I’m calling this issue jejune partly as a play on the name of the month we’re in and partly because jejune means “devoid of significance or interest.”
Could that be how you’ve been doing fundraising? Are you relevant, or do you fail to meet folks where they are and fully engage them? Whenever you communicate with your audiences, do you first think “How will this be received?” How other-aware are you?
I like this wisdom from the inimatable Seth Godin:
Smart is no longer memorization. It’s not worth much.
Smart is no longer access to information. Everyone has that.
- Situational awareness
- Clarity of goals
- Good taste
- Empathy for others
- The ability to make decisions that further your goals
The good news is that smart is a choice, and smart is a skill.
— Seth Godin
This newsletter is designed to make you smart. And in today’s rapidly evolving world, it’s hard to be smart absent information. Not just stuff you memorize, but stuff about how people think, feel, act and make decisions. It’s important to stay in tune, both with your audiences and with what’s going on in the world.
Your nonprofit does not exist in a vacuum.
When you stick your head up out of the sand, get clear on your own goals, consider the goals of others, and artfully make a match between organizational and constituent values… then you have something!
I’m here again with my curated list of good stuff across the web designed to make your job of facilitating philanthropy easier. Thanks again to my Clairity Click-it sponsor, Bloomerang, for making it possible for me to spend the time hunting and gathering.
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.
Thank you for doing such vital 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: LEADERSHIP
Click-it: Thought Leadership: The Often Overlooked Strategy to Build Organizational Capacity. Thought leadership, when used effectively, may be leveraged to attract more funding; influence policy; encourage funders to be more responsive to community needs; attract strong board members and community partners, and much more. Valerie F. Leonard, Nonprofit Utopia founder, expounds on the benefits, and how to differentiate yourself and lead with your thinking.
Click-it: Is Servant Leadership the Right Approach for Nonprofit Leaders? How do you serve and lead concurrently? Is this a fast pass to burnout? Joan Garry, Nonprofits are Messy, says “no.” It helps to begin by understanding who you are in service to. Want to learn what the most important act of service is? Click away.
Click-it: Creating Community Together: An Invitation to Leadership. Yearn to work less as a collection of individuals grinding away at unending tasks within inhuman organizations and more as a gathered group of leaders whose strength and focus combine to make our shared communities of care greater than the sum of their parts? Elizabeth Bishop, author of “Conscious Service: Ten Ways to Reclaim your Calling, Move beyond Burnout, and Make a Difference without Sacrificing Yourself,” has some thoughts for your consideration on the Charity Village blog.
Digital Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Do Older People Text? Yes!. Get the data straight from the mobile experts at Rally Corp. They offer three ways nonprofits have successfully used text messaging to engage seniors, plus some important tips to make this tool work to everyone’s benefit.
Click-it: Super Useful Nonprofit Fiscal Year-End Action Strategies. You still have time to enact any of my tried-and-true action strategies and practical tips to assure you don’t lose any donors this year! Read about all 8 on the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: Why Your Nonprofit Should Embrace Hybrid Events. Struggling between whether to plan for on-site or virtual? Have the best of both worlds! Lots of people still want a virtual option, and you don’t want to leave them out in the cold. The experts at Eventgroove offer all sorts of tips for tailoring your next event to your guests and your goals – so no one feels overlooked.
Click-it: How To Think About Leading vs Lagging Indicators In Fundraising. You can measure what happened in the past (lagging) or predict what may likely happen in the future (leading). Tim Sarrantonio discusses which lagging KPIs you should measure and which leading ones you should begin to prioritize if you want to stay ahead of the game and have a useful, full picture as you plan.
Click-it: How to Measure What Matters in Fundraising. I am constantly surprised how many nonprofits don’t measure these basic things. IMHO, you can’t do effective fundraising unless you do all these things recommended by Jeff Brooks on the Moceanic blog.
Psychology of Giving
Click-it: Say goodbye to premiums and hello to higher net revenue. Learn from the research and experience of the RKD Group why premiums may not be your nonprofit’s friend when it comes to donor loyalty and cost/benefit. If you already use them, it’s maybe time to wean yourself; they explain how.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Setting Fundraising Goals for Nonprofit Campaigns. This is a super-practical article from Soapbox Engage about setting “just right” goals – not so ambitious you’ll feel like a failure, but not so easy you’ll fail to reach your potential. There’s also great advice about breaking your goal into gift ranges so donors at every level can fully participate.
