“We are meaning-seeking creatures. Dogs, as far as we know, do not agonize about the canine condition, worry about the plight of dogs in other parts of the world, or try to see their lives from a different perspective. But human beings fall easily into despair, and from the very beginning we invented stories that enabled us to place our lives in a larger setting, that revealed an underlying pattern, and gave us a sense that, against all the depressing and chaotic evidence to the contrary, life had meaning and value”
You are on a meaning-seeking journey. Through your work, you create positive change and make lives easier and better. One person, family, community, region at a time. Your donors seek the same.
Part of your job is to bring meaning, not just to the beneficiaries of your organization’s mission but also to the people who contribute towards your meaningful outcomes.
It turns out when you consider what brings meaning and value to philanthropists – donors and volunteers – you do a more effective job creating abundance all around.
Use some of the resources in this week’s issue of the Clairity Click-it to help you on your journey. And to help your supporters on theirs. Whatever your role, you’ll find something in this issue to nourish you. So, start digging through the curated content from across the web. I hope it will make your job easier, and more fulfilling. Get curious!
As always, a big thank you to my sponsor, Bloomerang, for making it possible for me to spend the hours of time hunting, gathering and choosing the resources I believe will be most useful to you.
It is my sincere pleasure and honor to help you find the ideas, strategies, templates and tools you need to succeed.
Thank you for doing your vital work, and making our world a better place,
P.S. Please scroll down to see all my Clairification School sponsors who enable me to offer enrollment in ‘Clairification School at an affordable price [If the enrollment fee is a hardship, please email me and we’ll work it out.]
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: Answers to 5 Key Questions About Monthly Giving. Erica Waasdorp is the queen of monthly giving, and she weighs in with some useful advice in NonProfitPRO. No matter what you’re doing now to encourage recurring gifts, you can and should do more.
Click-it: Best Annual Report Makers for Nonprofits . If you’re on a calendar year, this is something you may be thinking about right now. The folks at Yearly have lots of tips to help you connect with your supporters in a way that meets their needs and yours.
Click-it: Event Page Essentials: Why You Need One & How to Perfect It. First impressions really matter when it comes to attracting folks to your event. Learn how to make a great one, plus create a seamless ticket selling experience, in this article from Eventgroove.
Click-it: Thanking Your Donors: 3 Post-Event Best Practices. One of the most important, too often overlooked, parts of a successful event is what you do after the event has concluded. Nothing is more important than how and when you say thank you. The experts at Auctria have three suggestions to help you come across as heartfelt and personal.
Click-it: GivingTuesday 101: An Overview for New Participants. Here, from Eventgroove, is a reminder of what Giving Tuesday is about. With some tips to get you on the road to success.
Click-it: How to Write Grant Proposals That Get Results. This article in Chronicle of Philanthropy outlines the importance of paying attention to grantor guidelines, areas of interest, typical grant sizes, and other things of relevance to the particular funder. For example, how you do what you do differently than anyone else in the area. And making sure the budget is specific to the written proposal.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Roger Craver, the Agitator/DonorVoice, warns donors need a break from constant emails. It’s an interesting read. If you don’t employ strategies like “pulsing,” you may wake up to the fact your donors no longer have a pulse for giving.
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: I Don’t Like the Term “Moves Management”. Jeff Schreifels of the Veritus Group explains why he prefers “working your strategic plan.” He notes the typical way major gift officers approach their portfolio is to stop cultivating once a donor makes a pledge. This has the affect of putting the relationship on hold, rather than deepening it.
Click-it: Wake Up and Smell The New Paradigm When economic times get tough, the tough get going. If you want to get your prospects off the “I can’t help you this year” dime, use the suggestions in this article on PlannedGiving.com to show folks your nonprofit is creative and empathetic with their plight.
Click-it: How to Have a Super Successful Visit with a Major Donor. Do you know what the “kiss of death” is? How about what the real goal of the visit is? Gail Perry answers these questions, and much more!
Click-it: 10 Top Strategies to Grab Your Nonprofit’s Mid-level Fundraising Opportunity. See my new article on the NonProfitPRO blog to stop making the mistake of focusing all of your energy on donor acquisition and major gift fundraising, largely ignoring the fertile middle of your database. This is a big missed opportunity! There’s gold in the mid-level hills, but you won’t find it unless you go digging.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: How to Move Followers from Social Media to Your List. If you’re not getting much traction from your social media strategy, this article from Rally Corp explains how to ramp it up. If you want to capture follower emails so you can communicate with them directly on an ongoing basis, check out these tips!
Psychology of Giving
Click-it: Does Your Nonprofit Know Why Donors Give to Charity? While the motivations behind charitable giving are diverse and multifaceted, they all share a common thread: the desire to make a positive impact on the world and be part of something greater than oneself. The folks at the Giving Block help you understand the top 20 reasons people make philanthropic gifts.
