Happy Spring Friday the 13th! A lovely season, and a lovely date. You see, both I and my son were born on Friday the 13ths, so I consider it a day filled with new possibilities. And since this is a Spring one, it’s even more filled with blooming potential than usual! So what could be more perfect than to send a shout-out to my Clairity Click-it sponsor, Bloomerang, for making it possible for me to spend the time hunting and gathering the best free content I can find across the globe.
I hope you’ll find a topic that interests you, and… click away!
When you do, if you’re lucky, all sorts of new ideas will start to blossom — making your job a lot more fun and, hopefully, more effective and fulfilling as well.
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. 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 podcasts, and offer up exclusive monthly tips, bonuses and more! This year, I hope to see you in school!
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
Annual (Year-Round) Giving
Click-it: Get Started Upgrading and Retaining More Donors through Monthly Giving. If you’re not using monthly giving as a strategy to keep and upgrade more donors, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Read all about it in my article on the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: P2P fundraising: 11 events that work for getting large groups involved. There’s no one we trust more than our friends, which is why peer-to-peer fundraising works so well to acquire new donors and upgrade current ones. The folks at 4aGoodCause suggest a whole heap of ways to incorporate P2P into your fundraising strategies.
Click-it: Marketing Matching Gifts On Your Website. If you’re not marketing matching gifts you’re leaving money on the table. Potentially quite a lot of it. No one understands this topic more than the folks at Double the Donation. Check out this road map with four of the most common and impactful methods to double your philanthropy.
Click-it: Top Secret: Underused Strategy to Keep Donors Close. Check out my recent article for NonProfitPro. Hint: the secret has something to do with consistency. My guess is you may do this once or twice; that’s not enough. Curious? I share some examples of what I’m talking about!
Click-it: A guide to donor segmentation. If you treat every donor in your database the same way, you won’t be speaking to any of them personally. As a result, your retention rates will suffer. Mary Cahalane, Hands-On-Fundraising, invited guest blogger Jack Showers, a research analyst from KIT, to suggest three different ways to approach segmentation. Do you use any of them?
Click-it: Should charities continue with virtual events? Nikki Bell, Fundraising Everywhere, reports on the Blackbaud JustGiving blog this is something you should certainly consider. Her comments are based on research (you can download a copy of the free report) revealing an array of significant benefits experienced by charities over the past couple of years. Virtual benefits increased both outreach and revenues, support those hoping to be carbon neutral, and achieve a host of other efficiencies. Also, when you use a platform designed to be used for events (not necessarily Zoom or other meeting platforms) you can expect attendee engagement to soar.
Click-it: Why Your Nonprofit Should Embrace Hybrid Events. Here’s another take from the folks at Eventgroove. They agree, although in-person events are back on the rise, they’re not necessarily the top option for event organizers as they were pre-pandemic. Guests who can’t attend physically expect an option to celebrate from wherever they are. You’ll see a lot of my own advice is channeled in this post so, of course, I like it! Check it out.
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: 10 Follow-Up Questions to Deepen Your Conversation with Major Donors. This is a spot-on article from Greg Warner of Market Smart. I’d suggest you print out these questions and post them next to your computer before getting on any call with a donor. They’re some of the best all-around “getting to know you” questions you can ask, and research has shown one of the things donors most want is for you to “show me that you know me.”
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: May The Force Be With You: Underused Year-End Fundraising Tweak. This is a tweak I recommend for year-end fundraising. You can also use for fiscal year end, or for special campaigns and holidays. Check it out in my article for Bloomerang. It can give your fundraising a HUGE boost.
Click-it: 11 Real Benefits of Influencer Marketing for Any Business in Any Industry. Neal Schaffer is a digital marketing guru (he wrote “The Age of Influence,” and his advice works whether you’re for-profit or nonprofit. There’s also a video included that explains influencer marketing and today’s democratization of influence. I suggest you listen to that first. If you do this, you’ll be ahead of the curve; too few nonprofits take advantage (IMHO).
Click-it: 4 Quick Tips to Remember When Planning an Advocacy Campaign. Planning, goal setting, story selection and development, adhering to a timeline, choosing audiences, influencers and messaging channels, and much more described in this article from Top Nonprofits will be key to your success. Read this to make sure you don’t miss a beat.
Click-it: Fundraising Software Reviews: Top Fundraising Tools to Know. There are many software solutions out there, so the folks at Double the Donation have done some of the legwork for you, describing what the software does, how they review it, and including a link to the tool’s website. And, yes, they all integrate with Double the Donation.
Click-it: Best NonProfit CRM Software. SelectHub is dedicated to helping you find the best nonprofit CRM software for all purposes, including fundraising. Their chart includes 78 different options, and if you call them, they’ll even offer a free 15-minute selection analysis. How can you refuse?
