Julia C. Campbell and I were clearly separated at birth, and I’ve told her as much. Because I tend to agree – in spades – with everything she writes. [Plus, her middle name is Claire, so what further proof is needed?] Her recent article, 6 Ways Nonprofits Are Getting On Fundraising All Wrong, is no…
In my last post of this two-part series, “You’re Not Alone: What to Do When You Start to Fail at Fundraising,” I discussed what can happen to organizations when leadership begins to lose its way. This can occur for any number of reasons. Why Leadership Loses it’s Way FOUNDER LEAVES with no succession plan in…
This is my first post-broken arm Clairity Click-it – especially hand picked (and I mean that quite literally!) for you. I’m still in a sling for at least four more weeks; maybe more. I leave you to enjoy the fruits of my perusing and one-armed pecking.
The Future of Nonprofit Marketing
Once upon a time (around about 2008) a big mean recession cast its dark shadow over many a nonprofit. Grantors cut back on funding. Donors zipped up their wallets. Salaries and benefits got cut. Seasoned professionals were laid off, or left voluntarily. Others lasted awhile, but became increasingly discouraged.
Six years out from the biggest stock market crash since 1929, I’m beginning to hear a lot of organizations crying “Uncle!” These are the ones that, for reasons unbeknownst to them, have not rebounded. And they’re desperately trying to beat back the wolf at the door.
The thing they fear most? Failure.
Fun events may bring in hundreds of attendees, but a fundraising event is not an end in and of itself. Often the charity never sees these folks again (or at least not until the next event) because these folks are golfers or ‘thoners, not donors. These events are a waste of your precious resources.
Don’t tell me that you “raised awareness.”
Unless you raised awareness towards a particular end (usually generating greater philanthropic support) – and you have a plan to intentionally build on this awareness — then everything your attendees may have learned about you will go in one ear and out the other. Awareness that isn’t reinforced lasts about two seconds.
Don’t tell me that you “raised good money.”
Did you really? Well, think again.
Yes, it turned to spring at 12:57 p.m. early this morning. It’s a good time to do a little spring cleaning. Clear out the mistakes and the old stuff that’s no longer working for you. Keep the basics. Freshen up with some new stuff, or just tweak things a little. This week’s links for nonprofit fundraisers and marketers includes some of all of this. Happy spring!
I this week’s links because they’re both thought-proving and actionable. Pick one that speaks to you, and consider doing something different. Heck, the only way we grow is through experimenting. Take chances! Make mistakes! Mobile Click-it: Mobile for Good: A How-To Fundraising Guide for Nonprofits by Heather Mansfield at Nonprofit Tech for Good is…
Why not? I’ll tell you why not.
You’ve got to sizzle it!
Two articles caught my attention this week, and each provides the answer to how nonprofits can share what they do in a manner that inspires passionate philanthropic investment.
I love this week’s links because they’re both thought-provoking and actionable. Pick one that speaks to you, and consider doing something different. Heck, the only way we grow is through experimenting. Take chances! Make mistakes!
Bet you thought social media sucks for fundraising. Au contraire.
It can help you raise money big time – but only if you engage with purpose. Just like anything else, social media won’t help you meet your goals unless you know where you’re going with it. Out of context, social media exchanges are just transactions.
Ask yourself this question: What am I going to do to make this exchange mean something, now and in the future?
Adopt an integrated inbound marketing and fundraising strategy.
If you don’t know what that means, you’re in trouble. Read on.
If you do know, are you really doing it?
It’s time to stop pussy footing around this.
(1) Nonprofit marketing and fundraising have changed more in the past five years than the preceding 50. I’m not kidding! The digital revolution ended business as usual.
(2) Fundraising and marketing must be seamlessly integrated. They cannot be separate silos any longer.
Have you caught up with reality?
This week I’ve got some provocative posts, practical posts and more actionable tips to help with your year-end fundraising (don’t miss the useful tips; they’re at the bottom). To your success!
This week it’s about the three things that will boost your year-end giving: (1) social media done well will drive awareness of your cause and the current opportunity to make an impact; (2) creative, compelling content presented in the form of a story will trigger emotions that inspire philanthropy, and (3) your user-friendly, up-to-date website will make it easy for would-be donors to connect with you, donate and then continue to stay connected – and feel good about it – over time. This week’s links will give you food for thought – plus actionable tips.
As year-end fundraising approaches, just doing it the way you’ve always done it – or imitating the way others do it – may not be enough to set you apart from the crowd. So… our theme this week is to think outside the box – just a little. Teach yourself a few new tricks, and get outside — literally! — to invigorate your fundraising. So… let’s start with a post of almost the same name!
Fear not! The Nonprofit Blog Carnival is back, offering tricks and treats galore from nonprofit experts all around the web to help you find, cultivate, solicit and steward your major donors.
Pick a goodie or two from this great baker’s dozen. After all… it’s the season!
Wouldn’t you know I’d leave the trenches just when things got Pinteresting? I missed out, but I’m here to tell you… YOU don’t have to!
If we know anything about human beings, we know these two things: (1) they love a story, and (2) a picture is worth 1,000 words. A new guide to visual storytelling practices reveals that when information is presented orally, people tested 72 hours later remember only about 10%. That jumps to 65% when pictures are added! Pinterest is a dream come true for nonprofits wanting to engage constituents with their mission.
Unless… they reinvent themselves.
I know this sounds harsh. But check out Seth Godin’s Tried and false where he bluntly tells the truth about the tried and true: “In times of change… most of the tried is in fact, false. False because what used to work, doesn’t, at least not any longer.”
