Markets often persuade us that we don’t have enough.
Communities remind us that we do.
— Seth Godin
In the time between now and the New Year, take time to enjoy your family and community. And even your stuff. Gratitude season didn’t end with Thanksgiving. It’s year-round, especially for those of us fortunate enough to work in the social benefit sector. If we all do our job of facilitating philanthropy well, we will find the way to get to enough for all.
Please enjoy this holiday week reading, listening and viewing list for inspiration and guidance. It is my sincere pleasure and honor to help you find the ideas, strategies, tactics, templates and tools you need to make our world a better place. I’d like to again thank my Clairity Click-it sponsor, Bloomerang, who have stood with me and you throughout this crazy year.
Thank you for doing such vital work, and may the year ahead bring many blessings,
P.S. Want to resolve to be an active learner next year? Your support via enrollment in ‘Clairification School’ enables me to deliver original articles direct to your in-box. Plus you’ll get access to all my webinars, exclusive monthly tips, bonuses and more.
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
OPINION FEATURE:To Facebook or Not to Facebook
Click-it: What to Do About Facebook? Nonprofits Weigh Benefits Against Ethical Concerns. This Chronicle of Philanthropy article addresses a challenge with which many of us are faced. It’s still the most popular media platform for nonprofits, but there have long been concerns about ethics and privacy. Facebook’s bad press this fall means mission-oriented organizations are once again weighing ethical concerns with the practical need to engage their audiences on Facebook and Instagram, both owned by the parent company recently rebranded as Meta. They’re hard to ignore, but… sometimes if it feels bad, maybe it is?
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: Do You Inform Donors of These 2 Giving Opportunities? It’s sometimes a great idea to share with donors some of the tax advantages of giving you different types of assets. You can do this after they say “yes” (as a donor service) or before they say “yes” (as an incentive to give). In this article on the Bloomerang blog I cover two ways to promote philanthropy that are too-little used by the lion’s share of charities
Click-it: How to Master the Fundraising Lift Note. Did you know a lift note inserted with your primary appeal letter can boost response from 5 to 25%? That’s a big deal, so why not learn how to do this from one of the best in fundraising direct mail, Jeff Brooks?
Click-it: 6 Tried-and-True Ways to Become a Better Board Member. Are you using these tips from Boardable with your board members? Check them out on the MightyCause blog. If you use these strategically, your board members will have a much more satisfying experience. They’ll help you more too!
Click-it: 16 Great (and Not So Great) Thank You Page Examples to Learn From. This is a definitive article on the Busness2Community blog on thank you landing pages. Everything you need, plus some terrific examples to demonstrate the do’s and don’ts. These examples are from for-profit businesses, but your donors do business with these folks too. They expect you to thank them just as warmly, personally, and meaningfully as anyone else with whom they deal. Don’t kid yourself that they’ll cut you slack because you’re “nonprofit.” Truly, don’t miss this one!
Click-it: Still Publishing Donor Names? Ditch the List. If you publish donor names, do you know why you do this? If it’s for donor retention, this article in Blue Avocado (not to mention experts like Penelope Burk, author of Donor-Centered Fundraising) encourage you to think again. If you forgo it you’ll save a ton of time and money, avoid ticking some donors off, and not even depress future giving.
Click-it: Nonprofit Virtual Events: 5 Tips You Haven’t Thought of. The times are still uncertain, meaning many organizations are planning virtual or hybrid events. In this guest post for the Getting Attention blog, Steven Shattuck walks you through ways to make your next event more successful than you may ever have imagined.
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: The Future of Fundraising: 5 Marketing Trends for the New Year. The Stelter team looks ahead to 2022 based on what they’re seeing with their clients. They offer some terrific action tips! I was trying to pick one, but just couldn’t. Though, when it comes to something you can definitely do if you focus and commit, I like #2 and #5.
Click-it: Asking for Major Gifts: 4 Tips for Fundraisers. This guest post by Sandra Davis on the GiveCentral blog notes $1,000+ major gifts have grown to make up 85% of revenue at the average nonprofit. As the nonprofit landscape changes, the ways you develop and steward these gifts are changing as well. These tips will help you navigate 2022 and beyond.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Social Media Goals You Need To Win: How To Create A One Page Social Media Strategy. Heidi Cohen, Actionable Marketing Guide, advises businesses of all stripes. And she says too many of them have no idea what they’re using social media to achieve. So, of course, they don’t put in place the layers off strategies needed to achieve desirable outcomes. And success is difficult to track. If this sounds like you, read on.
Psychology of Giving
Click-it: Are You Doing “segmentation” or Segmentation? The Agitator-DonorVoice team know the difference between real (useful) Segmentation and made-up (useless) segmentation. This article explains it all. Give it some thought as you plan your campaigns for the coming year.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: How to Generate New Leads with Testimonials. If you’re not using the psychological principle of persuasion of “social proof,” you’re missing a big boat. The website experts at Firespring explain 7 smart ways to incorporate testimonials into your online marketing communications and fundraising strategies to generate new leads.
Year-End Fundraising… and More
Click-it: It’s Not Too Late: 3 Strategic Year-End Fundraising Tips. Here are just a few things not to forget during the coming week. Especially #3. From me, on the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: Online Fundraising During the Last Week of the Year and Beyond. You still have a week this year to maximize success! These tips from NextAfter are spot on – and you can use them all year long! If you want to pick one for right now, how about #5?
