Clairity Click-it and Bloomerang

Life Lived Well Clairity Click-it: Useful Nonprofit Links + Resources

Clairity Click-it and Bloomerang

I often remind myself of the words of Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

You who work in the trenches of the social benefit sector are those thoughtful, committed citizens. Never forget: your work changes the world. While it may be a slog sometimes – especially now as we face a surging pandemic, economic uncertainty, and a deeply divided society – you make a positive difference. Rest assured the part you play is a life lived well.

“I can face the winter with calm. I’d been thinking of the winter as a horrid, wet, dreary time. Now I can see other things-crisp and sparkling days, long pleasant evenings, cheery fires. Good work shall be done this winter. Life shall be lived well.

–A.A.Milne

To help you do your important work I’ve again collected fundraising, marketing and nonprofit management resources – all free – for you to use to inform your practice. Once again, I want to thank my sponsor, Bloomerangfor making it possible to offer you this complimentary biweekly newsletter.

Let me close with the words of another poet:

you are not everything
but everything
could not be
everything without
you.

— Joseph Pintauro, poet, ‘To Believe in Things’

With gratitude,

Claire

claire@clairification.com

P.S. Please stay safe this holiday season. I am virtually hugging you right now! I hope you can feel the warmth.

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Clairity Click-it and Bloomerang

Clairity Click-it: Cornucopia of Useful Nonprofit Links + Resources

Clairity Click-it and Bloomerang

The gratitude holidays – Thanksgiving and #GivingTuesday – are upon us! Are you ready?

Because I’m so grateful for the work you do in making our world a better one, I’ve collected a ton of great gifts for you this month! All to make your life a little easier. Articles, free webinars and free downloadable guides to help you succeed in this most generous of seasons.

Remember why you do this.  Yes, it’s to further your mission. But remember donors are your mission too. They need you in order to become their best selves, and to find meaning that might otherwise elude them. Here’s the bottom line:

“Giving makes us happy. Check out the latest research from the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. As donor relations and stewardship professionals, it’s our job to build on that happiness and create lifelong relationships between donors and our organizations. We do that through our thank you letters and calls, reports, videos, events…every experience that becomes part of a donor’s journey with our organizations. Clap along if you know what happiness is to you…“

— Eliza McNulty, President, Association of Donor Relations Professionals (ADRP):

Once again, I want to thank my sponsor, Bloomerangfor making it possible to offer this biweekly newsletter to you for free.

With gratitude,

Claire

claire@clairification.com

P.S. Seriously, you have to click on the ‘clap along’ link above. It’s impossible not to feel happy – something we could all use a bit more of right about now. Plus there’s some pretty dope dancing in this video as well. Keep smiling!

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Gratitude Clairity Click-it: Useful Nonprofit Links + Resources

Clairity Click-it and Bloomerang

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.

With gratitude,

Claire

claire@clairification.com

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.

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Defining Moment Clairity Click-it: Useful Nonprofit Links + Resources

Clairity Click-it and Bloomerang

Your defining moment

It’s easy to wait for it. The movies have taught us that when the music swells and the chips are down, that’s when leaders arrive and when heroes are made.

It turns out, that’s not how it works.

Our work is what happens in all the moments. Leadership doesn’t simply appear when the script announces it does: it is the hard work of showing up when we’re not expected to, of seeing what’s possible when few are willing to believe.

Your defining moment is whenever you decide it is, and you get a new chance to lead every day…

… Possibility is where you find it. We each have more to offer than the world expects. And growth is something we’re capable of, as soon as we’re committed to seeing what we can contribute.

…Our current worldwide tragedy is a slog, but it will have another side. And the organizations that thrive will be the ones that don’t rely on top-down management to go forward. It’s peer-to-peer leadership and innovation that produces resilience, and leadership that turns any moment into a moment where we can make things better.

— Seth Godin

Sometimes (often actually) Seth Godin just says it all. I am constantly in awe. So… sharing.

