Whether you’re celebrating Independence Day, Canada Day, your favorite team’s win, or perhaps a birthday with some sparklers on your cake, my wish for you this month is some brilliant light to illuminate your universe!
With this double issue of the Clairity Click-it, I hope to set off some fireworks in your brain. Pow! Find something that makes a lightbulb go off, and use it to guide your way in the coming month.
As always, I’ve sorted everything by category, and included a broad spectrum of materials for a range of adult learning styles. A big thank you to my 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 to you. I’ve got a lot of great stuff for you this month, so let’s get right to it!
Thank you for doing your vital work, and making our world a better place,
P.S. Please scroll down to see all my Clairification School sponsors who enable me to offer enrollment in ‘Clairification School at an affordable price. For a modest $100/year you get all my new blog articles, monthly tips (July’s are now live!), bonus tips, templates and worksheets, course and product discounts, and access to archived posts, webinars, and podcasts. I am deeply appreciative for your support! [If the enrollment fee is a hardship, please email me and we’ll work it out.]
P.P.S. You’ve got a full month to digest this double issue, as I’m finally taking my first real vacation since the pandemic. So, if you’re busy or traveling right now, tuck this away for a time when you can do a bit of summer reading. I’ll be back in your in-box before you can miss me!
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
SPECIAL FEATURE: Events
This may be a good time to think about events you may want to consider in the year ahead.
Click-it: Successful A-Thon Fundraising: Boost Participant Engagement. The trick to having a successful a-thon event isn’t just having lots of participants. It’s keeping all those wonderful people engaged and excited. Learn how from the experts at Eventgroove.
Click-it: How Texting Can Boost Your Next Fundraising Event. Learn how to create a mobile marketing strategy for your event – before, during and after – from the text experts at Rally Corp.
Click-it: Designing an Event Landing Page: 5 Strategies for Nonprofits. A well-constructed landing page can increase hype, explain how your event ties into your mission, and boost attendance. Get both content and design tips in this article from Auctria.
Click-it: The Best (and WORST) Fundraising Events for Your Nonprofit. Patrick Kirby, DoGoodBetter, wants to help you choose the right event that will justify all the time you put into it and make you the most money. Intrigued? He picks his top 3 events, and one he suggests you avoid. I’ve done them all, and am pretty much in agreement.
Click-it: The Big Book of Hybrid and Virtual Event Ideas [Download free e-Guide]. Get tips for how to host successful hybrid and virtual fundraisers, plus see examples of amazing hybrid and virtual events from Qgiv clients.
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: Your small fundraising team can do big things. If you don’t have a lot of resources, don’t despair. There’s a lot you can do, maybe even better than the big behemoths! Read this from Mary Cahalane at Hands-On Fundraising.
Click-it: Content Personalization: What It Is and 9 Ways to Use It for Your Marketing. This is what you need to be working towards. This is what retail is doing, and your customers expect no less from you. Read Neal Schaffer’s article, and make yourself a timeline. What will you strive to accomplish this year? Next year? In 3 – 5 years? Whatever you do, don’t ignore these in today’s highly competitive digital landscape. You must figure out ways to connect meaningfully with your constituents.
Click-it: Donor Impact Report: The Ultimate Guide . I love this concept for keeping donors in the loop, and in a way that meets their needs in multiple and meaningful ways. Unlike an annual report, or other nonprofit reports with descriptions of programs, financials, and more, a donor impact report is given to donors much more frequently and tends to be highly personalized. View some templates and learn everything to include from the experts at Yearly.
Click-it: Why Do New Donors Not Renew? If you’ve ever asked a donor to “please renew your annual support,” you must read this piece from Lisa Greer, Philanthropy 451. Why? Because it’s decidedly not donor-centric. Lisa has made it her mission to help you step inside your donors’ shoes. Once you do, you may see something that explains why new donor retention rates are so low.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: A Complete Guide to Building Effective Emails and Landing Pages. A landing page designed to collect new contacts helps you build your email list. Just as importantly, email marketing sends subscribers to pages on your website where the customer journey continues. Alas, too often the connections between marketing emails and landing pages are an afterthought. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, read this from Email on Acid by Sinch.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: 5 Ways to Make Sure Your Best Employees Never Want to Leave. Joan Garry taps into the primal fear of our best employee suddenly telling us they’re leaving. AWK! I’ve totally been there, and it doesn’t feel good. Here are some ways to prevent and prepare for the inevitable.
Click-it: Protect Your Nonprofit from the Dip in Donations. Marc Pitman, the Fundraising Coach, takes a look at recent data and trends from Giving USA and others to paint a picture of where your focus needs to be from today forward.
Click-it: Should Nonprofits Fear Charity Watchdogs? Jaime Bearse writes in NonProfitPRO about some changes coming to Charity Navigator and things you can do to achieve the best rating possible, while also strengthening your nonprofit.
Click-it: SWOT Analysis: What, Why and How to Use Them Effectively. Check out this comprehensive blueprint from co creately. It comes complete with useful, free templates for use either online or offline.
Click-it: Add AI “magic” to your images — a demo of new generative AI tools [Watch quick demonstration video]. Julie Cooper demos how three new AI tools can help you create the most powerful images for your marketing and fundraising materials. The AI tools shown are: Canva’s Text to Image app, Stability.AI’s ClipDrop “uncropping” tool, and Photoshop’s generative fill (beta version).
