- Adding another feature is cheap compared to the benefits it offers to new users or existing ones.
- Once a feature is added, it is almost never removed.
- When enough features are added, the system breaks down and fails.
This isn’t just software. It’s the menu at the diner. It’s the buttons on the dashboard of a car. It’s the variety of choices parents are offered of which dates summer camp starts or ends. Anything where a lot of hard work can be slightly improved simply by adding an innocuous option.
Add one point, Yahoo had 183 links on their home page. Google, which had two, ultimately grabbed all of their search traffic. The app on my phone can now open the trunk of my car if I press enough buttons.
Features are useful (that’s why we call them features). And yes, serving the underserved and the unseen is important. But creep cannot continue forever. At some point, there’s system bankruptcy and the cycle begins again.
While we might not easily say no to a new feature, we can be smart and proactive when it comes time to clear the slate and start over.
— Seth Godin
Here are some free resources, curated from across the web. Per Seth Godin, you don’t want to try everything at once, but some features will make your job easier, more fulfilling and more successful. In other words, don’t overly crowd your donation page or offer a reply form with too many choices. Do adopt useful features that make giving, and asking, easy.
As always, a big thank you to my Clairity Click-it sponsor, Bloomerang, for making it possible for me to spend the time hunting and gathering.
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 your vital work, and helping make our world a better place,
P.S. Your support via enrollment in ‘Clairification School’ means a lot, and I am deeply appreciative. It is my honor 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: UPCOMING CONFERENCES
Click-it: 12 of the Best Nonprofit Conferences in 2022 and Beyond. Planning ahead? Here are some upcoming conferences you may want to put on your radar. Tips for how to make the most of your experience are included. Never stop learning! Thanks to Double the Donation for the heads up.
Click-it: Don’t Miss These 11 Nonprofit Conferences in 2022 and 2023. Here’s another list! This one is thanks to Neon One.
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: And now… 3 things that you’ve learned over the years…. Here are some great crowd-sourced tips for annual appeal writing from John Lepp and the Agents of Good community.
Click-it: 3 Ways Your Board Must Participate in Year-End Giving. When you equip boards to confidently participate in your year-end efforts, the results can be amazing. But you’ve got to be the one to get their juices flowing! Board expert Cindi Phallen suggests three ways to do so in this article for NonProfitPRO.
Click-it: The abundance mindset: what it looks like in everyday practice, and the equity implications around it. Vu Le, Nonprofit AF, makes some thoughtful points about the need to better define the word “abundance” when seeking to build a culture around it. It’s possible to have an abundance mindset in some things, but to completely overlook it in others. For example, do you have an abundance mentality around relationships, or become guarded and jealous when it comes to sources of funding? Hmmn…
Click-it: Donation Form Abandonment: How to Recapture Your Donors. You’re likely losing a lot of money due to momentarily abandoned gifts. What do you need? A cart abandonment strategy! Learn how to build one in this article from Top Nonprofits.
Click-it: Hybrid Event Do’s and Don’ts From Real World Experience. This comes from the folks at MeetGreen, and is a useful road map for how to run a successful on-site + online event.
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: What Dunbar’s Number Has in Common With Your Major Gifts Caseload. Is there anything Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels of the Veritus Group don’t know about major gift fundraising?! Here they scientifically explain why your portfolio should not exceed a certain number. Think it should be less? Then, justify it. Every portfolio has an economic value attached to it.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Digital Transformation isn’t what you think…. Learn the difference between iterative data and integrated data from Hugh MacLeod, Gaping Void. The former is pretty useless unless you have a way to use it to make new connections and develop new insights. There’s a huge difference between transaction and transformation. How are you using your data?
Click-it: Which is the Best Video Editing App? Choose from These 15. You don’t necessarily need to edit, of course. A homemade smart phone video sent as a new donor welcome or a thank you can do wonders, and there’s a benefit to it looking personal and homegrown. But for videos you’ll host on your website or share at an event, these top picks from online expert Neal Schaffer are worth your attention.
Click-it: Mastercard Extends Deadline: How to Comply With New Recurring Giving Regulations. You may not even be aware this is going on, but if you have a monthly giving program it’s time to pay attention. Amanda Cole of NonProfitPRO interviews experts to give you some marching orders.
Click-it: How To Write The Curiosity Out Of The First-Line Of Your Article. Learn about three ways to start the first line of your appeal, call to action or newsletter/blog article from Sean D’Souza of Psychotactics. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece, especially “start with the ‘boring’.”
Click-it: How to make your emails more relevant to your donors. This is quick, simple and totally on point. I’d wager 85% of nonprofit email writers don’t do these simple things to get readers to open and respond to emails. From Steven Screen at The Better Fundraising Co.
Click-it: How to Boost Year-End Fundraising with Texting so Your Nonprofit Wins. The text messaging experts at Rally Corp want you to know how to incorporate mobile into your year-end fundraising plan. Especially since the phone is the device people always have with them, whether at home or on vacation. While your donors may unplug from email between Christmas and New Year’s, they still read text messages!
