November is Gratitude Month.
It’s that time of year when people take stock of their blessings and become most inclined to share those blessings with those less blessed. This is why it’s such an important fundraising season.
Take time this month to embrace gratitude as a practice. With yourself, your family, friends, co-workers, volunteers and donors. Research shows the benefits of gratitude are enormous. Not only will practicing gratitude make you happier and healthier, it will also make you and others more generous.
Of course, you’ll be sending fundraising appeals this month and next. Also consider sending gratitude emails. They will pave the way, serving to ‘pre-suade’ your supporters to be in a giving mood. When you give to others, they become naturally inclined to reciprocate. Want an example? I received this from the Americans of Conscience Checklist. I think it’s just lovely, and I believe you can easily adapt it to serve your own mission.
Today, I want to acknowledge you and honor you.
You’ve been showing up over the past nine or so months of a whirlwind of events beyond our control – maybe even longer – and it hasn’t been easy. Franklin Roosevelt said “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” You’ve been hanging on, and fighting the good fight because… you know others depend on you.
It is my honor to do my small part to help you find the places where you can get a good grip. Where you can take at least some small measure of control, and control the heck out of it!
Towards that end, here are resources I’ve collected for you. I hope you’ll find something that helps you carry your work forward. Something you can use to create one or more actions to help repair our world.
P.S. Many thanks to my sponsor Bloomerang for making it possible for me to spend the time to create and curate ‘Clairity Click-it’ content for you on a biweekly basis. It is a labor of love to help you find your defining moments.
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
SPECIAL CATEGORY: Tips for Not-So-Normal Times
Click-it: Early Gifts – Year-End Worry. Concerned your ‘annual’ donors may have made their one 2020 gift last spring? Afraid of asking them again? Here’s some help from the Veritus Group to assure you have a great December – and beyond. I especially like tips #2 and #4 taken together – you’ll learn why thinking of giving as ‘annual’ can be a transactional trap.
Click-it: CX is more than a department. How has your customer service been doing in this pandemic year? Check out this article from the Marketoonist, Tom Fishbourne — complete with cartoons! – and see if you’ve been delivering. Note: When I read his stuff, I also substitute the word “customer” for “donor” in my mind.
Click-it: How Virtual Events Drive Tangible Results for Nonprofits. Whether you’re planning a virtual #GivingTuesday event, year-end celebration, spring gala or auction, or just a town hall or fireside chat, you’ll find the tips in this article from Merkle useful. If you aren’t planning such events, you should know: (1) 71% of Americans are interested in participating in virtual experiences in lieu of attending physically; (2) 67% are likely to participate in virtual experiences, and (3) 73% feel better about a brand that provides virtual experiences.
Click-it: How To Adjust Your Year-End Fundraising Strategy for 2020. This article on the re: charity blog suggests some ways to adjust your year-end strategies to meet the moment in which we’re living.
Your Food for Thought
Click-it: Who rules philanthropy? White people, mostly. So concludes this article about foundations and their boards by Marc Gunther on the Medium blog. The author notes “expressions of concern, coupled with an unwillingness to share power — is all too common in the foundation world.”
WEBINARS & ON-DEMAND AUDIO RESOURCES
If you can’t attend live, note many are available via recording – but only if you register!
Click-it: A Conversation About Campaigns During A Pandemic – Part 1 [Tune into free video]. This is a fun vlog discussion from the Donor Relations Guru between two colleagues who began and/or completed campaigns during the pandemic. Rather than shut things down, or even postpone, they talk about what they did to adapt to the new circumstances.
Click-it: Remaking the Economy: Where to Now?—And Beyond [Register for free webinar, 11-12-2020]. Nonprofit Quarterly presents a panel of leading activists for a conversation about how cities, nonprofits and other community leaders can help guide us toward a more democratic politics and economy. It will include real-life examples and lessons learned that can inform your work in your own community.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Strategy Sessions [Register for free 3-part webinar sessions – each 30 minutes – beginning 11-10-2020]. Finish this year strong and get off to a strategic start next year! You won’t want to miss this 3-part strategy session from Firespring. Learn how to (1) take your event online; (2) manage donor relationships, and (3) plan for 2021.
Click-it: How to Create Meaningful Connections with Donors [Download this brand new, free whitepaper addressing changes currently happening in the nonprofit world]. When face-to-face connecting is difficult to impossible, what are the best ways to deepen your relationships with your donors? This is precisely what this brand new white paper from the Veritus Group explores. I’ve read the whole thing, and it is well worth your time!
Strategy and Management
Click-it: So, Wake Me Up When It’s All Over. Michael Rosen, ML Innovations, offers solid advice for fundraising as we wait for a ‘new normal’ to arrive. He notes a ‘post-Covid’ world won’t arrive anytime soon, so sitting around waiting for that to happen will not serve you well. Bonus: You can download a free whitepaper from Rosen and Dr. Russell James on how to do legacy giving right now.