To help you turn your moments into moments that can make things better, here are resources I’ve collected for you. I hope you’ll find something that speaks to you. Something you can share with a colleague. Something you can put your strength into, and create one or more actions to help repair our world.

With gratitude,

Claire

claire@clairification.com

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.

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Not about You Clairity Click-it: Useful Nonprofit Links + Resources

Clairity Click-it and Bloomerang

Okay, we’re here. Mid-pandemic.

It’s not new. The adrenaline that kicked-in and prompted you to fight, not flee, has kicked out. You may be tired of telling your coronavirus story. You may assume your constituents are tired of hearing it. So maybe you’ve slacked off on your marketing and fundraising messages.

While the giving bump may be flattening, I encourage you not to accept this as an inevitable outcome.  You’re still in control of your own destiny. And since most nonprofits count quite a bit on year-end giving — it can mean 30 – 50% of all annual revenue – you must consider the things you can do, not those you can’t do.

What can you do to prevent a slump, just when revenue to assure your mission thrives is most essential? I’m struck by a recent post by the inimitable Seth Godin.

The cold open

No one ever bought anything on an elevator. The elevator pitch isn’t about selling your idea, because a metaphorical elevator is a lousy place to make a pitch.

When you feel like you’re being judged and only have a minute to make a first impression, it’s tempting to try to explain the truth and nuance of who you are, what you’ve done and what you’re going to do in the time it takes to travel a few floors.

That rarely works.

The alternative is the elevator question, not the elevator pitch. To begin a conversation–not about you, but about the person you’re hoping to connect with. If you know who they are and what they want, it’s a lot more likely you can figure out if they’re a good fit for who you are and what you want. And you can take the opportunity to help them find what they need, especially if it’s not from you.

Too often, we feel rejected when in fact, all that’s happened is a mismatch of needs, narratives and what’s on offer.

Instead of looking at everyone as someone who could fund you or buy from you or hire you, it might help to imagine that almost no one can do those things, but there are plenty of people you might be able to help in some other way, even if it’s only to respect them enough to not make a pitch.

No one wants to be hustled.

Of course, I’ve bold-faced the language I find most relevant for nonprofits. Ask your constituents how you can be of service. You to them, not them to you. They’re part of your mission too. After all, philanthropy means ‘love of humanity.’ Donors are human, just like clients. And what goes around comes around.

Listen. Offer them gifts of content that meet their needs in one or more ways. I offered a webinar today, and asked the participants what folks need most right now. Answers? Connection. Stability. Hope. Joy. Encouragement. Compassion. These are not tangible things. They happen to be things nonprofits are uniquely suited to offer.

When you give people opportunities to help others, and come from a place of love, humanity, gratitude and empathy in so doing, your supporters won’t feel hustled. They’ll feel empowered to be heroes.

I’ve never heard so many people say “I need to DO something, I just don’t know what to do.”

Help your donors. ‘Hero’ them.

Here are resources I’ve collected for you to help you and your constituents along the path to passionate philanthropy. I want to thank my sponsor Bloomerang for making it possible for me to spend the time to do this for you on a biweekly basis. It is a labor of love for both of us.

With gratitude,

Claire

claire@clairification.com

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Be and Be Better Clairity Click-it: Useful Nonprofit Links + Resources

Clairity Click-it and Bloomerang

Last week I published Maya Angelou’s poem, When Great Trees Fall. I’ve taken a line from that poem as inspiration for the title of this week’s Clairity Click-it. Here’s another excerpt I love:

Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

The resources I share in this newsletter come from “great trees” far and wide. They whisper to us. They show us the way forward. Our minds, and fundraising practice, are “formed and informed by their
radiance.”

Now, more than ever, is a time to look for radiance wherever it is to be found. By finding the light, we’ll find our way out of the darkness.

It’s not easy. I’m reminded of a post by the inimitable Seth Godin.

A situation vs a slog

“Wake me when it’s over,” is a natural instinct during a short-term interruption in our usual pattern. A crisis is there to be managed or waited out. The goal of each day is to simply get through it. Until things are back to normal.

