THANKS(for)GIVING: 9 Mistakes Nonprofits Make Thanking Donors

Are you focused on the gift or the giver?

Are you focused on the gift or the giver?

 

Thanking donors is the one thing most nonprofits do not spend enough time thinking about. Too often I find that staff spend 95% of their time crafting their fundraising appeal and getting embroiled in project management — design, layout, printing, postage, etc.  Finally, the letter (or e-appeal) is ready to launch.  The mailing is dropped. The button is punched. And… voila!  Gifts start to arrive! But then what?!

After you’ve sent out your appeal is too late to start thinking about what your thank you letter or email will say. Or who will sign it. Or whether someone who donates online will also receive an actual letter. Or thank you call. Or who will make the call. Everything must be well thought-out in advance. You must be ready to go, with different templates and strategies for different target audiences, well before you’ve asked for your first donation.

What would Miss Manners have to say about the way you too often focus more on the gift than on the giver? She would not be happy.  Not happy at all.  So, make a vow to remedy this situation before we kick into prime giving season.Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: Cornucopia of Free Nonprofit Resources

Take your pick from this cornucopia filled with free nonprofit resources!

Take your pick from this cornucopia filled with free nonprofit resources!

 

This week’s Click-it is a cornucopia filled with an eclectic mix of goodies. Maybe not as good as Thanksgiving turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes or pumpkin pie, but… sometimes your mind and soul need feeding too!

To my friends in the U.S. who celebrate Thanksgiving this week, have a good one filled with many blessings. For those of you scattered elsewhere around the globe, make yourself a nice meal anyway and gather together with people you love. Life’s too short not to.

This poem I wrote several years ago seems particularly appropriate this year, so check out “Attitude of Gratitude” if you’ve a mind to.

And if you can, try to find some time this week to dig into some of these resources.

Now… go make our world a more caring place, and hug yourself some hope!

I am thankful for you,

Claire

Continue Reading

Philanthropy – Love of Humankind: Needed More Than Ever

Keith Haring Love

What will you do next to help repair the world?

 

For many, this has been a gut-wrenching week. People are struggling with how to make sense of global events. Not just the American elections (though this is a huge sea change), but also escalating, senseless violence across the planet, threats to free speech, the spread of fake news, a deepening divide between classes, and a creeping sense of dread as events begin to seem out of our control.

There’s a lot for people to digest.  The world can seem a cruel and barbaric place. Philanthropy – love of humankind — can seem elusive.

Yet it’s right here. In each of us.Continue Reading

7 More Weeks – Are You Ready for Year-End Fundraising?

7_More_Weeks-Ready_for_Year-End_FundraisingThis is the giving season! Between now and December 31st, statistically, are the “make or break” weeks for your annual fundraising.

It doesn’t matter what fiscal year you’re on. Donors operate on a calendar year.

So I’m offering 5 tips to help you – NOW – because people do most of their giving between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.  I don’t want you to miss out!

This is the time of year when people feel grateful for friends, family and other blessings, and are inclined to be generous towards others. They want to share their blessings.

Your job is to tap into these feelings of generosity when they’re most at the surface. To strike while the iron is hot.Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: Bounty of Free Nonprofit Resources for Year-End

A challenging path ahead

Sometimes the pathway forward is challenging. Let’s walk it together.

 

Friday is Veteran’s Day in the U.S., so let’s give gratitude to all those who served and serve so that others will have better lives.

That counts you in too (Big time IMHO) – so here are links to articles you may find helpful whether you’re a veteran fundraiser/nonprofit marketer or a newbie. I’m emphasizing strategies to help you with this critical year-end time of year, when folks do their most significant giving.

Plus, as usual, you’ll find plenty of free resources – downloadable templates, webinars, cheat sheets, and more.

Thanks for doing the important work that you do. It gives me great comfort in these turbulent times to know you are there. Helping. Listening. Opening yourself to understanding. Holding people accountable. Restoring faith. Extending kindness. Kicking butt when you have to. Being the very best you can be, and the best of what humankind has to offer.Continue Reading

Fundraising Appeal Psychology: Show People How to Avoid Loss

toddlers fighting over toy

We really can’t stand to lose things – it’s something bred into us early on.

 

I’m about to clairify a subtle but very important point about what motivates philanthropic giving. After all, that’s what “Clairification” is all about.

It’s often said that people give to people.  So true.

But people are funny.

People will often give more to people who show them the pain that can be avoided through their gift, rather than to the people who show them the good that can be gained.Continue Reading

How Important is Email to Nonprofit Fundraising? Very!

 mail painting

Your online campaign supports and leverages your offline campaign. Seize year-end momentum to ramp up your email fundraising skills!

 

Here come 14 steps to successful email fundraising.

You’re no doubt planning your year-end fundraising strategy now. How big a role is email going to play?

If you’re making your email campaign an afterthought, don’t. That holds for this year, and the foreseeable future. It holds before, during and after  your pitch.

If you get good at email marketing and fundraising, you won’t be wasting your efforts.

Not today. Not tomorrow.

Since the end of the year is when most of the money is raised, there’s no time like the present to begin.Continue Reading

Major Gifts Tricks and Treats – Halloween Nonprofit Blog Carnival

Witches and cauldron

Don’t skip a beat,

 

Just grab a treat!

 

You need not fear

 

Halloween Blog Carnival’s here!

 

The Halloween Nonprofit Blog Carnival is back, offering tricks and treats galore from a Witches Coven of nonprofit experts – all good spirits who’ll help you find, cultivate, solicit and steward your major donors.

You like to trick and treat at the houses that give out the most candy, natch?  Well… let’s find the donors giving out the most goodies, so your mission is assured of a heapin’ Halloween sack filled with success!

And let’s get you prepared! We don’t want you showing up without a costume, or lacking a thoughtful plan of attack that takes you through the “good” neighborhoods. Sure, you might get some lollipops and chewing gum. But what you really want, I dare say, are the Snickers bars and Reese’s peanut butter cups.

Go for what you need.  Go for what will make your time spent on this effort feel worth your while.Continue Reading

How to Make Donors Happy to Say “Yes” to Your Fundraising Appeal

Superman

Help your donor blossom into a super-hero!

Today I’m going to tell you how to create a fundraising appeal that’s all about your donor’s happiness.

Because if you can persuade your donor that saying “yes” will make them happy, then you both win.

Don’t you want to make your donor feel like a winner?

Don’t you want to be a winner?Continue Reading

25 Secrets to Instantly Improve Your Annual Fundraising Appeal

Telling a secret

Do you want to know 25 secrets?

 

Are you starting to worry about whether you’ll raise enough money this year to meet your goals? Are you concerned because last year’s appeal didn’t raise as much as you had hoped? Are you fresh out of ideas for what to put into an appeal to generate the giving response you need to sustain vital programs?  Fear not!  Help is on the way!  Just use my “Happy October 25th” gift to you — this 25-point checklist — before you send anything to your printer!Continue Reading