Making the Most of Matching Gifts: 6 Easy Steps

Double the donor sweetness!

Double the donor sweetness!

 

Imagine you’re baking a cake. You put in the flour, eggs, milk, and sugar, whip it all together, and put it in the oven for an hour. But, when the timer dings and you open the oven door, you find that instead of one perfect cake, you have two!

This situation is physically impossible (unless you’re a wizard or a magician), but it’s a good illustration for how matching gift programs can benefit your nonprofit.

When donors take advantage of their employers’ matching gift programs, they essentially double the amount of money that they give to your organization. Two cakes (I mean, donations!) for the price of one!Continue Reading

‘No-Show’ Events: Don’t Assume your Donors are Hermits

Stay_awayThinking about doing a “non-event” event where no one has to attend?  It sounds great on the face of it.  After all, Penelope Burk’s research revealed that many donors reported they like to receive invitations to events; they just prefer not to attend them. Win/win?

Not so much.  It depends why you’re hosting the event in the first place. If it’s your only method of fundraising for the entire year, then fine. Go right ahead. Whether folks attend or not doesn’t much matter. You’ve made your single annual ask, received your gift and you’re done. All you wanted was money. Once. Right? Hold on!Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: Online Social Fundraising; Culture of Philanthropy; Events + Free Stuff

Mixed #nonprofit links and free resourcesHope you enjoy these links, free resources and training opportunities. Again, I’ve organized according to two of the top 5 areas I’m hoping you’re working on improving this year.  This week it’s:

  1. Online Social Fundraising
  2. Culture of Philanthropy

I’ve also got some “food for thought” articles on special events, plus links to free resources and upcoming training opportunities. I hope you find at least one useful nugget!Continue Reading

8 Tips Fundraisers Can Learn From Street Beggars

Your money can become my sandwich

What I learned from a street beggar* (see “Note” below).

Last week a street beggaraka panhandler asked me for money and I gave it to her.  I don’t usually do this because I wonder how the money may be used and tend to give, instead, to philanthropic organizations that help the homeless and marginally employed population.  This time was different, and I want to share with you the lessons learned.  Here’s her pitch:
Can you please give me $2.00 so I can buy a sandwich? Maybe a little later for lunch?
This amazingly simple request – and everything about her approach and follow-up –works on multiple levels.  And the principles apply not just to street beggars but also to nonprofit fundraising:

Continue Reading

What Do You Call a Development Staffer Who Facilitates Philanthropy?

Do you consider yourself a "Donor Engagement Guide?"

Do you consider yourself a “Donor Engagement Guide?”

 

A super star!

Seriously, that’s what you are.  But you may be wondering why I ask.

What’s in a name?

Recently, veteran fundraiser Jerrold Panas weighed in on the subject of development titles. He noted he prefers “Charitable Gift Planner,” “Chariable Gift Counselor,” and “Director of Donor Services” to the most often used “Director of Planned Gifts.” He also champions “Vice President for Philanthropy” over “Vice President for Development (or Advancement).”

This reminded me of a time when my boss and I went round and round on this subject.  It was a good 15 years or so ago.  We knew “director of development” was not exactly a transparent title [try looking up the definition of “development” and you’ll see what I mean].

“Development,” by itself, has little to do with philanthropy. Continue Reading

Be Clairaudient to Make Your Nonprofit Donors Happy

Listening Woman

Do you listen underneath what they say to truly hear what your donors want?

 

Ever hear of “A.Word.A.Day” with Anu Garg?  I hadn’t. Until a friend recently shared with me that day’s word. She said, “this one’s all about you!” The word?

Clairaudience.

It’s a perfect word for fundraisers, because it’s precisely what you must do – a skill you absolutely must have – if you’re to succeed with sustainable fundraising.

It means the ability to hear what is in people’s hearts and minds. 

It’s a lot like clairvoyance, but it brings in the audience perception. It’s the ability to “hear” what is inaudible — by getting a read on what folks are thinking and feeling on the inside. Despite what they may reveal on the outside.

Guess who is good at this?Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: Culture of Philanthropy; Online Social Fundraising; Food for Thought

Mixed #nonprofit links and free resources

Mixed nonprofit links, free resources and announcements

 

Hope you enjoy these links, free resources and training opportunities. Again, I’ve organized according to two of the top 5 areas I’m hoping you’re working on improving this year.  This week it’s:

  1. Online Social Fundraising
  2. Culture of Philanthropy

There are also some “food for thought” articles in other areas, plus links to free resources and upcoming training opportunities. There’s bound to be something here you’ll find useful!Continue Reading

6 Keys to Rock Thank You Calls and Retain More Donors

How to make donor thank you calls and keep more donors!

Thanks so much for your gift. It really means a lot!

 

You’ve got to make donor retention more of a priority. It’s one of the top five things your nonprofit must do to survive and thrive in today’s competitive nonprofit marketplace.

Research shows the average nonprofit in the U.S. loses 79% of donors after the first gift!!!!!

To make matters worse, the probability that a donor will make five consecutive gifts is only 10-15%. These numbers are just not sustainable for most organizations. By the time you’ve added a new donor most of your previous new donors are out the door.

Allow that to sink in a moment.

Do you know what your donor retention rate is? If you do, there’s hope for you to improve it. Read on. If you don’t, you don’t even know there’s something that needs fixing!Continue Reading

The Meaning of Philanthropy, Not Fundraising – Part 2

The meaning of Culture of Philanthropy

Get on the path to philanthropy, not fundraising

 

In Part 1 I laid out why philanthropy inspires, and fundraising tires.

Fundraising must be done, of course, but there’s something about how it’s been practiced in the past that turns too many people off.  It’s been connoted as being all about money, when really it’s all about valued outcomes.

These valued outcomes are shared by many who support the cause – donors and non-donors.  Employees and volunteers. Development departments and program departments. Major gifts staff and annual giving staff. All these folks have a collective stake in the nonprofit’s survival.Continue Reading

#Clairity-Click it: Donor Retention, Major Gifts, Online Social Fundraising +Training + Free Stuff

Mixed #nonprofit links and free resources

Mixed nonprofit links, free resources and announcements

 

Hope you enjoy these links, free resources and training opportunities. Again, I’ve organized according to three of the top 5 areas I’m hoping you’re working on improving this year.  This week it’s

  1. Major Gifts
  2. Donor Retention
  3. Online Social Fundraising

There are also “food for thought” articles in other areas, plus links to free resources and awesome upcoming training opportunities. Use ’em or lose ’em!Continue Reading