It’s been pretty cold in my neck of the woods, so let’s warm up with a cup of cocoa, coffee or tea and some good reads. I’ve got a lot of great stuff for you this week, so let’s get right to it!
The Clairity Click-it exists to bring you a range of voices from across the nonprofit world so you can resource, learn and digest at your own pace, coming to your own decisions. My hope is some of the free resources I’ve collected and curated for you will energize and enthuse you as you work towards guiding others on the pathway to passionate philanthropy. As always, a big thank you to my Clairity Click-it sponsor, Bloomerang, for making it possible for me to spend the hours of time hunting, gathering and choosing the resources I believe will be most useful as you.
And here’s an inspiring photo from my recent walks around San Francisco. It’s a bit of Spring to counteract the frigid temps.
Thank you for doing your vital work, and making 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: Do People Actually Protect Themselves From Mail? Kevin Shulman at the Agitator-DonorVoice makes an argument for moving towards checkless giving, even via direct mail. Why? He offers convincing evidence people’s habits are changing. If you force them into a pattern that’s no longer part of their routine, you may just lose them entirely. Food for thought.
Click-it: Asking for Personal Donations Is Easy. Joan Garry shares this checklist you can review with your board. It may help them overcome their fundraising anxiety. There’s also a link to some out-of-the-box fundraising ideas. Use this as a springboard to get creative and have some fun!
Digital and Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: 3 Key Facebook Fundraising Strategy Mistakes to Avoid in 2023. Adam O’Brien on NonProfitPRO suggests three mistakes to avoid when evaluating whether FB fundraising is a viable strategy for your nonprofit. A graph showing where Facebook giving tools have been, where they are with wider adoption, and where things are heading is included. As is a discussion about “owned” vs. “rented” lists.
Click-it: Are You Making Up Stories About How Your Donor Doesn’t Want to Hear from You? Donors, who love you, don’t consider communication a “bother.” Stop taking the lazy way out of not doing the critical work of relationship building that will ensure donors stick with you. Learn you donors’ communication preferences, and communicate more personally whenever you can. So say the experts at the Veritus Group.
Major, Capital and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: Top 5 Capital Campaign Mistakes, Plus Lessons Learned. If you’re contemplating a campaign, or perhaps a feasibility study, definitely check out this terrific advice from Amy Eisenstein at the Capital Campaign Toolkit.
Click-it: How to Promote Matching Gifts with the Google Ad Grant. A lot of matching gift money goes unclaimed. Here Adam Wenger, Double the Donation, thoroughly explains how to drive more matching gift revenue using this under-utilized strategy.
Psychology of Giving
Click-it: People Want To Belong To Your Nonprofit’s Community. One of the things you are responsible for as a development professional is building and nurturing community. Alas, it’s not something all fundraisers consider strategically. This is a huge mistake, because it’s at the heart of why donors stick with you, give more over time, and leave legacy gifts. Here’s my take, published on the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: 5 Proven Ways to Tell Stories with Data. By now, I hope you know storytelling beats data sharing. But, sometimes, you need to share some facts (e.g., annual report; major donor proposal). When you do, it’s useful to invoke “data storytelling.” The folks at Convince and Convert explain how it’s done.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: What’s Your Idea Ratio and Who’s Your Billy Blaze?. This is another brilliant way to use AI, and a wonderful way to rethink your brainstorming process. From Kevin Shulman, the Agitator-DonorVoice.
Click-it: 3 Interesting Takeaways from GivingTuesday 2022 (and What They Mean for You), Read this thorough piece from Tim Sarrantonio for the NeonOne blog to learn everything you’ve never even thought to ask about the who, why, when, where and how of giving. He shares lots of data, and offers useful take-aways.
Click-it: 5 Cybersecurity Best Practices for Your Nonprofit. Did you know 27% of nonprofits worldwide have experienced a cyberattack? Heather Mansfield, Nonprofit Tech for Good, explains why you can no longer afford a low-cost web host – and that’s just one of five solid tips to make your website work for you and your constituents in 2023.
Click-it: I Paid a Professional to Edit a ChatGPT-Written Article — Hilarity Ensued. ChatGPT is not a reliable writer or researcher, but there are ways to use it effectively. These are the conclusions of pro writer, Zulie Rane, expounding on Medium on the results of her own experiments with this new AI tool. From what she suggests, I conclude you can use it confidently for titles, email subject lines, first drafts to help you organize your thoughts, and endless hilarity – which we could all use a little more of.
Click-it: Fundraiser: Disobey Your English Teachers to Improve Your Writing. Gosh, by now I hope you know this. But just in case your boss or board president keep pushing you to write different types of appeals, here’s a great article to share with them from Jeff Brooks on the Moceanic blog.
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: Supporter Engagement: Connect Your Donors to Your Nonprofit After the Donation [Register for free webinar, 3-1-2023]. Want to significantly improve your rate of donor retention? Join this expert panel, hosted by NXUnite, as they discuss what works and what doesn’t work to keep donors engaged.
Click-it: Fundraising Event Planning: Step-by-Step Guide to Running Successful Events [Listen to on-demand webinar]. The team at Qgiv have put together this handy resource that will give you a step-by-step guide to launching and managing a successful event. It’s super practical, and filled with actionable tips!
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: The most important research in modern fundraising [Register for free webinar, 2-28-2023]. What if you knew organizations that successfully steward non-cash gifts from donors grow six times faster than those that don’t? Also, did you know American families don’t hold significant wealth in cash — instead, they hold 97-99% of their wealth in non-cash assets (e.g., stocks, retirement accounts, and home equity)? Join Patrick Schmitt, CEO of Freewill, and Dr. Russell James, Professor of Charitable Financial Planning at Texas Tech University, as they discuss this crucial fundraising opportunity.