But sometimes we’re dealing with a slog. Where the number of days is not small enough to simply throw them away. In a slog, the pattern of only getting by undervalues our days and diminishes our ability to contribute.

During a slog, we have a chance to accept a new normal, even if it’s temporary, and to figure out how to make something of it. You don’t have to wish for it, but it’s here. There’s very little value in spending our time nostalgic for normal.

When we get to the other side of the slog and look back, what will we have contributed, learned and created?

We’re in the slog now. But it’s an opportunity too. A time for creativity, innovation and learning. What will you learn this week? What will you create next week? What will you look back upon as your unique contribution once we emerge from this marathon?

I hope you’ll find something in the resources I’ve collected for you to help you and your constituents along the path to passionate philanthropy. I want to thank my sponsor Bloomerang for making it possible for me to spend the time to do this for you on a biweekly basis. It is a labor of love for both of us.

With gratitude,

Claire

claire@clairification.com

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New Dawn Clairity Click-it: Useful Nonprofit Links + Resources

Clairity Click-it and Bloomerang

If your team is up by thirty points at halftime, it’s not optimistic to expect that you’re going to win–it’s a realistic assessment.

Optimism is an attitude and a choice. It involves context and focus. We’re not deluding ourselves with the reassurance that everything is going to be okay (because that’s not productive). Instead, we’re committed to finding things we can contribute to, work on and improve. We’re devoted to seeking out useful lessons and to discovering where the benefit of the doubt might be helpful.

Positive thinking doesn’t solve every problem. But it’s a much better tool than negative thinking.

— Seth Godin, Optimism as a choice

I love these words. Choosing optimism means being positive within the context of planning for future actions that will prove our positive thinking to have been wise and fruitful. Beyond giving a ‘thumbs up’ and reassuring ourselves and others “everything will be all right,” what about taking some proactive steps to assure the dawn of something better?

You can’t control everything, but there’s no reason not to find something you can control, then control the heck out of it!

For those of you who will celebrate the high holiday of Rosh Hashonah beginning next Friday evening, you know this is traditionally a time of hope, optimism and renewal. While much seems up in the air right now, it’s a time to question what really matters – especially what means most to your constituents. It’s a new year, fraught with possibility.

You’re a philanthropy facilitator. Today, you operate in an environment where people are desperate for human connection, community, and a sense of meaning and purpose. You have a positive role in facilitating that which people most want.

I hope you’ll find something in the resources I’ve collected for you to help your constituents fulfill their most cherished values. I want to thank my sponsor Bloomerang for making it possible for me to spend the time to do this for you on a biweekly basis. It is a labor of love for both of us.

From Psalm 30: “One may lie down weeping at nightfall, but at dawn there are shouts of joy.” Thank you for bringing new dawns to so many, making our world a better place.

With gratitude,

Claire

claire@clairification.com

P.S. I’m participating in Top Nonprofits’ Virtual Summit for Nonprofit Change Makers September 15 and 17. Two full days online with 25 presenters – and you get 18.75 CFRE credits. Since I’m presenting, I get to offer you a 20% discount! This is just a few dollars per presenter — pennies compared with what it would cost you to attend such an event in person. There’s no way you’ll walk away without at minimum a few real gems of advice you can act on. Jump on it here, and your discount will be automatically applied!

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Reverence for Breath Clairity Click-it: Useful Nonprofit Links + Resources

Clairity Click-it and Bloomerang

We each have, I believe, a responsibility to “write home” when life gives us some heightened experience – perhaps an experience of illness, or loss, or transition, or awakening. We report back to the collective, and fill in one more shape on the mosaic of human experience. We add detail about the topography to one more spot on that map. We do it because any place that one of us is taken offers lessons for all of us.

— Tara Mohr, From Smoke

You’re a philanthropy facilitator. You ‘write home’ all the time to shine a light on heightened experiences. Whether it be smoke from fires… labored breathing from a terrible pandemic or other illness… choking smog in cities enveloped in pollution… people suffocating from crimes against humanity… the gasps of those saying “I can’t breathe.” Whatever affront to the human experience your organization confronts, you help your supporters translate the love in their hearts into actionable work. You help your constituents fulfill their most cherished values and find meaning and purpose.

