“We are striving to forge a union with purpose
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us
but what stands before us
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another
We seek harm to none and harmony for all
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true:
That even as we grieved, we grew
That even as we hurt, we hoped
That even as we tired, we tried.”
“When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
— Excerpted from “The Hill We Climb,” Amanda Gorman, Poet Laureate
This has been quite a period of change, uncertainty, fear and hope. I know you are tired. I know you are trying. I know you are brave. I know, because of you and your important work, a new dawn will bloom.
Please peruse this curated collection of 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…
Looking at DEI through a Broader Lens
Click-it: The top 5 reactions I hear from nonprofit leaders when I bring up ‘inclusive and equitable research and analytics’ — and how I respond. This article from Meenakshi (Meena) Das on the Community Centric Fundraising blog gave me pause. I’m wondering how to convert some of these suggestions into practical strategies. The one that really got me ruminating was #2, and how we can commit the resources to prioritizing engagement with supporters who give less individually, but quite a bit collectively. See what you think, and let me know.
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: Before Publishing Your Annual Appeal, Ask Yourself These 5 Questions. Quick! Check out these fundamentals of a fundraising appeal before you miss the mark. I put these together as a little checklist for you on the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: Donor Stewardship to Improve Retention. Acquisition is getting harder, making retention more important than ever. So say the experts at Merkle. This comprehensive report and analysis by Amy Bobrick explores what’s going on, and what you can do. If you’ve not modernized your budget development to reflect the variety of giving channels and the complexity of today’s fundraising programs, you owe it to yourself to read this article and think about what it means for your strategic plan moving forward.
Click-it: The Messy Middle of Fundraising. Kiki Koutmeridou at the Agitator-DonorVoice visits the old nature vs. nurture argument from a fundraising perspective. What matters more? What the donor brings to the table by way of identity, or what you bring to the table by way of values and customer service? Useful stuff!
Click-it: Giving Tuesday Vs. Donor Advised Funds.You may know I’m not a huge proponent of GT for fundraising. I prefer using it to give back to supporters. For that reason, I enjoyed this article from Laurence Pagnoni, LAPA Fundraising, suggesting a different way of thinking about how to best direct your energies and resources during the critical year-end fundraising period.
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: 3 Critically Important Ways of Measuring Fundraising Success. What you see depends on where you look. Amy Eisenstein reminds us when you focus only on dollars raised you can miss a huge piece of the puzzle – and that can have disastrous consequences. How are you measuring success?
Click-it: Shifting Between Systems in Your Legacy Pipeline. Ligia Pena, The Globetrotting Fundraiser, suggests ways to apply principles from behavioral economics to legacy gift marketing and fundraising.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: 9 Proven Steps to Write a Better Year-End Fundraising Email Appeal. Nathan Hill of NextAfter offers this useful template/checklist for your use. The article includes real life experiments that demonstrate why each item on this list is important. Make sure to go through it before you hit “publish” on your emails. And if anyone in your organization complains, show them the research!
Click-it: How to Grow Your Email List: 13 Tips that Work. You can have the best appeal in the world, but without a good list it won’t succeed. Whole Whale offers up numerous strategies to help you reach a wider audience. You’ll also be able to download a free e-Guide to email marketing.
Click-it: How To Involve Volunteers in Your Virtual Fundraising. Found this article on Nonprofit Pro. Since I’m a huge proponent of suggestion #3, and wonder why more nonprofits aren’t doing this, I thought I’d share the full article. Hopefully there’s something you’ll find helpful and appropriate for your organization.
Click-it: YouTube Cards: What They Are and How to Best Leverage Them. I always learn new things from Neal Schaffer, and I bet you will too! For me, this falls under the category of “Who knew?”
Click-it: Video And Your Nonprofit. If you’re not using a lot of video in your online fundraising and marketing, you’re missing a huge opportunity to grab folks’ attention and stir their emotions. Here Ephraim Gopin, 1832 Communications, offers tips for video generally, YouTube and social media. There’s lots to learn here, and I guarantee it will boost your success.
Click-it: 5 Ways to Collect Testimonials and Stories for Your Nonprofit. Christine Ward on the Wired Impact blog offers some great practical tips for gathering the emotional, persuasive content that will help you make a fundraising appeal offer your donors won’t be able to refuse.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Take Steps To Keep That Good Employee. When you lose staff, especially those who build relationships with donors, you lose a lot more than a body. Check out this excellent, thorough article from Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels at the Veritus Group. It will help you set goals, conduct fair performance evaluations and create a culture of philanthropy.
