The steep cost of unwarranted confidence. Jeff Brooks, Future Fundraising Now, addresses an all-too-common problem in nonprofits.
Other Learning Opportunities
Click-it: 5 Ways Your Donation Page Could Be Failing Your Donors [Register for free webinar, 6-16-20]. This webinar will address a hidden donation killer. It’s more important than most organizations give it credit for. Did you know 78% of would-be donors that visit a donation page leave without making a gift? You owe it to yourself to prioritize improving your donation pages, and you couldn’t find better presenters than the folks at NextAfter. Every idea is based on research, not just feelings.
Click-it: First-time Donor Communication Plan template [Download for free] from Bloomerang. How and when you respond to first-time donors can hugely affect whether or not they’ll give again. Average first-time donor retention today is under 20%. For donors who give less than $100, that rate drops to 18%. Use this as a guide to craft a first-time donor retention plan so you don’t lose donors faster than you can acquire them.
Online Marketing and Fundraising
Click-it: Tools Every Nonprofit Needs to Simplify Their Life [Watch free on-demand video]. Angie Kubicek of Firespring lays out which social media platforms you should care about, 5 online tools to help you master your online presence, social listening tools that really work, engagement tools to simplify your life, and how to curate your web content in less than 15 minutes per day.
Click-it: How to successfully onboard new subscribers to your nonprofit e-newsletter [Download free e-book].Ephraim Gopin, 1832 Communications, shares this brand new resource to help you start growing your email list today. It’s filled with practical advice, like where to place your sign-up form, what fields your form should contain, how to thank folks who sign up, and more.
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!
- Philanthropy Trends Your Nonprofit Needs to Know Mid-Pandemic
- Who Ya Gonna Call? Philanthropy Facilitators!
- Secret Strategy to Communicate with Nonprofit Donors – In ANY Times
- 10 Top Nonprofit Strategies to Get Through this Crisis
- Nonprofit’s ‘Unfair Advantage?’ You Deliver Meaning
Please support my extraordinary sponsors (see below). The Clairity Click-it content is free, and Clairification School is affordable because of their generosity.