Insufficient effort creates work that’s wasted. If you do a slapdash job, then the roof leaks, the food is inedible, the car doesn’t start. Insufficient effort is a shortcut that wasn’t worth taking.
Sufficient effort is the goal of the industrial capitalist. Capture the most value with the least work. Build a house that doesn’t fall down, with components that last exactly long enough to avoid a claim. Explain that due to unusually call volume…
And then, perhaps, there’s a third option.
Expending more effort than most people think is sufficient.
This is attention to detail. Care in design. Follow through in customer service. This is an embrace of elegance and wabisabi and the opposite of laziness. This is bringing care (which is rare and precious) to work even if most people would look for a shortcut instead.
More effort creates beauty and magic and remarkability.
Perfectionism is a false hope and a place to hide.
Effort, on the other hand, is our best chance to do work that matters.
— Seth Godin
Wabi sabi derives from Buddhist teachings and centers on an acceptance of imperfection, together with simplicity and economy. If you want to expend your efforts wisely, and create beauty, magic and remarkability, it helps to appreciate the fundamentals plus have a little support so you can take extra care. And that’s what this collection of curated resources is for.
Please peruse these free resources to help you as you push your way through the busy calendar year-end fundraising season. Find a few things that speak to you, and… get clicking! I want to give a shout out to my Clairity Click-it sponsor, Bloomerang. I hope you enjoy these resources as much as I enjoy finding them for you.
Thank you for being you,
P.S. Please enroll in Clairification School as an official student if you’ve not done so already. I don’t want you to miss a thing during this important last quarter of the calendar year. November’s exclusive tips for students will be posted soon! October’s are still available.
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
“GRATITUDE MONTH” FEATURE
November brings Thanksgiving in the U.S., and worldwide the final months of the year are a time for counting blessings. This is a time to consider all the reasons for which you are grateful to your supporters – and to let them know! I’ve dug into some of my favorite archived articles to offer you some terrific resources to help.
Click-it: Sample thank-you letters for you to swipe. These are written by copywriter extraordinaire, Lisa Sargent, and are featured on the SOFII blog. Steal away!
Click-it: Thank You Letters Donors Will Love. You’ll find lots of tips plus three sample letters in this piece from Joanne Fritz on The Balance. More to steal!
Click-it: Pumpkin Pie and the Recipe for Year-End Giving. Roger Craver of the Agitator-DonorVoice, bless his heart, channels a couple of my Clairification articles here – adding his own clarity around the principle of “a surprise, unasked-for gift to donors that, in turn, triggers a desire to return the favor.”
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: Getting Forward to Normal: A Bump in the Road for Monthly Giving. This article from Nick Ellinger on Nonprofit Pro is part of a six-part series on moving forward out of the pandemic. This offers a fresh perspective on monthly giving, and some useful practical ideas.
Click-it: 7 Fundraising Ideas for Giving Tuesday 2021. The folks at Rally Corp have some out-of-the-box ideas in the areas of mobile fundraising and text messaging. They’ll even give you concrete tips and some templates to get you started.
Click-it: Building Relationships with Grant Funders. Grant makers are people too! This article on Nonprofit Hub suggests some prudent, too often overlooked, strategies for improving your odds of getting funding from foundation partners.
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: 4 Types of Questions to Help You Avoid Awkward Donor Conversations. These are some super useful questions to use with your donors, all from Karen Kendrick of the Veritus Group. First take-away: Be clear with yourself as to the purpose of the call or visit; check in with the donor to assure they agree with the agenda. Second take-away: Make them feel appreciate. See #3 and #4 for questions that will help you with this.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: The 19 Best Email Marketing Tools to Consider Investing in Today. This article from Neal Schaffer is a godsend if you’re in the market for selecting an email provider. He recommends you re-evaluate your service every six months to assure so you don’t miss out on innovations that you should be leveraging to maximize email marketing ROI.
Click-it: Nonprofit Marketing Tips: 5 Steps for Using Google Ad Grants. The Google Ad Grant gives nonprofits up to $10,000 of monthly credits to spend on ads that will display in Google search engines. You can tailor these ads to target specific goals your organization has, like getting donations, educating about a cause, recruiting volunteers, or adding subscribers to your newsletter. Learn how from the experts at Achieve.
Click-it: To Link or Not to Link: Should You Include Links In Your Social Media Posts? This information on the Business to Community blog is helpful for nonprofits as well. Don’t simply drive traffic; build community. Bottom line: be useful.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Will Your Nonprofit Cease to Exist? Here’s What You Can Do to Make Sure That Doesn’t Happen. Today’s environment requires action, not passivity or complacency. There’s too much work to be done to simply sit back. As Alexander Hamilton from the Broadway musical would say: “Don’t give away your shot!” In this article for the Bloomerang blog I write about what it takes to evaluate the moment you’re in and the movement you want to be.
