No joke, there are plenty of resources here to help you! I love to curate the best of what I find across the web and offer it up to you here in bite size pieces. Find a topic that interests you, and… click away! Whatever type of learner you are, there’s something here for you.
Sometimes you’ll find tactical advice. Sometimes it’s theory and science underlying the tactics. And sometimes it’s about adjusting approaches to the work in ways that can make a significant difference, not just in what you accomplish but in how you feel.
It is my sincere pleasure and honor to help you find the ideas, strategies, templates and tools you need to make our world a better place. Thanks again to my Clairity Click-it sponsor, Bloomerang, who have stood with me and you throughout these rapidly changing times.
Thank you for doing such vital work,
P.S. Want to resolve to be an active learner next year? Your support via enrollment in ‘Clairification School’ means a lot, and I am deeply appreciative. This is what enables me to deliver original articles direct to your in-box every week, give you access to all my webinars, and offer up exclusive monthly tips, bonuses and more!
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
SPECIAL FEATURE: MOVEMENTS
The times we’re in require navigating through tension and conflict to achieve balance. Sometimes this means questioning the status quo and what we think we know. These resources provide food for thought.
Click-it: Debate or ‘culture war’: Community-centric fundraising vs donor-centred fundraising . Ian McQuillan, director of UK-based fundraising think tank Rogare, has penned a well-thought-out, clearly explained piece on the “donor-centered” vs. “community-centered” fundraising argument for the Third Sector news. Read it here. A counterpoint is offered by Liz LeClair, chair of the AFP Women’s Impact Initiative. Read it here.
This article for the Charity Report juxtaposes the two views. McQuillan says: “I think there is sufficient common ground between the two approaches to reach an accord. But both sides must want to achieve this consensus.” He lands in an Occam’s Razor place, while also noting he’s not at all sure either side wants to reach an accommodation. LeClair writes: “Anti-racism training is not integrated into fundraising training. It is not integrated into our sector ethos. We are slow to adopt progressive philosophies and we have a fear of questioning our donors. I struggle with a sector that claims to be focused on outcomes and impact but is so resistant to the idea of social justice.” Can there be a middle ground? LeClair ends with: “Or, as MC Hammer recently wrote on Twitter, “It’s not Science vs Philosophy … It’s Science + Philosophy.”
Click-it: The Five Fallacies of Fundraising [Listen to podcast]. Nicole McVan and Tanya Hannah Rumble debunk some of the thinking around what constitutes “best practices” on The Intersection. They take a critical look at how these concepts (e.g., “the donor/volunteer is always right;” ”donor centricity trumps all;” “remaining neutral to secure funding,” and more) may sometimes undermine the very goals and objectives the organization – and even the donor – is hoping to achieve.
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: The Distance. From Steven Screen, the Better Fundraising Co., comes this super simple concept that will help you do absolutely everything better. Appeals. Emails. Newsletters. You name it. This may seem like common sense, but… are you doing it? Religiously?
Click-it: Your Board is Bored. Patrick Kirby at Do Good Better has some useful tips to keep your board members engaged and fulfilled. This matters if you want them to be effective ambassadors, advocates and askers!
Click-it: When Should You Go Back To In-Person Events? A lot of folks have been asking this question, and I answer on the “Ask an Expert” feature on the Bloomerang blog. Check out the pros and cons, and do an informed assessment before taking the leap.
Click-it: How Virtual Events Drive Tangible Results for Nonprofits. If you’re stressing about going back to an in-person event, or if you’ve scheduled one but aren’t getting the responses you’d hoped for, you may want to take another look at the experience of nonprofits with virtual events over the pandemic years (which we’re still not out of). The good folks at Merkle show how much people value these events. You don’t need to think of them as ugly step-sisters.
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: Yes, You Can Measure ROI in Planned Giving. Here’s How. If you’ve ever had difficulty justifying spending time developing major gifts that take a longer timeline to come to fruition, you’ll be happy to know the experts at Stelter have a number of suggestions for you to calculate ROI. ROI validates—to your board, boss and other fundraising departments—why it’s a smart move to dedicate person-power to planned giving. ROI also justifies to you that what you’re doing matters. So grab some tools to add to your toolbox.
Click-it: You’ve Taken on Too Much… It’s Time to Unload Some of Your Responsibilities. If you’re trying to do everything, you’re likely not doing anything very well. And that’s frustrating, demoralizing and ineffective. What can you do? Jeff Schreifels of Veritus Group has worked with hundreds of major gift officers over the years, and has a great exercise for you to use to figure out what to do more/less of. And you can share this with your boss!
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Peer to Peer Fundraising for Spring Fundraising [Listen to free on-demand 30-minute webinar]. Learn from CauseVox experts to mobilize your supporters and their networks to fundraise for you, thereby reaching new donors and meaningfully engaging your current ones.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: 10 Lessons Learned after Two Years Fundraising with COVID, Amy Eisenstein, Capital Campaign Toolkit, shares what she’s observed over the past 24 months. Some things work; others don’t. You’d be well-advised to take these lessons to heart – and seize the day!
Click-it: Mission Creep Can Turn Your Org Into a Circus. Could mission creep happen to you? Nonprofits are Messy expert Joan Garry explores the slippery slope and offers suggestions to avoid finding yourself out of balance. Focus more on mission, not money.
Click-it: How to Create Landing Pages for Nonprofits that Convert. Jay Wilkinson of Firespring has the absolute best advice on this topic, as he’s built a zillion of these. He’s also dedicated to your success, so never hesitate to reach out.
