Engagement Comes Before Marriage: Build Sustained Nonprofit Relationships Using Social Media

Engagement 300x300 Engagement Comes Before Marriage: Build Sustained Nonprofit Relationships Using Social Media

Do you have the kind of relationship with your supporters that leads to real engagement?

First comes love… then comes marriage…

Are your supporters showing you they love you? Are you showing your supporters you love them? And finally — do you love your supporters?

It’s a long way from “I like you” to the altar.

Too many nonprofits forget this.  And frankly, it’s hard to fall in love with someone you’ve barely met.  So if all you have are solitary transactions with folks Continue Reading

What’s ‘Like’ Got to Do with It? 5 Ways to Inspire Nonprofit Engagement Through Social Media

Facebook like Whats Like Got to Do with It? 5 Ways to Inspire Nonprofit Engagement Through Social Media

I like you, casually.

Stop counting likes and follows. If your work plan has “increase FB likes from X to Y or increase Twitter follows from Y to Z” as an objective, delete, delete, delete!  Your objective must relate to your “why;” it can’t just be a “what.”

Who cares how many “friends” you have if none of them are engaging with you?  Liking is passive.  Engaging is active. What do you want folks to feel/think/do?  You simply won’t get there by wishing and hoping.  You get there by inspiring.Continue Reading

Your Nonprofit is so Vain… Bet you Think Social Media is about You

social adjective sshl  265x300 Your Nonprofit is so Vain... Bet you Think Social Media is about YouIf you’re like most nonprofits, you’re still trying to figure out how social media can help you sustain and grow your mission.  Most of you are getting it wrong.

Sorry to be so blunt.

Here’s how you’re going astray:  (1) your posts are too promotional; (2) your content isn’t relevant to your readers, and (3) you’re too repetitive and boring, without adding value. If you’re simply counting up your numbers of “likes” and “follows” and patting yourself on the back for how you’re growing your lists, you’re totally missing the point.Continue Reading

Lift Up Your Nonprofit Donors with Their Olympic Moment

Olympic torch with laurel wreath 300x300 Lift Up Your Nonprofit Donors with Their Olympic Moment

Give me one moment in time
When I’m more than I thought could be
When all of my dreams are a heartbeat away
And the answers are all up to me

The Olympic torch. The lyrics remembered from a Whitney Houston song sung at the 1988 Olympics Opening Ceremonies.  Chills ran down my spine.  The hairs stood straight on my neck.  Cheesy, I know.  But it got to me.

We all yearn for that one moment where we step outside our daily, mundane lives and exceed our wildest expectations.  When we’re bigger than ourselves.

We can’t all be gold medal athletes, but we can all be gold medal philanthropists. And gold medal philanthropy facilitators.

The Olympics lifts us up.  At its best, philanthropy does this as well.  It inspires us.  It engages us fully.  It’s addictive when done right.Continue Reading

Your Secret to Mindblowing Fundraising – Improve Donor Retention Just 10%

mindblowing 176x300 Your Secret to Mindblowing Fundraising   Improve Donor Retention Just 10%

Double the value of our donors? That would be mind blowing, dude!

Imagine what it would mean to your mission if you doubled the lifetime value of all of your current supporters.

I recently listened in on an interview between Gail Perry and Jay Love of Bloomerang. It’s a great listen, and the two of them fired me up to write another post on the importance of focusing your efforts on donor retention.

Do you know even know what percentage of donors you’re retaining? According to Jay, less than 5% of fundraising offices know this answer!  So, you’re not alone.  But you can do better.Continue Reading

Nonprofit Donor Retention is Not as Hard as You Think

heart blossoms Nonprofit Donor Retention is Not as Hard as You Think

What do you do to let your donors’ love blossom?

At least if shouldn’t be so hard.  After all, the commercial sector manages to retain 94% of their customers. Then why does the nonprofit sector only manage to retain 41%? Even worse, new nonprofit donor retention is only 27%. That’s abysmal. What’s going on?

Why are our for-profit brethren beating the pants off of us when it comes to retention?Continue Reading

It’s Not All about Major Gifts: 10 Ways to Succeed with Small Gift Fundraising

Small gifts 210x300 It’s Not All about Major Gifts: 10 Ways to Succeed with Small Gift FundraisingToday I went to research something online and ended up viewing the first entry Google gave me – which was on Wikipedia. To my delight, I ran into an awesome fundraising campaign (this is an occupational hazard with fundraisers – we actually like and admire things like pledge breaks when they’re done well)!

Here’s what I found superimposed at the top of the screen:Continue Reading

Why Your Nonprofit Should Get a Whirlpool

Whirlpool washer 300x289  Why Your Nonprofit Should Get a WhirlpoolNo, not a washer/dryer.  A real, honest-to-goodness vortex.

Last week I wrote about what nonprofits can learn about why we stopped building pyramids. The digital revolution has crumbled that baby – today’s ‘donor pyramid’ is nothing but an empty frame. Our donors no longer fit inside of it. So… what’s a nonprofit to do?

My guest post yesterday on Maximize Social Business detailed precisely How Social Media Toppled the Donor Pyramid – and what that means for nonprofits. Nothing is neat, orderly and linear anymore. Supporters are here, there and everywhere – all at once!

Today, electronic communications – social, mobile, email, crowd funding, online donating — have permanently disrupted the traditional donor-engagement process. Continue Reading

Why We Stopped Building Pyramids: What Nonprofits Can Learn

 

Pyramids at Giza Why We Stopped Building Pyramids: What Nonprofits Can Learn

Why do we always think of donors with pyramids?

Philanthropy, Not Fundraising

The pyramids were built in Egypt. On the backs of slaves.  It took a very, very long time. The cost, in human terms, was untenable and unsustainable.

That’s why you don’t see many pyramids being built these days.

Except in nonprofits.

Where building the donor pyramid is still the holy grail.  Get ‘em in. Move ‘em up. Acquire through direct mail. Convert to monthly donor or sustainer. Acquire through events. Convert to mail. Up, up, up…. to the pinnacle of major and planned gifts!

Except for one tiny thing.Continue Reading

Will Your Year-End Fundraising Be Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing?

Signifying nothing large 300x199 Will Your Year End Fundraising Be Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing?

Don’t let your year-end fundraising wind up as a tale told by an idiot. If your donor base looks like this same time next year, you’ve lost sight of being donor centric. It’s a waste. Be donor centric. Always.

I love my Agitators, I really do. I’m hoping they meant to provoke, and were really being tongue-in-cheek with their recent article.   Forget About Donor-Centric is very provocative, and certainly there’s truth here. Nonprofits do seriously ramp up their fundraising activities at this time of year, and it may appear they’re thinking more about money than their donor. It’s solicitation time, not stewardship time.  And “Donor Tom” (Tom Belford) tells us he understands. He reasons that at this time of year he’s going to be so bombarded by appeals that he’s not going to be thinking about building a relationship with you. He just wants to give to those he’s already given to and “escape with some spending money for Christmas presents.”

That’s exactly the perspective you don’t want your donor to have. Continue Reading