If you’re vaccinated, you’re free to roam about the country — maybe even go to the beach! Certainly take some time to relax, recharge and fill your soul with whatever inspiration you can find.
Sometimes work can be more fun, energizing and meaningful when you learn a new skill, are exposed to a different point of view, or if you just take a somewhat different approach. Here’s a collection of seasonal reading to broaden your outlook!
Once again I thank my generous sponsor, Bloomerang, for their continued support of my curation of useful content for you – all so you can facilitate passionate philanthropy to make our world a better place.
If you find one or more articles, webinars or free downloadable guides useful I’ll be happy. And if you find Clairification helpful, I hope you’ll consider enrolling in Clairification School to get a full year’s worth of ALL the wisdom I have to share!
My motto is: “If I know it, I want you to know it.”
Let’s get right to this issue’s links!
Thank you for doing the important work you do.
P.S. If you’re on the fence about enrolling in Clairification School, see what others say about why they’ve joined. If you’re not happy, I’ll refund you the $1.92/week.
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
NEW OPINIONS FEATURE
This Issue: Focus of Philanthropy Given Systemic Inequity
Click-it: People-focused philanthropy is on the way out. A philanthropy that divides is taking over. Elise Westhoff in USA Today makes the case the current conversation about philanthropy – a shift from generosity to justice — may inadvertently cause harm to many who rely on it. She fears philanthropy is being hijacked by political ideology, ignoring “a huge swath of worthy projects and people in need.” She worries “Under the new way of thinking, bottom-up empowerment gives way to top-down control.”
Click-it: White-focused philanthropy is on the way out; a philanthropy that unites us is taking over. This essay by Rachel D’Souza-Siebert on the Community-Centric Fundraising blog makes the case for community-centric fundraising as an anti-racist movement seeking to dismantle the power dynamics that have contributed to systemic racism and inequities. It argues if philanthropy fails to address root causes of problems it seeks to heal, the problems will continue. Donors deserve truth so they can freely choose how to exercise philanthropy that is true to the nature of the word philanthropy – i.e., deeply rooted in justice, equity, and love of people. Absent information there is no such freedom.
Click-it: #PhilanthropySoWhite2021-What Is the Role of White Leaders in Philanthropy in Dismantling White Supremacy? [Listen to on-demand panel conversation]. Moderated by Edgar Villanueva, Principal of Decolonizing Wealth Project + Liberated Capital, this presentation explores how the pre-existing condition of white supremacy has been unmasked over the past year and a half and has impacted the urgency of reframing the practice of philanthropy. It explores the journey to “wokeness” of three foundation leaders, and how they’ve changed their perspectives and now hold themselves accountable. If you’re newly entering the conversation, it may be useful to compare your journey to theirs.
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: The Top 5 Fundraising Hacks Your Non-Profit Can Use to Raise More Money. Joe Garecht Fundraising talks fundamentals here – simple things that really work. How many of them are you currently doing? I’ll wager not enough.
Click-it: 5 Minimal-Effort Fundraising Campaigns to Host While You Vacation This Summer. Nhu Te shares creative ideas for virtual and online campaigns on the GiveSignup blog.
Click-it: Help your board promote monthly giving. This guest post by monthly giving guru Erica Waasdorp on the Train Your Board blog offers eminently doable strategies to accomplish two objectives: (1) get your monthly giving program off the ground or rev it up a notch, and (2) engage your board. I really like #2 and #4 for both.
Click-it: 4 Methods to Capture Donor Phone Numbers. I often get asked how to attach phone numbers to mail and/or email addresses so donors can be called or texted to say thank you. So I was delighted to find this article from Rally Corp with suggestions for moving contacts from email to text lists; using a bar code to capture phone numbers; encouraging text giving at events, and more.
Click-it: 3 Nonprofit Founders Who Have Transformed Their Boards. Do you have a “Friends of the Founder (FOF)” board? Joan Garry shares inspiring examples to avoid the syndrome of a “Make Way for Ducklings” board by letting the FOF design the “real” board.
Click-it: Strategies to Tell if Your Nonprofit Content Marketing is Hurting or Helping. First understand this: content marketing strategy isn’t a “nice to have”—it’s a fundamental requirement for fundraising success. You may think, as a fundraiser, your nonprofit content marketing strategy is not your job. Alas, you’re wrong. Your fundraising strategy is fueled by content. Glorious, burning content that says here’s a problem and potential solution that cannot be ignored. Read more about what you can do to feed the fire in this article on the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: Why—and How—to Tell Great Stories in Your Next Annual Report. Whether you’re planning a digital or hard copy Annual Report, this article on the Soapbox Engage blog offers ideas to draw readers into your copy and inspire them to future philanthropy.
Click-it: Beyond Survival: Post-Disruption Nonprofit Digital Strategy. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the way your nonprofit operates—including your organization’s digital strategy. As we look toward a post-pandemic world, have you taken the time to evaluate what your digital strategy looks like moving forward to best engage with your donors? Check out my article – the first of three in a series – on the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: Super Useful Nonprofit Fiscal Year-End Action Strategies. If this is your fiscal year-end it’s time to make sure you don’t lose any of those donors you took such pains to acquire last year. I’ve got 8 strategies for you, plus some practical tips, in this article for the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: Beyond Survival: Post-Disruption Nonprofit Donor Experience Strategy. Improving the donor experience should no longer be seen as something modest in ambition. For-profit companies have prioritized “customer experience” for years because they know it’s much less expensive to retain a current customer than to acquire a new one. The rush to digital over the past year has made many of them rethink and place even greater emphasis on their customer experience, finding themselves at a critical inflection point regarding customer care. If you want to keep your donors, you need to pay significant attention to the donor experience. Read more in my article on the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: Hybrid Events Take Center Stage For Nonprofits As Covid-19 Wanes. A lot of nonprofits are transitioning their events right now, so this article by David Hessekiel on the Forbes blog is super timely. Want to learn about the advantages hybrid events offer? You can even listen to it if you prefer!
