Here’s a bit of wisdom that really spoke to me this week, especially as we navigate this particular season at this particular moment in our shared world…
“One takes a little more effort than the other.
While throwing shade might be more fun, it eventually runs out of energy. It’s designed to end conversations, not start them, to intimidate, not encourage.
Turning on lights helps everyone.”
— Seth Godin
This week’s Clairity Click-it is dedicated to turning on the lights. For you as a practitioner, but also for you as a person. A person helping turn on the lights for other people. A person helping those other people turn on the lights for still more people. And so on and so forth. Until the ripples and rays of light shine so brightly there is no dark corner where sorrow, poverty, illness, despair, cruelty, bigotry, ignorance or injustice can hide.
As I shared in the last issue of this newsletter, Seth Godin also notes: “Generosity and gratitude often go together. They light a path on the way to better.”
The content I’ve collected is all designed to light the way forward so you can inspire others to join your important mission to make our world a better place. I encourage you to dig through this curated content from across the web and pick one or more doable strategies. Approach this with a learning mindset, vowing to find at least one thing you’ll do a bit differently (if not today, then tomorrow; save the idea and put it on your calendar so you’re sure to revisit it at the appropriate time). 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: 10 ways to give your fundraising appeal superpowers. Check out this succinct synopsis (honored Jeff Brooks at Future Fundraising Now has excerpted from my article) of ways to easily improve your fundraising messages.
Click-it: St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa Foundation: ‘One Song’ direct mail. Read this case study of a recent direct mail appeal by Agents of Good, shared on the SOFII blog. It’s got all the elements of a compelling fundraising package – and it was a huge success!
Click-it: Answer the Damn Phone, Here’s a “must do” for this last month of the calendar year. The editors at the Agitator-DonorVoice offered it up as a last piece of advice before GivingTuesday, but it’s even more critical the last few weeks of the year when folks are calling you at the last minute to make their gift before December 31st.
Click-it: Quick Guide to Effective Donor Segmentation for Nonprofits. Here’s a quintessential post on the Qgiv blog about the myriad ways you can segment your donor communications to increase the chances your messages will get your desired action response. If you want to get, and keep, more donors, segmentation is crucial.
Click-it: How People with Color Blindness See Your Holiday Email Campaigns. More folks than you might imagine have red/green color blindness. This can negatively affect how they respond to your messaging, especially at this time of year. See some examples, and ways around this dilemma, in this post from Email on Acid.
Click-it: Donor Impact Report: The Ultimate Guide. As the year winds up, it’s the perfect time to let donors know the impact they made possible. Nothing keeps donors continually connected as much as ongoing gratitude and demonstrations their giving was truly meaningful. Learn best impact report practices from the experts at Yearly.
Click-it: Winter Solstice Fundraiser: A Creative Approach for Nonprofits. The folks at Eventgroove have all sorts of ideas for fun events, and this article is just one example. If you can’t pull this together this winter, the spring equinox and summer solstice are just around the corner.
Giving Tuesday Aftermath
Click-it: Donor Retention After Giving Tuesday: 6 Practical Strategies. If you haven’t done these things already, there is still time. Heed these timely suggestions from Soapbox Engage. I really like #4, and it’s too-little utilized.
Online and Mobile Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: What’s a Workflow?: How to Use Text Messaging to Prompt Action. Think in terms of “trigger events.” Then consider what you’ll do next to continue to build a relationship with the person who pulled that trigger. Write this “work flow” down so it becomes automatic. Learn how in this article from Rally Corp.
Click-it: 4 Nonprofit Marketing Tactics to Inspire Gen Z Supporters. Born between 1997 and 2012, these potential donors are digital natives. Your strategies must reflect this if you want to reach them where they are. Some of the oldest have potential to be major donors, so don’t neglect them. Even the youngest have potential to be advocates and volunteers. They may even recruit their parents to your side! Learn what type of content this generation finds most engaging in this post from Auctria.
Major, Legacy and Capital Fundraising
Click-it: Staffing for a Capital Campaign: How to Prepare This guest post by Andrea Kihlstedt on The Fundraising Coach blog outlines six key considerations to assure you’ve set yourself up for success. Want to reach your goal? Prepare, prepare, prepare!
