Three San Francisco Hearts: Butterfly Heart. SF Love. I LUV SF.

Surprisingly Simple Strategy to Magically Transform How You Work

Three San Francisco Hearts: Butterfly Heart. SF Love. I LUV SF.The single most important lesson I ever learned.

Begin with the why.

Always.

If you don’t, you’re likely to work very hard and not achieve much of value.

Why?

Because you didn’t begin your endeavor by asking yourself:

“What’s the value in this work upon which I’m about to embark?” 

“Why am I doing this?”

This may be the most powerful strategy in your entire toolbox.

So simple. So basic. So fundamental.

Yet it’s a step we tend to overlook.

Why?

The often-overlooked steps.

Humans are funny creatures.

Monkey see, monkey do.

Monkey be told what to do, monkey do.

We’re driven instinctually, by biology, to survive.

Don’t eat the berries no one else is eating. We take what appears to be the safest course.

It generally works in the short term. There must be a reason.

Sometimes, however, there is no reason.

There’s just habit.

Or the reason isn’t a good one.

Answering the why question requires two elements: knowing what and who something is for. Let’s begin with the what.

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Three San Francisco Hearts: Blooming Heartree; Love of-Dahlieas; Seeds of Peace

Do You Know How to Use AI for Your Nonprofit?

Three San Francisco Hearts: Blooming Heartree; Love of-Dahlieas; Seeds of PeaceHave you been struggling with whether – and how – to incorporate generative artificial intelligence (AI; ChatGPT) into your work? Or perhaps you’ve been worrying your job will soon be obsolete?

You’re not alone.

Honestly, the whole AI thing scares the you-know-what out of me on most days.  But, let’s consider the encouraging present rather than worry so much about the possibility of a bleak future (as in destruction of humanity?!).

You can’t control everything.

You can control some things. So, I thought I’d take a quick minute to send you some tips I’ve curated from others to help stimulate your thinking and planning for ways ChatGPT (Chat Generative Pre-trained Transformer) and other AI-driven chatbots have potential to free up your time and revolutionize how you communicate with donors.

You can ignore all of this if you choose. But, it won’t make it go away. Nor will it stop your peers from figuring out how to get a leg up through use of these new tools.  Remember, at first some of us were slow to adopt use of computers, the internet and social media (who, me?).

So let’s lead from curiosity, not fear.

I begin with

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Person holding AI post-it note

Should Your Nonprofit Jump on the Artificial Intelligence Bandwagon?

Person holding AI post-it noteI confess I know virtually zip about artificial intelligence.

But I’ve been learning. Fast.

Because it’s hard these days to travel anywhere in the world, including the social benefit sector, without hearing enticing things about it.

  • How it can do all sorts of things faster and better than humans.
  • How it can create cost savings.
  • How it enables greater personalization.
  • How it leverages effective use of data for marketing and fundraising purposes.
  • How it tracks engagement and predicts future behaviors.
  • How it creates efficiencies for program purposes.

At first blush this sounds good. But… the devil is in the details, right?

Which is why people are equally thrilled or unnerved at the prospect.

I wondered if using it could create unintended consequences. New tools used as blunt instruments could cause unintentional harm. So, I thought I’d do a little research to know whether I should advise fundraisers to jump on the AI bandwagon.

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beach chairs at ocean

11 Phrases to Retire

beach chairs at oceanNegative self-talk can really mess you up. So say behavioral scientists, psychologists and researchers.

I recently ran across an article on the CNBC Make It blog by Kathy and Ross Petras, and want to share it because it rings so true for me. And I hope for you as well.

Many times, professionally and personally, we can’t make the problem go away. Our control lies fundamentally in how we approach the problem. And language, for good or ill, frames our thinking. To change your thoughts, change your language.

Take a look at the 11 phrases that follow. How many (if not all) of these do you fairly consistently say, or think? Don’t beat yourself up about it. We all do it. But, do be conscious of what you’re saying and how it may inform your actions in not-so-positive ways.

This is something you can change. It just takes practice.

11 Phrases to Retire

1. “I have to do that.”

What to say instead: “I get to do that.” This changes your attitude, making you look at something as opportunity, not obligation. Even if unpleasant, it can teach you new lessons and open new doors.

Fundraising Application: During this busy (stressful?) fundraising season, remind yourself of all the good you’re doing. Lucky you! You’re in the privileged position to be able to share what you’re sincerely passionate about, and to ask others to join in your mission and vision to make our world a better place.

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So, Your Nonprofit Donor Wants to Give Cryptocurrency?

Donor with cell phone, crypto

In Part 1 of this two-part series, I discussed cryptocurrency philanthropy basics.

Let’s say you’re intrigued, and want to dip your toes in the water?

How to Accept Crypto?

There is more than one way. These are listed in order of easiest to greatest need for tech and finance savvy.

  1. Donor advised funds and giving wallets. These are now being set up to accept cryptocurrency. If nothing else, you can alert supporters that if they have a DAF they can funnel crypto to you that way. Also, every.org and givewell are crypto wallets that act similarly to a DAF by accepting gifts from donors, then granting your nonprofit cash without you ever having to take custody of the asset. You never have to worry about accounting and legal concerns of accepting crypto.

 

  1. Software as a Service (SaaS solution) donor management platform. Organizations such as The Giving Block, engiven, Crypto for Charity by Freewill and Charitable Solutions, LLC are already set up to accept cryptocurrency on behalf of your organization (the list keeps growing). These dedicate crypto NGOs will sell the asset and transfer the proceeds to you. You can put a widget/button on your website to facilitate this. Crypto goes directly into exchange and is immediately traded for dollars (there is a small fee; around 1%). This is safe, secure and simple as generally the asset will be immediately liquidated (within milliseconds), which is super important with highly volatile assets like crypto. This protects you from a donor asking what you did with their $100,000, and you having to tell them you only realized $50,000 because you delayed a day to sell it.

 

  1. External custody. Behind the scenes, all platforms use a cryptocurrency brokerage or exchange. Three reputable ones are Coinbase Commerce, Kraken and Gemini. They typically charge 35 – 50 basis points per transaction. No donation processing or receipting is available. Nonprofits with expertise in asset management, trading and technology may consider building their own donation widget using these services. Be aware it can take many months to establish an account. Plus, you also need an “Alternative Asset Management Policy” [fold in crypto to your Gift Acceptance Policy; run this by your professional advisors and finance committee] to shield leadership.

 

  1. Self-custody. This is not for everyone and requires a hardware USB device that can be plugged into the computer when someone wants to make a transaction. They’re cold storage, kept off the internet, and highly secure. The downside is it requires a very savvy staff person and high security around custody. Plus it’s tricky to liquidate when you hold it in your hardware wallet. Some donors giving these digital assets like to see nonprofits holding those gifts as crypto, as part of an effort to see crypto go mainstream. If you have the ability to be strategic with investments, for example by building a reserve, you might consider holding onto crypto in its native form. UNICEF, for example, can receive, hold, and disburse cryptocurrency with its UNICEF CryptoFund. Again, you’ll want an “Alternative Asset Management Policy” to guide when you’ll sell.

How to Promote?

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