It’s said March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. Whatever the weather in your neck of the woods, treat yourself kindly this month. You deserve it! After all, you’re doing the world’s most important work. This is no time to feel BAA BAA BAAd. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself).
Why not begin your month with some inspiration and free tips and tools? Clairity Click-it is my gift to you (with a shout out to my 2018 sponsor, Bloomerang)! I curate articles, webinars, podcasts, white papers, e-books and whatever else I can find that I believe will be useful to you in your quest to facilitate passionate philanthropy.
P.S. I’ve got lots more wisdom to share, and hope you’ll take advantage this year. Your support means a lot, and I look forward to continuing to offer useful insights and “how to” tools for those who can’t afford the cost of coaching, conferences or ongoing consultation (and even for those who can). Clairification School costs less than a half hour of coaching – and that’s for a full year of tips!
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
Annual Individual Giving
Click-it: Remember the Postscript. Donors Do! I say this all the time, so was glad to see my friend Dennis Fischman is making a point of it as well on the Communicate blog. Your P.S. is the Boardwalk and Park Place of your letter. Use it or lose it!
Click-it: The case of the disappearing donor. Mary Cahalane of Hands-On Fundraising nails what’s likely wrong with your donor communications.
Click-it: Professional Photography: 4 Reasons to Invest In It. This guest piece by Angela Crist on the Nonprofit Communications Blog is a reminder: If it’s worth doing (and a good picture really is worth 1000 words!) it’s worth doing well!
Click-it: 5 Ways Nonprofit Tech Can Improve Your Donor Stewardship. A useful piece by Senetra Richards on The Fundraising Coach blog describes how to strengthen your stewardship plan by using online and database tools. Specifically:
- Personalizing communications with segmented lists.
- Hosting more meaningful (and engaging!) fundraisers.
- Optimizing your online giving methods and donation process.
- Managing and promoting your membership program.
- Maintaining an efficient follow-up strategy.
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: Obstacles to Asking. Kent Stroman offers up five reasons on the Charity Channel blog why your major gift ask might be hindered or compromised. It’s a good, deep-dive piece.
Click-it: How to Increase the Likelihood that Your Major or Legacy Donor Prospects Will Engage in Meaningful Conversation with You by 700%. Just a quick thought-provoker: Why you can’t put off responding to donor inquires. From Greg Warner at Market Smart.
Management and Strategy
Click-it: Why Do Nonprofits Give Their Staff Such Terrible Job Titles? This blog post is one of Market Smart’s most popular, so I thought I’d share. If you want my take on the subject, scroll down through the comments – towards the bottom.
Click-it: There’s No Free Lunch in Fundraising: Why You Need Overhead. Check out my article for Bloomerang about why spending a dollar less is often a poor idea. “Lean and mean” is just that. Mean.
Online Social Marketing and Fundraising
Click-it: Email Optimization: How to Maximize the Power of Every Email You Send. Email 101. Basic stuff that’s too easy to overlook. Use this as a checklist next time you send an email appeal or donor communication. From the folks at Strong Content.
Psychology of Giving
Click-it: 6 assumptions you should make about donors. I’m a huge proponent of applying knowledge from other disciplines to the practice of fundraising. Here Jeff Brooks of Future Fundraising Now shares how to apply knowledge from the world of CX (customer experience) to humanize your efforts.
Click-it: Visionary Stories – What Every Non-profit Needs to Know and Do. Vanessa Chase Lockshin of The Storytelling Nonprofit offers some tips to help you “capture lightning in a bottle” and bring your stories to life.
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: Stupid Fundraising Sometimes Works [Listen to on-demand video]. Jeff Brooks of Moceanic dons his “mean teacher” costume to tell smart fundraisers a secret about how to think about fundraising in a way that will keep you clear-headed, realistic and open-minded.
Data and Metrics
Click-it: Obtain & Utilize Donor Data Effectively to Increase Giving [Register for free webinar, 4-4-18]. Johnathan Gibbs of Network for Good digs into the fundamentals of collecting donor information and discusses how to use that information to better cultivate and steward your donors. He’ll also discuss simple segmentation you can use. Looks like a useful one!
Click-it: Why your donor segmentation and lack of real donor journeys cost you donations (Register for free webinar, 4-4-18] Join Kevin Schulman and Nick Ellinger of Donor Voice to learn how to better acquire and retain donors by segmenting according to donor identities rather than recency, frequency, monetary amount and/or demographics.
Click-it: Fundraising Silent Auctions: It’s The Items, Stupid! [Register for free webinar, 4-12-18]. If you’ve got the right items, your auction is a winner for all concerned: the bidders, the donors, the item solicitors and your organization. If you’ve got the wrong items, not so much. Join me and Bloomerang for this webinar that will teach you how to increase event revenue and entertain your guests with a winning silent auction.
Management and Strategy
Click-it: How to Build a Thriving Nonprofit [Register for free online workshop beginning 4-17-18] Joan Garry is offering the bargain of the century – a two-session step-by-step blueprint for leaders of small nonprofits. You can read more about this opportunity here.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: The Online Donor Journey: Maximize your online fundraising by walking in your donors’ shoes [Register for free webinar, 4-3-18]. Rich Dietz presents this session to help you improve your donor’s experience, from initial communications, to appeals and landing pages, to a plan for continuous follow-up, courtesy of Qgiv.
Click-it: If you wish you had more self-discipline [Listen to podcast, or read article] Tara Sophia Mohr, author of Playing Big, is a leadership trainer and coach who works with folks having trouble getting to their goals. If you think your problem is lack of self -discipline, it’s likely one of the three problems Tara discusses in this article. There are also links to useful guides and templates.
FREE DOWNLOADABLE RESOURCES
Click-it: The Science of Ask Strings [Download free paper] . Few elements of fundraising are as underappreciated as the crucial “ask string.” If you’re in the dark as to which amounts to ask for, online or offline, you owe it to yourself to read this paper by Nick Ellinger of Donor Voice.
Data and Metrics
Click-it: Metrics That Matter; The Data-Driven Fundraiser’s Ultimate Quick Reference Guide [Download free e-book] from Zach Shefska at The Fundraising Report Card. If you want to feel more confident in your ability to produce data-driven fundraising campaigns, and measure their effectiveness, this is for you.
Click-it: Donor Love and Loyalty Plan [Download free worksheet]. Use this template – written by me and made free to you by our good friends at Bloomerang — to build your year-round cultivation, engagement and relationship-building plan so you retain and upgrade more donors. Bottom line: Fundraisers, when all is said and done, are in the “happiness delivery business.” Are you delivering happiness?
Click-it: Events and Major Gift Fundraising [Download free white paper]. Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels of The Veritus Group lay out the true cost of events for a major gift program, and describe the best way to use events to make the most of them.
Did You Miss My 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.
Here are links to my most recent articles.
- Donors Give to Big Visions. What’s Yours?
- Top 10 Nonprofit Monthly Recurring Gift Strategies
- 12 Top Tips to Build Community and Broaden Your Nonprofit Donor Base
- Don’t Eschew Small Gift Affinity Fundraising
Hope to see you in Clairification School!
My motto is: “If I know it, I want you to know it!”