This week’s borrowed wisdom:
It’s interesting to realize that mirrors weren’t perfected until a few hundred years ago. Human beings spend a lot of time considering our own appearance and our own feelings and most of all, our own needs.
The market produces a shift. When it’s a fair and open exchange, the customer gains in power. As a result, the selfish merchant or producer loses market share until they figure out how to build empathy into their work.
It’s not for you, it’s for them.
And if you do a good job of making it for them, then you get your needs taken care of.
Big companies and monopolies and other institutions seek lock-in so they can go back to looking in the mirror instead of paying attention to what their customers and prospects need and want.
— Seth Godin
What a great philosophy to apply to nonprofit fundraising: Look out the window, not in the mirror. Lead from empathy, love and gratitude. The work you do isn’t for you, it’s for them – the clients, volunteers, donors and community who rely on you to help them make positive change happen.
My wish is this issue of the Clairity Click-it helps you find one or more resources to help you look out the window to create a better world. Set aside a little time to explore, and see what you find. I’ve sorted everything by category, and included a range of materials for a range of adult learning styles.
As always, a big thank you to my 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 to you. I’ve got a lot of great stuff for you this week, so let’s get right to it!
Thank you for doing your vital work, and making our world a better place,
P.S. Please consider getting access to all my blog articles, monthly tips, webinars, podcasts, bonuses and other content via enrollment in ‘Clairification School.’ I am deeply appreciative for your support!
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: Insights from Mailing Analysis Will Improve Your Fundraising Results. This is an amazingly thorough primer on calculating your costs of fundraising for direct mail. It includes information on A/B testing and ask string analysis. Truly useful stuff from Gary Henricksen of Five Maples.
Click-it: The Need Never Ends. Steven Screen, the Better Fundraising Blog, says these are 4 words to never use in fundraising. If you’re always talking about how big the need is, you’re going to depress response. Check out the article.
Click-it: 4 ways to pick more effective photos for fundraising. Jeff Brooks, Future Fundraising Now, provides some tips from experience.
Click-it: Engage Your Donors With a Great Newsletter. Ann Green shares tips galore to help make sure your newsletter achieves your goals. She shares a great formula from the Domain Group, and tells you what to include and exclude.
Click-it: 5 Considerations for Creating Nonprofit Video Content. Studies show that 57% of people who watch nonprofit videos go on to make a donation. This is huge! Learn from the folks at keela the different types of videos, which work best for fundraising, and how to do an effective job expanding your reach and driving conversions.
Click-it: 19 Best Podcast Tips for Launching and Growing Your Show. Might a podcast be a good way to establish your authority, reach a broader audience, and begin to convert listeners to volunteers and donors? If so, read this from Neal Schaffer.
Click-it: How to Plan a Sustainable Event. The folks at Eventgroove lay out the ways sustainability is more than using eco-friendly products. Plus, they make it clear why it’s important to consider sustainability the next time you’re in event planning mode. Plus, of course, there are actionable tips.
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: The Ultimate Source for Fundraising Questions: From Permission to Confirmation. When you ask donors generative questions, you’re more likely to get them to the point of readiness to say “yes” to a solicitation. Greg Warner, Market Smart, goes through six types of questions, in the order you should ask them. You’ll walk away with a complete blueprint for how to structure your next meeting with a potential major donor.
Click-it: 4 Steps to Build a Planned Giving Legacy Society. This is a conceptually simple, and spot on, plan from Amanda Cole, NonProfitPRO, for developing a legacy giving program. Any organization, of any size, can and should do this.
Mobile Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Mobile Marketing Strategy for Nonprofits: It’s More Than Text Messaging. The experts at Rally Corp want you to benefit from a fully fleshed out mobile strategy, not just a random text here and there. Find out what else you can do, including ringless voicemail and event reminders, in this article.
Psychology of Giving
Click-it: Have You Tried Being a Donor? Karen Kendrick of the Veritus Group asks you to give it a whirl, and see how you feel. Or to imagine your reaction to any of a slew of all-too-common unfortunate scenarios she provides. Take a moment to ask yourself if you’re doing any of these things. If so, what can you do to ameliorate the situation?
Click-it: Be Social, Not Logical. Among other things, Bernard Ross, =mc consulting, thoroughly explains, with examples, the power of social proof as a persuasive strategy. You’ll get seven take-aways.
Click-it: Worried about “donor as hero” fundraising? Here’s another way to think about it. June Steward, fundraising writer, opines on the Moceanic blog about facing one of today’s tricky challenges: We know “donor as hero” fundraising raises money. But this may reinforce white saviorism and strip power and agency from the very people we hope to help. June suggests a way forward, and more testing.
