If you’re in the southern hemisphere, of course, it’s end of winter. Wherever you are, it’s a good time to kick back and refresh yourself with some free nonprofit tips and tools to shake up your thinking. Just a little bit.
I’ve got a bunch of wonderful information to share here. Just find one or two articles, webinars or free downloadable guides useful, and I’ll be happy. I love to share!
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.
Thank you for doing the important work you do. Now… let’s get right to this issue’s links!
P.S. Registration for my popular Winning Major Gift Fundraising Strategies online e-course closes January 24th – and spots are limited. Since 88% of dollars raised come from just 12% of donors, you owe it to yourself and your cause to check this out! I’ve never had anyone ask for a refund, but if you find the course isn’t meeting your needs after two sessions, I’ll give you one. !00%! So… there’s no risk here.
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
Click-it: What Comes First? Nick Ellinger of The Agitator writes: Learn first, then act. Sadly, a lot of fundraising plans fail to incorporate the learning part. Numerous problems ensure. Think about this one: What should you do first: ask someone to share their experience or find out if they had a good experience? I recommend you read this thought-provoking article.
Click-it: Should you bother with Amazon Smile? There are endless different ways to ask your supporters to send money your way. But do you want to give them endless options? Especially when some strategies work so much more effectively than others? I’ve long been against throwing out a bunch of ‘nickel and dime’ strategies that result in donors feeling they’ve supported you with their purchases – when all you really received was pennies on the dollar. If you’re going to promote these strategies, caveat emptor. The last thing you want is for your donor to say “Well, I support them via Amazon Smile. I must spend $10,000 a year on their behalf! I give my other three favorite charities just $100 – $250 each.” Guess what? That $10K they spent resulted in a whopping $50 gift to you. You see the disconnect? Jeff Brooks lays this out on Future Fundraising Now.
Click-it: Do you want fundraising success? It’s about caring.. Successful fundraising is all about empathy, and that’s what Mary Cahalane of Hands-On Fundraising lays out so well in this article. It’s a good one!
Donor Upgrading and Retention
Click-it: Best practices in monthly giving – Q & A. I want to kiss the folks at 4aGoodCause for hosting this thorough, practical, tell-it-like-it-is guest post from monthly giving guru Erica Waasdorp on best practices for developing, promoting and rocking a recurring giving program at your nonprofit. If you do nothing different strategically this year, do this! It will instantly turn regular donors into the equivalent of major donors, and it will increase the value of these supporters over their lifetimes by assuring they renew at significantly higher rates. (Check out 4aGoodCause monthly giving solutions while you’re at it).
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: What to Make of Key Nonprofit Online Fundraising Benchmarks. In this post for the Bloomerang blog I’ve cherry picked a few highlights from the 2019 M+R Benchmarks Study – their annual comprehensive report for online giving. Get insights into trends and begin to plan for a future where you know one thing will be constant – change.
Click-it: Why Mass Texting is not a solution for Fundraising. Read this super-intriguing guest post from Mukundan Sivaraj of Call Hub on the Hands-On Fundraising blog. It offers awesome food for thought as you begin to build your relationship-building strategies for the coming year.
Psychology of Giving
Click-it: Neuroscience Meets Fundraising: Gentle Art of Teaching JOY of Giving. In this article for the Bloomerang blog I lay how the ways in which philanthropy can be as addictive as chocolate. This is something you can work with!
Click-it: Does Your Nonprofit Use Smart Calls to Action? It does you no good to drive folks to your website… have them follow you on social media… or even hear about you in the news –unless they take an action that furthers your mission. Check out my post about using psychology to inform your CTAs on the Bloomerang blog.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Testing Strategy Strength. Grab these useful question from the Panas Linzy blog, courtesy of McKinsey. I suggest you put them aside and pull them out the next time you’re doing your strategic plan and/or budget. Or make them the focus of a board or development committee meeting!
Click-it: 3 Tips to Turn Your Out of Office into a Year-End Appeal. Don’t waste your out of office message. Try one or more of these creative, smart strategies suggested by Brian Lauterbach in this guest post for Network for Good.
Click-it: The A to Z of Writing Fundraising Appeals. This is the third installment from Steve Lynch of a brilliant three-part comprehensive Guide on mastering fundraising appeal writing. It’s published by Mark Phillips, Bluefrog, in his Queer Ideas blog. Seriously, you must read this. It’s that good! (HT to Tom Ahern for calling it to my attention in his Ahern e-news – to which you should subscribe).
Click-it: Ditch these superfluous lead-in phrases. Add reading this article from Ragan’s PR Daily to the one above, share with everyone on your team, and your messaging will improve by leaps and bounds in the coming year.
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!