Click-it: Your Strategic Plans Probably Aren’t Strategic, or Even Plans. Are you approaching strategic planning from an organization-wide system perspective, or only thinking about your own objectives and actions? Read this Harvard Business Review article by Graham Kenny to see how and where you might improve.
Click-it: Donor-Centricity and Boundaries. Steven Screen, the Better Fundraising Co., offers his thoughts on the ongoing dialogue about community-centric fundraising vs. donor-centric fundraising. One is more marketing tactic; the other is more culture.
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!
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: The Reluctant Fundraiser [Listen to free on-demand podcast]. The Intersection interviews Cindy Wagman, The Good Partnership, about how to fundraise effectively when it’s not your primary job description. Many small nonprofits don’t have development staff. So the job falls to the executive director. Or someone else. Or the entire team! Listen in to learn to not just copy others, but create real alignment between your fundraising strategy and mission. Step back from autopilot mode, redefine your vision, mission and values, and stop thinking about the money. Focus on the love; the money will follow.
Click-it: Finding the Right Donor: Navigating the Donor Research Landscape [Register for free webinar, 10-20-21]. Do you wish you knew where to go to find out more about your donors? Join Qgiv and experts from Paul J. Strawhecker, Inc. for this dive into the current research landscape, the types of data provided by third-party services, how to determine which information is helpful and appropriate for you, and how to use research to segment donors and prioritize your time. This will save you a lot of time researching this on your own!
Click-it: Building Donor Loyalty: Lessons From 25 Years of Research and Professional Practice [Register for free webinar, 10-20-21] This is a match made in heaven: the experts at Stelter join with the esteemed fundraising expert Dr. Adrian Sargeant to explore key loyalty metrics and demonstrate the utility of lifetime value thinking. Want practical suggestions? Join in!
Click-it: The Stories Donor Tell Us: Using Affinity to Cultivate Closer Relationships [Register for webinar, 10-28-2021]. If you’re an AFP member you can join this rare free session with the highly knowledgeable and experienced T. Clay Buck looking at what donors are telling us through the lens of Philanthropic Psychology and Donor Affinity Scoring. Any fundraiser, at any level, can use this information to deepen relationships with donors and help them realize their philanthropic goals. Ready to grab some practical tips?
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: 3 Steps to Become an Irresistably Attractive Nonprofit [Register for free workshop, 10-15-2021]. Join Rally Corp and Beeline for this hands-on dive into how to build email and text message lists; use ebooks and thank you pages to create immediate first-time donors, and use email automation and mobile messaging to keep supporters engaged. It’s TODAY (but you’ll likely be able to view on-demand if you register.)
Click-it: How to Use Linkedin, Marketing Collateral, and Messaging Templates to Expand Your Network [Register for free webinar, 10-20-2021]. One of the most fruitful ways to expand your reach is online networking. In this free CharityHowTo session you’ll develop a clear understanding of how to use LinkedIn as a lead generator/connector, identify the marketing collateral needed for new supporters, and master the art of the email template.
Click-it: Ethical Storytelling in Fundraising [Register for free webinar 10-20-21]. Today, with heightened awareness and sensitivity to both the diverse communities they serve and the diverse donors who support them, nonprofits must approach fundraising creative with a new approach to these proven creative tools. Learn from the folks at TrueSense Marketing in this 30-minute session.
Click-it: How to Decipher Your Web Analytics (and Use Them to Your Advantage) [Register for free webinar, 10-21-21.] Fundraisers, traditionally, have left web analytics to the marketing or IT folks. You can no longer afford to abdicate this responsibility in a world where so much donor engagement is digital. Learn from the experts at Firespring (1) what web analytics tell you and why they’re important; (2) what insights you can glean from email marketing metrics; (3) How to target audience segments from your web analytics, and (4) How to analyze your data to know what’s working (and what’s not).
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, WHITE PAPERS & OTHER RESOURCES
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: Free Donor Assessment. If you just count total dollars raised, and not dollars lost, you’re missing out on lots of potential. How much donor value are you losing year over year? Do you know? Veritus Group is offering a free assessment to show you how much money you’re losing from the same group of donors who gave last year. Oh no! This type of loss kills many nonprofits’ growth. They’ll tell you the data they need from you, then run a FREE report. Easy peasy, and no obligation whatsoever. This is a true gift!
Did You Miss My Newest Articles?
- Do you wish you had a dime for…
- Getting to Know You
- Top 10 Fundraising Appeal Writing Tips
- Fundraising Appeal & Thank You Strategies Your Nonprofit Needs NOW
- Is Your Finger on the Nonprofit Appeal Trigger?
- Top Planned Giving Myths and Truths Revealed
Finally… if you have a question, any question…
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. SEPTEMBER tips are live! 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.
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