Wherever you are, here’s hoping you’re managing to keep cool!
And I don’t mean just physically. As we begin to ramp up for the busiest part of the fundraising year, try to let cooler heads prevail. Hopefully, some of the wisdom you find in this newsletter will help you with great ideas to lessen your stress.
First, this week’s bit of wisdom…
The hard part isn’t good ideas. It never has been.
The hard part is choosing.
Ask GPT for ten subtitles for your book, or sixteen ways to hold a surprise party, and you’ll be delighted at how useful they are. Ask Dreamstudio or Kittl for some logo designs, same thing.
There is creativity in discernment.
AI and templates have made it easier than ever to find pretty good ideas.
It doesn’t matter so much.
The hard parts have always been the guts to choose and the will to put in the effort to bring your choice to the people who need it.
“I don’t have any good ideas,” is a cop out.
— Seth Godin
You’ll find good ideas galore in this issue. As always, 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 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 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.]
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
SPECIAL FEATURE: Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: The How & Why Of Adding Emotion Into Your Fundraising Appeals. “I really appreciate the examples you provided. For those of us that that don’t necessarily specialize in copywriting this is great info!” This is what one reader had to say about this article I authored for the Bloomerang blog. If you want donors to feel something that demands their immediate, emotional response, this is what you should be doing.
Click-it: How to Find Direct Mail Savings After Postal Rate Hike. This article from Summer Gould in NonProfitPRO has all the new rates that went into effect July 9th, plus four promotional discounts for 2023. I certainly learned a few things!
NOTE: I’ve been exhorting nonprofits to start or ramp up their monthly giving programs for the past decade, and it’s happening too slowly. The problem, I believe, is in not seeing it as a fundamental, core year-round fundraising strategy. Too often, it’s seen as an add-on (i.e., “nice to have” but not essential). Seriously, this is a mistake. I guarantee you’re losing money as a result. This strategy is too important to ignore. And if you need some help getting started, we can accomplish a lot in a quick Hour of Power.
Click-it: Recurring Gifts are NOT the “Poor Stepchild”. This article from Lisa Greer, Philanthropy 451, offers up a boatload of research to help you persuade your leadership you must, must, must ramp up your monthly giving program. So, if you haven’t done so because you’re light on resources, read this; then resolve to get the resources!
Click-it: Scaling Success: Lessons for Small Nonprofits from the Top 20 Large Monthly Giving Programs. The folks at 4aGoodCause have done us all the tremendous favor of putting together examples of terrific monthly giving programs, offering a wealth of inspiration. Each example spotlights one idea or tactic your nonprofit can use to help you enroll more monthly givers.
Click-it: Peer-to-Peer Fundraising 101: The Ultimate Guide. Want to expand your reach and leverage donations from current supporters? Learn all the basics of P2P fundraising in this post, with specific examples, from the folks at Yearly.
Click-it: Why Your Board Should Discuss Philanthropy for 15 Minutes at Each Meeting. In this article I wrote for NonProfitPRO I discuss 4 ways to put philanthropy on your board meeting agendas plus 2 ways to focus board members on fundraising from home. If you’re having trouble getting board members to warm up to their fundraising responsibilities, give some of these a try!
Click-it: Life after Google Optimize: which A/B testing platforms nonprofits should consider. No one understands nonprofit A/B testing better than the experts at NextAfter. Learn the why, what, when, where and who in this article from Nathan Hill. Google Optimize will sunset this September, so you’ll need some alternatives. And if you haven’t yet developed a testing culture, it’s never too late!
Click-it: Donors are from Mars, Nonprofits are from Venus: Here’s What You Can Do about it!. Are you paying attention to what it’s like to donate to your nonprofit? If not, check out this well-written and on-point post by Alena Plavsic on the Moceanic blog.
Click-it: Top 10 Ways To Keep Nonprofit Donors. Want to move away from transactional one-time gifts, and towards longer-term, transformational giving? On the Bloomerang blog I reveal the single most important thing you need to know to keep nonprofit donors. I then suggest 10 ways to do this!
Click-it: Summer Strategy: 4 Proactive Steps to Elevate Your Fall Fundraising. Now is a great time to plan ahead for your best autumn fundraising season ever. Grab some tips from the experts at Eventgroove.
Click-it: 4 Profitable School Fundraisers Any Campus Can Host. If you’re a school, it’s time to get ready for the upcoming school year. In this article from Auctria you’ll learn about fundraising auctions, product fundraisers, a-thon events, and competitions like trivia nights.
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: A Two-Step Strategy Proven to Increase Donor Engagement. Sometimes the simplest things yield the biggest bang for your buck. Especially if you systematize them. Here are two basic rules from Jeff Schreifels of the Veritus Group that have resulted in noticeably boosted donor engagement for the clients with whom they work.
Click-it: 31 Quality Questions to Ask Planned Giving and Major Gifts Donors and Prospects. Use these questions from the Center for Major Gifts both to build a relationship, and also to develop stories you can use as “social proof” of the worth of your organization.
