“For while we have our eyes on the future
history has its eyes on us”
— Amanda Gorman, excerpt from “The Hill We Climb” inaugural poem
Venture forward. What you do now matters. For today and tomorrow.
Whether you rest on your laurels, continue in complacency, and content yourself with status quo OR dig deeply to find how you might re-invent to find greater balance, justice and truth.
The choice is yours. And, oh, what a choice.
To take the easy path… or forge a new one potent with promise. To work to your least, medium… or greatest capacity. To tread water… or dive into work that centers empathy and equity. To follow… or lead.
The work of those who toil in the vineyards of the social benefit sector is not always easy. Success is not measured by how much profit redounds to shareholders, but by how much social return is generated from your investment. Frankly, this is increasingly important to workers in all sectors. “Do no harm” is not enough; the goal is creating ACTIVE good. The venture is a collective one, with internal and external stakeholders joining together in shared purpose. How you create a collective culture, foster a sense of identity, meaning and belonging, and enthusiastically engage your village, becomes a critical piece of the impact you will have.
What will your legacy be? How will you activate it? How will you reshape the future?
To help you become the best you can be, I’m happy to present this edition of free resources for your continuing education and consideration. This comes with a huge shout-out to this year’s sponsor, Bloomerang.
Beyond this bimonthly curated newsletter, I’ve got lots more wisdom to share and hope you’ll take advantage this year by enrolling in Clairification School. This 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! See the recently posted (1) What is the Purpose of Publicizing Legacy Gifts? and (2) How to Negotiate a Gift of Reality with Strings Attached.
Clairity Click-it, Your Nonprofit Ticket to…
SPECIAL CATEGORY: Tips for Not-So-Normal Times
Click-it: How Virtual Events Drive Tangible Results for Nonprofits. Did you know 73% of Americans feel better about a brand that provides virtual experiences? Before you ditch your newly-discovered means of putting on events, discover what Merkle learned about the benefits of virtual.
Click-it: Let’s Try to Stop Using Jargon So Much. I’ve included this article from Ann Green’s Nonprofit Blog in this “not-so-normal” times category because there’s a lot of new jargon out there. Not everyone understands it, especially the acronyms. In fact, some of this jargon can actually be triggering for some. It’s so much better to tell a story illustrating what you mean. Explain, don’t shame (that’s how folks feel when you use terms they don’t understand).
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: When Can We Meet With Donors Again? By Jim Eskin explores all the issues – health, safety, how you feel, how your donors feel and more — on Nonprofit Pro.
WEBINARS, ROUNDTABLES & ON-DEMAND AUDIO RESOURCES
If you can’t attend live, note many are available via recording – but ONLY if you REGISTER!
Strategy and Management
Click-it: Reclaim Your Social Change Power [Register for free training session, 5-19-2021]. Nell Edgington of Social Velocity has been preaching about an abundance mindset forever, and she’s passionate about helping you step into your power so you can achieve more of your social change goals. This should be both inspiring and practical, so… sign up!
Click-it: The Strength of Knowing What We Don’t Know. Read this thought-provoking post from Roger Craver, Agitator-DonorVoice; begin to ask the hard questions in your organization. This is more important than ever as we fully transition to a digitally revolutionized and politicized environment.
Click-it: Depleted? Overwhelmed? Start Setting Boundaries [Register for free webinar, 5-27-2021]. Do you sometimes feel everyone else is in control of your life and you have little control over your time or your relationships? Give yourself the gift of boundaries! This has been a trying year or so, and it can be easy to forget to take care of yourself. So do yourself a favor. Take out one hour of your day to recharge with this webinar from the Veritus Group. You can use it at work and at home.
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, WHITE PAPERS & OTHER RESOURCES
Click-it: The M+R Guide to Effective and Ethical Direct Response Creative [Download free e-Guide]. Your approach to developing ethical creative must include a commitment to ensure everything you create can be appreciated by all, regardless of ability. As well-intentioned as content may be, when done wrong it can disempower, objectify, or misrepresent those you serve. M+R designed this resource to help you reach your goals while living your values. This Guide is a master class in nonprofit marketing.
Click-it: How to Create Meaningful Connections with Donors [Download free White Paper]. One of the lessons learned during the pandemic is you don’t always need to meet with donors in person. If you’ve been hung up on the need for “face-to-face,” learn how to make meaningful connections when such meetings aren’t realistic. The Veritus Group team are the experts on major donor programs, and even they are now recommending digital connections.
Click-it: npEXPERTS: The Great Reset [Download and read thoughts from 12 experts]. Things changed a LOT during the past year, and they’ll likely continue to do so in the future. There’s lots of food for thought in this collection of pieces (including one from me) curated by Blackbaud. Topics include digital adoption, equity, organizational strategy, leadership, and more. Be sure to read Roger Craver’s conclusion, in which he states: “the coronavirus pandemic may be the calamity that saves us.”
Click-it: Women Give 2021: How Households Make Giving Decisions [Download free report]. Did you know six out of 10 couples make giving decisions together, a decline from previous years? Or that if one person decides, it’s usually the woman? Learn more in this new report from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.
Other Articles: The Beat Goes On
Annual (Year-Round) Fundraising
Click-it: 8 Tried-and-True (Secret) Individual Donor Fundraising Action Tips. I love talking about theory, research and big picture thinking. At the same time, I am eminently practical. Here I share some of my most effective “secrets” on the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: 5 lies your donors tell you. I love this article from Jeff Brooks, Future Fundraising Now, because I’ve heard all these things from donors. They may mean them, but… if you follow what they say they’ll end up feeling worse. And giving less. Don’t let false humility fool you, or push you into poor fundraising practice.
