This is the magic season for fundraising. Why? Because as we approach what I call the “Grateful for Blessings Holidays” (emotional trigger) and the end of the calendar year (financial/tax trigger), people naturally turn their thoughts toward generosity and philanthropic giving. The fairy dust is already in the air, just waiting for you to wave your magic wand to propel it into action.
This means it’s time for you to think about what you’re going to do to tap into what’s going on right now in people’s heads and hearts. Especially their hearts, as for most people tax benefits is way, way, way down on the list of reasons why they give.
As you prepare your year-end pitches, consider how you might wave your wand to encourage would-be donors to become part of your story. Show them how to make a difference. How to bring joy to sadness… hope to despair… healing to hurt. How to bring the happy ending they, and you, wish to see.
And use some of the wisdom gleaned in this week’s issue of the Clairity Click-it to help you. Whatever your role, you’ll find something in this issue to nourish you. So, start digging through the curated content from across the web. I hope it will make your job easier, and more fulfilling. There’s lots to get curious about!
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.
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 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 donation you get all my new blog articles, exclusive monthly tips, bonus e-guides, 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…
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: A New Nonprofit Donor Paradigm: Thoughtful And Passionate Gifts. In this article for the Bloomerang blog, I look at a new donor paradigm that doesn’t look at donors from top to bottom based simply on the size of their gift. Let’s look, instead, at the energy their gift represents. Look at the forces drawing donors to you, and use the energy that most resonates with them to be the strongest magnet you can be.
Click-it: Got Shame?. All I can say about this article from Steven Screen of the Better Fundraising Co. is yes, yes, yes! Here are two things for you to take to heart as you enter this year-end fundraising season.
Click-it: Why Do Donors Give Monthly? 5 Motivations You Should Reinforce. Monthly giving is good for both you and your donor. So… why aren’t you ramping up your recurring giving program? Learn what you need to know in this comprehensive piece from 4aGoodCause.
Click-it: 4 Strategies To Re-engage Donors That Gave Through Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers. Don’t lose those new donors you worked so hard to acquire! CauseVox tells you exactly what to do to keep them engaged, with four specific strategies that incorporate plenty of specific tips.
Click-it: Event Page Essentials: Why You Need One & How to Perfect It. Whether you’re hosting a small open mic night, a battle of the bands, or a huge gala, your event page is likely the first place people will interact with your event. If you don’t capture interest or make it easy to buy tickets, you’ll miss out on sales. Learn what you need to know from the experts at Eventgroove.
Click-it: How to Structure Your Nonprofit’s Silent Auction Bid Sheets. A well-designed bid sheet can both serve as a data collection tool and a way to catch auction participants’ attention. Here are five elements you should include, from the Engage Blog.
Click-it: 5 Online Auction Catalog Tips to Make Items Enticing. Learn how to display your auction prizes in a way that attracts attention online. This article from re:charity shares five auction item catalog tips..
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: Six Skills to Look for When Hiring a Fundraiser Without a Fundraising Background. This article from the Veritus Group discusses what it takes to be comfortable, and successful, asking for gifts. If you’re not getting great applicants for your major gift positions, remember: You can teach skills, but not attitude.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: The Donor Pyramid May Be Bad for Fundraising. Can We Do Better? I think we can, and I’m quoted in this article saying as much! Others weigh in as well, and if you’re still doing two-dimensional fundraising, you’ll want to take a look. [Note: you can register for a free subscription to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.]
Click-it: 33 Leading AI Marketing Tools to Explore. This is a great synopsis of all the AI tools out there for creating copy, video, websites, email outreach, SEO, social listening and more. Good if you want to experiment and/or look knowledgeable to your boss! From Neal Schaffer.
How to Create a Volunteer Recruitment Plan. We’re entering into a season replete with great opportunities for volunteers to participate in your organization, getting to know you and your mission better. Now’s a great time to think outside the box and offer things volunteers will really appreciate. So speak to your volunteer coordinator to brainstorm engagement opportunities! This article from Yearly contains lots of great recruitment and stewardships tips.
ONLINE CONFERENCE OR COURSE
Click-it: NIO Summit 2023, September 20-21 [Register for free access to the Live Stream]. This is an unbelievable opportunity! If you can’t make it to Dallas in person, this year the generous folks at NextAfter are making the Live Stream available – at no charge! Grab this amazing opportunity to learn from every single inspirational cutting-edge live speaker, and engage in live chat with other attendees. Learn the latest in digital fundraising, and much more.
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: Diversifying Your Donations: An Introduction to Non-Cash Asset Fundraising [Register for free webinar, 9-19-2023]. If you’re only accepting cash, you’re missing out on a boatload of money. The Giving Block explores how incorporating cryptocurrency, stock, and donor-advised funds can significantly broaden your fundraising toolkit. Gain insights into the benefits and learn why it’s crucial for your nonprofit to easily accept these assets.