Other Learning Opportunities
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: Loyalty Lightning Talks [Register for free webinar, 9-29-2022]. If you like to emulate the successes of others, then this session from SOFII is for you. Learn how four UK charities have kept donors loyal through their concise, current case studies. Go beyond theory, to practice!
Click-it: Leverage Your Grants [Register for free webinar, 9-22-2022]. Join Ephraim Gopin and Bloomerang for this dynamite session identifying the hidden treasures of grant applications. Learn how to use current marketing collateral in your proposals, and grant application info in your marketing communications. Waste not, want not!
Click-it: How to Jumpstart Your Capital Campaign and Achieve Early Success Today [Register for free webinar 9-26-2022]. Join Gail Perry Group to learn how can you find advantages in our current economy and post-COVID environment to trigger mega donors to unlock early gifts.
Click-it: How Marketing Automation Can Work for You [Register for free webinar, 9-20-2022]. Join Firespring to learn how to layer your online and offline marketing strategies for maximum effectiveness. It’s the art of taking creative marketing ideas, building them into data-driven, multi-channel marketing campaigns and launching them in one integrated platform.
Click-it: Winter Is Coming: Create A Year-End Marketing Plan Now to Attract More (And Larger) Gifts [Register for free webinar, 9-21-2022]. Join Candace Cody, Community Boost, to get a year-end campaign timeline, learn to overcome common mistakes, and get the latest digital strategies.
Strategy, Management and Planning
Click-it: 5 Ways Fundraisers Can Beat the Effects of Inflation [Register for free webinar, 9-20-2022]. Michael Gorriarán joins NonProfitPRO for a discussion on how to mitigate the effects of inflation and recession, including tools such as behavioral economics modeling and advanced artificial intelligence services to improve giving levels, sustain participation rates, renew more lapsed donors, and lower the cost per dollar raised.
Click-it: Fundraising Productivity Hacks [Register for free webinar, 9-29-2022]. Ready to work smarter, not harder? Rachel Muir hosts an upcoming workshop with Chad Barger just for you! Focus in not on what you do, but on how you do it. You’ll learn how to better manage email, meetings, your energy level, distractions, self-care, to-do lists, and work-life harmony.
Click-it: Discover Giving Trends by Analyzing Your Donor Data [Listen to free, on-demand podcast]. The more you know about donors, and can segment your database by affinity, behavior and identity, the better you’ll be able to tailor your fundraising and marketing strategies to connect with supporters promptly, personally and powerfully. This “NonProfit Voice” podcast from NonProfitPRO features Mark Becker of Cathexis Partners, Maria Shanley, Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, and Abby Jarvis of Neon One to talk about data – every which way but loose.
Click-it: How to Convert Your Nonprofit Website Visitors into Donors [Watch free, on-demand webinar]. Many folks who find you through internet search, and land on your webpage, will leave without donating. If you want to make better use of everyone’s time, grab these tips from 4aGoodCause. You’ll get content and design ideas; ways to make it easy for visitors to give online; great donation page tips, examples of good nonprofit websites and more.
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, WHITE PAPERS & OTHER RESOURCES
Click-it: Get your hands on 68 pages worth of new research analyzing how 130 nonprofits onboard new donors in the first 90 days after their first donation. In the study by NextAfter, both online and offline communications were included. Learn the most important thing your welcome series must address plus what impact a properly constructed welcome series can have on boosting ROI.
Click-it: Raffle for Success [Download free e-book] Grab this newly released, data-backed and insight-driven resource for running successful in-person and virtual raffles. With $1.4 billion raised by raffle organizers on Eventgroove’s platform since 2019, they had a unique opportunity to mine their data to identify factors that make a killer raffle. You’ll also find best practices from other nonprofit’s most successful raffles and recommendations from nonprofit experts.
Did You Miss My Newest Articles?
- 8-Step Annual Fundraising Appeal Self-Test – Part 2
- 8-Step Annual Fundraising Appeal Self-Test – Part 1
- Brilliant Writing Tips to Boost Your Nonprofit Fundraising Appeal
- Donors Give to Big Visions. What’s Yours?
- Nonprofit Fundraising Truth: Stories are Persuasive, Data is Just Proof
- How to Project Manage Your Nonprofit Story
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! Here’s a new one: How Do You Handle A Major Gift Solicitation When You Believe More Cultivation Is Needed First?.
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 now live! If you’re not yet an enrolled student, you can get in on the fun here!
I really do wish every small nonprofit would read what you write. Thank-you for sharing with us all.
–BT Irwin, Small Nonprofit Coach
Claire Axelrad is Blogger, Consultant, Advisor and Guru. She has a pile of experience – having done it all and seen it all. Not only is her experience both broad and deep, her judgement is superb. She thinks precisely, writes clearly and focuses on substance instead of appearance. She is interested in addressing issues and serving nonprofit leaders – not in hyping issues and impressing those leaders.
– John Burke, Founder, VisABILITY
Claire is a superb professional, deep thinker and creative spirit in the service of philanthropy. I have worked with her in a variety of roles for nearly two decades, and have admired and supported her work. She is a person of utmost integrity, and a brilliant mind.
– Kay Grace, Principal, Transforming Philanthropy
My motto is: “If I know it, I want you to know it.” Don’t miss out.
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