It’s not always easy to find all the good stuff across the web. That’s why I do the work for you! Thanks again to my Clairity Click-it sponsor, Bloomerang, for making it possible for me to spend the time hunting and gathering. You’ll find this is another robust issue.
Find a topic that interests you, and… click away! Whatever type of learner you are, there’s something here for you. Tactical advice. Theory and science. New approaches. Stuff to read. Stuff to listen to. Stuff to watch.
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 and compassionate work, and giving to others on a regular basis,
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: BENCHMARKS
Click-it: 2022 M+R Benchmarks Study. The team at M+R does amazing work, and they’ve gone the extra mile to put a year’s worth of data from 187 amazing nonprofit partners through the X-ray machine. They’re ready to take you on a tour of digital ads, social media, email, web traffic, and more. Want to benchmark yourself against their findings? This data is robust and, amazingly, all free! Some of the findings include:
- Total online revenue for nonprofits increased by 3% in 2021, building on runaway growth for many sectors during the first year of the pandemic.
- Monthly giving increased by 24%, and accounted for 22% of all online revenue in 2021.
- Digital advertising investment by nonprofits increased by 19% — but budgeting choices varied widely between nonprofits of different sizes.
- Email list sizes increased by 7%… and open rates increased at a truly suspicious rate.
- Online ticket sales bounced back somewhat from the sharp decline in 2020, increasing by 13% and making up 12% of online revenue for nonprofits with ticket sales.
- All or nearly all nonprofits reported an active presence on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. YouTube and LinkedIn were used by 75% of nonprofits, and 23% reported being on TikTok. No other social media platform reached 10% participation.
Annual (Year-Round) Giving
Click-it: Lapsed donors: you don’t really want to say goodbye, do you? Mary Cahalane, Hands On Fundraising, always offers solid, practical advice, and this article is no exception.
Click-it: Deluxe return envelope can improve your direct mail results. Here’s a tip worth considering, from the always-on-top-of-it direct mail wizard, Jeff Brooks.
Click-it: 7 Fundraising Tips You’ve Probably Never Heard Before. Many of these tips from Joe Garecht are counterintuitive, but they’re based on real life experience.
Click-it: 6 Steps to Building a Monthly Giving Program. Here is some easy-to-understand advice from Janet Levine Consulting.
Click-it: How to Find and Attract Corporate Partners for Your Nonprofit. What a terrifically thorough guest post from Chris Barlow, Beeline Marketing, on the Fully Funded blog! I especially appreciate the info about “going in the side door.” Also be sure to grab the free Corporate Partnerships Attraction Kit [See below under “Downloadable Guides/Business Support”].
Click-it: 4 Strategies to Increase Donor Loyalty. Nothing matters more in fundraising than sustainability. And the metric that matters is “lifetime value.” If you don’t prioritize retention, you’re wasting precious resources. You have to reward donors to keep them. In this article for the Bloomerang blog, I borrow from for-profit marketing to show you four trends in consumer thoughts on rewards and loyalty. Of course, I add a nonprofit spin so you know what to do with these insights!
Click-it: Why Donors Stop Giving: 5 Red Flags in Your Post-Donation Process. Grab these great tips from the Wired Impact blog. Do you have a compelling Thank You landing page? How prompt is your thank you? How much ongoing reporting do you do? Do you share other ways to get involved? You’ll want to consider these things, and more.
Click-it: How to Plan A Hybrid Fundraising Event. A silver lining from the pandemic was many nonprofits found virtual events expanded their reach, enabling folks who wouldn’t otherwise have attended to participate. Want the best of both worlds? This Nonprofit Hub article explains how to go hybrid, taking into account all the many factors you’ll want to consider.
Click-it: The Best Virtual Fundraising Ideas. Let the brainstorming begin with this handy compilation of possibilities from GroupRaise. You’re sure to find at least one you hadn’t thought of before.
Click-it: 6 Ways to Host An Eco-Friendly Gala Event. The purpose of your event is for the greater good, right? So… try not to pollute while you’re at it. Greater Giving offers some easy-to-implement solutions.