Click-it: Your integrated fundraising campaign puzzle and the big picture. The key to success is understanding how your constituents see your campaign. You want to create a ‘big picture’ through multiple strands (e.g., mail, email, search, social, website, video, phone, and any other channels), but you also must consider the big picture to understand your results. Results in one channel may be connected to outreach through another channel. Read about it on the Good Works blog.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Mastering The Art Of Idea Generation And Sharing. To stay healthy, nonprofits must continually generate and share new ideas. This might sound easy, but sharing an idea with your board, boss, or team can be tricky, even nerve-wracking. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are my tips for you, in an article for the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: A Tale Of Two Fundraising Words. Ephraim Gopin, 1832 Communications, introduces us to a new word. I’d never heard it, but I looked it up and it’s real. And a great way for you to consider looking at the world if you want to bend the arc toward justice.
Click-it: AI in Nonprofit Fundraising. Check out this very thoughtful piece from the team at Momentum, a group working to use AI in nonprofit fundraising while safeguarding the right to humanity. They suggest some guidelines for striking the right balance between AI capabilities and ethical considerations. As the boundaries between humans and AI are blurred, this is something we all need to consider.
Click-it: How to Nail Your Year-End Fundraising Emails. Check out this article I wrote for the NonProfitPRO blog. It’s pretty self-explanatory. Fundamentally, you want to minimize your risk of going unnoticed at this most generous giving time of the year.
Click-it: Your last-minute year-end appeal checklist. Here are some great last-minute tips. Use them now if your appeal isn’t yet finalized. Otherwise, use them year-round. From Mary Cahalane of Hands On Fundraising.
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!
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: Crafting a best-in-class Direct Mail plan for 2024 [Register for free webinar, 12-5-2023]. Get a head start on next year by joining Patrick Schmitt, Co-CEO of FreeWill, and special guest Josh Alcorn, Co-Producer of the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference, for a free webinar on what makes a direct mail program truly outstanding in 2024, and the steps for implementing these tips within your organization.
Click-it: You Can’t Thank Your Donors Too Much! [Listen to free podcast]. This post-Thanksgiving and Giving Tuesday is a time for full-on gratitude. To get inspired, listen to this powerful podcast with Jeff Schreifels and Richard Perry of the Veritus Group. You’ll learn to build authentic relationships with donors, while simultaneously boosting your own well-being. Plus, you’ll hear what real donors considered the best thank you they ever received!
Click-it: Three ways to get your donors to fall in love with you [Watch free video]. If you’ve never listened in on Chris Davenport’s Movie Mondays, you’re in for a treat. Here Farra Trompeter of Big Duck shares three ways to retain your donors longer. It’s a quick listen.
Major, Capital and Legacy Campaigns
Click-it: Set Your Campaign Up for Success: 3 All-Important Pre-Campaign Strategies [Register for free webinar, 12-14-2023]. Join capital campaign experts Amy Eisenstein and Andrea Kihlstedt to learn how to: (1) Identify the handful of people who’ll assure your success; (2) Engage prospective donors before the campaign is launched, and (3) Create the elements of a pre-campaign plan.
An Inside Look at Firespring’s Nonprofit Websites [Register for free webinar, 12-19-2023]. Thinking about redoing your website? This webinar from Firespring is the perfect primer on what to look for. You’ll get an inside look at how content management systems and tools work, plus there will be time to get your questions answered live.
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, PAPERS, TEMPLATES & OTHER RESOURCES
Click-it: Ultimate Guide to Year-End Giving Campaigns 2023. This comprehensive resource from NextAfter is filled with all sorts of strategies and useful tips. It’s literally a Master Class in year-end messaging. What sets it apart is the concrete examples of real A/B tests showing what worked best for other charities. You’ll be surprised by some of the results.
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.
- Should you ask nonprofit donors to cover gift transaction fees?
- 14 Last-Minute Strategies to Boost Year-End Fundraising
- May the Force Be With You: Underused Year-End Fundraising Tweak
- What’s Going On? What Can We Do?
- Happy Days of Thanks(for)Giving
- How to Use Psychology to Pre-Suade Donors to Give
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: How To Enter And Credit Donor Advised Fund Gifts In Your Database
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. DECEMBER tips are 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 — it’s the last month to grab your 10th ANNIVERSARY BONUS! There’s never been a better time to enroll.
And now, some festive tree sightings. The last one really looks human to me!
Please support my extraordinary sponsors (see below). The Clairity Click-it content is free, and Clairification School is affordable, because of their generosity.