Click-it: 7 tips to write content that is more accessible. This comes from Stacy Nguyen on the Community Centric Fundraising blog. The big take-away is people “screen read,” and you need to break things up for them. And write with your reader in mind!
Click-it: 12 Year-End Fundraising Email Examples to Add to Your Campaign. There’s nothing I like better than borrowing ideas that work. And the folks at NextAfter test everything they share! These will help you cultivate donors, ask for their donation, and remind donors of the year-end deadline that’s approaching. I encourage you to dig in – sooner rather than later. You will find this super useful.
Click-it: How to answer 10 common interview questions to show you have emotional intelligence. Did you know EQ, emotional intelligence, is one of the most in-demand job skills right now? This article from the Fast Company blog describes how to suss it out from a corporate culture perspective when interviewing for a job, as well as how to demonstrate it. You can actually build it up, like a muscle. This article is also helpful if you’re on the other side, interviewing job candidates.
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!
Boards and Fundraising
Click-it: Get Your Board to Help You Fundraise—Even if They Don’t Wanna! [Register for free webinar 11-3-2021] This is the time of year when your board can be most helpful to you. And, guess what? Most of them would love for you to ask them to help! You just need to make it comfortable and not scary for them. The good people at Firespring have your back and will help you with motivation, goal-setting, tracking and engaging your board without feeling you’re nagging. Sound good?
Click-it: Tools and Ideas for Year-End Virtual & Hybrid Fundraising Events [Register for free webinar, 11-16-2021]. The experts at Qgiv will cover a range of topics to make your event fun and successful – whatever the format. They’ll look at real life examples and offer strategies for events, silent auctions and peer-to-peer campaigns. It always helps to get a few new tips!
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: Horror Stories from the Field [Listen to free podcast]. It’s almost Halloween, so the experts at the Veritus Group were in the mood for tellinge some fundraising and donor horror stories. You will not believe some of these! Richard and Jeff share some stories that will shock you. They’ll also help you learn to create better cultures within your organization, set healthy boundaries, and encourage you to speak up when inappropriate situations occur.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Crypto for Gud [Register for free webinar 11-11-2021]. No longer a fringe fundraising offering,.cryptocurrency is here and is making impact. Is it for you? Join this live session where your host, Amy DeVita of TopNonprofits will pose your burning questions surrounding cryptocurrency, NFTs, and blockchain to experts Wendy Feher and Rebecca Stokes of DoinGud and founders of The Giving Block.
Click-it: As the Cookie Crumbles: Strategies for Adapting your Advertising Program in a Cookieless World [Register for free webinar – plus recipes! 11-3-2021]. With major platforms like Google and Apple announcing they will depreciate support for third party cookies in 2022, digital marketers worry they could miss opportunities to reach supporters. M+R breaks down the top 5 things you should test, try, and keep an eye on, based on what they’re learning from clients and observing from the for-profit world. Plus… they’ll share a mini cookbook of M+R staff’s fave cookie recipes.
Click-it: Year-End Fundraising Fair [Register for free mini-conference 11-4-2021]. CauseVox gathered top thought-leaders in the nonprofit space to equip you through short, curated sessions designed to cover all things year-end: online fundraising strategy, major gifts, sponsors, promotion — you name it! Experts include Julia Campbell, Pamela Grow, Joe Garecht, Nathan Hill and more, for a day filled with everything you need to ride into year-end fully prepared.
Click-it: The Importance of Saying No [Listen to free podcast]. If you’ve been feeling stressed, enervated or just a bit out of whack, join Lori Jacobwith, Ignited Fundraising, for this musing on learning to set boundaries and engage in self-care.
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, WHITE PAPERS & OTHER RESOURCES
Click-it: New Donor Welcome and Conversion [Download free white paper]. You’re likely working hard on your donor acquisition campaign, but are you thinking about what you’ll do to welcome these folks and assure they become ongoing donors? Don’t wait for the gift to come in; it will be too late. Plan ahead by reading this resource from the experts at Merkle.
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: How to Use Permission-Based Asking with Donors [Download free white paper]. As you head into the end of the year, and want to close major annual gifts, this will help you feel a lot more comfortable making the ask. It will make your donors feel better too – leading to greater success! All from the experts at the Veritus Group.
Click-it: How to Let Your Donors Know about Expiring Tax Benefits [Download free email template]. The folks at Stelter explain all the facts you need to add some urgency to your year-end appeals and help your donors at the same time! They’ve even done the heavy lifting for you, creating a template you can use to email this news to your supporters.
Did You Miss My Newest Articles?
- 7 Magic Words that Increase Charitable Donations
- Securing Matching Gifts: What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know
- 7 Strategies to Revolutionize Your Nonprofit Culture to Stop Losing Donors
- Do you wish you had a dime for…
- Getting to Know You
- Top 10 Fundraising Appeal Writing Tips
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 this month, see Is There A Good Way To Raise Funds To Retire A Debt Or Pay For Something Retroactively?
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 will be live shortly! If you’re not yet an enrolled student, you can get in on the fun here!
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.