Major, Capital and Legacy Giving
Click-it: Creating a Capital Campaign Budget that Works: Quick Guide. If you’re contemplating a special campaign, you owe it to yourself to read this article from Amy Eisenstein of the Capital Campaign Toolkit. Wondering how much a campaign will cost you, whether you’ll need to bring on additional resources and, if so, how much? Do you know the 8 campaign budget categories? Read this!
Click-it: The 6 Core Elements of a Well-Told, Well-Executed Donor Fundraising Story. This article from Market Smart is about helping your donor tell their own story through their philanthropy. It’s an interesting take on the hero’s arc based on work by Joseph Campbell and, specifically applied to fundraising, Dr. Russell James.
Click-it: Write A Superb Case Statement. A superb case statement communicates to the donor why funds are urgently needed and why philanthropic support makes sense. For a primer on what to include, and what formats to use, grab this article from Laurence Pagnoni of LAPA Fundraising.
Click-it: How to Fundraise for Nonprofit Stock Donations. Did you know organizations who receive gifts of assets rather than cash raise more money? Ally Smith at KIT has laid out how you can generate more stock gifts – which tend to be larger. Intrigued? You should be!
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Video Making for Nonprofits. You know they capture attention quickly and are shared more broadly than prose, right? This article from Flipcause offers some ideas to make sure you’ll get the most from your investment of time, money and effort.
Click-it: Does Your Nonprofit Need a Website Revamp? How to Tell. Your website is your top marketing asset. If it’s out-of-date, slow or not optimized for mobile, you’re in trouble. In this article on the TopNonprofits blog, Ryan Felix, co-founder of Loop: Design for Social Good, offers five red flags. If you stop flying them, you’ll raise more money.
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) Fundraising
Click-it: How to Acquire and Convert More Donors for Your Nonprofit [Register for free webinar, 5-12-2022]. Join James Martin of Rally Corp and guest Candace Cody of Community Boost to explore digital strategies that can make acquisition, conversion and retention more effective. You’ll leave with a roadmap to help you invest in the right strategies — ones that will help you scale impact throughout the rest of the year.
Click-it: Build a Nonprofit Fundraising Plan for Your New, Young, or Small Org [Register for free webinar, 5-26-2022]. Sandy Rees, Get Fully Funded, joins Top Nonprofits for this session tailored to new and small nonprofits. You’ll learn about fundraising planning and the top three places new, young, and small nonprofits should focus their fundraising energy for maximum results.
Click-it: How to Fundraise In A Pandemic (or Any Other Crisis) [Listen on demand to free podcast]. Changing times call for changing strategies. The past several years we’ve been fundraising in the midst of a crisis. Alas, the crises keep coming. Wondering what to do and how to make this fundraising sustainable in the long term? Join Pamela Grow and Julia Campbell who discuss this on Nonprofit Nation.
Click-it: Sustaining Giving Masterclass [Register for free class, 5-5-2022]. The first of a free series from GivingDNA, this session focuses on building a resilient fundraising pipeline. You’ll learn how new technology can easily identify & engage recurring givers and get examples of successful sustaining giving programs. If you want to prepare now for the future of sustaining giving, this is for you.
Click-it: 5 Steps to Optimize & Sell Out Your Large Scale Events [Register now for free webinar, 5-17-2022]. Want to get more bang for your buck with your next event? Join experts from Qgiv and Philanthropy United to learn: Tips and tricks to optimize live events; a micro event strategy you can’t live without; a plug-and-play digital promotion schedule, and ticket pricing hacks to sell more, earlier and faster.
Click-it: Make an Offer They Can’t Refuse [Register for free webinar, 5-10-2022]. Wonder how to get corporate partners for your event. The folks at CauseVox have you covered! Learn a proven process to make companies want to work with you, how to strategize to get a ‘yes’ with your first ask, and even receive a free step-by-step kit to secure your next partnership.
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: Emergent Asking – Get What You Need Now [Register for free webinar, 5-5-2022]. This webinar looks super interesting and fun. Want to know the 5 steps to ask for anything? Want to discover your personal asking style? This Bloomerang-sponsored webinar with Valerie Jones, CFRE, is your chance!
Click-it: Does ‘The Veritus Way’ Work for Smaller Organizations? [Listen to new podcast or read transcript]. You may know I often let you know about upcoming major gift fundraising courses from the Veritus Group because I love their approach and think you’d be hard-pressed to find any better teachers. But some of you tell me you’re “too small” for a systematic approach. This podcast and accompanying article, transcript and link to a white paper should disabuse you of this notion. No matter your size, there’s an effective (and ineffective) way to seek out, and steward, major gifts. Check it out.