You do this to the best of your ability, with full attention and commitment. Even when it’s not easy.

Tara Mohr also asks us to ask ourselves: “How will I fight – in my work, in my thoughts, in my community – for the collective breath of life?”

How, indeed. One of this pandemic’s silver linings is the plethora of free stuff you can find online to help you do your important work. To lift your spirits, commune with your peers, develop new skills and strengthen old ones. That’s where the Clairity Click-it comes in.  Simply click on a link and let it transport you to an article, webinar, podcast, e-guide or some other resource that piques your interest.

It is my pleasure to collect and curate these resources for you, and I want to thank my sponsor Bloomerang for making it possible for me to spend the time to do this for you on a biweekly basis. It is a labor of love for both of us.

Thank you for all you do to take people on the path towards passionate philanthropy, in service of making our world a place where all people can breathe free.

With gratitude,

Claire

claire@clairification.com

P.S. Many thanks to Bloomerang for sponsoring the Clairity Click-it. And please also take advantage of all my original articles on this blog by enrolling in Clairification School!

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Good Trouble Clairity Click-it: Useful Nonprofit Links + Resources

Clairity Click-it and Bloomerang

From whence do you derive your meaning?

From whence do your donors derive their meaning?

There are so many ways to treasure it… so many ways to deliver it… and, alas, so many ways to fail to treasure or transport either ourselves or our supporters to that singular important place of significance.

It is not only through our actions that we can give life meaning — insofar as we can answer life’s specific questions responsibly — we can fulfill the demands of existence not only as active agents but also as loving human beings: in our loving dedication to the beautiful, the great, the good…

… How human beings deal with the limitation of their possibilities regarding how it affects their actions and their ability to love, how they behave under these restrictions — the way in which they accept their suffering under such restrictions — in all of this they still remain capable of fulfilling human values. 

Victor Frankel

What are you doing, in the midst of this pandemic, this economic depression, this time of great inequity, uncertainty and upheaval… what are you doing to actively give life meaning? How are you dedicating yourself to the beautiful, the great, the good?

How are you helping your constituents fulfill their most cherished values and act in such a manner it gives life meaning?

This, my friends, is the job of the philanthropy facilitator.

So do not be despondent, dismayed or distracted by the difficulties we face.

Apply reason to difficulties; harsh circumstances can be softened, narrow limits can be widened, and burdensome things can be made to press less severely on those who bear them cleverly.

Seneca

I’ve gathered some resources to soften the blow and widen the parameters within which you may be stuck operating. It’s a time for innovation and empathy. I hope you find some of these articles, webinars, guides, white papers and more helpful.

Thank you for all you do to make our world a better place.

With gratitude,

Claire

claire@clairification.com

P.S. Many thanks to Bloomerang for sponsoring the Clairity Click-it. And please also take advantage of all my original articles on this blog by enrolling in Clairification School!

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Got You Covered Clairity Click-it: Useful Nonprofit Links + Resources

Clairity Click-it and Bloomerang

Please wear a mask.

I know each of you has your nonprofit’s needs to deal with, but before that can happen you need to stay healthy. You need to assure your family, friends, colleagues, neighbors, supporters and, yes, even strangers stay healthy.

This is the biggest crisis our world has faced in 100 years. There’s no ignoring it. In the last Clairity Click-it I encouraged you to take a good hard look at what you can do proactively to make the best of the cards we’ve all been dealt.  Today I echo that plea, yet begin with that one simple step.

Cover your face.

Thank you for helping to make our world a better place.

I hope you find some of these resources I’ve collected for you helpful.

With gratitude for all you do,

Claire

claire@clairification.com

P.S. Many thanks to Bloomerang for sponsoring the Clairity Click-it. And please also take advantage of all my original articles on this blog by enrolling in Clairification School!

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