Clairity Click-it: Fall Extravaganza of Free Nonprofit Resources

Lift your donor up -- along the pathway to passionate philanthropy

Lift your donor up, step-by-step, along the pathway to passionate philanthropy


It’s mid-September and we’re well on the way towards the year-end rush of “giving season!” Now it’s time to get serious about end-of-calendar-year fundraising.  It’s when folks are most generous, and you don’t want to miss out.  So while I’ll continue to offer links to articles and resources aligned with my top Dive the Fivefundraising fundamentals for 2016, and beyond, I’ll also include some practical, basic stuff that falls a bit outside these categories.

It’s all good stuff and, as usual, plenty of free resources too. I count seven freebies, and 17 great articles! I dare you not to find something you can use right now.Continue Reading

Raising More from Your Annual Fund: 6 Donor-Centric Strategies

Ready... Set... Let's get to know our annual fund donors!

Ready… Set… Let’s get to know our annual fund donors!


Annual giving is the cornerstone to any nonprofit fundraising effort.

And while some organizations think of annual giving as a way to raise money for their operational expenses and other projects and causes, I’m about to let you in on a secret:

It’s not.Continue Reading

How to Use Peer-to-Peer Fundraising to Grow Year-End Giving

Ask your advocates to raise their hands on your behalf!

Ask your advocates to raise their hands on your behalf!


Thinking about how to get more new donors this year?  Wondering if you should purchase lists?

Consider this: Response to peer-to-peer fundraising is about 25% compared with direct-to-donor campaigns where response is 1 – 2%.

Why?  People respond better to people than they do to organizations.  Especially when it’s people they know and trust.  Continue Reading

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

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

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

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

How to Use Nonprofit Social Media to Reinforce Donor Relationships

You can strengthen donor relationships using social media

You can strengthen donor relationships using social media


To survive and thrive in the current zeitgeist, all nonprofits must master at least five skills, of which one is online social fundraising.  There are numerous reasons why this is so; today I want to focus on using social media strategies to build dynamic donor relationships.

The chief reason this is so critical is that nonprofits are hemorrhaging –losing, on average, over half of their donors every year.

Whatever nonprofits are doing currently, it’s not working especially well. So adding an additional relatively inexpensive donor retention strategy into your existing donor development plan makes sense. I encourage you to read my complete in-depth article on the subject on the Maximize Social Business blog. But if you’re pressed for time, here are some quick highlights.Continue Reading

‘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

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

Be Clairaudient to Make Your Nonprofit Donors Happy

Listening Woman

Do you listen underneath what they say to truly hear what your donors want?


Ever hear of “A.Word.A.Day” with Anu Garg?  I hadn’t. Until a friend recently shared with me that day’s word. She said, “this one’s all about you!” The word?


It’s a perfect word for fundraisers, because it’s precisely what you must do – a skill you absolutely must have – if you’re to succeed with sustainable fundraising.

It means the ability to hear what is in people’s hearts and minds. 

It’s a lot like clairvoyance, but it brings in the audience perception. It’s the ability to “hear” what is inaudible — by getting a read on what folks are thinking and feeling on the inside. Despite what they may reveal on the outside.

Guess who is good at this?Continue Reading