Top 10 Nonprofit Leadership Lessons for 2015: Think Differently

Think different 300x249 Top 10 Nonprofit Leadership Lessons for 2015: Think DifferentlyThe Fast Company Blog gives us The Top 10 Best Business Lessons Of 2014. They’re all lessons in leadership. Here’s how I see them applying to your nonprofit in the coming year:

10 Nonprofit Leadership Lessons to Unlock Your Potential This Year

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Clairity Click-it: Get Outside the Mailbox

Mouse mouse21 300x202 Clairity Click it: Get Outside the Mailbox

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Today I’ve got stuff to help you get outside the traditional mail box. It’s a great way to communicate with folks – tried and true – but you have many more options in 2015. If you get stuck in the past you’re going to miss out on a lot of potential donors.

Did you know that when the telephone was invented people thought it would be disruptive and distracting? This is the year to seamlessly integrate strategic social media into all your fundraising and marketing campaigns.

Social Media

Click-It: 6 Strategies to Add to Your Social Media Marketing Plan for 2015 comes from Margot daCunha on the Busisness2Community blog and includes some great tips for charities seeking to build greater awareness and community in the year ahead. One great take-away: “Build a community rather than a number of followers.”

Click-It: How to Start a WordPress Blog in 5 Minutes. Another super useful post from Jeff Bullas. If your nonprofit doesn’t have a blog yet – what, are you nuts? – you owe it to yourself to check out this article.

Click-It: FINALLY! A Checklist for Social Media Marketing that Actually Helps. This is some nice practical stuff from Aaron Lee at PostPlanner. How to (1) define your audience; (2) create shareable content, and (3) get your social on using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, YouTube and Slideshare – all the biggies!

Click-It: Click here for a FREE Guide: The 2015 Social Marketing Planning Guide
from the folks at Social Media Examiner. Ten fresh tactics based on 2014 trends they expect to shape this coming year, and ways to refine your brand’s social strategy for success.

Telefundraising

Click-It: TELEFUNDRAISING: It’s different for us. If you’ve never considered hiring a good telemarketing firm, this article from the Hillborn blog may have you thinking again. One big take-away that also applies to other strategies (direct mail?) you may be forgoing: Just because you hate it doesn’t mean everyone else does. Thanks to Jeff Brooks for the heads up on this article.

Online Crowd Fundraising

Click-it: A Few Good Tools for Peer-to-Peer Fundraising from Idealware brings you a nice summary of the pros and cons of online crowd fundraising. The Value of Peer-to-Peer Fundraising for Nonprofits[Infographic] from the folks at Dojiggy lays out the benefits of online software – in visual form — to simplify your crowd fundraising and amplify the reach of your campaigns. Caveat: Just buying software won’t make you successful. You need to plan and manage your campaign as well as provide training and ongoing support to your volunteers. Can you commit these resources?

Click-it: If you missed The Fundraising Summit earlier this month, you can still purchase all of the great webinars in one fell swoop. If you figure out the cost per webinar, it’s a huge deal. And the webinars are yours to keep for whenever you may need them! Why not buy yourself a talking library of experts for a song? You may never find all these folks together in one place again.

WinningMajorGiftStrategies 150x150 Clairity Click it: Get Outside the Mailbox

Grab your spot now!

Last Day to Register for Major Gifts Strategies

My most-loved course — Winning Major Gift Strategies for small and medium-size shops — is back by popular demand. You still have time to register TODAY. All the materials are yours for life, so even if you’re away for one of the weeks the course is offered, it’s okay. And you can add up to 5 team members – for no additional fee. That’s right; you heard me. It comes out to about $20/person – a crazy bargain. Why? I want you to make a difference in the world! I want your donors to make a difference in the world! Is it worth $20/person to make an outsized impact on the world? Sign up!

Photo: Flickr, Isaac Torronterra

Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

Philanthropy, Not Fundraising: I Have a Dream 2015

Moonrise large Philanthropy, Not Fundraising: I Have a Dream 2015

I have a dream…

I have a dream for 2015 – and beyond. I have a dream  this is the year your organization will move beyond defining yourself by what you’re not (nonprofit) and will begin to define yourself by what you are (social benefit). I have a dream  this is the year your people will move from an attitude of taking and hitting people up (aka “fundraising”) to a mindset of giving and lifting people up (aka “philanthropy”). I have a dream this is the year your staff and volunteers will move from enacting transactions to enabling transformation.

I have a dream you will think big, because thinking small will not get you where you need to go. You will understand there is great power in a big, wildly exciting vision. You will share this vision broadly to attract people — and financial resources — to your cause. You will no longer be content to remain a “well-kept secret.”

I have a dream you will learn who your best influencers  and advocates are and you will embrace them.  You will recognize you are no longer your best messenger. You will understand that many forces beyond you influence your donor’s decision to invest with you, and you will expand your thinking and operations from a one-dimensional to a multi-dimensional model.  You will allow your constituents to engage with you at multiple points of entry, and to move freely between these points during the lifecycle of their engagement.