Other Articles: The Beat Goes On
Click-it: 5 Secrets to Write Fruitful Fundraising Appeals. I encourage you to begin at the beginning — with why you’re writing a fundraising letter at all in our digital age. Then you’ll be ready to successfully use the secrets I share in this article on the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: Getting grief about your year-end appeal? Mary Cahalane, Hands-On Fundraising, offers up 7 pieces of bad advice, and why you should ignore them.
Click-it: Where Are Your Monthly Donors Hiding?. This is a super comprehensive article about monthly giving from the guru herself, Erica Waasdorp of A Direct Solution. Tons of great tips, plus plenty of food for thought.
Click-it: How Often Should We Thank Monthly Donors, and How?. Check out my answer to this question on the Bloomerang blog “Ask and Expert” feature.
Click-it: Why a valid email address is crucial for donor communication. As you prepare your series of end-of-year email appeals, don’t forget the important advice you’ll find in this article from 4aGoodCause. Otherwise, you could be shooting yourself in the foot without even realizing it.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: 12 Nonprofit Strategies to Lead with Intention in Any Communication. Learn how to infuse intentional leadership into creating content, communicating and interacting with colleagues, volunteers and donors. I look at what you can do and how you can do it in this article on the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: How the Craziest Ideas Can Boost Your Fundraising Efforts. Amy Eisenstein shares a great idea to keep your juices flowing and your work life fun and fresh. Check it out; try it out.
Click-it: How to Write with Style: Kurt Vonnegut’s 8 Keys to the Power of the Written Word. If you enjoy writing, if you don’t enjoy writing, or if you just want some tips on effective writing, you won’t find better advice anywhere than in this article from Maria Popova on Brain Pickings. There’s a lot more than Vonnegut. In fact, there are so many resources I haven’t even finished with them yet. What I’ve read thus far has been illuminating.
Year End Giving
Click-it: Pumpkin Pie and the Recipe for Year-End Giving. Roger Craver of the Agitator/DonorVoice blog shares some actual tasty recipes, and talks about ways to ‘set the table’ so your donors will be inclined to give between now and December 31st. Plus he says some kind words about me (aw, shucks).
Other Learning Opportunities
WEBINARS & ON-DEMAND AUDIO RESOURCES
If you can’t attend live, note that many are available via recording – but only if you register!
Click-it: Cyber-Security in the Boardroom [Listen to free on-demand webinar]. With cyber-security as daily headline news, we all know this is not just an issue for IT staff. Board members play a crucial role in setting policy, following good cyber practices, and ensuring that resources are sufficient to support cybersecurity operations. Get the information you need in this webinar from BoardEffect.
Major and Legacy Giving
Click-it: How to Eliminate Delays Obtaining IRA Death Proceeds [Register for free webinar, 12-2-2020]. The devil is always in the details. Make sure you don’t miss out on a legacy gift, and assure your donor’s wishes are fulfilled, by joining this Stelter-sponsored session.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: Maximize Your Efforts While Minimizing Stress: A Busy Person’s Guide to Crushing Online Fundraising Goals [Listen to on-demand webinar]. Year-end fundraising season has arrived, and with it your need to leverage your messaging across multiple channels to enhance chances for success. Qgiv hosts Ercia Linguanti of AchieveCauses to help you know where to best place your time and energy to reach online fundraising goals. Want to drive more folks to your website? Convert more of them to donors? Check this out!
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Fundraising Climate Change and What You Can Do About it [Register for free webinar, 11-18-2020]. Greg Warner, CEO of MarketSmart, wants you to be prepared for changes on the horizon, including facts low-dollar donors are disappearing, donor retention rates are dropping, trust in nonprofits is becoming more depressed, and competition for donor dollars is growing. He’ll first focus on data and research, then share practical insights you can use to stand out from the crowd.
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES & SAMPLES
Donor Retention and Recognition
Click-it: Giving Society Swap [Download free examples]. This is an awesome compilation of recognition society samples. The team at Donor Relations Guru compiled it all for your viewing pleasure. There are emails, print samples, videos, web pages—oh my!
Click-it: 2020 Year-End Appeal Guide [Download free resource]. The good folks at FlipCause have put together this useful 8-week countdown timeline, with links to other useful resources.
Did You Miss My Recent Articles?
Here are links to the most recent articles on the Clairification blog. I think you’ll find these fairly practical. Hope so!
- Warning Sign: A Post-Trump Digital Divide Between Nonprofits?
- BOO! Are You Scaring Nonprofit Donors Away?
- 6 Strategies to Convey Your Most Emotional Fundraising Appeal Story
- 4 Strategies to Dramatically Increase Nonprofit Donations
- Show Me You Know Me — 5 Strategies To Sustain Donor Relationships
- How to Segment Nonprofit Donors: Identity vs. Identification
Please support my extraordinary sponsors (see below). The Clairity Click-it content is free, and Clairification School is affordable because of their generosity.
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. November’s tips are just around the corner! If you’re not yet an enrolled student, you can get in on the fun here!
My motto is: “If I know it, I want you to know it.” Don’t miss out.