It’s time for your bi-monthly collection of free curated goodies I’ve found for you across the web — all sorts of actionable tips plus thought-provoking ideas. I know it’s a lot of material (in last month’s survey the majority reported you’d prefer more rather than less), which is why I arrange the information in categories so you can pick what’s most useful to you.
I do a LOT of reading, and I figure I may as well share the good stuff. My motto is: “If I know it, I want you to know it.” Life’s too short, and our problems are too big, to keep information all to oneself.
Once again, I want to thank my sponsor, Bloomerang, for making it possible to offer this to you for free.
To your success,
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
Click-it: Try Something New with Your Monthly Donors. This is a great idea shared by monthly giving guru, Erica Waasdorp, on Nonprofit Pro. If you have a monthly giving program, I’m sure you can find a way to tweak this to your advantage.
Click-it: Incorporating Peer-to-Peer Fundraising as a Year-End Donor Acquisition Strategy. Robin Cabral writes for Nonprofit Pro on this fabulous strategy to leverage support from existing donors to broaden your base of support. I also find it’s a great way to engage volunteers with fundraising.
Click-it: Some of the Best Nonprofit Content Marketing Options. In answering the question: “Is it the message or the medium?” my answer would be both. They are inseparable in today’s digitally revolutionized world. And medium is more important than ever – because people have so many choices! Learn how to be donor-centered in each case in my article on the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: Why data is the key to beautiful donor relationships. “Taking care of your data means taking care of your donors – and your mission.” So says Mary Cahalane of Hands-On Fundraising. Merely buying a database won’t get the job done. It’s how you use it that matters. Develop a plan to keep and treasure data that will help you serve your donors better.
Click-it: Ethics, Fundraising, and Leadership: Avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of Fundraising. The most important thing to building donor relationships is trust. And this is where adhering to a code of ethics comes in. Per this article by Michael Rosen for A.F.P., ethics is not just a side issue or add-on. It’s central to your brand, reputation and, ultimately, your ability to fulfill your mission. You can read more on research into trust and philanthropy here. Personally, I used to use the following test all the time: “The Publicity Test: Would it look good if your decision appeared on the front page of the newspaper or nightly news?”
Click-it: It’s not too late: Get ready for #GivingTuesday. This year, Giving Tuesday is on December 3, 2019. The folks at 4aGoodCause have put together a little cheat sheet for you, with links to lots of useful tools to help you with your timeline, social media promotion, online giving process and more.
Click-it: Your Opportunity Knocks: Get Started with Bequest Fundraising. If your nonprofit has been around for 10 years or more, you should be promoting bequest giving. Learn how in this article I wrote for the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: Prioritize Your Way to Fundraising Success! If you think you’re too small for major gift fundraising, take a look at this simple, straightforward, intuitive way to prioritize your top prospects, courtesy of Steven Screen, The Better Fundraising Co. You can do this!
Click-it: A Capital Campaign Tool You Can Use to Raise Major Gifts. You may have used a gift chart for a capital campaign, but have you considered using one for your annual campaign. Amy Eisenstein shows you how it’s done!
Click-it: The Importance of Loving Your Job. I absolutely love the sentiment expressed in this post from Richard Perry at the Veritus Group. It speaks to the difference between transactional and transformational major gift fundraising, positioning the latter as an almost spiritual experience where the fundraiser is tuned into the donor’s deepest desires to cause good things to happen. Do you frame fundraising as a mechanical activity? Or is your spirit engaged?
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Instagram for Nonprofits: The Ultimate Guide. Wild Apricot shares 7 Instagram strategies that work. And if you’re not currently using this social platform, go check out this guide first. If you already have an account, you can complete all of these steps pretty quickly – and drive increased traffic to your organization.
Click-it: The 9 Signs of a Successful Social Media Strategy for Nonprofits. You need to avail yourself of multiple communication channels if you want a prospective donor to respond positively when your nonprofit fundraising appeal crosses their threshold. Even though the bulk of money is still raised offline, it’s no longer enough to simply be in the mail. Social media is the new nonprofit advertising. Check out this article I wrote for the Neal Schaffer blog.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Do You Want to Know the Latest, Greatest Fundraising Idea? Here’s why the fundamentals matter more than the next innovative thing. Check out this terrific advice from Michael Rosen of M.L.Innovations.
Click-it: How to rewrite your website in one week. Your website may be your most important marketing asset. It’s essential folks be able to find you, learn about you, be inspired by you and make a donation to you – all with the minimum amount of trouble. If your website is dry, dull, dated and deadly, here are some quick tips to get it spiffed up before prime donation season. Courtesy of Kristi Porter on the Candid blog.
Click-it: 10 of the most nefarious words in the English language. These have become jargon. You may know what you’re hoping to convey, but your audience won’t because these words are so overused to have become meaningless. You don’t want to talk this way either! Check these out, from Ragan’s PR Daily.