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Follow This Checklist to Prepare for Courageous Conversations. Learn how to create a culture of honesty and trust that deals with issues head on. Grab these tips from the Veritus Group to better retain your staff and have greater satisfaction in your work.
Click-it: Fitness Training and Strategic Planning Are More Similar Than You Think. Trust Me. Amy Bobrick of Merkle, who used to be a competitive figure skater, describes how strategic planning provides a structured way for an organization to think about progression. Like fitness training, it is an iterative process that provides a context for analysis and measurement and an agile framework allowing for change — with the long-term goal always in focus.
Website and SEO
Click-it: Looking for a Google SEO Checker? Here’s 15 to Check Out. Your website is your chief marketing tool, but folks will only find you if you optimize for search. I’ve chosen this article from Neal Schaffer, a top digital marketing guru, to offer some options for maximizing your online footprint.
Click-it: 5 Gaslighting Phrases People Casually Use To Manipulate You. I happened on this article by Darshak Rana on Medium and thought I would share. Gaslighting happens all the time, in politics, at work and in your personal life. Here are some red flags, and ways to handle gaslighting situations so you gain the upper hand.
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: 4 Keys to Answering Your Donors’ Most Fundamental Question [Tune into free on-demand webinar]. Without an effective case for support and value proposition effective fundraising is illusive. You absolutely must be able to answer the “why should I give to you?” question. That’s exactly what this session from NextAfter will help you to do. (There’s also a transcript if your more of a visual than auditory learner).
Culture of Philanthropy
Building a Culture of Philanthropy at Your Organization [Register for free webinar, 5-18-2022]. If you struggle to get help from board and non-development staff members with fundraising, this free Firespring session with Amy Sexton is for you. It will also cover how to successfully make the ask for major gift investments that can have transformative effects.
Click-it: How to Write Text Messages to Improve Donor Retention [Watch free, on-demand webinar]. This session walks through examples and offers templates you can use to write effective text messages that demonstrate both gratitude and impact. James Martin of Rally Corp is a texting wizard!
Click-it: 5 Steps to Optimize & Sell Out Your Large Scale Events [Register for free webinar, 5-17-2022]. Join Qgiv 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: How to Raise More Money by Telling Better Stories [Listen to fee, on-demand podcast]. The Auction Advocate, joins Lori Jacobwith, Ignited Fundraising, for a free-ranging conversation about what it takes to be an effective storyteller. You’ll learn (1) Why we can’t make a decision without feeling something; (2) How much more memorable stories are than facts; (3) Knowledge alone does not cause people to take action, and (4) The most important way to change human behavior.
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, WHITE PAPERS & OTHER RESOURCES
Click-it: Nonprofit Annual Report Templates and Examples. This walks you through the key sections needed for annual reports, includes examples for inspiration, and links to great nonprofit annual report templates you can use to get started on your own. From Silent Partner Software, you’ll learn seven must-have sections for annual report templates.
Click-it: The Ultimate Video Production Guide [Download free resource with Checklist] Knowing where to start with video can be daunting – but studies show organizations that leverage video receive significantly higher web traffic than those that don’t. Ready to produce outstanding video content? Grab this comprehensive guide from ThankView and get started!
Major, Capital and Legacy Giving
Click-it: Capital Campaign Toolkit Checklist [Download free road map]. This intuitive guide from the experts at the Capital Campaign Toolkit breaks down each step of your campaign, and the timeline allows you to visualize your whole campaign, from start to finish.
Click-it: Field Guide to Relationship-Based Fundraising [Download free guide, in English or Spanish] Download this user-friendly, actionable guide created by major donor specialists I.G. Advisors and shared by the good folks at SOFII. It’s a super useful tool to help you design meaningful donor journeys that build lasting relationships.
Click-it: The Nonprofit Storytelling Guide [Download your free resource]. Good stories make people think, feel and remember. They’re “sticky” in a way other content is not. If you want to get folks connected and engaged, it behooves you to become a master storyteller. Learn how in this guide from Nonprofit Hub. It also includes three worksheets to help guide you to write a donor, volunteer, and client story.
Did You Miss My Newest Articles?
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!
That she is willing to share her considerable knowledge and can write in the same clear, to-the-point way that mirrors what we should all be doing when we reach out to our donors is a real boon.
— Janice Prudhomme, executive director, NCJW, San Francisco Section
Always cogent, practical and easy to digest. I’ve followed and enjoyed your posts and comments for years.
— Jennifer Miller, Creative Director, True Sense Marketing
Claire, this is the second time I am reading this article and I have to say: there is no other fundraising coach who is a great storyteller and writes better than you. Everyday, I read many articles on fundraising and marketing, and you are by far one of my favorites. I always recommend your blog to people who ask me for advice on development.
— Daniel Trust, President and CEO, Daniel Trust Foundation