Major Gift and Legacy Fundraising
Click-it: How to Create an Accurate Major Gift Revenue Forecast. If you’ve ever been asked to forecast how much money you will raise within a defined period of time, read this fantastically useful post from the Veritus Group. It takes all the guess work away, leaving you with a realistic plan to which you can attach a realistic budget.
Click-it: This 1 Thing Encourages Donors to Tell You about Their Planned Gift. Wouldn’t you love to know which donors had made provision for your charity in their estate plan? If you knew, you could do a better job of stewardship so they don’t take you out of their will somewhere down the line. Read this article from Stelter to learn what you need to do. You’ll also learn the traits of the most common planned giving donors.
Click-it: Making the most of mid-level. From a revenue perspective, sometimes the greatest value of a small-dollar fundraising program is the extent to which it can operate like a pipeline for the mid-level program. Check out this jam-packed article from M+R to become MUCH more strategic moving donors upwards and onwards.
Online Fundraising and Marketing (aka Digital)
Click-it: Keeping Nonprofit Messaging Relevant with Dynamic Creative Optimization and Personalized Video. This article from Merkle offers useful examples, language and guidance for keeping your message and medium relevant to your constituents’ needs and expectations. DCO enables real-time personalization and testing at a low entry cost; even if you’re not large enough to test things, the combination of templates and elements will be useful in spurring your thinking.
WEBINARS, 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: MarComms Are Not the Enemy: How to Explain Why Fundraising Writing Is Different [Listen/watch brief on-demand free video]. Listen to fundraising and copywriting gurus Harvey McKinnon and Jeff Brooks have a conversation about the difference between journalism and fundraising writing.
Click-it: Tips to Integrate Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising [Listen to free, on-demand video] Vanessa Chase Lockshin, the Storytelling Nonprofit, offers some tips to help you integrate marketing and fundraising communications through telling stories.
Click-it: Newsletter Headlines That Work. Headlines are important, both in newsletters and email subject lines, because they’re what grab attention. And you don’t have a lot of time to grab someone’s attention. Read these great tips from Steven Screen, the Better Fundraising Co.
Click-it: Introduction to Corporate Giving [Register for free webinar, 7-8-2021]. This training from Candid explores different types of corporate giving, what motivates corporations to give, and how to find potential corporate partners.
Data and Research
Click-it: Drive Donations with Donor Insights: The Ultimate Wealth Screening Guide [Register for free webinar, 6-29-21]. This joint webinar hosted by Double the Donation and Windfall will cover common challenges associated with wealth screening, explore how to overcome roadblocks, and share best ways to incorporate wealth screening into your existing fundraising. They’ll share overall wealth screening industry statistics, proven best practices and an overview of their own product integration.
Click-it: Fresh Ways to Upgrade and Acquire Sustainer Donors [Register for free 30-minute webinar, 6-30-21]. Join True Sense for a “Quick Byte” discussion about how the past year brought unpredicted opportunities to build and upgrade your sustainer file. Like concrete examples? They’ll have you covered.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: It’s a New World: How to Cultivate Your Online Community [Register for free webinar, 7-8-21]. Discover the secret sauce of cultivating a community of online donors primed and ready to support you with Kelly Medwick of Firespring. Learn what donor stewardship means in an online world, how to fire up staff and board to help you, and get 10 strategies to cultivate a network eager to support you.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Do Chance Meetings at the Office Boost Innovation? There’s No Evidence of It. Reimagining what work will look like post-pandemic? Per this New York Times article by Claire Cain Miller (I like her first name!), for some the office even stifles creativity. As the pandemic eases in the U.S., a few companies seek to reimagine what work might look like. Over the last year, people found new, better ways to work. As a consequence, greater equity and diversity was enabled. How will your organization respond? [Hat tip to NTEN for alerting me to this piece.]
Click-it: Giving USA 2021 and Today’s New Normal [Register for free webinar, 7-13-21]. Join Qgiv as the Alford Group presents the recently-released Giving USA report, looks back at 2020 giving, and considers the way forward based on research and experience How has COVID-19 impacted giving? Are funders changing priorities based on current events? Get tips to apply this research and learning to your organization’s strategy and approach
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, WHITE PAPERS & OTHER RESOURCES
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: 3 Creative Ways to Enhance Your Nonprofit’s Communications Strategy [Download free tips and tricks guide]. Nonprofit Pro put together these creative tips, including the importance of a crisis communication protocol and what to include, ways to use fundraiser conversations to spark creative ideas, and how consistency plays a role in success.
Did You Miss My Newest Articles?
- Wrong Ways to Woo Nonprofit Donors
- Philanthropy is a Team Sport
- 10 Strategies to Actively Build Nonprofit Donors Trust
- 4 Strategies to Listen so Others Will Talk
- 12 Top Tips to Broaden Your Nonprofit Donor Community
- How to Kon Mari Your Nonprofit Work Plan
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! See How to Engage Major Donor Prospects Who Blow Hot, then Cold.
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