Online Social Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Social Media 102 [Register for free webinar, 5-10-2022]. So you’ve finally adopted social media as a legit way to connect with your target audiences, but now you want to use it to stand out from the crowd. Join Molly Coke and Firespring to learn a few advanced social media tips and tricks, elevate your social media presence through micro strategies and activate your advocates.
Click-it: Storytelling that Drives Revenue Growth [Register for free webinar, 5-5-2022]. Join Creative Director Jennifer Miller from Moore Thoughts to learn top tips and techniques for direct response storytelling that engages your donor audience and strengthens their relationship with you
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, WHITE PAPERS & OTHER RESOURCES
Annual (Year-Round) Giving
Click-it: You Definitely Need Them More Than They Need You [Download free white paper about acquisition and retention]. Amy Bobrick of Merkle writes about the pressing parallel needs for nonprofits to (1) acquire new donors and (2) convert them into multi-year donors. The reasons why this is such a challenge are included, as are steps you can take to achieve better results.
Click-it: Corporate Partnerships Attraction Kit [Download free e-Book]. Beeline offers this super-helpful guide to help you find companies who will be excited about partnering with you; develop and use a process that gets a proven response, and offer dozens of practical ideas, tips, and templates to get your first partner within 30 days. How can you say no?
Click-it: Free Donor Assessment [No obligation – for real]. Veritus Group is offering a free donor file assessment. There is no obligation to work with them; they’re good people who truly want to equip you with the information you need to better engage your donors and transform your approach to fundraising. If you just count total dollars raised, and not dollars lost, you’re missing out on lots of potential. Do you know much donor value are you losing year over year? Fill out their form, they’ll run a report, and… you’ll get the answers! This is a true gift you can’t afford not to accept. Here’s what their assessment includes:
- Summary overview and breakouts of your donors, including donor and value attrition rates
- Pipeline analysis that shows potential clogs in your pipeline
- Revenue projection and recommendations on how many major and mid-level fundraisers your data supports
Mission, Vision and Values
Click-it: Why Should I Give to You? [Register for free, on-demand course – limited time only]. For a limited time, NextAfter is offering free access to an amazing six-module course to help you hone a value proposition that answers a donor’s most burning question. Best of all, everything is based on learnings from over 3,300+ online fundraising experiments – not just gut feelings and “best practices.” This is something I find most nonprofits spend far too little time on, yet it’s critical to your fundraising success. I promise: this is a good use of your time!
Click-it: 40 Nonprofit Trends for 2022 [Download free report]. A third of the year has flown by, but you’ve still got time to see how many of these trends are embraced in your current practice of fundraising and marketing. Trends often reflect what’s cost-effective and what’s not, as well as what your audiences are currently anticipating and expecting. Are you working smart? Are you aligned with the marketplace? Check out this free resource from NonProfitPro.
Did You Miss My Newest Articles?
- Deep Dive into Cryptocurrency for Nonprofits
- Top Proven Nonprofit Fundraising Event Planning Tips
- Common Sense Nonprofit Event Planning Advice
- Why Smart Nonprofits Focus on Growing Monthly Giving
- How to Craft a Nonprofit Board Orientation Strategy
- 3 Ridiculously Easy Strategies to Boost Fundraising by 27%
- Fundraising Do’s vs. Don’ts: Monthly Donor Appeal Strategy
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. MAY tips are now live! If you’re not yet an enrolled student, you can get in on the fun here!
If there were a Mount Rushmore for Philanthropy, Claire Axelrad would certainly be on it. Every nonprofit would benefit by ditching forgettable fundraising in favor of passionate philanthropy with Claire.”
– Jay Wilkinson, Founder & CEO of Firespring
I just think Claire Axelrad is the most thought provoking and on point fundraiser I’ve ever heard. She has the answers I need to hear.
— Katora Cole, Chief Development Officer, Orchards Children’s Services
Claire’s approach is a rare blend of experience-based common sense gleaned from 30 years of senior management in the trenches.
– Chris Baylis, The Sponsorship Collective