We’re roaring into the ‘20’s – and there’s lots to be done. Thankfully, the world has you to make a positive difference. What you do matters. A lot.
Never forget the words of Anne Frank: “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
The world is counting on you. On all of us.
With that in mind, I’ve collected some wonderful resources to help you create a better, stronger, safer, healthier, more just, more caring future.
As you fulfill your mission, never forget the work of the philanthropic sector is uniquely human.
Philanthropy means “love of humanity.”
Remember why you do this. And remember donors are part and parcel of your very human mission. Donors need you to become their best selves, and to find meaning that might otherwise elude them.
Let us resolve in the year, and decade, to come to embrace the very best practices we can muster, wherever we find them. I’ll borrow the good stuff from not only the social benefit sector, but also from business, the public sector, behavioral economics, psychology, neuroscience, sociology, marketing, sales and more. I invite you to join me!
Once again, thank you to my sponsor, Bloomerang, for making it possible to offer this curated biweekly newsletter to you for free.
To your success,
P.S. Early Bird registration for my upcoming 8-week Winning Major Gifts e-Course ends at midnight, PST, December 31st (I just extended it a few days for all you busy year-end celebrants). So… ring in the new year with the tools you’ll need to raise more BIG gifts from individuals. I’ve packed decades of my own in-the-trenches experience into this curriculum, plus added another decade of experience working with nonprofits of different shapes and sizes as a consultant. It’s the best deal you’ll find in the industry, and I promise you’ll learn a lot. If you’re not happy after the first two weeks, I’ll refund your investment. If you’re not yet a Clairification School student, you’ll find your best deal here.
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
Click-it: Jeff’s sure-fire outline for effective direct mail fundraising. This comes from copywriting guru Jeff Brooks, Future Fundraising Now, and I can attest to the fact this outline works! Look how many times you should ask. After all, the ask is the point – n’est-ce pas?
Click-it: How to Find the Best Fundraising Software for Your Non-Profit. Good fundraising software can be the difference between a successful, comprehensive fundraising program run by happy fundraisers… and a disjointed, wasteful fundraising program run by a stressed-out staff. Joe Garecht is here to help.
Click-it: The Ultimate Way to Communicate with Donors. How should you communicate with donors? Passionately! Which means segmenting donors by their passions. Learn how in this article I wrote for the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: To Raise More Money, Look for More Engagement Opportunities. Michael Rosen, M.L. Innovations says: “If the only time your donors hear from you is when you want money, you have a problem. To address the problem, look for meaningful ways to engage people, particularly opportunities that give people a chance to collaborate with you in fulfilling the organization’s mission.” Check out the concrete examples he offers.
Click-it: Why you should share the love today. I love this: “Donors owe you nothing. Absolutely nothing. This is not a transaction. This is a gift from the heart.” You’ll always do well to follow Hands-on-Fundraising and Mary Cahalane’s advice.
Click-it: 7 Fundraising Ideas to Cover Startup Costs or Special Projects for Your Small Nonprofit. These are some terrific ideas from Sandy Rees of Get Fully Funded. #4 is super easy (I’ve done it), and I like #6 too (there are lots of tools today to help; check out some of those offered by my sponsors, below). Just try to find one strategy you can implement in the year ahead. I double dare you not to!
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: Asking for Stock Gifts Boosts Nonprofit Contributions In this article on the Bloomerang blog, I discuss how promoting receipt of stock gifts can dramatically increase your contributions. By as much as 55%. No tricks. This is based on research and demonstrated results. This one will blow your mind!
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Turning board members into peer-to-peer fundraisers. I happen to think P2P is one of the best ways to leverage giving from current supporters. Not doing it yet? Try it! You’ll find some great advice here from Ronald Pruitt of 4aGoodCause.
Click-it: Leveraging Online Donor Engagement: Peer-to-Peer Fundraising. Sarah Tedesco of Donor Search offers up this ‘how to’ on P2P on Beth’s Blog. There are lots of tips and links to useful resources to get you started.
Click-it: 5 Online Fundraising Habits to Stop in 2020. Here are some terrific tips from the folks at NextAfter, and they know what they’re talking about because they’re constantly testing. I think you’re going to really like what you see, beginning off the bat with habit #1. And #2 is a mistake I see made way too often. So, if that’s you, time to stop. And, OMG, #3 is huge. #4 too. Great article!
Click-it: “Year-End” is Not a Compelling Emotional Reason to Donate. Be careful with your year-end fundraising. It’s no time to forget everything you know about what inspires people to give. The fact it’s the end of the calendar year is merely a timing issue that comes into play once a donor has decided, based on emotion, to give to your organization. Check out my quick guide on the Bloomerang blog to assuring your year-end emails are emotion-packed.
FREE AUDIO-VISUAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
The more you learn, the more you grow.