Click-it: 6 Essential Tools and Technology for EVERY Nonprofit Fundraiser. While it may sometimes seem harder to change than stick with the status quo (“not broke, so why fix?”), the opposite is often the case. Because by not changing, you’re making your job more difficult than it need be. And given limited resources, this is almost a crime. Sure, there’s a learning curve. But once you’ve learned – smooth sailing ahead! Amy Eisenstein selects six tools for you to consider – right now – to get out of your choppy waters.
ONLINE CONFERENCE OR COURSE
Click-it: Responsive Nonprofit Summit [register for free — May 9 to 11]. Presented by Virtuous in partnership with We are for Good, this virtual conference brings together 75 fundraising experts over three days. Responsive nonprofits listen to every donor, connect personally, time the right ask, and learn new ways to inspire and engage their communities. If this sounds like something you should be doing more of – it better! – sign up now. Here’s the agenda.
Click-it: Fundraiser’s Focus Week [Register for free series, 5-15 to 18, 2023]. Join Bloomerang for four days of sessions with different presenters. It’s a week of virtual learning with some of the best professionals in the nonprofit sector. In these sessions you will learn best practices and practical tips that you can take back to your team.
WEBINARS, PODCASTS, ROUNDTABLES & 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: How to Use Data and Segmentation to Retain More Donors [Register for free webinar, 5-11-2023]. Data management and segmentation should go hand-in-hand in your donor retention strategy, because segmentation allows you to create personalized outreach for all of your supporters without having to craft each message individually. Join One Cause and invited panelists from Bloomerang to get some real life examples to help you optimize your use of data.
Click-it: The Nonprofit Mobile Donation Experience Study [Listen to archived webinar; sign up for more free insights]. This session reveals the experience NextAfter had when they made 135 mobile donations. The results might surprise you. While you’re on the page, sign up to receive notification of upcoming webinars, each packed with data-driven insights, tactics, and strategies from their library of 4600+ online fundraising experiments. This is gold!
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: https://firespring.com/webinars/five-secrets-of-email-marketing-geniuses/. This is one of my favorite webinars ever, because it’s so filled with practical tips. Join Jay Wilkinson of Firespring for: 5 types of nonprofit emails; 6 email marketing mistakes to avoid; 5 secrets of email marketing geniuses, and the anatomy of an email marketing campaign.
Click-it: From Clicks to Donations: How Tactical Digital Marketing Can Boost Your Fundraising Efforts [Register for free webinar, 5-18-2023], Qgiv and BDI agency are partnering to bring you this session with how to build a digital marketing strategy for fundraising; how to use organic and paid media for fundraising; tips for optimizing email campaigns for donations, and how to measure success and improve your ROI.
Click-it: How to Drive Donations and Get Engagement Using Social Media [Register for free webinar, 6-10-23]. 29% of online donors say social media is the communication tool that most inspires them to give. In this session with Julia C. Campbell, hosted by Keelabs, you’ll learn ways to build deeper relationships with social media followers and convert them into long-term supporters.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Building Resilient Organizations: A Conversation with Maurice Mitchell [Register for free webinar, 5-18-2023]. Join the Institute for Nonprofit Practice and the Center for Effective Philanthropy for this timely discussion, with a nationally-recognized social movement strategist and visionary leader in the Movement for Black Lives, about how some of the practices and behaviors we engage in across social movement spaces that might actually be hindering our progress and reinforcing inequities.
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, WHITE PAPERS & OTHER RESOURCES
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: Guide to Phone and Email Lookups [Download free resource]. You’ve probably heard it’s most effective to message supporters using multiple mediums. Especially the medium they most prefer! But how do you do that if all you have is their snail mail address. The folks at Veritus Group offer some excellent tools in this free guide.
Click-it: How to Create a Nonprofit Annual Report in 5 Steps [Ultimate 2023 Guide]. The folks at Yearly are specialists in this area. Inside this guide you’ll find 5 steps to creating an award-winning report.
Click-it: An Onboarding Checklist for New Board Members [Download free resource]. This is such a refreshing perspective from Joan Garry, and one you should take to heart: “A new board member wants to know what success looks like. They want to be a great board member. They want folks to be sad when their term expires. When a board member leaves the board and gets handed a cheezie pen, they want to be able to speak with authenticity and pride about the contributions they made.”
Did You Miss My Newest Articles?
Here are links to the most recent articles on the Clairification blog. Remember, your 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.
- Nonprofit Major Donor Fundraising A B C’s
- Could Gifts of Stock Be Your Nonprofit’s Magic Genie?
- What The Latest Fundraising Effectiveness Project News Means for You
- How Do You Keep Former Nonprofit Board Members Engaged?
- 4 Types of ‘PERSONAL’ Your Nonprofit Must Adopt Today
- 6 Top Reasons To Use Handwriting
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: Strategies to Leverage Donor Advised Funds.
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 live! If you’re not yet an enrolled student, and don’t have access to ALL my blog articles, monthly tips, webinars, podcasts and much more, you can get in on the fun here!
And now, just for fun, my “discovered” doorway of the week.
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