I have a dream you will push yourself and your organization towards transformative change.Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: What You Missed/Second Chance Edition – Annual; Events; Donor Retention; Nonprofit Communication

Mouse mouse2 300x202 Clairity Click it: What You Missed/Second Chance Edition – Annual; Events; Donor Retention; Nonprofit Communication

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Today I’ve got my personal round-up edition with the TOP 10 POSTS on the Clairification blog as selected by you – my wonderful Clairification readers. I’ll no doubt be writing more about these topics in the coming year, but if there’s something you’d particularly like me to address please send me a direct email at Claire@clairification.com. I always love to hear from you!
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7 Proven Keys to Inspire Nonprofit Boards to Lead and Give

Key to the heart 7 Proven Keys to Inspire Nonprofit Boards to Lead and Give

It’s not about money. It’s about what’s in their hearts.

My first year as a nonprofit fundraiser was before social media, cell phones, email, computers and even FAX machines. I had never heard the term “information overload” and I wasn’t distracted by interruptions every five minutes.  Why do I mention this?

Because in today’s fast-paced world we are often so bombarded with bells, whistles and flashing lights that we lose sight of the basics. We lose focus.

Back in the day, I focused.

My number one focus was our board of directors. I knew that before we could get others to give, the board needed to give. Passionately. Continue Reading

What “Chopped” can Teach Fundraisers about Productivity and Passion

passion 300x300 What “Chopped” can Teach Fundraisers about Productivity and PassionOne of my secret pleasures is watching the show “Chopped” show on the Food Network. Today I watched an episode that just had me bawling at the end. It was the most heartwarming show I’ve ever seen. And it reminded me of why all of you do the work that you do in the social benefit sector.

So please allow me to share.

I don’t know if I can adequately convey the pathos I felt, but if you’ve had a chance to see this episode I would strongly recommend it. It will make you feel very good. At the same time, it will make you understand — even more than ever — how much work there is to be done.Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: Looking Forward to 2015 Edition w/Board, E.D. and Staff Roles, Social Media; Content Marketing; Donor Databases

Mouse mouse21 300x202 Clairity Click it: Looking Forward to 2015 Edition w/Board, E.D. and Staff Roles, Social Media; Content Marketing; Donor Databases

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Today I’ve got my looking forward into 2015 edition with some ideas as you’re continuing to make your plans (aka New Year’s resolutions) to get you off on the right foot and assure you blast through your 2015 goals and objectives (I know, it usually comes on Friday, but I was playing hooky last week). I’ve also got some of the best posts from around the web that you may have overlooked last year.

Plus don’t miss the announcement of 40+ FREE nonprofit webinars at the end!

Before we begin, please accept my personal best wishes for a year ahead that brings many blessings, both to you and your nonprofit. May you wish upon a star… and have anything your heart desires come true for you. Continue Reading

Whither the Nonprofit Sector in 2015? 6 Ways to Assure Yours Doesn’t Wither

vines growing 300x199 Whither the Nonprofit Sector in 2015? 6 Ways to Assure Yours Doesn’t Wither

Think big to grow and bear fruit; Think small and wither.

I chose the word “w(h)ither” in my title very deliberately. It can mean “Where are you going?” It can also mean “Dying on the vine.” Which does it mean for you and your nonprofit?

If the former, where are you going? You’ll find some “To Do’s” in this article to help you on your way towards a sustainable future. If the latter, how can your prevent this from happening? You’ll find some “don’ts” to help you breathe life into your organization.Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: Year End Edition w/Tips, Resolutions, Predictions + More Gifts!

mouse with gift 300x300 Clairity Click it: Year End Edition w/Tips, Resolutions, Predictions + More Gifts!

Year-End  Clairity Click-it Gifts — wrapped up in my blog. Open them!

Today I’ve got my year-end edition with some final tips for the end of the year, some ideas as you’re making your new year’s resolutions and a list of predictions to get you off on the right foot in 2015.

Don’t miss the practical, last-minute stuff, and tape these resolutions and predictions next to your computer so you can give them some serious thought when you return from you holiday break. Oh, and did I mention there are a few more gifts at the end?Continue Reading

Still Time to Get 7 Perfect Holiday Email Subject Lines

Email holiday Still Time to Get 7 Perfect Holiday Email Subject Lines

Will your email say “open me!” this holiday?

Still stuck for subject lines for your year-end emails?

The subject line is like the outer envelope for direct mail. It’s the window into your message. Make sure it’s wide open and gives a glimpse of something that grabs folks’ attention. Make it intriguing, urgent, exciting, compelling, emotional, shocking or funny. The more useful and specific it is the better.

And by the way, if you’re not planning a series of year-end emails — get on it NOW! Did you know that a full third (33%) of December gifts occur on the 31st of the month? If you’re not putting forward your most compelling fundraising offer at a timed when folks are primed to give the most, you’re really missing your best opportunity.

In 15 Subject Line Examples for Your Holiday Email Marketing Ryan Pinkham provides inspiration that applies as well to nonprofits as to retail businesses.  Here are examples I particularly like, with thoughts about how you can use them to boost your year-end fundraising:Continue Reading