10 Ways to Build Donor Trust and Overcome Negative Views about Charities

trustWhat prompted me to write this article was a recent post by Matthew Sherrington on the 101 Fundraising Blog about the dangers to the public benefit sector posed by erosion of trust.  We’ve known for some time that whenever there’s a charity scandal, the bad behavior of one player can become detrimental to all.  But over the past year in the U.K. the problem has become even more challenging. Could it happen here?  Matthew says “yes.”  And I concur.  Trust is a fragile thing.

In the U.K what happened was a perfect storm of perceived over-solicitation and insufficient outcomes, exacerbated by a barrage of media that sounded an alarm about nefarious practices.  Trust plummeted. A wake-up call, for sure.

But what does it mean? 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

How to Fundraise like it’s Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

How to Fundraise Like it's Yesterday, Today, and TomorrowTwo good posts recently at re: charity (Brady Josephson) and Future Fundraising Now (Jeff Brooks) about what charities should do today to prepare for tomorrow. Both embrace a quote from Jeff Bezos:

I very frequently get the question: ‘What’s going to change in the next 10 years?’ I almost never get the question: ‘What’s not going to change in the next 10 years?’ And I submit to you that that second question is actually the more important of the two — because you can build a business strategy around the things that are stable in time.

Yesterday, today and tomorrow are sort of the same.

Sounds good.

But think about this a bit more.Continue Reading

12 Ways to Take Your Nonprofit Blog from Mind-Numbing to Mesmerizing

Is your content causing light bulbs to pop for your potential supporters? If not, what can you do about it?

Is your content causing light bulbs to pop for your potential supporters? If not, what can you do about it?

 

Ah, social content marketing. I’ve told you it’s one of the fundamental “Dive the 5” strategies you must master to be successful with fundraising in today’s marketplace.

Which is why I want to share with you some quick and easy tips to take your blog (or e-newsletter*) from a snoozefest to a usefest. You see, the content you serve up to folks has to be useful to them.  You want to see their eyes bulging out of their sockets with excitement, not rolling back into their heads with boredom.

And you have to do this with every single issue.  Every single post.  Consistency is key. Because you need to get folks into the habit of jumping for joy when they see your brand in their mailbox. Not into the habit of hitting “delete” before they even take a look at all the hard work you’ve put into your content. So… where to begin?Continue Reading

3 Content, Social and Online Marketing Media for Every Nonprofit

Online Marketing

Online Social Content Marketing: The ‘Mouthful’ Your Nonprofit Needs

 

Today we continue with Clairification’s virtual online curriculum – 5 Things Nonprofits and Fundraisers Must Do to Succeed in 2016.

Last week I introduced the concept of integrating donor-centered fundraising with online social content marketing. I’ve found that most fundraisers and executive directors think they know more about the first part of this two-part equation than the latter, so I’m going to begin today with where I see too many nonprofits missing the boat.

Today, we’re going to dig a little deeper into ‘online social content marketing’:Continue Reading

Successful Storytelling: 5 Foolproof Ways to Raise Money

Draw your audience in by capturing their imagination with a compelling tale!

Draw your audience in by capturing their imagination with a compelling tale!

 

Content is the heart of your successful fundraising strategy.

If you don’t sell it, you won’t connect with your audience. And if you don’t do that, you haven’t got a snowball’s chance in you know where to persuade folks to give to you to further your mission.

This is where learning to become a master storyteller comes in. I know you’ve heard this before. Storytelling is the meme du jour. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay real attention.

We’re in a content marketing zeitgeist.

Continue Reading

Integrate Fundraising and Content Marketing for Nonprofit Survival

Integrate Fundraising and Content MarketingYour year-long “Dive the Five” virtual course continues!

I’ve selected five major themes – fundamental nonprofit fundraising strategies — to discuss with you this year in depth. Strategies that are so important to your success in 2016 – and beyond – that I want to be certain (1) you’ve got them on your priority list, (2) will begin to dedicate some serious resources towards them, and (3) will commit to practice them regularly, until they become almost second nature.

If you learn to “Dive the Five” you’ll be able to raise money for anyone, any place, any time. And I’ll be your Guide.

Some of these skills will seem familiar, but the way you employ them may need to be tweaked in order for you to survive and thrive in our digitally-revolutionized society. Other skills may be things you’ve thought about, or dabbled in, but haven’t really committed to with serious intent and dedicated resources.Continue Reading

12 Social Media Strategies Nonprofits Can Steal from Presidential Candidates

12SocialMediaStrategiestoStealWant to learn how to do digital fundraising? I’ve added my own thoughts to an assessment of GOP presidential candidates’ digital strategies by Marketing Profs to give you some great takeaways as to what is currently resonating online.

The candidates know how important a killer digital strategy is when it comes to finding and connecting with potential supporters, and the importance of digital was confirmed by a recent study from Pew Research. So they’re all doing it, some more successfully than others. Nonprofits can learn by studying what works; what doesn’t.Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: Databases; Content; Leadership; Free Stuff; Learning Opportunity

 

Mouse with computer mousee
Click it!

I’ve got some really cool links for this first week of September. I try to find stuff I think you may not be seeing through your regular channels because it’s fun to get new perspectives. I especially love to find folks who come from other disciplines and see how nonprofits might apply some of their thoughts — art and science — to fundraising, marketing, management and leadership.  Plus you’ll find some free resources and a new learning opportunity (scroll to the bottom). Let’s begin…Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: Social Media + Content; Cause-Related Marketing; Events; Business Cards; Coaching; Free Stuff; Last Day for Year-End Appeals!

Mouse with computer mousee
Click it!

I’ve a really eclectic mix of links this week, ranging from marketing to fundraising to management – and then some! Plus you’ll find some free resources and your last chance opportunity to improve your year-end fundraising (scroll to the bottom). Can you believe this will be the last “Click-it” in August? How’d it get to be September so soon? You know what that means – year-end fundraising is right around the corner! Stay tuned to my blog as I’ll be offering lots of tips to help you out. Meanwhile… enjoy the rest of the season.Continue Reading