You may have been the best major gift officer on the planet five years ago. But that was then. This is now. The buying/giving market has fundamentally changed. And, yes, the culprit is the digital revolution. That’s how revolutions work. It’s truly the end of business as usual.
When you ask a fundraiser what the most difficult part of their job is, chances are you’ll get one of two answers – acquiring donors or retaining donors. Any fundraising organization is bound to come up against these problems at some point. But here’s the thing that is often overlooked – if you do a better job retaining donors, you can spend less time and money trying to acquire new donors.
Could this be the secret formula for fundraising success? Well, not entirely. But it’s a solid start.
Donor retention can seem elusive for many non-profits. It’s frustrating to pull up your annual reports to find out that you’ve only had 50% of last year’s donors make a gift again this year. Sometimes, it can even feel like a personal defeat.
If you’re working on the annual giving side of development, keep track of thousands of donors is nearly impossible. Your database can quickly become your archenemy. Having the highly personal relationships that major gift officers have with donors is a novel pipe dream.
But what if it was possible to scale this concept to create a system that retains donors?
“We want help solving our problems, both significant and commonplace. We want help improving our lives. We want help making sense out of world fraught with uncertainty.” — Jay Bear, Convince and Convert
It’s a day for thinking about the planet, and how to repair our world. There are many different ways. Sometimes it’s just hard to get started. The problems seem so insurmountable… it’s hard to envision making a difference.
Your job, as a nonprofit fundraiser and marketer, is to help folks see how they can influence the outcome. Then, you must help them to do it. Guide them towards being the change they want to see in the world. Persuade them that your cause is a fantastic way to achieve this change. Your cause may be one cause among many picked by your constituents; that’s fine. Your task is simply to (1) engage them to act, and (2) entice them to choose your organization to facilitate that action.
How do you turn thoughts into action that improves lives?
6 Ways to Get Others to Promote Your Nonprofit Blog for You: Happy Talk – S.S.T.S. Series, Part IIIb
Talking is what builds your reputation and develops relationships with those who share the values your organization enacts. Talking is central to your blog – and entire social media – strategy. So… let’s talk!
In the first part of this two-part post about how to get others to promote your blog we discussed how to find your natural “sharers” – those folks willing to be spokespersons on your behalf, whether they be influencers or advocates. Today we’re going to talk about how to get these boosters to spread your good word through digital word-of-mouth.
6 TIPS FOR GETTING YOUR TALKERS TALKING:
R.C.A.? Yup. When building a blog, you want to be Relatable, Conversational and Actionable. In Part I of this series I encouraged you to think like an RCA Victrola. You want your content to get people singing your song. And, heck, you can’t sing unless you know the words. So, today let’s put the “C”…
It’s time for a fresh look. A clairifying look, if you will.
Many of you have questions about social media, so let’s start by blowing out a few cobwebs and clearing our heads.
Because if you think any of these things (below), you’re making a mistake in today’s zeitgeist.
There’s been a digital revolution, and the way people learn about you and communicate with you has changed. Dramatically.
If you don’t know it, they do.
You can either get inside their heads, or stay inside your own.
You’re inside your own head if you think:
Embrace the centrality of content marketing to your success; then simply tell stories. Stories draw us in. They make us want to be transported. That’s all there is to it. Duh! I don’t see a lot of articles I wish I’d written, but Why content marketing will make your small business sexy is one of…
Here’s what folks most enjoyed reading over the last month (plus one special “extra” tidbit): • S’WOT’s Up? The Future, That’s What: Your Crystal Ball for Business Success — How to identify trends, anticipate change and be open to opportunities that will encourage success. This post generated an unprecedented amount of very productive discussion on…
First decide on the purpose(s) of your blog. Anyone can have one, but without engaging content and calls to action it’s not going to take you where you want to go. And your purposes should be reader-centric. Purposes that don’t count: Everyone else has one. My boss/board member told me to do it. I like…
The audience will not tune in to watch information. You wouldn’t, I wouldn’t. No one would or will. The audience will only tune in and stay tuned in to watch drama. ~ David Mamet It’s the drama stupid. Mamet has won a Pulitzer and been nominated for an Oscar and a Tony, so he should…
We must begin to think of our brand as a platform from which all dialogue ensues. It is in this context that content creation and content marketing strategy becomes important. That is, unless you’re Seinfeld, and you think you can succeed in engaging your constituents in a conversation about nothing. It worked brilliantly for him;…
R.I.P: Top 3 Things Required for Content to be King + 17 Questions You Should Ask Before Building a Content Marketing Strategy
Is your content pushing up daisies? It should be. That’s the way to grow and blossom. I call it the R.I.P. Content Marketing Strategy: (1) Relevance; (2) Ideas; (3) Plan. [Coincidentally, adhering to these principles should bring peace of mind so that you can rest easy in the knowledge you’re doing the right things (relevance; ideas) in the right ways (plan).] So, to mimic Do,Re,Mi from the Sound of Music:
R.I.P: Top 3 Things Required for Content to be King – And 17 Questions We Should Ask Before Embarking on a Content Marketing Strategy
Is your content pushing up daisies? It should be. That’s the way to grow and blossom. I call it the R.I.P. Content Marketing Strategy: (1) Relevance; (2) Ideas; (3) Plan. [Coincidentally, adhering to these principles should bring peace of mind so that you can rest easy in the knowledge you’re doing the right things (relevance;…