Fundraisers have only three basic objectives:
1) To describe their institution and what makes it distinctive
2) To develop a sense of urgency for the project or program, and
3) To secure the necessary funds to make it happen.
Your job is to get the largest gift possible, in the shortest amount of time, to the greatest joy of the donor. People give to change and to save lives. That is the chief motivating factor. Make that the dominant theme in your material and contacts.
Success in fundraising is due less to the fundraiser’s experience than to loving the work. Less to intelligence than to your zeal. Less to the mechanics of the job than to enthusiasm and total commitment to the mission.
– Jerold Panas, Irrefutable Canons of Fundraising
This is the time of year to boost your enthusiasm so you’ll boost your results. It is my hope some of these collected free resources will give you the jolt you need to double down on what draws you to your mission. This renewal of commitment on your part will translate to a similar renewal of commitment on the part of your supporters. Passion is contagious!
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…
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: The why and how of fundraising. Mary Cahalane, Hands-On Fundraising, says don’t forget the “why!” Fundraisers blow this nine times out of ten, focusing their appeal, instead, on the “how.” Read this to assure you don’t make that mistake.
Click-it: What is the Fundraising Cycle and How to Convert More Donors. It’s often good to go back to (or learn) the basics. This refresher from Rally Corp is just the ticket in this regard.
Click-it: 5 More Winning Ways to Start Your Next Fundraising Appeal. This post, by Lisa Sargent on the Moceanic blog, is fundraising copywriting gold. Don’t miss it, or its companion piece. You’ll find some great openings you can swipe.
Click-it: Boards Need Staff to Support Scary Fundraising Role. One of the key ways to overcome board members’ fear of fundraising is to be very concrete about what you want them to do. In this article for the Bloomerang blog, I suggest ways to encourage and support boards to be your year-round fundraising elves. It includes a useful exercise to help boards embrace philanthropy, not fundraising (the former is wonderful; the latter is dreaded).
Click-it: 4 DIY Fundraising Ideas to Share With Your Volunteers. Grab some new ideas, or just some know-how for ideas you’ve already had, in this post on the Top Nonprofits blog. There are some great ideas for engaging your supporters, drawing them ever closer to you and your mission.
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: 5 Times I Was Wrong About My Approach to Fundraising. Amy Eisenstein offers useful wisdom gleaned from the trenches. Some of what she has to say may surprise you.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: What the Hell is “Pulsing”?. This incredibly thoughtful article from Roger Craver on The Agitator/DonorVoice blog bears your attention. It’s a wake-up call to take a strategic approach to both the quantity and quality of your content marketing. BTW: We’re currently in a “pulsing” season, so make sure to turn up the volume now; don’t feel bad about dialing it back later.
Click-it: 3 Tips for Fundraising in a Recession. Whenever you ask for money, it’s a good idea to put yourself in the donor’s shoes. And donors live in the current economy. Marc Pitman, The Fundraising Coach, suggests you think about this and plan your strategy accordingly.
Click-it: How to incorporate people-first language into fundraising. Language matters. Of course, it can be taken to extremes, but it’s always a good idea to be thoughtful and intentional in your choice of words. Here are some thoughts, from RKD Group Thinkers, to humanize people and put people by putting them before their circumstances.
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: 3 Reasons Why Your Board Doesn’t Fundraise and How to Fix That [Register for free webinar, 10-27-2022]. Join Barbara O’Reilly, Windmill Consulting, and the Center for Nonprofit Advancement for this meaty discussion about the key steps you need to have in place to build your team of volunteer leaders; to train them and manage their expectations for success; and to determine the roles every Board member can—and should—play in creating a strong culture of giving within your organization.
Click-it: Quick Tactics for #GivingTuesday [Register for free webinar, 10-18-2022]. The Firespring team kicks off the countdown with a session to teach you how to maximize the time you have left and lay the foundation for a successful day of giving. You’ll get 10 to becoming a #GivingTuesday pro; how to build a #GT landing page, and checklists to keep you organized and prepared.
