Important News about Relationship Fundraising: Stop Losing Donors

Do you know how you may be breaking your donor's heart? Keep it up, and they'll break yours.

Do you know how you may be breaking your donor’s heart? Keep it up, and they’ll break yours.

 

This is important.

It’s about a new report that may change how you do fundraising.

It should.

Let me explain.

Unless you’ve been asleep at the wheel, by now you should know that most nonprofits have been hemorrhaging donors.

By tending to focus more on expensive, staff-intensive acquisition strategies like direct mail and special events, charities are bringing in one-time donors who never give to them again.Continue Reading

The Secret of Donor-Centered Fundraising: No Money Involved

The heart of donor retention: It's not about moneyDonor-centered fundraising is not about money.

Huh?  If that first sentence has you scratching your head, it’s time to take a moment.

I know. You’re thinking this is just semantics.  You’re thinking that, of course, fundraising is about money.  You’re thinking we can pretend it’s about something else but, seriously, we need money to fulfill our missions. I know what you’re thinking.

I want you to stop thinking that way.  Because it’s getting in the way of you raising more (ahem) money.  So… close your eyes. Breathe.  Clear your mind. Ready? Okay… now…Continue Reading

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

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

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

The Meaning of Philanthropy, Not Fundraising – Part 1

The meaning of Culture of Philanthropy

Get on the path to philanthropy, not fundraising

 

I wish I’d told my younger self “you’re right!  Stick with it; don’t get distracted. Stay the course.

Here’s what I’m talking about: Philanthropy, not fundraising.

This has been the tagline for my business and blog since I began Clairification in 2011. It grew naturally out of my experiences working as a frontline development director for 30 years. I’ve always insisted that no single person could possibly receive credit for a donation.  “Donors don’t give because of development staff,” I’d tell program staff.  “They give because of the great work you do!Continue Reading

10 Ways to Get More Donors for Your Nonprofit – Part 2

10 ways to get more donors for your nonprofit using principles of psychologyIn Part 1 of this article I encouraged you to make this the year you begin to study psychology and apply it more to your integrated development (marketing and fundraising) strategy. I shared with you an infographic developed by marketing strategist Gregory Ciotti that some of the psychology underlying human behavior. Because there’s a lot for nonprofits to learn and apply, I’m taking you through them one by one.  Today let’s complete the Top 10 list.Continue Reading

10 Ways to Get More Donors for Your Nonprofit – Part 1

10 ways to get more donors for your nonprofit using principles of psychologyToday’s focus is on donor retention, as our year-long “Dive the Five” virtual course continues!  In fact, you can use the principles you learn here for donor acquisition as well. In for-profit parlance, we’ll be discussing how to “convert customers.”  In non-profit parlance it’s all about turning prospects into donors and donors into repeat donors.

I encourage you to make this the year you begin to study psychology and apply it more to your integrated development (marketing and fundraising) strategy. Continue Reading

10 Secrets to Help any Nonprofit Rock Mobile Fundraising

10 Secrets to Help Any Nonprofit Rock Mobile FundraisingHuman beings have always been social animals. The digital revolution has simply made electronic media (email, the internet and social media) our ‘go-to’ place to socialize and connect with our fellow humans.”

This sentiment that Claire crafted really spoke to me as I was reading her article the other day.

It’s a deep truth. We are social beings. We’re also incredibly mobile now, though.

Ironically, even though we’re constantly on the go, we are the most connected we’ve ever been. Continue Reading