Marketing Channels and Trends
Click-it: How to Do Multi-Touch, Multi-Channel Nonprofit Marketing [Register for free webinar, 3-8-2023]. In today’s busy, noisy world, your nonprofit needs to reach people multiple times with the same message to get through. Even more to get people to take action. James Martin of Rally Corp for this exploration of how to do multi-touch, multi-channel nonprofit marketing.
Click-it: Marketing Trends Nonprofits Need to Know (and Embrace) [Register for free webinar, 3-3-2023]. This is the stuff you need to know, and there’s no better place to get it than from Kiersten Hill at Firespring. I’ve never attended one of their webinars without grabbing a boatload of actionable take-aways. This time it’s: storytelling; using influencers; creating digital experiences; automation; SEO, and even how to use AI to engage.
Click-it: Nonprofit Marketing [Listen to on-demand podcast]. Mark Schaefer is one of my go-to gurus, but until now he’s never focused an episode of his Marketing Companion podcast on nonprofits – in 10 years! Here he teams up with Keith Jennings, V.P of Community Impact for Jackson Healthcare, to offer some practical, actionable tips targeted to create success in today’s rapidly changing environment. Topics include: Psychology of motivation; Role of community; CTAs; Trends and more. Size, demographics and budget are also addressed.
Click-it: The Nonprofit Mobile Donation Experience Study [Listen to free, on-demand webinar]. I love all the research freely shared by NextAfter, and this study is no exception. Wonder if you have an “abandon cart” problem? Wonder if it’s even possible to increase mobile donations? Should you use Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc.? How much copy should be on your mobile donation page. You’ve got questions; they’ve got answers!
Strategy, Management and Planning
Click-it: ROI Fundraising: Save Time, Improve Performance, and Raise More Money! [Register for free webinar, 3-2-2023]. Join Bloomerang and Tom Islin, winner of the Social Entrepreneur of the Year award, and come away with a set of tactics to increase your fundraising ROI by 50% in six months.
Click-it: Using Technology to Help Nonprofits and Donors [Listen to 15-minute crash course], Jay Love joins Josh Kligman of Yearly to talk about how tech can help donor engagement, annual reports and more. They conclude the for-profit world is 10 years ahead of nonprofit when it comes to technology use. They’re on a mission to change all that – but they need you to get on board.
Click-it: Fundraising Climate Change and What You Can Do about It [Register for free webinar, 3-2-2023]. Have you experienced fewer low dollar donors? Sagging retention? Growing competition for major donors? Greg Warner of Market Smart will first focus on data and research, followed by practical insights you’ll want to share with your colleagues so, together, you ride the waves of success as other nonprofits struggle.
Click-it: How to Use Your Nonprofit’s Website to Inspire Community Action [Register for free webinar, 3-6-2023]. The folks at NeonOne will share their expertise on website setup and donation page optimization to help you convert more donors. Read this article; it will make you want to sign up! [Plus I love seeing the old Tootsie Pop commercial.]
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, WHITE PAPERS & OTHER RESOURCES
Click-it: The Outlook for Fundraisers & Events in 2023 [Download free report]. The folks at Eventgroove surveyed event clients and other and found nearly 90% of all respondents said that printed products (used during or prior) are essential to a successful event or fundraiser. This surprised me, and there’s more where that came from. Learn what your peers are doing in the current environment.
Click-it: 2023 Nonprofit Communications Trends Report [Download for free]. You won’t want to miss this annual report from the expert team led by Kivi Leroux Miller and Kristina Leroux of the Nonprofit Marketing Guide, sponsored by Bloomerang. It includes five themes for the year: (1) finding your voice in the larger community; (2) reevaluating social media use; (2) reinvesting in email and addressing technology integration; (4) work norms and internal collaboration, and (5) planning for communication team growth and retention. Great stuff!
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Want to be accessible? Don’t leave virtual meetings behind. [Download free Checklist]. Big Duck offers this resource to help you ensure more voices are heard and meaningfully incorporated into your collaborative processes. They encourage you to always anticipate the voices that may be disadvantaged. Provide a hybrid participation option to ensure virtually accessible meetings continue to help close the gaps.
Did You Miss My Newest Articles?
Here are links to the most recent articles on the Clairification blog. You can see I really don’t want you to squander the good feelings you’re triggering during this season of giving! The goal is not simply to squeeze money out of people. It’s to give donors a squeeze and a hug for being caring and generous. This will make them feel good, which will move them to continue sticking with you.
- Top Strategies for Making Friends with Nonprofit Donors
- Before Sending a Fundraising Appeal Do This, Not That
- What Fishing Can Teach Us About Fundraising
- Easiest 7 Strategies to Get Inside Your Donor’s Head and Heart
- Top Secret Strategy to Communicate with Nonprofit Donors
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 Should A Donor Do When They Don’t Feel Adequately Engaged?
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. FEBRUARY tips are live! If you’re not yet an enrolled student, you can get in on the fun here! There are even downloadable BONUSES this month!
I really do wish every small nonprofit would read what you write. Best fundraising read of the week (maybe the month). Thank-you for sharing with us all.
–BT Irwin, Small Nonprofit Coach
You are having a ripple effect in the many nonprofits you inspire through folks like me – and I hope you experience the joy in that every day. Thank you for sending out such great resources. I look forward to your regular emails and the helpful content you deliver.
– Jennifer M. Standen, Development Manager, Bethany Christian 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
My motto is: “If I know it, I want you to know it.” Don’t miss out.
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Photo taken in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.