Boards and Fundraising
Click-it: Key Secrets to Overcome Board Fundraising Barriers [Register for free webinar, 8-20-2019]. Please join with me and Boardable for this session where we’ll unpack the reasons board members fear fundraising and get to the roots of the problems you’re facing so you can address them head on.
Click-it: Turn Your Fundraising Event [Register for free webinar, 8-21-2019]. Join host Lynda Lysakowski and Robin Cabral of Development Consulting Solutions to learn how to use your next special event to build a stronger and bigger donor base. There will also be a handout with a post-event stewardship plan.
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: Better Together: Building a Partnership Between Planned Gift and Major Gift Officers [Register for free webinar, 9-11-2019]. The folks who make planned deferred gifts and outright major gifts are the same people. To assure you put their needs before your own, join Jay Steenhuysen and The Stelter Company for this live event, and get all your questions answered.
REMINDER: Speaking of major gifts, my Winning Major Gifts Strategies for the small and medium-size shop e-course is now open for registration. This class will fill up, so please check it out and email me directly if you have any questions about whether it is right for you. IMHO, major individual gifts are the most effective way to fundraise for most organizations. If you’re not doing it as well as you might, make this the year to consider tweaking your system. You won’t regret it!
Online Social Fundraising
Click-it: The State of Nonprofit Donation Pages [Register for free webinar, 8-27-2019]. Based on brand new research from RaiseDonors and NextAfter, every organization has room to improve their donation page. Join Firespring with Brady Josephson to discover what he and his team found after analyzing the donation pages of 203 nonprofits across 12 verticals.
Click-it: Strategies to Avoid Common Pitfalls and Raise More [Register for free webinar, 8-28-2019]. Join presenters from OneCause as they uncover five common P2P fundraising pitfalls and discuss how your nonprofit can avoid them. Learn secrets to get the most out of your initiatives.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: How to Survive Nonprofit Founder’s Syndrome [Register for free webinar, 9-5-2019]. The disease is not limited to founders, but can also manifest in non-founders who’ve been in their leadership roles for 7+ years. Want a cure? Rachel Muir of Pursuant offers super-useful tips. You can also read about them on the Bloomerang blog here.
Click-it: Addressing Marginalization: Redirecting Strategies of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace [Register for free webinar, 8-28-2019]. Get strategies for addressing underlying causes of a lack of diversity and inclusion in the workplace in this session hosted by Stanford Social Innovation Review. Three sector leaders will explore guidelines for shifting power imbalances and dynamics breaking away from archaic managerial approaches to organizational processes.
FREE DOWNLOADABLE MATERIALS
Database and Metrics
Click-it: Simple Fundraising Analytics for Nonprofits [Download free Fundraising Report Card]. MarketSmart now offers free access to an insightful data analytics tool used by thousands of nonprofits. You’ll be amazed you can get this much analysis about important metrics like retention, and all for free! Watch the quick intro video, and don’t hesitate to get started leveraging your own data to raise more money. This should be a no-brainer.
Click-it: 5 Tips to Prepare for #GivingTuesday with Tech: A Guide for Non-Techy Nonprofits [Download free infographic]. If you’ve been following me for any time at all, you know I’m a proponent of flipping the tables to run a #GratitudeTuesday. These tips from Mobile Cause, however, are useful all year long.
Click-it: Get Your Giving Tuesday Email Templates [Download free before and after examples]. If you’re going to mount a giving day initiative, these templates from Qgiv will help you do it right. Plus you’ll get tips to properly thank these donors. No need to re-invent the wheel!
Management and Strategy
Click-it: Why Half of Your Donors are Disappearing [Download free white paper]. Amy Bobrick of Merkle RMG explores the over-arching challenge of donor retention, and the reasons why it continues to be a hindrance for many nonprofits. To break the cycle of declining year-over-year retention rates, nonprofits need a solution that focuses on building relationships with donors to improve not only retention, but also lifetime value. Four strategies are suggested here.
Peer to Peer Fundraising
Click-it: Understanding the True Financial Potential of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising [Download free white paper] from Classy. Get compelling data, real life examples and pro tips to help you exponentially increase you fundraising.
Did You Miss My Recent Articles?
Here are links to my most recent articles.
- Nonprofit Gift Planning: Do You Use the Language of Love?
- Can You Smoke What’s in Your Major Gift Pipeline?
Do You Want to Stop Failing to Close Major Nonprofit Gifts?Do You Want More Major Donors? Read This!
- Partner to Solve Social Problems; Stop Acting in Silos
- 10 Email Hacks to Increase Nonprofit Productivity
- Nonprofit Fundraising: Do You Know Semantics Matter?
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My motto is: “If I know it, I want you to know it.”