Clairity Click-it: Culture of Philanthropy; Content Marketing; Newsletters + Opportunities

Clairity Click-it includes links to fundraising and nonprofit marketing resources from around the web.Hope you enjoyed/are enjoying the week-end! Please also enjoy these links, free resources and training opportunities.

Culture of Philanthropy

Click-it: Turning Board Members into Fundraisers: Q&A with Claire Axelrad. Emily Wang of Network for Good recently interviewed me on this subject. If you missed it, here’s your chance to check it out.

Integrated Donor-Centered Content Marketing

Click-it: The #1 Mistake Fundraisers Make When Collecting Stories. One of the best “gifts” of content you can offer folks is the gift of your nonprofit’s stories.  Learn from Vanessa Chase exactly how to collect the good ones. One big takeaway: Don’t assume folks won’t want to share their stories (just like you should never say “no” on behalf of a donor). Always ask!

Click-it: 10 reasons your newsletter could raise more money. Newsletters aren’t magic for every organization. But they can raise good money for most. Hands On Fundraising here offers a number of things that may be dampening the potential of your newsletter. I’ve picked my favorites and, of course, included my two cents – just can’t help myself!  Feel free to let me know if you disagree.

  1. Put your newsletter in an envelope. They tend to work much better that way than as a self-mailer. Folks tend to notice them more, and to spend more time taking a look before they decide to toss them – which of course you want to avoid! If it doesn’t get read, then all your hard work is for naught.
  2. Include a request for support. It really drives me insane when organizations don’t do this because they’re afraid of offending their readers.  Really?  If folks are offended by this, you really don’t need them on your mailing list.  Most folks want to help, but they won’t do so unless they know what could be accomplished with their philanthropy.  Tell them!
  3. Include a remit envelope. The easier you make it for folks to give to you, the better. It’s a favor to them as well as a favor to you. This is an opportunity to more than cover your mailing costs.  If you don’t believe this will work for you, test it. Randomly divide your mailing list (every other one is a good tactic) and mail to half without an envelope and half with. Also include a call to action in the body of your newsletter. Give folks a URL as well as a mailing address. See what your results are from each group. Do folks respond to the call to action alone? Or does adding the envelope boost response?
  4. Include helpful content. I often tell folks that if you want gifts you must give them.
  5. Is the newsletter all about your organization? Try to do more helping; less selling. And make it about what the donor has accomplished.

More Food for Thought

Click-it: Why Snail Mail Works Best. The Washington Intelligence Bureau here provides a number of reasons why direct mail still gets better results from email.  Here’s my favorite, and one that I’ve seen born out time and again: “Including a personalized post-it note and hand signing the note will appeal to the reader and could lead to an increased response rate.” If you’re not yet personalizing your appeals this way, this is the year to start!

FREE RESOURCES + EXAMPLES TO LEARN FROM

Click-it: Free White Paper: Raise More Money with Your Next Event. Thanks to canadahelps.org for this free resource.

 Click-it: Julia’s Nonprofit Social Media Checklist. Get this free checklist from Julia C. Campbell. She’s my go-to guru for all things nonprofit social media!

Click-it: 6 Great Nonprofit Website Examples To Learn From [Includes Free Downloadable Guide to Redesign Your Website]. The folks at CauseVox have culled six examples of killer nonprofit websites to offer you plenty of great ideas. You don’t need to reinvent the wheel!

Click-it: Free Downloadable Self-Awareness Tests. Thanks to Sandy Rees for sharing a link this week to the LonerWolf website. They believe in the power of self-knowledge through the exploration of personality. So do I! Take these tests to see where you fall on the introvert/extrovert scale; your personality type; your 5 top personality traits, your temperament and more.  It’s super helpful for teams to do this together.  And it may help you better understand the area of nonprofit work in which you’ll most shine.

Click-it: Major Gifts Academy [4 free videos]. Richard Perry and Jeff Schreifels of the Veritus Group are giving away a four-part video trainings series that will give you an indispensable tool designed specifically for creating those special relationships that lead to a successful major gift program. They have a more in-depth offering too, but this part is absolutely free. These guys are the real deal!

‘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

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

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

Clairity Click-it: Dive the Five Fundraising Fundamentals

Clairity Click-it includes links to fundraising and nonprofit marketing resources from around the web.

Click it!

 

This year I’ll be sharing a lot of resources related to the “Dive the Five” fundamental principles we’ll be discussing in our ongoing virtual fundraising curriculum. You remember them, don’t you?

  1. Major Gifts
  2. Donor Retention
  3. Social Media
  4. Content Marketing
  5. Culture of Philanthropy

I want you to use these “buckets” as an organizing framework for your development efforts this year, so I’m organizing my “Click-its” this way as well.

From time to time I’ll add in other subjects and offer you some food for thought that I just can’t help but share with you. And, as always, if you scroll to the bottom you’ll find some free resources and upcoming learning opportunities.Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: Events; Social Media; Generational Giving; Culture of Philanthropy + Free Resources

Clairity Click-it includes links to fundraising and nonprofit marketing resources from around the web.

Click it!

 

This week’s Click-it is another mélange of fundraising wisdom, ranging from events to social media and taking a look at which generations are good target markets for you. Plus some fun posts.

And, as always, if you scroll to the bottom you’ll find some free resources I’ve selected for you. There’s some really worthwhile stuff here — and I’ve got a lot of it this week.

See you next week where I’ll return to my “Dive the Five” virtual nonprofit curriculum. Want to know the top five priority areas for your focus in the coming year? Make sure you’re subscribed to Clairification so you don’t miss an article!

And now, on to this week’s articles…Continue Reading