Let’s begin with this week’s bit of wisdom…
A gift doesn’t diminish the giver. Sharing creates connection, possibility and energy.
And the magic of gratitude is that it improves everything it touches, especially the person who offered it in the first place.
So, what holds us back?
Fear. Fear of connection, of change, of seeing what is possible. It might feel safer to focus on scarcity.
Generosity and gratitude often go together. They light a path on the way to better.
— Seth Godin
Of course, I led with that sage advice because now is the time for channeling as much gratitude as you can muster. All those year-end donations you received? If you want them to be repeated in the coming year, there’s nothing more important that you can do. As I wrote in this week’s blog post on Clairification: Don’t Blow Your Post-Holiday Opportunity to Thank Your Nonprofit Supporters.
This last Clairity Click-it of 2023 is filled with a mix of topics to help you begin the coming year thoughtfully. 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…
SPECIAL FEATURE: The Year of AI
There are plenty of articles about AI, including its specific use in the social benefit sector. Some are about the disruptive nature of this new technology, and how it may shape the future. Others are tactical and explain multiple ways nonprofits can leverage the rapidly evolving tech. Below is a sampling of both, selected to help you as you consider strategic planning for the coming year.
Click-it: A Blessing or a Curse? AI’s Place in The Nonprofit World. Looking for ways to keep up with new technological trends, maintain trust with your communities, and fundraise more effectively? Begin with this great AI overview from Sarah Tedesco on the GreaterGiving blog.
Click-it: The impact of AI for nonprofits: Unlocking potential for good? This article on the Global Impact blog delves into AI as a paradigm shift in personal assistant technology. It covers: (1) where AI can help with nonprofit objectives and fundraising; (2) key risks, and (3) how to cultivate a learning mindset, imagine different possibilities, and establish robust internal policies.
Click-it: Connecting Better: AI’s Role in Personalizing Donor Experiences [Register for free webinar, 1-4-2023]. AI opens up new avenues for deepening donor engagement through tailored communications, predictive insights, and a holistic understanding of donor behaviors. Join this Bloomerang webinar to learn how AI technologies function in the context of donor engagement, and walk away with lots of concrete examples.
Click-it: Ask the Experts: Focus on AI Prompt Engineering [Register for free webinar, 2-25-2024]. Join this session sponsored by Tech Soup with experts from RoundTable Technology who will walk you through how to develop AI prompts. Learn how to get just the right results to create impactful content and communications such as emails, meeting and event descriptions, data reporting, and content narratives.
Click-it: Feed people! I just love this advice from Train Your Board! I’ve found this to be totally true. Read it!
Click-it: Nonprofit Mission Statements: How to Write One (with Examples!). Uh, oh. Have you been tasked with writing or updating your nonprofit’s mission statement? Never fear. The storytelling folks at Yearly have your back. Learn what makes a good one, why it’s important and what to include/exclude.
Click-it: Land your next partner with ChatGPT + Case Studies. This comes from one of the true gurus of cause marketing, Joe Waters of Selfish Giving, showing you how to update a sponsor proposal – or really any content – using the free version of ChatGPT.
Click-it: What is the Data Append Process for Nonprofits? The experts at Soapbox Engage explain how a data append works and how your nonprofit can leverage this powerful process to enrich your donor database and unlock untapped fundraising and marketing potential. Check out their 5-step process.
Click-it: Rebuilding Meaningful Relationships: Converting Lapsed Donors into Loyal Long-Term Supporters. This article from Douglas Shaw & Associates contains useful information to prevent your donors from lapsing. Plus what to do about it if they do.
Click-it: Event Page Essentials: Why You Need One & How to Perfect It. There are many things a good event landing page can do for you, besides making a good first impression! What else? Check out this article from the experts at Eventgroove.
Click-it: Raffles to Heighten Auction Success. Thinking about adding a raffle to your event, or just holding one as a stand-alone fundraiser? This article from Auctria has plenty of info regarding types of raffles, how to choose exciting items, and regulations of which you need to be aware. You’ll also learn about software that can help you promote and manage your raffle.
Giving Tuesday Results
Click-it: 4 lessons we learned from GivingTuesday 2023. This comes from the RKD Group Thinkers blog. Some interesting take-aways, especially #2.
Major, Capital and Legacy Cultivating and Asking
Click-it: 7 Ways Nonprofit Storytelling Will Boost Major Gifts. Storytelling is not just for websites, newsletters and annual reports. Learn from the team at Momentum why storytelling will boost the quantity and size of major gift donations to your organizations. My favorite is probably #2, because it’s so, so true in my experience.
