5 Powerful Nonprofit Opportunities: Your Path to Success in 2016

5 Powerful Nonprofit Opportunities

When opportunities knock, open the door! Success is just waiting for you to welcome it inside.

 

Your year-long “Dive the Five” virtual course begins!

Listen.

Hear the knocking?

I most surely do!

If you pay attention, you’ll see the year ahead is bursting with opportunities for your nonprofit to succeed — more than you’ve ever succeeded before.

What do you need to do to grab these opportunities?

It’s as simple asContinue Reading

2 Reasons Donor Surveys are Valuable

It’s both a research tool and an involvement tool.

There are two reasons you should do a donor survey.

Donor surveys offer you a “twofer.” One is for you (useful information); the other is for your donor (a way to usefully participate other than giving money).

Let’s begin with the latter reason.Continue Reading

4 Guaranteed Ways to Research Major Donor Prospects

Know what to look for and where to look!
Know what to look for and where to look!

MAJOR GIVING.

It’s one of those terms nonprofiteers bandy about freely within the grand scheme of things to be devoutly wished for.

But precisely what constitutes a major gift, and where are they to be found? These can be difficult to pin down for your particular nonprofit.

You have to know (1) what you’re looking for, and (2) where to look.

Today I’ve asked an experienced prospect researcher, Ryan Woroniecki, Vice-President of Donor Search, to give us some practical major donor prospect identification guidance. Ryan, please take it away!Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: Fundraising Wisdom; Retention; Overhead; Time Management; Software; Social Marketing; Major Gifts

ClairityClick-it2MouseMouse

Start the new year with a bounty of expert tips and free resources!

Happy New Year!

Here comes the first 2016 “Clairity Click-it” — an eclectic kick-off to the year.

I find so many great resources across the World Wide Web, some from other disciplines, and I want to share those I find most helpful. There’s so much the nonprofit sector should be learning and borrowing from others – we don’t always need to reinvent the wheel!

I’m also trying something new this year – “Dive the Five.”

I’ve selected five major themes 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 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.Continue Reading

Top 10 Nonprofit Leadership Lessons for 2015: Think Differently

Think differentThe 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

Continue Reading

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.

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

Why Your Nonprofit’s Events are a Waste of Time

Are you seizing your opportunity? Or letting your 'thoners just fall into a black hole?

Are you seizing your opportunity? Or letting your ‘thoners just fall into a black hole?

Fun events may bring in hundreds of attendees, but a fundraising event is not an end in and of itself.  Often the charity never sees these folks again (or at least not until the next event) because these folks are golfers or ‘thoners, not donors. These events are a waste of your precious resources.

Don’t tell me that you “raised awareness.”

Unless you raised awareness towards a particular end (usually generating greater philanthropic support) – and you have a plan to intentionally build on this awareness — then everything your attendees may have learned about you will go in one ear and out the other. Awareness that isn’t reinforced lasts about two seconds.

Don’t tell me that you “raised good money.”

Did you really? Well, think again. Continue Reading

10 Steps to Take Charge of Your Nonprofit’s Major Donor-Investor Plan

Now that's MAJOR. Gopher it!

Now that’s MAJOR. Gopher it!

Major individual gifts are the single largest source of philanthropy, by far. The most recent data from Giving USA[Free Summary Download] shows 72% of gifts come from individuals’ annual gifts and an additional 7% from bequests.

The process of individual donor development proceeds along a continuum – from awareness… to education… to involvement… to investment.  People must first be made aware of the organization’s existence and its mission.  Once this occurs, people who share values enacted by your organization can be identified, further educated and majorly involved.

When the relationship is sufficiently built – and only then — the prospect can be invited to significantly invest to assist in furtherance of your organization’s mission.Continue Reading

Declare Your Independence Day – Information Overload Be Gone!

Informationoverloaditis.

4th of july patriotic dog

Feeling a bit overloaded?

It’s the new plague. And a highly contagious epidemic, from which no one is immune.

Are you showing any symptoms? I feel like:

  • I’m working all the time, but not getting that much accomplished.
  • I’m working on 10 projects at once, but none get finished.
  • My ‘to-do’ list never gets completed.
  • I’m in meetings all day and don’t have time to work.
  • I bring my laptop to meetings and pretend to take notes while surfing the web.
  • I’m answering email all day and don’t have time to work.
  • I answer email during conference calls and in meetings.
  • I have less and less time to plan, not to mention free time.
  • I have less and less time to learn, not to mention creative time.
  • I can never get to things quickly enough.
  • I sit down at my computer and end up doing something different than I planned.
  • I am eating lunch at my desk, mired in my virtual inbox.
  • I make calls while driving, and even send the occasional text, even though I know I shouldn’t.

If you checked off three or more, you’ve got the disease. 8 or more and we need to rush you to an unplugged vacation. All of the above and you need a sabbatical!Continue Reading

Why You May Not Have Time for an Email Campaign

Jumping on the bed
Are you giving yourself time to sleep on it and channel your superhero?

I was playing around on Mashable yesterday and happened on The Key to More Successful Email Campaigns: Time.  Since I recently offered you Top 10 Tips for Successful Nonprofit E-Appeals (and the big 11th is coming on Monday – you’ve still got time to guess what it is and win a free e-appeal review!), I thought I’d share this with you as a nice complement.

It’s something that should be a no-brainer; but, as Pooh describes it, sometimes we all can be “a Bear of No Brain at All.” How can we be the Best Bear in all the World?Continue Reading