Click-it: A Guide for Attracting, Rewarding and Retaining Volunteers. This article from Imprint is all about how to attract, onboard, recognize and reward your valuable volunteers so they’ll want to stick with you. It includes tips for creating compelling opportunities.
Click-it: Website Design: 7 Tips to Increase Site Visit Length. You’ll find some benchmarks in this Getting Attention article. If you’re falling below them, there are tips here to improve visitor engagement with your website.
Click-it: Are Your Typography Choices Random? This Agitator-DonorVoice article asks you to thoughtfully consider your choice of typeface, font, spacing, leading, boldface, underline and more. It matters more than you think, and is an excellent thing to test.
Click-it: Is Your Brain Keeping You from Implementing Change? Try These 5 Habits! Here are some great tips from Mallory Erickson, and a brief refresher on high school biology, on the Donor Perfect blog. Understanding how the brain works can be super helpful in fundraising and marketing generally. But this article is all about you. My favorite is #5.
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!
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: Engagement Workshop: Transforming Supporters into Superheroes [Register for 3 free sessions 7-6-23]. Join CauseVox for three separate sessions with experts Kenny Sigler, Geng Wang and Julie Edwards, all designed to build a strong supporter team. You’ll cover building a constructive partnership with your development committee, turning volunteers into donors, and renewing first-time donors.
Click-it: Cut Costs and Get Creative with Nonprofit Appeals [Register for free webinar, 7-18-2023]. Discover:10 secrets to cutting costs with printing and mailing; 5 surefire ways to invigorate your direct mail, and 4 strategies to maximize your impact. All from excellent presenter Kiersten Hill at Firespring.
Click-it: Board Transformation from Resistance to Inclusion [Download free podcast]. Dr. Renee Rubin Ross and Crystal M. Cherry join Mallory Erickson on her What the Fundraising podcast
Click-it: How To Use Data & Segmentation To Raise More Money [Register for free webinar, 7-25-2023]. Join Charity How-To and learn the basics of clean data and data segmentation in the context of nonprofit fundraising. You’ll gain valuable insights into leveraging data to raise more money and build stronger relationships with supporters.
Click-it: Introduction to finding grants [Register for free webinar, 7-11-2023]. Learn the 10 most important things you need to know about finding grants for your organization from the experts at Candid.
Click-it: Lights, camera, action! How to effectively tell your nonprofit’s story [Register for free webinar, 7-12-2023]. Give Butter is sponsoring this session featuring Jason and Matt of Beard & Bowler Productions, who will share their expertise in using visual storytelling to drive fundraising and awareness for nonprofits, using real-life examples.
Click-it: The Missing Ingredient in Powerful Storytelling [Listen to Episode 59]. This is gold! Not only does Chris Davenport of the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference talk to you, there are also links to 3 instantly downloadable templates you can use to amp up the emotional appeal of your stories. Get on the list for “Tactical Thursdays” to be informed regularly when new episodes are available. And… dig into the archives!
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, PAPERS, TEMPLATES & OTHER RESOURCES
Annual (Year-Round) Giving
Click-it: The Ultimate Guide to Attracting Monthly Donors Online. There is so much practical advice in this resource from 4aGoodCause I absolutely had to share it with you! It’s worth reading just for the section about maximizing your donation landing page to increase conversions – and that holds true for all gifts, not just monthly ones.
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: Digital Touch Points: Meaningful Ways to Connect with Donors [Download free paper]. In this paper, the Veritus Group experts walk you through how to easily and simply begin to use digital tools and touch points to meaningfully connect with donors. You’ll learn some important tips and strategies for effectively using digital touch points in your donor communication plans and get specific touch points ideas inspired by fundraisers in the field.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: The Ultimate Online Fundraising: Guide + 10 Top Ideas. This comprehensive guide from Bloomerang covers it all! Not just tips and tools, but also key metrics to track so you’ll know if you’re successful. I dare you not to find at least one new and useful idea here!
Click-it: The Ultimate A/B Testing Guide for Online Giving [Download free workbook]. The folks at NextAfter are the gurus of A/B testing; this 8-step workbook demystifies the process and is filled to the brim with actionable tips. It will help you know what to test; set up an A/B test; discover testing tools, and run and document your tests.
Click-it: How to Raise More Money Online [Download free e-book]. I found this guide written by fundraising veteran Joe Garecht via majorgifts.com, but the focus is on gifts of all sizes. It covers building your email list, optimizing your website for fundraising success, turning social media followers into evangelists and donors, and integrating online with offline strategies. A real primer!
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.
- Are You Working on Somebody Else’s Problem?
- Top Secret to Completing Projects: Balance ‘Done Enough’ with ‘Overdone’
- 4 Strategies to Use LinkedIn to Give Nonprofit Donors a Reason to Connect
- Surprisingly Simple Strategy to Magically Transform How You Work
- 7 Top Insights Nonprofits Can Borrow from Management Guru Peter Drucker
- Why are Good Nonprofit Fundraisers Hard to Keep? RESPECT
- Why are Good Nonprofit Fundraisers Hard to Keep? MONEY
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: How Can Small Nonprofits Attract Business Sponsors?
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. JULY 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 grab your EXTENDED time-limited special ANNIVERSARY BONUS!
And now, since you all seemed to enjoy the photo I shared last issue, another one of the “Bouquets to Art” displays at the De Young Museum, San Francisco, California, June 2023. This one just made me chuckle!
Please support my extraordinary sponsors (see below). The Clairity Click-it content is free, and Clairification School is affordable, because of their generosity.