Time to emerge from the showers of April to the flowers of May.
Metaphorically, of course. Weather has been weird some places.
No matter. It’s a good time to consider the big picture. To go to that place where weirdness and arguments cease. Where there is no “right” or “wrong.” Only possibility.
This reminds me of some of Rumi’s most widely quoted verses.
Out beyond ideas of
wrongdoing and rightdoing
there is a field.
I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies down
in that grass,
the world is too full
to talk about.
even the phrase ‘each other’
doesn’t make any sense.
What are the truths and values that animate your work, and how can you come from this place to connect more meaningfully with your constituents?
To help you become even more mindful in the contributions you make, I’m happy to present this edition of free resources for you to enjoy. Again, I’d like to send a shout-out to this year’s sponsor, Bloomerang, for keeping this gratis.
I’ve got lots more wisdom to share, and hope you’ll take advantage this year. Clairification School gives you a full 12 months of strategic advice! Articles, free webinars, monthly tips, bonuses and more. If you’re on the fence about enrolling, see what others say about why they’ve joined.
Enjoy, and may you go from strength to strength,
P.S. Check out my free fundraising advice column on the Bloomerang blog! Ask your question here. And bookmark the Ask an Expert page! Check out (1) Who are the best prospects for legacy gifts? and (2) What are Predictive Analytics for Planned Giving?
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
SPECIAL CATEGORY: Tips for Not-So-Normal Times
Click-it: New Capital Campaign Trends for 2021. Gail Perry, Fired Up Fundraising, discusses why this is a good time to ask donors “Would this be a good time to discuss your support of our campaign?” The fundraising outlook for 2021 and 2022 is good. Be prepared to take advantage by using strategies demonstrated to work.
Click-it: What community-centered fundraising means to me. Fundraising builds communities. The goal of the fundraiser is to find folks who care about the community you want to build; then grow your community by welcoming them as supporters. Mary Cahalane, Hands-On Fundraising, suggests ways to do this by committing to diversity, handing over credit, and working to build a strong individual fundraising program.
Click-it: It’s Time to Stop the War on Donors. In another take on the movement towards focusing away from donors’ needs to community needs, Joe Garecht worries this may result in unintended consequences. It’s a complex issue, and he digs into it with reasoned arguments. You may agree or disagree.
Click-it: Running Your Nonprofit’s Accounting Department During Covid-19 and After. Here’s an article on the Blue Avocado blog to share with your finance staff. You know, one of those “You probably could give a course on this, but… just in case, thought I’d share.” If you help them, they’ll help you!
Click-it: How Virtual Events Drive Tangible Results for Nonprofits. You may not be ready to go back to in-person events. Or your virtual event last year may have inspired you to try another one. The folks at Merkle have you covered when it comes to planning for, and executing, and event that makes participants happy and drives desired results.
Click-it: Nonprofit Giving Trends and Future Fundraising Strategy. Wondering where to focus your fundraising as we emerge from the fog of 2020? Charitable giving was up in 2020, and it wasn’t a flash in the pan. Projections for nonprofit giving trends in 2021 and 2022 are even rosier. In this article for the Bloomerang blog I discuss some of the best strategies to employ to build a well-oiled 21st century fundraising machine.
WEBINARS, ROUNDTABLES & ON-DEMAND AUDIO RESOURCES
If you can’t attend live, note many are available via recording – but ONLY if you REGISTER!
Click-it: Four Apps Helping Nonprofits Successfully Respond to COVID-19 Challenges [Register for free panel presentation, 5-5-2021]. Discover four innovative apps helping nonprofits successfully respond to COVID-19 with tools for post-pandemic strategy planning, volunteer management, scheduling vaccinations, and facilitating your return to the office. Hosted by TechSoup.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Leading Change: Breakthroughs Don’t Happen Overnight [Register for free panel presentation 5-4-2021]. Giant leaps forward require planning, rigorous testing, teamwork–and any number of failures along the way. During this session hosted by Firespring with Barbara O’Reilly, CFRE, T. Clay Buck and Cherian Kosney, CFRE, presenters will discuss how to define the breakthrough you need, conditions for achieving it in context of capacity, infrastructure and taking risks, and developing a step-by-step plan to reach your goal.