Click-it: How to Get More People to Open Your Nonprofit Email. The subject line is your email’s envelope. Does yours capture attention? Arouse curiosity? Or look like a fundraising appeal? Learn how to develop an “open me now” angle that will create the expectation that if the recipient opens the email the conversation – one that’s important and relevant to your particular consumer — will be continued. On the Bloomerang blog.
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: Gift Planning in a Capital Campaign [Register for free webinar, 11-13-2019]. Planned (aka deferred) gifts are increasingly playing an important role in capital campaigns, with such gifts accounting for 20% to 50% of campaign totals. In this Stelter sponsored webinar, learn from Michael J. Degenhart, Assistant Vice President of Gift Planning, The Pennsylvania State University, how to successfully integrate such gifts into your campaign.
Click-it: Major Gifts vs. Planned Giving [Register for free webinar, 11-25-2019]. Join Sarah Tedesco of Donor Search for this session exploring the differences between “major” and “planned” gifts.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Tools Every Nonprofit Needs to Simplify Their Life [Register for free webinar, 11-12-2019]. The best tools breathe life into your nonprofit’s online presence. But which ones are the best? And which social platforms should you be on? It’s a daunting task, so let Angie Kubicek of Firespring take you by the hand, show you the ropes and even clue you in to a way to curate your web content in under 15 minutes/day.
Click-it: Email Subject Lines: 5 Ways to Get More Opens and Donations [Listen to free video]. You won’t see the results you want if you can’t get people to open your emails. See what the team at NextAfter has to say on this subject, based on their own research.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: 2019 Supercharged Fundraising Virtual Conference [Register for one or all free sessions, 11-14-2019]. Over at The Fundraising Authority, Joe Garecht and Network for Good are sponsoring a 4-session virtual conference to get your ready for year-end fundraising and beyond. Sessions cover (1) donor communications, (2) peer-to-peer fundraising, (3) year-end tips, and (4) creating a fundraising plan. You can register for the full day, or by individual webinar. Plus you’ll receive bonus tip sheets and e-books!
FREE DOWNLOADABLE MATERIALS
Click-it: Fundraising Offers: What Offers Are, How Offers Work, and How You Can Make a Great Offer to Help Your Organization Raise More Money [Download free e-book]. This super useful guide comes from The Better Fundraising Co. It’s great advice, and I recommend you give this some serious thought. It will make a real difference!
Click-it: Ultimate How-to-guide for Conducting Nonprofit Donor Surveys [Download free guide]. One of the best ways to engage donors, and learn more about them so you can tailor your communication strategies accordingly, is a quick survey. The folks at MarketSmart have put together this definitive e-Guide to help you inspire your supporters to stick with you – and give more.
Click-it: New Donors: You Need Them More Than They Need You [Download free white paper]. If you’re having trouble finding and/or retaining new donors, you’re not alone. In this paper by Amy Bobrick, Merkle RMG, you’ll learn why the problem exists and how you can realistically address it.
Click-it: 2019 #GivingTuesday Ultimate Guide [Download free e-Book]. Thanks to the folks at Qgiv, you’ll find all sorts of helpful tips, tricks, and templates here, including: Email and social templates to set up your Giving Tuesday communications; Email and social promotion calendars; Save-the-date postcard for your donors, and much more.
Click-it: Words that Work [Download free e-Book]. What if you knew exactly which words would inspire donors to leave a legacy to your nonprofit? That’s what Dr. Russell James explores in his research, put together for you into this e-guide by the folks at MarketSmart.
Click-it: A Nonprofit’s Guide to Voice Command Fundraising [Download free e-Book]. Your nonprofit may not be ready for this, but… then, again? Learn about the ability to use voice-activated technology, typically Alexa or Google Assistant, and verbally request it to make a donation. It’s super intriguing stuff from the folks at EveryAction.
Click-it: Lucky Year-End Fundraising Tips for 2020 [Download free e-Guide]. Use these tips I’ve put together for you on the Bloomerang website to start developing a strategy for the end of 2020. It’s never too early to plan ahead! And you might even be able to sneak a few in for 2019 yet.
Click-it: Cut Through the Clutter with Your Year-End Fundraising [Download free e-book + other resources]. NextAfter has you covered with insights from an analysis of over 7000 year-end fundraising emails sent from top nonprofits. You’ll also find several free on-demand webinars, including “8 Year-End Fundraising Emails you need to send this year.”
Check out the new “Ask CharityClairity” feature on the Bloomerang Blog.
Click-it: Ask an Expert. Currently see questions pertaining to (1) how to please a picky boss; (2) value of thank you phone calls; (3) whether size of a major gift ask should be bigger/smaller, and (4) how to get co-workers to be donor-centric.
Plus… feel free to ask your own questions!!!!
Did You Miss My Recent Articles?
Here are links to the most recent articles on the Clairification blog:
- Fundraising Strategies for Online Appeals – The End is Near
- 3 Ways to Knock Your Donors’ Socks Off This December
- 8 BOO BOO’s! You’re SCARING Nonprofit Donors Away
- Not all Holiday Fundraising is Created Equal
- How to Cultivate Awe, Gratitude and Altruism to Boost Nonprofit Fundraising
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