Clairity Click-it: Special Announcement! Plus Content Marketing; Social Media; Year-End Fundraising & Weekly Gift

mouse red and blue 300x199 Clairity Click it: Special Announcement! Plus Content Marketing; Social Media; Year End Fundraising & Weekly Gift

Did you hear the big announcement from Claire? Click-it! No time… end of year is coming… got to get more messages out! Are you a mouse or a… ? Chill a sec… you’re all tied up in knots! This will help. Plus… there’s a special gift offered at the end. A gift? Cool… I could use one about now. Maybe I have a sec…

First a Clairity Click-it announcement: I’m deeply honored, humbled and proud that I made the Top 100, and Maximize Social Business (for whom I write a monthly column on social media for nonprofits) made the Top 50, of the Top Content Marketing Influencers on Twitter. If you’re not familiar with Maximize Social Business and its founder, Neal Schaffer, please follow me there and stay up to date on the latest social media news. You’ll hear from over 25 social media experts, all with different perspectives and focuses. It’s a one-stop-shop for social media knowledge. Now, while we’re on the subject, let’s take a look at some useful posts on content marketing and social media that will help you raise awareness and drive more donations this holiday season!

Content Marketing

Click-It: 75 Resources for Writing Incredible Copy that Converts is your definitive list for learning everything you need to know about content marketing that engages potential constituents and converts them into supporters. It comes from the great team at Kissmetrics who know quite a lot about what it takes to succeed with online marketing. The resources are broken into useful categories: copywriting; direct response marketing, and headlines for a few, plus links to all the best websites and blogs on copywriting.

Click-It: This Simple Writing Technique Will Help You Overcome the Inertia of Perfectionism. If you ever have trouble coming up with topics for your blog or e-newsletter, check out this technique from Bryan Collins at Copyblogger called “free writing.” It’s a lot like brainstorming with a group, but you do it by yourself, setting a limit, and putting pen to paper. You keep it conversational, writing down your thoughts as fast as they come to you. No editing allowed! Check it out.

Click-It: How to Write Persuasive Emails. The next time you’re thinking about reaching out via email to a potential business sponsor, foundation grantor or individual donor prospect you’d do well to channel some of the advice offered by Henneke in the Enchanting Marketing blog. Ask (1) if your goal is crystal clear; (2) why your reader would care; (3) what might stop your reader from taking action, and (4) if you can cut out redundancies. The article offers some examples and fixes. Good stuff!

Social Media Engagement

Click-It:10 Ways to Maximize Holiday Giving Online comes from Teri Harel on the Constant Contact blog. This is important because “Around 30 percent of annual online gifts are made in December and donors give 80 percent larger gifts on average in December.” This article is filled with useful facts and tips. How about the fact that 66% of emails are opened on a mobile device, and 80% of people will delete emails not optimized for mobile? Or the fact that 2-3 part email series had four times the response rate and almost double the average donation size of single email appeals? Read the full article to learn more and set yourself up for year-end success.

Click-It: How Social Media Marketing Can Help Win New Business. Every business – whether for profit or not – needs to continually develop new users/supporters. Which is why this article about how to compete in our digitally revolutionized world is so directly applicable to the social benefit sector. How about: “Businesses [aka nonprofits] must showcase their skills and knowledge in social media marketing to overcome competition. They must provide interesting and informative content and share them with prospective clients [aka donors] to help distinguish them from other agencies.” Social media offers a valuable venue for showcasing your skills and strengths and establishing yourself as a leader in your area of concern. The more you become an active player, the more you grow your reputation. Thanks to the folks at Virtual Social Media for this post.

Click-It: 20 Social Media Marketing Tips From the Pros is another great post from Cindy King at Social Media Examiner. They’re all good, but #1 is something I’m amazed nonprofits don’t do more. And #6 and #7 will make your life so much easier if you stick to it. Then there’s #10, which is one of my pet tips and I wish you’d consider it for your nonprofit. These tips come from some of the leading lights in social media marketing, so I encourage you to check them out.

mouse with gift 300x300 Clairity Click it: Special Announcement! Plus Content Marketing; Social Media; Year End Fundraising & Weekly Gift

This week’s Clairity Click-it Gift — wrapped up in my blog. Open it!

