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

Partner to Solve Social Problems; Stop Acting in Silos

silos
Does this look like a 21st century nonprofit to you?

Ask someone on the street if there are too many nonprofits addressing the same causes. Most likely, you’ll get a resounding “yes.”

When there’s a crisis, folks are confused as to which relief agency they should give their money. When a friend is diagnosed with cancer, they aren’t sure which organization will make the best use of their donation.

This confusion leads to “drop in the bucket” donations. Folks want to at least doing something, but don’t want to risk throwing their hard-earned money into a black hole.

This behavior stifles the entire nonprofit sector. Folks don’t trust their philanthropy will be effectively stewarded, so don’t give as much as they could. Even worse, folks with track records of investing — philanthropic (aka “social”) entrepreneurs — sit on the sidelines waiting. Waiting for the social benefit sector to do something that, up until now, it has not done well. What?Continue Reading

Clairity Click-it: Philanthropists; Creative Stuff: YouTube, Twitter, Visuals; Thanking

Click-it!

Click-it!

Happy Friday the 13th! It’s my lucky day – both I and my son were born on Friday the 13th – so I feel only good things can happen today. Speaking of which, I’ve got some lovely “feel good” goodies for you today. Since “Heart Day” is tomorrow, let’s start with philanthropy – meaning “love of humankind.” Then I’ve got some fun social media and creative stuff to help you really stick out in the minds of your constituents.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

How to Create an Ice Bucket-type Challenge for Your Nonprofit: A Formula for Success

Jimmy Fallon and friends prepare to take the Ice Bucket Challenge

Are you wringing your hands because your boss or board wants you to come up with a viral social campaign to rival the “Ice Bucket Challenge?” Oy!

I was first introduced to this phenomenon one evening as I was watching the Jimmy Fallon show on t.v. Jimmy, some of his crew and his band all dumped buckets of ice water on their heads; then challenged the New York Jets to do so as well (Jimmy had been challenged by Justin Timberlake). I had no idea why they were doing it or what the “Ice Bucket Challenge” was about.Continue Reading

Yes, The Donor Pyramid is Really Dead

dinosaur

When it’s our time to go, we all gotta go — dinosaurs and pyramids alike!

An Open Letter to Andrea Kihlstedt — Part 1

[I am responding to Andrea Kihlstedt’s Open Letter to me, Is The Donor Pyramid Really Dead, in the Guidestar blog. She was responding to my recent posts on the death of the Donor Pyramid in Fundraising Success Magazine: R.I.P. Donor Pyramid? and Maximize Social Business Blog How Social Media Toppled the Donor Pyramid – What that Means for Nonprofits.]

First, let me say this is a great dialogue to be having. The donor pyramid is a sacred dinosaur, and it’s good to challenge old assumptions from time to time. After all, the dinosaurs had a very good run, but even they became extinct.

Andrea says “no, the pyramid is alive and well,” making the case that (especially in capital campaigns) not all donors are equal. She also finds use for the pyramid in other campaigns, noting a Kickstarter campaign she recently worked on in which the biggest gifts came from donors who were approached face-to-face rather than via online strategies.Continue Reading

What Nonprofits Can Learn About Donor Retention from David Letterman

Are you the last kid on your nonprofit block to adopt social media as a tool to build relationships?

Are you the last kid on your nonprofit block to adopt social media as a tool to build relationships?

If you’re not using social media to get and retain more donors, be afraid. Be very afraid.

Social media has ceased to be a nice little “toy.”  An “add on thing.”  It’s the thing. If you’re not hanging out where the majority of your constituents are getting their information, you may as well fold up your tent and go home.  David Letterman didn’t “do social media.”    ( See “Do you use the Twitter device?” ).  He’s going home.

Letterman  may be ready to go off into the sunset. But you shouldn’t be. You can learn new tricks!Continue Reading

Is the Civil Sector in Death Spiral Mode?

Withering tree

Wither civil society?

Today’s post is a quick – yet very thought-provoking – share.

I happened upon Ruth McCambridge’s feature story for Nonprofit Quarterly, Jeremy Rifkin: The Future of the Economy is There for the Civil Sector to Claim.  In it she dissects Rifkin’s op ed for the New York Times, “The Rise of Anti-Capitalism.” I often hear a lot of doom and gloom about our sector, so this inspired me.

Maybe we’re not in a death spiral. Yet.

But we do have to create our own future.Continue Reading

Where Have all The Donors Gone? Three Guesses

What's going on?

What’s going on?

That’s the question that has fundraisers everywhere scratching their heads and crying in their beers.

Hmmn…

Donor retention has continued to plummet every year for the past seven years.  It’s really, truly an awful problem. For some unknown reason, all that hard work you put into acquiring new donors is, seemingly, being wasted. Why?Continue Reading

Do You Play ‘Hot Potato’ with Social Media at Your Nonprofit?

Children play hot potato

Who’s got the hot potato?

In the children’s game nobody wants to be left holding the hot potato. Does that sound like the way social media is ‘played’ at your nonprofit? Is anyone in charge? Who sets goals? Who decides what to do/not do? Who evaluates success? Where does the buck stop?

Too many organizations still have not taken charge of their digital strategy.  It’s beyond time for this to happen, as I explain inContinue Reading