Click-it: How to Help Your Wealthiest Supporters Solicit Themselves. This article by Greg Warner of Market Smart is all about how using appreciative inquiry can persuade supporters to consider a generous gift, without you even having to ask!
Online and Mobile Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: TikTok Marketing for Nonprofits: Is it Important? This is part four of Firespring’s five-part blog series, created to help nonprofits navigate the complex (but essential!) world of social media marketing. The other parts cover Threads, Instagram, Facebook and… stay posted! This is super useful stuff.
Click-it: Sign up today for Email 366 by Ephraim Gopin and in just 30 seconds a day, you’ll learn how to send effective nonprofit emails that convert! Throughout 2024 (all 366 days- leap year!), you’ll receive a short, daily email tip showing you how to transform your emails into something people are eager to read and engage with.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Which A/B testing platforms nonprofits should consider. The team at NextAfter are the go-to folks when it comes to A/B testing. You can find tons of experiments on their website, which I love to share. Bookmark them, and check them out from time to time. This week, however, I’m sharing an article about how to actually do this kind of research. Because unless you test one treatment against another, you can’t really know what works best for you.
Click-it: 13 Critical Nonprofit Stats From 2023. It’s useful to have data about giving trends at your fingertips when planning you strategy for the coming year. You’ll find just that in this article from Amanda Cole and Kalie VanDewater on NonProfitPRO.
Click-it: 13 Unbelievable AI Prompt Generators to Maximize Your AI Content Creation. This may be a good time to make your new year’s resolution to learn to use AI as your super-smart executive assistant. Get some great tips from Neal Schaffer and add some textual and/or image prompt makers to your marketing tool kit!
Click-it: How Curiosity Can Help Us Overcome Disconnection We live in an era of shallow listening. Check out this wonderful piece from the Greater Good Magazine about the power of deep listening and curiosity in repairing our world. For fundraisers, it’s something I particularly recommend using with donors to make more personal, relevant connections.
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: How to Write and Raise Money with Your Donor Receipt Package [Download free video]. Steven Screen walks you through how a well-crafted receipt package will thank your donors and raise more money at the same time. You can also download a free receipt package template. There’s some information here that may surprise you.
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: Making the Most of Your Legacy Society [Download free, on-demand webinar]. This was one of the Stelter Co.’s most popular webinars for 2023. You’ll come away understanding (1) why legacy societies are important; (2) how to find the best name for your society, and (3) how other organizations have structured their societies.
Online, Mobile and Digital
Click-it: Transform Your Donor Engagement Through Text Messaging [Listen to 30-minute podcast]. James Martin of Rally Corp joins Tammy Zonker to talk about using text messaging and storytelling videos to connect with your donors. It’s a very direct way of engaging. Lots of insights here.
Click-it: The Power of Purposeful Storytelling [Download free, on-demand podcast]. Tammy Zonker joins the Intentional Fundraiser Podcast for this game changing episode about the magic of storytelling. Learn how to find and share compelling stories that resonate deeply with your audience. The magic lies not just in the story itself, but in the intention behind it.
Strategy, Management and Planning
Click-it: Why Every Nonprofit Leader Needs a Coach [Download on-demand podcast]. Joan Garry interviews two different types of nonprofit coaches, Laura Zielke and Darien Heyman Rodriguez, to explore the transformative potential of coaching for nonprofit leaders. If you think you know what coaching is/is not, or believe it’s a luxury not a necessity, you may feel differently after listening in.
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, PAPERS, TEMPLATES & OTHER RESOURCES
Click-it: In-Kind Donations 101: A Guide for Nonprofits [Download free resource]. Learn about the benefits, risks and tax consequences associated with various types of goods, services and expertise in this guide from Qgiv.
Click-it: Three Operating Principles of Major Gift Fundraising [Download free paper]. To create meaningful and authentic relationships with your donors, you must stay true to these core principles in your donor interactions. This takes commitment across your organization. Learn from the Veritus Group experts how to transform your fundraising efforts.
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.
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: What Are Best Practices To Acquire More Corporate Matching Gifts?
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 still 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 few days to grab your 10th ANNIVERSARY BONUS! There’s never been a better time to enroll.
And now, some colorful museum art (from a juried selection of local artists at the De Young Museum in San Francisco) that made me happy!
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