Click-it: The Road Ahead: How the Events of 2020 Might Shape the Future of Philanthropy [Register for free webinar, 5-4-2021]. This session from Stanford Social Innovation Review will explore how philanthropists have responded to the unprecedented events of the past year, what they learned from having to quickly adapt giving strategies to address rapidly-mounting need, and how the philanthropic ecosystem – donors and grantees – can continue to prepare for what’s next. Panelists include leaders of Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Schwab Charitable and Bill &Melinda Gates Foundation.
Other Articles: The Beat Goes On
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: Why You Shouldn’t Use the Word “Vulnerable” in Your Appeals. Steven Screen, the Better Fundraising Co., nails this one. It’s definitely worth a read.
Click-it: Direct marketing copy and the amazing power of fear. Want a down-and-dirty analysis of two grand controls? This article on the SOFII blog is a master class in direct mail marketing. You will definitely learn a thing or two!
Click-it: Why Automatic Monthly Gift Upgrades Are a Bad Idea. If you have, or are contemplating, a monthly giving program – which you absolutely should – read this from Erica Waasdorp, A Direct Solution.
Click-it: 4 Ways to Increase Recurring Donations with Texting. This article from Rally Corp explores four ways to increase recurring donations with text message content that adds value for the donor. Not every message should ask for money. When you do ask, be clear and specific.
Click-it: Write a Call to Action (CTA) that Inspires Engagement. Calls to action will make or break your fundraising. Yet I still see too many appeals that lack clear CTAs. Don’t let this happen to you! Read this piece from Flipcause to learn precisely what to do to really rock your next CTA.
Click-it: 4 excuses for not creating a donor newsletter. Here comes another good article from Mary Cahalane, Hands-On Fundraising. If you’ve shied away from a newsletter, or are thinking about eliminating yours, read this first.
Click-it: The donor journey and the importance of content marketing. Throughout your donors’ journey, there are touchpoints. Many are content marketing tactics. This excellent piece from 4aGoodCause will help you support your donors’ needs and meet them where they are.
Click-it: 5 Thank You Tips that Might Get You a Second Gift. The problems with automated or form thank you’s are outlined in this article by Cesie Delve Scheuermann.
Click-it: Acknowledging Memorial Donations: From the Donor Perspective. Enjoy this personally insightful piece from Zach Shefska, formerly of The Fundraising Report Card.
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: How Do You Hone Your Nonprofit’s Major Donor Portfolio? One full-time person can only handle cultivating a portfolio of 150. If you have less resources to dedicate, you’ll have to figure out which donors to prioritize. Do this through qualification and tiering – which I explain in this article for the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: 10 Ways Major Gift Fundraising IS Like Sales. Andrew Olson, CFRE makes the case fundraising is selling. I couldn’t agree more. I’d say they’re not just alike; they’re the same thing. To sell, and to fundraise, is human. These are all such good points, I couldn’t pick a favorite.
Click-it: 4 Signs that You Have a Good Planned Giving Prospect. The folks at Stelter are experts in this area; here they share their insights and recommendations. It’s interesting and useful stuff!
Other Learning Opportunities
If you can’t attend live, or are interested in sessions happening at overlapping times, note many are available via recording – but ONLY if you REGISTER!
Click-it: The Current State Of Donor Retention and What Fundraisers Can Do About It [Register for free webinar, 5-13-2021]. Steven Shattuck joins Qgiv to share the current state of donor retention per the most recent Fundraising Effectiveness Project report. You’ll also learn techniques you can use to boost your own results.
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: Planned Giving Isn’t Scary or Hard… We Promise! [Register for free webinar, 5-6-2021]. Both Bob Shafis and Jeff Schreifels of the Veritus Group are terrific presenters, so make sure to sign up if you’re ready to get proactive seeking legacy gifts. And you should! They will share how any fundraiser can use simple tools to talk to donors about planned gifts – and get them!
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, WHITE PAPERS & OTHER RESOURCES
Click-it: How Non-Profit Boards Contribute [Download free White Paper]. Are you frustrated with your Board’s fundraising involvement? Learn how to activate them and help them become effective in this paper from the Veritus Group.
Did You Miss My Newest Articles?
Here are links to the most recent articles on the Clairification blog. I think you’ll find these either thought-provoking, practical or both. Hope so!
- 4 Timely Nonprofit Fundraising and Communications Strategies
- 5 Secret Nonprofit Donor Retention Action Strategies
- What Causes Tribute and Peer-to-Peer Donors to Renew?
- The Real Skinny on Nonprofit Donor Thank You’s
- Why Aren’t Nonprofits Retaining More Donors?
- How Not to Ask for a Major Gift
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