If your roof is leaking, the water in the basement will gradually move up until you’ve got a full-blown flood.
And for most humans, for twenty years, each day we get a little taller.
It’s easy to take this physical reality and imagine that it applies to the way humans improve their skills, or organizations mature and grow.
But they’re usually more quantum than that. One day we’re at one state or scale or system, and then we’re leaping to the next level.
It’s not a curve, it’s a flight of stairs. And leaping takes guts.
— Seth Godin
If you’re ready to take a leap forward, I’m ready to help. That’s why I offer this collection of curated resources every other week. It’s all about helping you climb those stairs, one after the other, as you mature and grow your skills. I am so very grateful you are here.
Find a few things that speak to you, and… get clicking! I’d like to again thank my Clairity Click-it sponsor, Bloomerang, without whom I wouldn’t be able to set aside the time to find all these goodies. I hope you enjoy these resources as much as I enjoy finding them for you.
Thank you for doing the world’s important work.
I am grateful,
P.S. If you find value in Clairification, your support via enrollment in ‘Clairification School’ is a blessing. You’ll be able to read every single article I’ve ever written, plus you’ll get access to all my webinars, monthly tips, bonuses and more.
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
OPINION FEATURE: Donor Centric vs. Community Centric
The relevance of donor centricity in current fundraising practice has been much debated in recent years, spurred by the birth of the Community-Centric Fundraising movement. Here are two takes on how the wider community, including donors, need a full picture and embracing approach to understand their place in the cycle of social impact. What would it look like if we approached everything from a place of love and abundance?
Click-it: Donor Centricity: Is It Still Fit For Purpose? I’ve written at least four articles on this topic (never published) in an effort to find the exact right way to frame the debate. Now I know I was waiting for Adrian Sargeant! Read his thoughts (with which I concur – especially the conclusion as it relates to our roles as philanthropy facilitators) in the Institute for Sustainable Philanthropy blog. This is an important conversation.
Click-it: The Annual Report that Never Was… Is your culture suffering from toxic positivity, and might it extend to your annual reports? If you’re telling everyone how wonderful everything is, then turning around and asking for money, there can be a disconnect. Read this from the Community-Centric Fundraising blog for a take on what this positivity may conceal, and how this actually short-changes your supporters.
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: How To Help Your Board Members Overcome Their Resistance To Fundraising And Turn Them Into Effective Fundraisers. Before you can inspire board members to become effective fundraisers, you must first take responsibility for their resistance. Learn how to prepare board members for their fundraising role in this article I wrote for the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: We’re 39 percent similar; how can we be exponentially better? If you are a grant writer, you’ll want to read the findings from the Technology Association of Grantwriters highlighted in this article on the Candid blog. It’s about the ways the application process adds to the overhead for a nonprofit, distracting from the impact sought by their mission and adding to their unfunded operational costs.
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: Do You Really Need a Win? Jeff Schreifels and Richard Perry of the Veritus Group suggest a way to reframe your approach to your work, helping you shift from transactions with donors to the bigger win – transformative relationships. It’s about setting realistic and productive expectations, for yourself and for your supervisor.
Click-it: How to Determine the Right Ask Amount for Each and Every Donor. There’s such great advice in this article by Amy Eisenstein. I wish I’d written it!
Click-it: My favorite fundraising story … ever. I absolutely love the story – and its moral – in this article from Andy Robinson of Train Your Board. You’ll learn one simple thing you can do to make asking for a major gift easy.
Click-it: Your Nonprofit Needs To Establish A Rainy Day Fund. Here’s Why That Is And How You Can Convince Others To Get On Board. In this article for the Bloomerang blog I talk about building an endowment and developing a legacy giving program. Both are proactive strategies to secure income you can count on—without putting the pressure on your team and donors to raise those funds year after year.
Click-it: Try Dying for Giving Tuesday. Roger Craver of the Agitator-DonorVoice suggests raising a topic very much on donors’ minds these days: death. It’s a way to enable people to enact their values far into the future, and there are tools that can make it easier for them.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Stop Raising Awareness Already. If you’re among the nonprofits that gets trapped into thinking “if people only knew more about us, they’d give,” read this article on the Stanford Social Innovation Review. It can be tempting to think focusing all your energies on awareness campaigns is the best way forward to philanthropy. But such campaigns can have unintended consequences.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: 14 things in our sector I’m thankful for. This is a thought-provoking look from Vu Le, Nonprofit AF at some of the things nonprofits have taken for granted, and how thinking is evolving.
Click-it: 5 Tips for Receiving What You’re Worth. What do you do when you’re offered a dream job, but the salary is just too low? Check out this article in Major Gifts Today.