Finding webinars you’d like to attend that overlap? Note that for many of these webinars you can obtain a copy of the recording if you’re unable to join live – as long as you register!
Click-it: Data-Driven Fundraising Strategy for Nonprofit [Download on-demand webinar]. Nonprofits winning the fundraising game are doing so by integrating their marketing across channels and programs, driving value and a better constituent experience. Analytics and insights-driven strategy – using data to make better decisions about marketing – are fundamental to their efforts. Join the good folks at Merkle and the Arthritis Foundation to learn how they used data insights to grow net revenue by $2 million in 18 months
Click-it: How to Thank Donors So They Keep On Giving [Register for free webinar, 1-9-2020]. Join Firespring and Julie Cooper, fundraising writing specialist, for this dive into key writing and design elements of thank-you letters and emails. You’ll also receive a thank-you letter checklist!
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: Let Your Seat Get Cold [Register for free webinar, 1-2-2020]. Join Network for Good with Heidi Webb, CFRE, who has secured dozens of 6-figure gifts and, according to her, never through email or social media posts. Learn how you can get out from behind your desk while managing your relationships with database tools.
Click-it: Major Gift Fundraising on a Shoestring Budget [Register for free webinar, 1-7-2020]. Join me and my sponsor Bloomerang to learn about the preconditions for major gift fundraising, consider how many prospects you can handle, discover your best prospects and much, much more!
Click-it: How to Build and Sustain Your Major Gifts Pipeline: 10 Steps to Rev Up Your Major Gift Fundraising Engine! [Register for free webinar, 1-8-2020]. Join me and my sponsor, Qgiv, for this deep dive into how to identify, qualify, cultivate, ask and steward your way to individual major gift fundraising success.
Click-it: Discovery: How to learn about a donor’s assets [Download free on-demand webinar]. Join the major and legacy giving experts at Stelter and Cathy R. Sheffield of Thompson & Associates for this fascinating look at the process of discovery. Explore the soft skills you need to get to know donors better, and get a set of questions to help you really learn about your donor and their assets.
FREE DOWNLOADABLE MATERIALS
Click-it: Monthly Content Planner Kit [Download free e-Guide]. Vanessa Chase Lockshin, The Storytelling Nonprofit, wants to make it easy for you to map out all your communications for the month. Set goals, manage using a dashboard and measure – all by using this nifty tool.
Click-it: ‘How To’ Guide for Donor Advised Funds [Download free e-Guide]. Because donor advised funds are growing at a meteoric pace, Market Smart has put together this useful guide for you. You’ll also see they’ll be presenting a webinar in January, for which I encourage you to sign up. You don’t want to miss out on this source of philanthropy, nor do you want to steward these donors ineffectively.
Click-it: 5 Capital Campaign Tips You Should Never, Ever Forget. I love this concept – impact drives investment – from Andrea Kihlstedt, Capital Campaign Toolkit. It’s all about incremental capacity building.
Management and Strategy
Click-it: Eight Agile Practices For-Profit Businesses Can Teach Nonprofits. I like all of these in this article from Forbes Nonprofit Council. But I’d pick #2 and #3 as things that would make most nonprofits more relevant, strategic and smart.
Click-it: The Savvy Nonprofit’s Guide to Staying Ahead of Giving Trends [Download free e-Guide]. Network for Good is here to make sense of benchmarks, trends, statistics, and all the latest fundraising fads. Get a head start on next year’s planning.
Check out the new “Ask CharityClairity” feature on the Bloomerang Blog.
Bloomerang and I have recently launched a new Ask an Expert (“Dear Charity Clairity”) feature on their website. Whenever you’ve got a question, no matter how small it may seem to you, feel free to ask your question here! They say one person with a question means at least 10 others have the same question, so… be brave and help yourself and your peers. Your identity will be kept anonymous, so… no fears. You can also send questions to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click-it: Ask an Expert. Check out the current Q & A here. They’re listed in order from newest to oldest, and they all have titles so you can find ones that may be of interest.
Did You Miss My Recent Articles?
Here are links to the most recent articles on the Clairification blog (you’ll notice I’ve been offering very specific, practical tips lately):
- 7 Things Nonprofit Major Gifts Programs Need to Succeed
- Fundraising Don’ts vs. Do’s: Donate Landing Page + Form
- Are You Reading Your Major Donors Correctly?
- Fundraising Don’ts vs. Do’s: Giving Tuesday Email +Donation Landing Page
- Fundraising Don’ts vs. Do’s: Year-End Donor Retention Email
- Use Behavioral Science to Positively Frame Year-End Philanthropy
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. If you’re not yet an enrolled student, you can get in on the fun here!
Please support my extraordinary sponsors (see below). The Clairity Click-it content is free, and Clairification School is affordable, because of their generosity.