Click-it: The Language of a Successful Donation Appeal. Flipcause suggests using words that psychologically appeal to donors, which can lead to higher giving rates.
Click-it: Four Ways to Increase Recurring Donations with Text Messaging. Go from understanding the importance of monthly gifts to discovering a new way to secure them in this article from Rally Corp.
Culture of Philanthropy
Click-it: A Generous Ego. Too many nonprofits have a hard time being generous in their fundraising. They make their fundraising all about themselves. Steven Screen captures the philosophy of abundance vs. scarcity nicely in this piece from the Better Fundraising Co.
Click-it: Hooked On a Feeling – Why experience is everything. Mary Cahalane, Hands-On Fundraising, reviews a book by Francesco Ambrogetti calling activists and fundraisers to better understand human behavior, and in the process shows the way to reframe your approach from transactional to transformational. Borrowing from neuroscience and psychology, it’s a post I wish I’d written.
Click-it: How to Get Free Prizes for Your Charity Auction or Raffle. If you’re new to fundraising, or your events position, you’ll find useful tips in this article from Fundraising IP.
Online Social Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: 9 Ways to Use Text Messaging for Your Virtual Fundraising Event. Did you know over 95% of text messages are read within 3 minutes of delivery? This guest post from a DonorPerfect copywriting expert on the Nonprofit Tech for Good blog describes a host of ways to use text messaging.
Recruitment, Hiring and Onboarding
Click-it: Nonprofit hiring: 4 strategies to meet the best candidate. Finding and keeping the right nonprofit employee is critical to your success. Check out this checklist of things to keep in mind on the Candid blog. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Strategy and Management
Click-it: A Powerful Strategy to Work Smart at Your Nonprofit. Begin with the “why.” Seriously, this may be the most potent strategy in your entire toolbox. I explain why – and how to ask powerful calculated questions before embarking on any new endeavor – in this article for the Bloomerang blog.
Click-it: Fundraising for your nonprofit in the start-up phase. Once you’ve applied for nonprofit status, it may take some time for it to be granted. What do you do in the meantime to raise needed funds? This article on the Candid blog has some answers.
Click-it: Merci Pour Tout Simone. This loving tribute from Ligia Pena, Globetrotting Fundraiser, includes simple advice for life from the inimitable Simone Joyaux, who passed away earlier this month. If we all take this advice, we’ll be better people and the world will be a better place. May Simone’s memory be for a blessing.
Want more inspiration from Simone and those who loved her? Read tributes here.
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: Steward Corporate Partners Like a Boss! [Register for free webinar 4-18-2021]. Nonprofit Tech for Good presents this session to help you set partnerships up for longevity and success. You’ll get technology tools, best practices, an overview of data and metrics you need to start tracking now, and many more great ideas for stewardship.
Click-it: How to Build a Grant Calendar that Works [Register for free webinar, 5-18-2021]. Melanie Lambert, Turnkey Writing Solutions, shares tips around building a grants management calendar to help with prospect identification, research, writing and stewardship.
Major and Legacy Gifts
Click-it: Nonprofit Planned Giving Q&A Session [Register for free discussion, 5-18-2021]. Join Firespring for this interactive session answering some of the most frequently asked questions about planned giving. This is a great opportunity, especially if you’ve been dragging your feet around starting a program.
Click-it: Earn Their Hearts and Their Support: A Donor-Centric Approach to Legacy Marketing [Register for free webinar, 5-19-2021]. Learn from Stelter strategists how to build a donor-centered legacy communication toolkit.
Online Fundraising and Marketing
Click-it: How Data and Technology Can Fuel Donations [Register for free webinar, 5-19-2021]. Data is powerful and with creativity nonprofits can find stories from the information supporters provide to improve advocacy and fundraising efforts. Join this Nonprofit Pro-hosted event to learn to optimize your online fundraising tools to capture data that can ultimately help you cultivate more donors, increase donations and drive deeper engagement with your supporters.
Click-it: 5 Secrets of Email Marketing Geniuses [Register for free webinar, 5-25-2021]. I’ve taken this webinar, and it’s filled with practical stuff. It’s so popular, Jay Wilkinson of Firespring keeps being asked to present it again! I try to share this whenever I see it happening. Don’t miss out!
Click-it: Storytelling for Impact: Helping Donors Understand the Value of Their Dollar [Register for free webinar, 5-20-2021]. Join Qgiv and learn to transform data into real, specific, human stories that cut through the noise. The session promises to be lively, and filled with examples.
Click-it: Engaging the Volunteer of the Future [Register for free webinar, 5-19-2021]. One of the best ways to build lasting relationships with supporters is to development meaningful volunteer opportunities. The folks at Volunteer Match know all about how this is done, and will discuss trends influencing volunteer engagement, opportunities that match what volunteers are looking for now, how to use social media for recruitment, and more.
DOWNLOADABLE GUIDES, WHITE PAPERS & OTHER RESOURCES
Click-it: The Ultimate Donor Success Path Starter Guide [Download free e-Book]. Learn from Moceanic what to do for your hidden major and mid-value donors — as well as the other two types of super-donors who are also “hiding” in your donor database. This guide will show you how to create an upward journey for EVERY donor.
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!
- Fundamental Fundraising Truths: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
- Stop Writing Unconscious: Secrets to Inspire Action on Your Nonprofit Appeal
- Transactional Nonprofit Work vs. Transformational Philanthropic Progress
- 4 Timely Nonprofit Fundraising and Communications Strategies
- 5 Secret Nonprofit Donor Retention Action Strategies
- What Causes Tribute and Peer-to-Peer Donors to Renew?
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My motto is: “If I know it, I want you to know it.” Don’t miss out.