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!
Click-it: Get Your Board to Help You Fundraise—Even if They Don’t Wanna! [Register for free webinar, 6-14-2022]. Want to assess your board’s fundraising personality? Motivate your board to fundraise? Set goals and create individual plans they’ll rock? Track without nagging? You’ll get all these board engagement tools, and more, in this complimentary session from Firespring.
Digital Marketing and Fundraising
Click-it: A/B Testing for Nonprofits [Watch on-demand video; Activate free 6-module course]. The folks at NextAfter are the gurus of nonprofit A/B testing; here they teach you how to do it. Plus, you’ll find an entire archive of past tests they generously share with the world so you can learn from the experience of others. This is gold!
Click-it: 3 Keys to Standing Out on Social Media [ Register for free webinar, 6-16-2022]. Want tips on how to show up consistently and authentically online? Learn from social media expert and fundraising strategist Christina Edwards how to avoid the biggest mistakes nonprofits make on social media, and how you can stand out in a crowded space.
Major, Capital and Legacy Giving
Click-it: Asking Styles…Because Who You Are Matters! [Register for free webinar, 6-15-2022]. People are different, so it makes sense the way you ask for a gift might not be the same as the way someone else on your team asks. That’s why Brian Saber, Asking Matters President, wants to teach you a personality framework with four distinct asking styles. Once you know your style, you’ll be a more comfortable and effective fundraiser. Walk away with a new set of tools for you and your entire fundraising team.
Click-it: How to Approach Donor Stewardship in Planned Giving [Download free Podcast]. How do you effectively steward planned giving donors so that they stay engaged with your mission? It’s one thing to report on impact of current gifts, but how do you report on the impact of a future gift? Learn some best practices for legacy donor stewardship from Bob Shafis of the Veritus Group.
Click-it: Operation Smile and #Bitcoin Tuesday [Listen to free podcast or read transcript]. What starts as a trend often morphs into a tried-and-true strategy. If you’ve been wondering about the pros and cons of accepting Bitcoin, it may be helpful to listen to another nonprofit’s thought process and where they are today. Join Top Nonprofits’ Amy DeVita with guest Amber Leonti of Operation Smile.
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, WHITE PAPERS & OTHER RESOURCES
Digital Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: The Nonprofit Communications Trends Report [Download free report]. The folks at Nonprofit Marketing Guide compile this annually. Learn how nonprofit marketers are implementing DEI; handling staffing; growing their teams; using 15 different channels; building healthier habits around work and productivity, and more.
Click-it: Raffle Prize Ideas [Download free Swipe List]. The folks at Qgiv have compiled this great list of ideas for you. You’re sure to find one you hadn’t thought of, and they’re also good for auction items!
Did You Miss My Newest Articles?
- The Giant Mid-Level Fundraising Opportunity Your Nonprofit’s Missing
- How to Overcome Nonprofit Fundraising Myths
- Avoid these Key Obstacles to Successful Major Gift Asks
- Proven Strategies to Take Charge of Major Donor Asks
- 3 Nonprofit Secrets to Rock Major Gift Fundraising
- 6 Steps to Fuel Your Major Gift Journey
- How to Raise Money with Nonprofit Newsletters
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. JUNE tips are now live! If you’re not yet an enrolled student, you can get in on the fun here!
Claire… I don’t know how often folks give YOU a thumbs up… but let me try… I’ve successfully retired 5 times after raising mega-millions for universities and hospitals… I still run my consulting business… every time I start reading your “tips” I shout YES!! Many of the methods are newer…but the basis remains the same. People need you!
— Margie McCurry. Ph.D., CFRE, The McCurry Group
I came across your website and I hit the goldmine! Thank you for sharing so much valuable information!!
– Erica Martinez
One of the best articles re marketing and fundraising that I‘ve read in a long time. I am passing it on to the usual suspects — my boss, Development Committee…
— Margot Harrigan. Director of Development. Community Health Awareness Council