Mobile Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: What is So(Social) Lo(Local) Mo(Mobile) and Why is It Important to Marketers? Joe Ruiz on the Neal Schaffer blog explains the importance and relevance of this approach, offering some modern tactical tweaks for you to explore. You’ll want to focus particularly on the nexus of SoLoMo. Let your mind run free in applying these principles to your nonprofit marketing. This approach is decidedly not just for retail.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: What to Do When Your Nonprofit Budget Gets Blindsided. If you’ve ever experienced a time where all leaders want to do is cut, cut, cut, please read this from Blackbaud’s The Engage blog. Because if you cut back too much, just like an over-pruned plant, you may die. You’ll also find a link to a free, downloadable Cost Containment Guide.
Click-it: GPT? Yes. Chat-GPT? No. It’s so nice to get some guidance from experts who know what they’re talking about. If this AI stuff is keeping you up at night, read this article from the Agitator-DonorVoice.
Click-it: Using AI to Write a Fundraising Appeal. Don’t miss this video from Tactical Thursdays, the weekly e-learning series from the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference. Steven Screen of Better Fundraising Co. fires up ChatGPT and writes a fundraising letter. Along the way, you’ll learn why broad concepts (e.g., accessibility; opportunity) don’t work as well as specifics (who, what, when, where and why), and overall outcome, in fundraising. So fun to see this tool in action!
Click-it: 23 Recommended Tools for AI Content Creation. Want to learn about various content creation tools, and how you can use them for marketing? Look no further than this comprehensive analysis from Neal Schaffer.
Click-it: Technologies Every Nonprofit Should Try (Even if They Seem Scary). Check out this article from Mark Becker on NonProfitPRO for some ideas you may not have thought of.
Click-it: 10 Smart Ways to Keep People on Your Website. I often send you to Firespring webinars because they’re so filled with useful tips, but today I’m sharing a blog post for those who prefer visual to auditory learning. Share this with whoever has responsibility for your website – because this stuff really matters for fundraising!
Click-it: 22 Email Ledes That Always Work!!. Grab this list – it’s gold! – from Will ValVerde at M+R Campaigns. Make a great first impression, and folks will want to read the rest. Plus, there are other great tips, like #9, to save you time and effort.
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: Grow Your Guest List: Promoting Your Next Fundraising Event [Register for free webinar, 8-1-2023]. Join panelists from Rally Corp, Swell Fundraising and Winspire for tips on how to generate buzz, increase visibility, grow partnerships, and engage and retain donors. You’ll also learn about the latest technology and tools to streamline event planning.
Click-it: Everyday Leadership (The Lollipop Moment) [Watch 6-minuteTED talk]. This is one of the 15 most popular TED talks of all time, offered by Drew Dudley. Listen to celebrate leadership as an everyday act of improving each other’s lives. Go forward, and lead with love.
Click-it: Lollipop Moments and Everyday Leadership Lessons [Listen to 60-minute podcast]. Tune in to Joan Garry’s podcast Episode 143 for a conversation with.leadership development advocate Drew Dudley. You’ll learn how your influence on an organization’s culture creates more lasting impact than the money you bring in.
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: Debunk the top five myths of planned giving [Listen to free, on-demand webinar]. Check out this info-packed and entertaining session from planned giving evangelist Tony Martignetti on the Givebutter website.
Psychology of Giving
Click-it: Using Behavioral Science in Marketing [Listen to on-demand podcast]. This episode of Roger Dooley’s Brainfluence, with Nancy Harhut, takes a dive into fascinating behavioral science principles and their applications in marketing. Some of the concepts covered are information gap theory, availability bias, and autonomy bias. Also discussed is how giving people choices can increase the likelihood of a buying decision, and how the use of the word “because” can increase compliance.
Click-it: 10 Tips for Texting: A Case Study Webinar With Special Olympics VA [Register for free webinar, 8-10-2023]. Rally Corp will host marketers from Special Olympics VA to talk about how they are using texting, what’s working and what’s not, and specific examples of how they’re finding success.
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, PAPERS, TEMPLATES & OTHER RESOURCES
Click-it: Uncover Corporate Partnership Opportunities with Your Nonprofit Data [Download free guide]. Classy and Double the Donation have partnered to produce this comprehensive resource to help you identify opportunities to double more individual donations.
Click-it: Story Prompts for Nonprofits [Download free handbook]. No more writer’s block! Choose from 900+ prompts for storytelling from the Nonprofit Storyteller’s Conference, categorized by nonprofit sector, types of beneficiaries, and types of help provided. Plus get strategies for crafting compelling narratives that capture media and donor attention.
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.
- 10 Reasons Your Nonprofit Needs to Be Texting
- Fundraising Do’s vs. Don’ts: Campaign Thank You Strategy
- Top 12 Strategies to Fight Overload
- Top Secret to Completing Projects: Balance ‘Done Enough’ with ‘Overdone’
- Are You Working on Somebody Else’s Problem?
- 4 Strategies to Use LinkedIn to Give Nonprofit Donors a Reason to Connect
- Surprisingly Simple Strategy to Magically Transform How You Work
Finally… if you have a question, any question…
Here are two new ones:
- What Are The Best Ways To Promote And Increase Monthly Giving?
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/AUGUST 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 I’ve just returned from my first real vacation since the pandemic began and I’m feeling pretty good about that (!), I want you to know how I feel about you for following my work and doing all you do to make our world a better place. [See if you can guess where this photo is from. Hint: It’s often called the City of… (something my name means). They also serve a lot of little pastries named with an online version of my name. 😉
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