Click-it: 3 Steps to Make the Most of Your Best Hours of Every Day. Jeff Brooks writes about the four good hours you have, and how to put them to best use, in this article for the Moceanic blog.
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!
Click-it: Database 101: Improve Your Donor Database for Fundraising Success [Register for free webinar, 12-7-2021]. Do you mistrust the information in your donor database? Are you unsure where to begin with data clean-up? Join Qgiv and Tricia Marsherall to grab tips on donor data management, data integrity improvements, and key strategies to improve efficiency and optimize your workflow. You’ll get 5 reports and processes to implement right away!
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: Nonprofit Planned Giving Q&A Session [Register for free webinar, 11-30-2021]. Join Firespring’s Kiersten Hill for this interactive Q&A session answering your burning questions about how to incorporate planned giving into your ongoing fundraising efforts. Learn how to find donors, how to start a conversation about a legacy gift, how to measure success – and whatever else is keeping you up at night!
Click-it: Managing a Successful Major Gift Program [Register for free webinar, 12-1-2021]. This session from the Veritus Group will teach you how to build, evaluate and reward your fundraising staff; strengthen your donor pipeline to build net revenue, and evaluate whether your program is as productive as it could be. What are you waiting for?
Click-it: How To Get Your Board on Board With Planned Giving [Register for free webinar, 12-8-2021]. Sometimes board members don’t see the merits in a program yielding long-term sustainability vs. short-term results. The planned giving experts at the Stelter company have found the recent pandemic opened many eyes to the wisdom of building a source of rainy day funding. If you want to be better prepared for the uncertainties that lie ahead, join this session with guest Phil Purcell, J.D., Central Territory Director of Planned Giving, The Salvation Army.
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, WHITE PAPERS & OTHER RESOURCES
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: A Guide to Asking and Getting [Download free checklist]. Jim Eskin, Eskin Fundraising, suggests making a 2022 New Year’s resolution to commit to raise more money using the most productive fundraising strategy of all — one-on-one solicitations. Here is a primer he created to help you.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: The Text Messaging (SMS) ROI Calculator for Nonprofits [Download Free Resource]. The experts at Rally Corp developed this to help you evaluate text messaging as a strategy to drive donor acquisition, engagement, and retention. You can also join one of their free implementation workshops to learn even more.
Click-it: Why Should Nonprofits Care about Experience? Today, nonprofits don’t compete with their peers as much they do with an always-on culture that faces the same competition for attention and increased expectation for experience as commercial brands. And according to a donor satisfaction survey Merkle conducted across leading organizations, donors rated nonprofits as “poor” at developing personal connections and building relationships. Nonprofits are not meeting donors’ expectations, not delivering relevant experiences, and not consistently creating deeper and more profitable relationships, while so many commercial marketers are. Download this white paper with digital trends and concrete recommendations to deliver better donor experiences.
Psychology of Giving
Click-it: This is how to overcome awkwardness and hand out some compliments [Listen to 4.15 minute podcast]. If you’ve ever felt awkward showering your donors with love, listen to this “Pinkcast” from Daniel Pink and Vanessa Bohns, Cornell University social psychologist. It’s simple, and it will pack a punch. Bring some joy to your donors this coming week!
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Executive Report: Siloed Teams are Hindering Nonprofit Growth [Download free Benchmark document]. Did you know 42% of nonprofits report problems with integrating marketing, fundraising, and finance? If your teams’ goals conflict with one another, how can you expect them to achieve success? Moreover, this leads to wasted resources and employee burnout. This excellent, extremely useful report from NextAfter outlines some of the superficial metrics marketing may be tracking, leading to a situation where fundraising doesn’t have the tools it needs to be successful. Plus it offers concrete suggestions to fix the situation!
Click-it: Identify the Values that Drive You [Listen to free podcast]. Marc Pitman, The Fundraising Coach, notes we all have leadership opportunities, even if we don’t have leadership titles. One of the best ways to grow your ability to lead is to get clear on your values. He shares a Values Inventory you can take to identify the values that fit both you and your organization. It should give you clarity to move forward, personally and professionally.
Did You Miss My Newest Articles?
- How Often Should You Mail to Your Nonprofit Donors?
- How “Because I Said So” Gets Donors to Give to Your Nonprofit
- Why Do People Make Philanthropic Legacy Gifts?
- 5 More Strategies to Get and Keep Donors for Your Nonprofit
- 5 Strategies to Get and Keep More Donors for Your Nonprofit
- 13 Top Secrets of Donor Thank You Letters Revealed
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: Should Your Nonprofit Invest in Digital Analytics Tools?
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. NOVEMBER tips are live; December’s arrive shortly! If you’re not yet an enrolled student, you can get in on the fun here!
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