Click-it: Designing Your Nonprofit Website To Look the Part: 5 Tips. You can count on Hands-On Fundraising to always get the basics right, and this article from Murad Bushnaq, Founder and CEO of Morweb, is no exception. Too often I go to a client’s website and find half a dozen “issues” right off the bat. Folks – your website is your number one marketing resource! If you’re the fundraiser, it’s part of your job to make sure it welcomes donors and inspires engagement and investment. Follow these tips!
WEBINARS, PODCASTS, COURSES & 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!
Annual (Year-Round) Giving
Click-it: How Does Your Direct Mail Program Stack Up to the Rest? [Download free on-demand webinar]. There is so much good stuff here – you absolutely must click on this link! Not only can you tune into an excellent webinar about the state of direct mail in 2022, but you can also grab a free e-Guide all about the donor journey. Did you know multichannel fundraising creates donors that are 3 times more valuable than online only donors? Just so you know, the folks at NextAfter consistently share concrete lessons learned from hundreds of nonprofits with whom they work. They do the testing for you, then generously share all the results. For this webinar, they’ve partnered with Mile19 Marketing who are also sharing findings from testing direct mail programs of over 100 organizations. I find this awesome!
Click-it: Nonprofit Cooperative Membership [Join for free to access all trainings]. I just had to pass this opportunity along, as it’s kind of amazing. TopNonprofits has partnered with The NonProfit Cooperative to make ongoing professional development training accessible to more organizations — at no cost. There are all sorts of nonprofits participating, and you’ll have opportunities to network with them all.
Click-it: Donor-Delighting, Money-Raising Newsletters [Listen to free, on-demand webinar]. I happened on – and had to share — this Steven/Steven (Shattuck and Screen) webinar from 2018. Hosted by Bloomerang, and featuring the nonprofit newsletter guru of The Better Fundraising Co., it has everything you need to create donor-delighting, money-raising newsletters. Yes, newsletters can raise money!
Click-it: How to Create a Nonprofit Event Experience that Drives Engagement [Register for free webinar, 4-7-2022]. Events are back! And you want them to “stick” in the minds and hearts of your attendees. This session from James Martin at Rally Corp will explore how you can create an event experience that drives meaningful, and ongoing, engagement with your supporters – before, during and after the event.
Click-it: How to Start Your Grant Writing Career [Register for free webinar, 4-5-2022]. Whether you’re wanting to move into grant writing, or already a grant writer who’d like to brush up their skills, you’ll learn useful strategies in this session hosted by Qgiv and featuring seasoned expert Carolyn Appleton.
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: Securing the Face-to-Face Visit With a Donor. Duke Haddad writes in Nonprofit Pro on the secrets to securing an all-important donor visit. You’ll find advice from a number of experts – including the late Jerold Panas, Amy Eisenstein and me!
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Digital Maturity: Practical Approaches for Leaders Looking to Future-Proof with Technology [Register for free webinar, 4-6-2022]. The past two years have accelerated digital adoption and cemented new consumer behavior. In 2022 the average time spent per day with digital media is expected to be higher than any previous year. When navigating the digital-first era, how do nonprofits assess their digital ability and prepare for tomorrow? Learn from the best courtesy of Stanford Social Innovation Review and Salesforce..
Strategy and Management
Click-it: The Impact of a Toxic Workplace [Listen to on-demand podcast]. Many non-profits have a culture that doesn’t understand fundraising, leadership that’s not supportive, or managers who were never trained on how to manage well. Whatever the reason, addressing a toxic workplace needs to be a priority. Experts from the Veritus Group weigh in on the current crisis in nonprofit employee retention, and what you can do to address it.
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, WHITE PAPERS & OTHER RESOURCES
Annual (Year-Round) Giving
Click-it: Donors: Understanding The Future of Individual Giving [Download free Report]. This in-depth, research-based resource from Neon One looks at the future of donor behavior in a post-pandemic world. It identifies trends in individual giving, helps you understand how behavior has evolved and where it’s going, and provides an actionable framework to assure you’re ready to meet the moment.
Click-it: Nonprofit Storytelling for Board Members [Get your free book]. The Nonprofit Storytelling Conference is making this resource available to help you get board members more comfortable telling stories so you get more people engaged with your organization and raise more money. It’s small and easy to read. They only ask that you pay shipping.
Did You Miss My Newest Articles?
- Fundraising Do’s and Don’ts: Monthly Donor Appeal Strategy
- How to Keep Nonprofit Employees Longer with Flexibility
- Key Strategies to Praise, Recognize and Give Meaningful Work Feedback
- Don’t Be Tone Deaf on Ukraine
- And, the envelope please…
- What Customer Relationship Technology Does Your Nonprofit Need?
- Are You Accountable? Or do You Suffer from Akrasia?
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!
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. Catch your APRIL tips now! If you’re not yet an enrolled student, you can get in on the fun here!
Thank you for this article. I was just writing a thank you letter and included a story, making it much more impactful. Your article reminded me that we don’t have to save the world. It is enough to save one person, one animal, one place.
Jeanne Patrican, Eastwick College Foundation
Such a great read, filled with so much wisdom on challenges many non-profit development leaders face.
–– Nesha Crossman, Chief Development Officer, Forest Home
Excellent, substantive and oh so relevant! TeenSmart has benefited immensely from your shared wisdom.
— Catherine Lindenberg, TeenSmart