FREE HOLIDAY GIFTS GALORE!!!

Since it’s the season, I’m going to offer you a gift every week from now until the end of the year. I’m a terrible wrapper (usually I use newspaper). Now that newspapers are dying (sniff, sniff) I may as well wrap my gifts to you up in a blog! Here comes your first present…

Open-It: Whitepaper – The Essential Guide to Social Media for Nonprofits. Salsa Labs is offering a real treat, completely for free. Grab it!

year end4 246x300 Clairity Click it: Special Announcement! Plus Content Marketing; Social Media; Year End Fundraising & Weekly Gift

If you check off everything on the lists included in this guide, you’ll raise more money.

Only 40 days left until the end of the year.

Get the most out of this year’s holiday giving season using my Year-End Fundraising To-Do’s and ChecklistsIt’s a “Cheat Sheet” to make sure you’ve got all your ducks nicely lined up and you’re not missing a few tweaks that could mean a big difference in your results. I promise you’ll more than make up the $17 bucks you spend — or I’ll make a donation to your nonprofit to assure that you do!  Grab it today!

Image courtesy of Freedigitalphotos.net

How “Because I Said So” Gets Donors to Give to Your Nonprofit

Father threatening son 300x199 How “Because I Said So” Gets Donors to Give to Your Nonprofit

Do it because I said so!

I’m a collector. I collect red and white kitchen memorabilia, flour sifters, tablecloths and fundraising appeals. I also tell my clients to become collectors (but just of the last item on my list!). I ask them to collect only appeals that demand their attention and cause them to give. After all, isn’t that the true measure of a fundraising appeal’s effectiveness?

I encourage them to ask everyone in their organization (other staff, board members, volunteers) to share winning appeals with them. Then I ask them to share the successful appeals with their team and endeavor to tease out what it is about these appeals the recipients find so irresistible.

Figure out what works; then copy it! After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

This is a great exercise for you and your team, and over the next several posts I’m going to suggest some things I find common to the most successful fundraising appeals. Ask these questions of the successful appeals you’re reviewing. Let’s begin!Continue Reading

What Works; What Doesn’t? Nonprofit Year-End Email Appeals

Stop Go 300x225 What Works; What Doesnt? Nonprofit Year End Email Appeals

What Works? What Doesn’t?

I’m constantly watching my mailbox and inbox to find great examples of marketing communications that really do their job.  Sometimes I find examples that are so horrible I also have to point them out so you’ll avoid making the same mistake.  This week I’ve got a great example of a year-end email appeal. It says “GO!” on multiple levels, and I’m going to tell you why it’s so effective.

Yet it includes one mistake.  You may not think it’s horrible. And I understand why they did it.  But I wish they wouldn’t and wish that all nonprofits would stop doing this.

Ready? Let’s begin.Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: Donor Communication; Ethics; Donor-Centered Leadership

Mouse mouse2 300x202 Clairity Click it: Donor Communication; Ethics; Donor Centered Leadership

Click it!

We’re fast approaching the giving season. What better time to think about ways we can give back to our donors? If you’re developing a gratitude culture, you’ll do this by being donor-centered with every communication to your supporters. You’ll do it by acting ethically and putting your donors needs first. And you’ll do it by honoring your donors and rewarding them for being the amazing people they are.  Here are some articles to help you be the best you can be.Continue Reading

#GivingTuesday – How to Be a Winner

Apple with heart 300x198 #GivingTuesday   How to Be a Winner

Have you considered making #Giving Tuesday a gift to  your donors?

In my last post, #Giving Tuesday, Win or Lose Day? You’re in Control I talked about the origins of the day and all the good intentions that went into its creation. Yet I’ve heard from many, many nonprofits that they just don’t have the bandwidth to develop and promote one more fundraising initiative during this very busy time of year. I’ve been there, and I empathize.

Sometimes the newest bells and whistles are simply a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing in the end.  But rather than reject the notion of #GivingTuesday out of hand, I began to wonder if there were ways to jump on the bandwagon without cannibalizing other types of year-end fundraising.  Or without burning out staff and volunteers. Or without confusing donors who feel like they’re being asked for this, that and every such thing.