Click-it: Give Your Supporters A Break. Do you know about the strategy of pulsing? Read about the benefits of alternating heavy periods of communications with off periods where nothing goes out. Per the Agitator-DonorVoice, and based on brain research, when your marketing efforts and supporters take a break, greater brand awareness is generated and any irritation built up from constant communications is mitigated.
Click-it: 20 Storytelling Interview Questions to Capture Great Stories. Carly Euler, MemoryFox, describes how a great interview can change the world. How? By evoking emotions that move people to action. Grab some terrific emotion-evoking questions here so you get the stories you need to share with constituents.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Top 5 Things Your Boss Is Worried About. This thought-provoking article from Katrina VanHuss in NonProfitPRO highlights trends leaders must deal with in the “new normal.”
Click-it: Inside the Weird, Magical World of Matching Donations. Matching donations belong in your tool chest because they have a powerful effect on the psychology of donors. Ken Wells talks good, bad and ugly in NonProfitPRO.
WEBINARS, PODCASTS, ROUNDTABLES & ON-DEMAND AUDIO RESOURCES
If you can’t attend live, or are interested in sessions happening at overlapping times, note many are available via recording – but ONLY if you REGISTER!
Click-it: Presenting Your Virtual Ask [Register for free webinar, 10-19-2023]. Join Bloomerang and Kristal Frazier, founder of Assertive Ask, for this session where you’ll learn the art of crafting persuasive visual appeals. Plus you’ll get help mapping out your Giving Tuesday and year-end fundraising plans.
Click-it: Join Firespring’s Kiersten Hill as she goes through tips, techniques and tools to help you tell better and more impactful stories. Takeaways will include storytelling frameworks, using social media story tools, and exercises your team can use to enhance and refine your storytelling process.
Click-it: The Year-End Fundraising Boost Workshop [Sign up for 10 free live workshops, 10-18-2023]. Community Boost is kicking off this year-end series by answering questions about making that year-end ask through email. Learn about how to stand out, optimal timing and frequency tactics, and more to maximize donation conversions.
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, PAPERS, TEMPLATES & OTHER RESOURCES
Click-it: Design Tips for Nonprofits [Download free e-guide]. Want to grab attention, but don’t have a lot of money to spend on professional designers? Get practical, DIY design tips specifically for nonprofits from DonorPerfect and Abby Guido, founder of Abby Ryan Design.
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: 2023 Planned Giving Report [Download free resource]. FreeWill unpacks the latest planned giving trends and shares insights on how these trends should inform your fundraising strategy – now and for years to come. The report analyzes data from more than 260,000 estate plans created on FreeWill.com and breaks down key trends across age, gender, family relationships, geography, and more.
Click-it: 19 Proven Ways to Optimize Your Donation Page [Grab free template]. Don’t assume visitors to your donation page are already motivated to give. In fact, with industry average conversion rate of 21%, your donation page is likely failing 79% of visitors. Learn from NextAfter how to improve results. Every idea is backed by first-hand a/b testing.
Click-it: The All New 2023 Year-End & GivingTuesday Fundraising Toolkit [Download free resource]. This 3-part kit from CauseVox includes (1) Year-End Giving Plan; (2) GivingTuesday Plan, and (3) free marketing and communications templates.
Did You Miss My Newest Articles?
Here are links to the most recent articles on the Clairification blog. Remember, your goal is not simply to squeeze money out of people. It’s to give donors a squeeze and a hug for being caring and generous. This will make them feel good, which will move them to continue sticking with you.
- Top Strategies to Leverage Your Nonprofit’s Secret Advantage -2
- Top Strategies to Leverage Your Nonprofit’s Secret Advantage -1
- Stop Using Canned Nonprofit Elevator Pitches to Raise Money
- Effective Philanthropy Facilitation RECIPE: Love +Meaning + Empathy + Cooperation +Attention + Interaction
- Plan ‘Random(ish) Acts’ of Nonprofit Donor Kindness, Especially Now
- How to Use the Multiplier Effect to Inspire Annual Giving
Finally… if you have a question, any question…
Check out my free fundraising advice column on the Bloomerang blog! Ask your question here. And bookmark the Ask an Expert page for any time you have a question! Here’s one: Should You Use Stories Or Data In Your Year-End Appeal?
REMINDER for Clairification School students: Don’t forget to log in to your “My Clairification/Subscriber Dashboard/Monthly Tips” to grab your exclusive, timely tips for each month. OCTOBER tip is live! If you’re not yet an enrolled student, and don’t have direct, immediate access to ALL my blog articles, monthly tips, webinars, podcasts and much more, you can get in on the fun here — and grab your 10th ANNIVERSARY BONUS! There’s never been a better time to enroll.
And now, some interesting license plates I found on my walks this week.
Please support my extraordinary sponsors (see below). The Clairity Click-it content is free, and Clairification School is affordable, because of their generosity.