It’s Memorial Day week-end in the U.S., so I’ve got some reading to tide you over the three-day holiday – and beyond.
All of you who work and volunteer on behalf of causes in the independent sector contribute in service to our community. This issue of the Click-it is dedicated to YOU and the difference you make! Many thanks also to the generous sponsorship of Bloomerang in support of my curation of content for you across the web – all with the goal of helping you in your quest to facilitate passionate philanthropy.
I’ve got lots more wisdom to share, and hope you’ll take advantage. Clairification School gives you a full year of tips! I don’t do this as a “loss leader” for other expensive services. Mostly, I do it because I want to pay it backwards and forwards. My motto is: “If I know it, I want you to know it.” Life’s too short, and there are too many problems, to keep it all to oneself.
Thank you for doing the important work you do.
P.S. I really am trying to make most of my content as close to free as humanly possible (without it costing me money). No one pays me to offer this content. I’m not part of a large corporation. It’s just me, endeavoring to empower small to medium-sized nonprofits who don’t have large budgets for training and consultation. It’s really less than $2/week.
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
Click-it: Direct Mail is Not Yet Dead. This important reminder from The Agitator goes to the heart of your fundraising strategic plan. You need mail, because it also drives online fundraising. And legacy giving. Yes, you also need email. And social media. It’s a busy multi-channel world these days, and you don’t want to miss a trick. But begin with the basics. 88% to 94% of donations are made offline.
Click-it: New donors and the price of selling coffee. It costs money to make money, and that’s true in spade for donor acquisition. To merit the price of admission, you’ve got to understand the long game. No one explains this better than Jeff Brooks of Future Fundraising Now, ably aided by Roger Craver of The Agitator.
Data and Metrics
Click-it: The Pitfalls of Choosing Your Organization’s CRM. I love the way Andrea John Smith of Scout Finch Consulting lays out everything that should go into your consideration when selecting a donor database and CRM. If you’ve made a mistake in the past (or maybe are about to), you owe it to your organization to look at her list of the key things to think about when shopping for a CRM.
Click-it: Live Benchmarks. Check out this cool tool from Market Smart and The Fundraising Report Card. They took all the data they’ve crunched from thousands of donors to come up with numbers you can use to benchmark how you’re doing re average gift, retention rates, lifetime value and more.
Click-it: M+R Benchmarks Study. Every year the great team at M+R publish what’s trending in online nonprofit marketing. Here, Kristina LeRoux of Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog summarizes what you’ll want to know. Online revenue has grown from 15% to 23% over the year, so it’s definitely something you can’t ignore. If you’re not maximizing digital fundraising – website, email and social media – you owe it to yourself to read this study and consider what you’ll do differently moving forward. [You can also download your own copy which segments the data by mission and size. Plus there’s an interactive Benchmark Yourself feature that allows you to add your stats for fundraising and advocacy and other metrics to compare with the Benchmarks in the report.].
Click-it: Finding a Perfect Database in an Imperfect World. Here’s another useful post by Robert Weiner laying out all the issues you should consider, functions to look for, and whether or not to write an RFP. It’s very thorough, and should help you compare options side by side. One tip: Don’t just look at demos. Look at the same functions in different demos (the ones you need the most) so you can compare kumquats to kumquats. Ask each vendor to demonstrate these desired features to you, rather than simply ending with the cookie cutter overview they provide.
Click-it: How to Create Extraordinary Nonprofit Special Event Experiences. I tell you what you need to know – practical stuff! – on the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: 3 Groups of People to Clean out of Your Email List A good list is key to successful relationship-building and fundraising. Mary Jane Ragusa offers some actionable tips on the Qgiv blog.
Psychology of Giving
Click-it: Trump Buyer’s Remorse? Not Likely…, I love this article from Otis Fulton and Katrina VanHuss of Turnkey, explaining how difficult it is for people to reject their own decisions once they’ve made them. You can use this to leverage your fundraising, especially when it comes to renewing folks who’ve already decided to invest with you. It relates Cialdini’s principle of “commitment and consistency,” and suggests something super simple for you to try.
Click-it: The four words that increased click-through by 42%. Check out this super interesting research on the Agitator blog showing how you can prime donors to give using strong identity.
Click-it: 13 Twitter Hashtags to Follow for Nonprofit and Charity Updates, Events and Inspiration. Check out this useful list of ways to keep up with non-profit news, find new people to connect to and participate in events without ever leaving your office. From Maddie Grant at Social Fish.
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: Fundraising 101 -7 Keys to Successful Fundraising [Watch free TEDx talk] Reuben Mayes, former NFL star, talks to you about 3 Important Tenets and 7 Strategies. It’s a straightforward talk –accessible to anyone at any level, staff or volunteer – and it hits all the high spots.
Click-it: This Household Products Company is Cleaning Up with Cause Marketing [Free podcast]. I probably don’t talk about cause marketing enough. It can be a great way to align your values with corporate values to create a win/win. Joe Waters of Selfish Giving runs a great podcast with specific examples to get your creative juices flowing.
Click-it: Zero to Done! [Free on-demand video training] Does planning your newsletter cause you untold stress? If planning A to Z isn’t your strong suit, Vanessa Chase Lockshin of The Storytelling Nonprofit has your back.
Click-it: Choosing the Right Cross Channel Attribution for Your Nonprofit [Free on-demand webinar]. Most organizations spend considerable time and energy to answer one fundamental question: Am I spending my resources effectively? The good folks at Merkle RMG offer tips to help you come up with some answers.
Click it: Beyond the Basics with Donor Retention [Free on-demand podcast] Zach Shefska of The Fundraising Report Card
Click it: Peer-to-Peer Strategy [Register for free webinar, 5-30-18]. Turnkey and Engaging Networks join forces to bring you this “how to” convert participants to engaged fundraisers on your behalf.
FREE DOWNLOADABLE MATERIALS
Click it: 7 Content Calendar Examples From Awesome Brands to Inspire Your Own and How to Plan a Marketing Calendar That Actually Works (Free Template). Both from the folks at Co-Schedule.
Click-it: Event Fundraising Toolkit [Download free checklist and video]. The folks at Mobile Cause have put together this resource featuring fundraising tips, donor engagement tools, event ideas, and marketing strategies designed to help you ramp up your special events.
Click-it: Capital Campaign [Free Checklist and Timeline]. Capital campaign guru Andrea Kihlstedt and major gifts specialist Amy Eisenstein collaborated on this new tool. It has a step-by-step checklist that breaks the campaign into 7 phases – pre-campaign to follow-through. Or you can read Planning a Capital Campaign: The Essential First Steps by Jenny Goldberg on the Bloomerang blog.
Online Social Fundraising
Did You Miss My Recent Articles?
Here are links to my most recent articles. Enroll in ‘Clairification School’ to get access to every single article I’ve ever written – with new ones delivered weekly straight to your in-box! You’ll also get free monthly tips from your own “My Clairification” dashboard.
- Adopt a Gratitude Culture: 5 Ways to Stop Losing Donors
- How to Cultivate Awe, Gratitude and Altruism to Boost Nonprofit Fundraising
- Donor-Centered Storytelling Boosts Fundraising. Period.
- How to Modernize Your Nonprofit Marketing and Fundraising – Part 2
- What’s Ruining Your Nonprofit Fundraising and Marketing – Part 1
And so ends another Clairity Click-it. If you find value in Clairification, your support via enrollment in Clairification School means a lot!
Hope to see you in Clairification School!