Click-it: New Board Member Onboarding [Register for free webinar, 9-28-2023]. Join Successful Nonprofits for this session dedicated to creating a comprehensive onboarding experience that not only imparts knowledge but also nurtures a culture of commitment and collaboration. This enduring sense of unity will extend far beyond the initial onboarding phase.
Click-it: Tuesday Tips w/ Kind + Co Events- Embracing Zero Waste For Events [Join the free live panel, 9-12-2023]. Auctria is hosting a panel to discuss ways to make your events more sustainable. Register to be sure you also get the step-by-step zero-waste event management guide.
Major, Capital and Legacy Giving
Click-it: How to Plan an Effective and Efficient Capital Campaign Using New Tools and Technology [Register for free webinar, 9-14-2023]. Join Amy Eisenstein and Andrea Kihlstedt, Capital Campaign Pro, to learn all the stages and timeline of a campaign, new resources to make your campaign effective and affordable, and more. There will be live Q&A.
Online and Mobile Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: SMS Deliverability: Ensuring Your Text Messages Reach Their Intended Recipients [Register for free webinar, 9-21-2023]. New carrier regulations with a major impact on SMS deliverability went into effect on Sept. 1, 2023. If you want your text messages received, compliance is critical. Join Rally Corp to learn how to navigate the new norms of SMS deliverability.
Click-it: 3 Email Fundraising Mistakes That Cost You Donations (Especially at Small Nonprofits!) [Register for free webinar, 9-13-2023. ] [Session also offered 9-14 and 9-15]. Moceanic hosts digital expert James Herlihy for this special digital fundraising workshop. Attend and also get a ready-made Donor Communications Calendar with tips on what to send, when and how often. It includes mail, email and phone!
Click-it: Video is NOT the Future. It is the NOW [Register for free webinar, 9-19-2023]. DonorSearch is bringing some video storytelling experts together for a powerful conversation on why you need video to elevate your mission, and how you can take this “to-do” off your back burner to build program strategy, harness program feedback, enhance fundraising, amplify special events, and create a connected internal culture.
Click-it: Convert Supporters with Powerful Landing Pages [Register for free webinar, 9-12-2023]. Landing pages that convert are important year round, but I put it here because if your landing page isn’t optimized for giving at this most critical juncture, when you’re actively driving folks to your donation form, your year-end fundraising strategy (no matter how perfect your appeal) is doomed to leave a lot of money on the table. Join Jay Wilkinson for this eye-opening and practical Firespring webinar so you don’t let that happen!
Click-it: 5 ways to supercharge your year-end fundraising with monthly giving [Register for free webinar, 9-13-2023]. In this GiveButter webinar, Dana Snyder will guide you through the importance of recurring donations and show exactly how to harness your nonprofit’s most dedicated donors to create sustainable support throughout the year. Included will be how to use the momentum of Giving Tuesday to supercharge your year-end fundraising!
Click-it: Finish Strong: Q4 Fundraising & Finance Tips [Register for free panel, 9-14-2023]. The final quarter of the year is right around the corner, so this NXUnite panel is dedicated to helping you ace your year-end fundraising! Learn strategies for crafting compelling year-end appeals, other approaches to encourage increased giving before the year ends, how to optimize spending in the final quarter and more!
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, PAPERS, TEMPLATES & OTHER RESOURCES
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: The Best New Online Fundraising Research [Download free research journal]. The folks at NextAfter do lots of experiments, which they generously share with the world. Here they’ve collected 15 of their latest findings about what works best to increase giving and generosity. Hopefully this will spark new ideas to test based on data and key takeaways, and help you tap into more of your potential.
Click-it: How to Keep Up With Nonprofit Website Maintenance [Grab free checklist]. Make sure to keep it fresh, vibrant and compelling, especially at this time of year! The folks at Wired Impact have the tips you need.
Click-it: 12 Year-End Fundraising Checklists [Download free e-guide] to get a helping hand to plan all the elements of your year-end campaign. I wrote it for Bloomerang, and it will help you establish year-end goals; inspire donors to give by appealing to their emotions; design innovative ways to re-engage lapsed donors, create a compelling donation landing page, and much more.
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.
- How to Use the Multiplier Effect to Inspire Annual Giving
- You’re Thinking About Planning a Fundraising Auction – Now What?
- Progress is transformational. When you arrive, you feel good.
- Top 10 Strategies to Navigate the Current Cloudy Nonprofit Landscape
- Take Heed Nonprofits: The Sky is Not Falling, but it’s Cloudy
- 10 Tools to Give You and Your Nonprofit Donor Space to Co-Create — and Change the World
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 Are The Most Important Elements For A Year-End Appeal?
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. SEPTEMBER tip is live! If you’re not yet an enrolled student, and don’t have direct, immediate access to ALL my blog articles, monthly tips, webinars, podcasts and much more, you can get in on the fun here — and grab your 10th ANNIVERSARY BONUS! There’s never been a better time to enroll.
And now, some beautiful painted garages I found on my walks this week. If it inspires you to paint yours, send me a photo!
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