Click-it: Productive events: Optimize your nonprofit’s events to fuel fundraising [Register for free webinar]. Want to see examples of unique fundraising events that have broken the mold and become donor favorites? Crave tips for virtual and hybrid events? Need pointers for post-event follow-up to move attendees to donors? It’s all being covered in this webinar by Chad Barger from 4aGoodCause.
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: Asking Styles…Because Who You Are Matters! [Register for free webinar, 10-19-2022] One-to-one cultivation and solicitation of gifts is more about relationships than technique –more art than science. This means understanding how you operate – understanding your strengths and challenges – is key to building those relationships. Enter “Asking Styles” from Brian Saber, Asking Matters. Once you know your Style, you will be a more comfortable and effective fundraiser.
Strategy, Management and Planning
Click-it: Fearless Fundraising Forum [Register for free, 10-20 & 21, 2022]. Can’t afford to pay for conferences? You’re in luck! This free event is LIVE over two days – with direct access to experts like Maryanne Dersch, Tamara Mon Louis, Hugh Ballou and many more, to get your questions answered in real-time. Topics include: Engagement; Messaging; Fundraising; Digital First; Governance; Finance; Grants; Alliances and Leadership. Organized by Amy Fazio, The Nonprofit CoLAB.
Click-it: The 3 Asks You MUST Make Before December 31st [Register for free webinar, 10-19-2022]. Sandy Rees, Get Fully Funded, tells you what to say in an email appeal, when to send it, how to optimize Giving Tuesday, the right combo of email and social media posts to maximize giving the last week of the year, and more!
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, WHITE PAPERS & OTHER RESOURCES
Click-it: New Donor Welcome Series Timeline [Download free eGuide]. Improve donor retention with this email timeline + real examples proven to help you cultivate, engage and activate your donors. Courtesy of the smart folks at NextAfter.
Click-it: Your Nonprofit Organization’s Ultimate Guide to a Successful Raffle [Download free eBook]. In this useful resource from Eventgroove experts, learn the difference between in-person and online raffles, how long you should conduct ticket sales, and whether there are other options that might enable you to reach the same goals (online raffles aren’t legal in all U.S. states).
Click-it: The Complete 2022 Giving Tuesday Toolkit For Nonprofits [Download free resource]. How generous of the folks at Qgiv to have put together this hitting-on-all-cylinders guide to GT, including: 15+ Giving Tuesday Campaign Ideas (and Expert Tips); How to Create a Giving Tuesday Video; How to Build a Text Giving Campaign; How to Leverage Social Media, and much more. You get checklists and templates too!
Did You Miss My Newest Articles?
- How Jargon Destroys Nonprofit Fundraising & Marketing
- How to Use Influencer Marketing to Drive Nonprofit Awareness and Engagement
- Proven Strategies to Climb the Year-End Fundraising Mountain
- The True Meaning of Giving Tuesday
- Scope: The Key to Donor Generosity?
- 8-Step Annual Fundraising Appeal Self-Test – Part 2
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 one: What’s Better: Asking For Too Little Or Too Much?
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. OCTOBER tips are now live! If you’re not yet an enrolled student, you can get in on the fun here!
I’m subscribed to a million fundraising blogs and the one I consistently open and read most of, is yours. The content is always carefully curated and helpful, not just sales pitch after sales pitch for your own stuff. You stand out, in a good way.
— Juliane McLean, Bridgercare
Thank you for your brilliant blog. I have been a follower for many years and learnt so much from you. Ultimately, it translates into many more families getting the support they deserve. You help me raise more money for my UK charity. Please never stop bringing the best out of me! You’re special.
— Anna Henry, eric.org
You are a forever flowing fountain of enormous information and a wealth of ideas. Thanks for being there for all of us small non-profits
— Sharon Coleman, St. Francis House
My motto is: “If I know it, I want you to know it.” Don’t miss out.
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