WEBINARS, PODCASTS, COURSES & ON-DEMAND AUDIO RESOURCES
If you can’t attend live, or are interested in sessions happening at overlapping times (I’m looking at you October 20th!), note many are available via recording – but ONLY if you REGISTER!
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: Are your donors really year-end givers? [Listen to quick video-cast and download free White Paper]. Not everyone chooses to give just once at the end of the calendar year. In fact the average major donor has 3.6 gifts in them! You can actually identify, qualify, cultivate and ask donors for major gifts all year long. Stop training staff to ask, and donors to give, only once a year. Listen to the Veritus Group experts; then build a plan by grabbing this “Creating Strategic Plans and Goals for Every Major Donor.”
Click-it: The Power of Storytelling to Drive Creative Performance People are wired for stories, and you’re wise to use them if you want to capture people’s attention and draw them closer. For-profit businesses know this, and that’s why Merkle (who specialize in direct mail and online marketing for all kinds of businesses) put together this fun and informative session including a performance by a Moth storytelling champion. Learn about the surprising ways storytelling techniques can drive performance for your campaigns and create meaningful customer/donor experiences.
Strategy, Leadership and Management
Click-it: Big gifts and the rule of twelve [See brief on-demand video-cast]. If you can’t get 50 – 60% of your campaign goal (for any type of campaign) from the top 10-12 gifts, your campaign will fail. Stuart Grover calls this the “Rule of 12” on Chris Davenport’s Movie Mondays video. A lot depends on leadership gifts, and how people naturally follow and gauge their giving accordingly.
Year-End Donor Acquisition and Retention
Click-it: 5 Things Fundraisers Need to Do Next Week [Listen to brief on-demand podcast]. Jeff Schreifels and Richard Perry of Veritus Group tell you eminently doable things for next week to end the year, and start the New Year, on a high note! Don’t overlook their third suggestion; it’s an easy one to miss.
Click-it: Next Steps: How to Keep Year-End Donors and Get the Next Gift [Register for free webinar 1-25-2022]. Get this on your calendar now! You put a lot of time and effort into your year-end campaign, and it paid off—you acquired new donors. Now what? Qgiv hosts Steven Shattuck to help you set up a year-round donor retention process designed to keep your new supporters!
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, WHITE PAPERS & OTHER RESOURCES
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Ultimate Text Messaging Checklist for Nonprofits [Download free ROI Calculator]. The folks at Rally Corp are experts in the many uses of text messaging to boost donor acquisition, retention and upgrading. If you’re wondering if this might be worthwhile for you, definitely download this free calculator.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: The Sales and Marketing Playbook [Download free Guide]. I like to borrow from other disciplines, and this time it’s from for-profit business. If you have difficulty integrating marketing and development, you’re not alone. Businesses have the same problem when Marketing and Sales are not working in lock-step. In this Hubspot Guide you’ll learn how to turn “awareness building” and other campaigns from a negotiation between departments, into a partnership that will be a win/win.
Your New Year’s Resolutions
Click-it: New Year’s Resolutions. Viken Mikelian is a planned giving marketing and time management expert. Here are his thoughts on New Year’s resolutions, with a plug for revisiting your estate plan. Why not encourage your supporters to do the same? Check out all the fantastic resources on plannedgiving.com.
Click-it: Ten Ways to Make Your Time Matter. The Greater Good Science Center suggests ways to focus on what’s most important to you in order to live a happier, more meaningful life. #2 sounds like something I, who usually has 20 documents open at once, should seriously do. And I really like #9. You?
Click-it: A Few Things I Would Tell My Younger Self if I Could Go Back in Time. Vu Le, Nonprofit AF, muses in his inimitable way on the difference between management and leadership, the problems with “best practices,” what’s ignoble about self-sacrifice, why recharging is not a luxury, and more.
Did You Miss My Newest Articles?
- 4 Strategies to Connect Nonprofit Donors to Cherished Values
- How to Deal with Disgruntled Donors: Don’t Waste Valuable Complaints
- How to Use Psychology to Pre-Suade Donors to Give
- A Revolutionary Way to Influence Year-End Philanthropy
- Ask Not What Your Donor Can Do For You…
- Never Break These 3 Donor Acknowledgment Rules
Finally… if you have a question, any question…
Check out my free fundraising advice column on the Bloomerang blog! Ask your question here. Or email me with it directly. NEW: Will Grant Funders Give To You If You Have Too Much Individual Funding?
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, you can get in on the fun here!
Claire, I knew the day I stumbled across your generosity, your wisdom, your compassion and your love for humankind I had discovered the very best. I hope you will take my using your inspiration as a sign of great respect and humble appreciation of your “clarity” on all matters philanthropic.
– Rich Geisel, Founder, Orchids of Light Foundation
The title of your blog is exactly what our profession can use — clarification. You help us keep faith with the past while making sense of the present and future. You have a balanced and respectful understanding of what this is all about. Thanks.
– James M. Schaffer, Partner, Charity Springs
My motto is: “If I know it, I want you to know it.” Don’t miss out.
Please support my extraordinary sponsors (see below). Clairification School is affordable because of their generosity.