I noted that I love the idea of using #GivingTuesday to celebrate and thank our donors. We don’t thank our supporters nearly enough, so why not have a day dedicated to donor love?

I think there’s a way to make #GivingTuesday about both giving and getting. And I promised to share an example with you in my last post.Continue Reading

#GivingTuesday – Your Win or Lose Day? You’re in Control

Apple with heart 300x198 #GivingTuesday   Your Win or Lose Day? Youre in Control

What does #Giving Tuesday mean to your nonprofit? To your donors?

Giving Tuesday. What’s it all about? Read about the origins here. It’s one of those things that sounds good on paper, but in actual implementation it can be less than ideal. Why? Because it comes right smack dab in the middle of most folks annual campaigns. So there’s often little time to do it right. And it can cannibalize other fundraising efforts.Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: Social Media Engagement; Blogging Tips; Creativity; Science of Persuasion

Mouse mouse2 300x202 Clairity Click it: Social Media Engagement; Blogging Tips; Creativity; Science of Persuasion

Click it!

One of my favorite things to do is to raid the halls of business blogs to see what they’re doing that should be applied to nonprofit businesses. Sadly, we still seem to be last to the party when it comes to really thinking outside the box, adopting tried-and-true best practices (I don’t mean the shiniest new object; I mean stuff that’s working super well, creating lots of brand awareness and raising lots of money). So this week I’ve got a bunch of simple and powerful business tips for you… plus some stuff to get you thinking. I hope a light bulb goes off for you!Continue Reading

How Your Nonprofit Appeal Response Device is Like Cheese

cheese plate 300x199 How Your Nonprofit Appeal Response Device is Like Cheese

Like your reply device, this cheese plate makes a statement.

Working on your year-end appeal? Reworking and editing your copy? Thinking about your letter and package design? Great! But what about your reply card or remit envelope?

Have you paid equal attention to this most important element of your fundraising package? Or do you wait until the very last minute, treating it like a nuisance or an unimportant chore?

Way too often I see folks spend endless hours crafting their appeal letter, only to fly by the seat of their pants when it comes to the response devise. This is a huge mistake.Continue Reading

9 Tricks to Boost Nonprofit Social Media Traffic and Engagement – Part 2

9 clouds 300x216 9 Tricks to Boost Nonprofit Social Media Traffic and Engagement – Part 2

Ways to acquire and retain donors using social media

In Part 1 of this article we discussed four out of nine tricks to boost your social media traffic and build relationships with your target audiences. They included (1) optimizing your profile; (2) joining different networks; (3) crafting catchy, relevant titles, and (4) creating engaging content. Now it’s time to reveal the rest.

Before I do, it’s worth noting that there’s one dominant strategy underlying all my recommendations: Develop and rock a blog. All of these tricks will work without one, but a blog is the absolute best way to deliver content to your social networks. So make it the hub of your marketing communications strategy. Honest-to-goodness it will make your life easier! If you have numerous excuses holding you back from blogging, read this article to get over them [and see below for some help with implementation]. Got it? Okay. Let’s move on to tricks five through nine. Continue Reading

October Halloween Nonprofit Blog Carnival – Major Gifts Tricks and Treats

 

Halloween skull on fire October Halloween Nonprofit Blog Carnival –  Major Gifts Tricks and Treats

If your major donors are looking like this, you’re not treating them properly!

Fear not! The Halloween Nonprofit Blog Carnival is back, offering tricks and treats galore from nonprofit experts all around the web – a full Baker’s Dozen (or shall I say a Witches Coven)! — to help you find, cultivate, solicit and steward your major donors. When you trick and treat, you always like to go to 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 success. But you’ve got to be prepared! No just showing up without a costume, a plan of attack or a strategy for success. You’ll get some lollipops and stuff, sure. But I know that’s not what you really want. Go for what you need.  Go for what will make your time spent on this effort feel worth your while.  And we’ve got 13 experts telling you exactly what to do.Continue Reading