There have been so many shifts happening in the nonprofit world over the last few years. Unfortunately many organizations aren’t keeping up with these changes. One of the biggest of these is the shift in thinking related to how we engage people in the work we do.
Historically there’s been a feeling of separateness between those doing the work and those funding the work. That’s becoming less and less the case. But that’s not where the shift ends. It ends with the realization that, yes, we need to interact with donors differently. If we want to interact differently it means operating differently. It means letting people in – and it also means operating in a way that will be appealing to those who we hope will fund that work. Donors of means are not attracted to desperation. They are attracted by programs that are well-run, in professional environments and are making a measurable impact on the world around them.
A great way of inviting people in is to start to think of your supporters as your tribe. These are the people who are asking you to lead the way in making the world a better place. Are you ready? If so, take a look at the article about building your tribe (below).
Scroll down and you’ll see a full list of articles and posts to help stay up-to-date on trends and topics facing the nonprofit world.
How are you changing the world?
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about where creativity comes from and how to nurture and grow it in a team. As a result, even well-meaning leaders can end up killing the creativity of a team when they need it most.
If your team is in the midst of solving a problem or generating a new product or project idea, you might be killing their creativity without even trying. Here are three of the most common things managers do that have deleterious effects:
Perhaps there is no other structure in society that has the potential to have such focused and meaningful tribes as in the nonprofit world. When people with the same beliefs align themselves together, the basis for a movement is created and your journey to fulfill your vision as an organization begins.
Yet, the challenge lies in organizing this group of people with similar beliefs to become a tribe with one united vision.
Here are four things you can do to overcome this challenge to create your tribe.
To create life-long donors imposes on your charity the obligation to do something proactive to fulfill your donor’s highest level needs. Donors, like all human beings, are on a continual quest for meaning. It’s the existential search to be all that one can be. To feel self-actualized.
In non-psychological or theoretical terms, at the self-actualization pinnacle donors just feel darn good. They carry around a warm glow, representing the realization of their potential and inner peace. This feeling is very powerful…
Between event organizing, due diligence, communications, and reporting, I’d guess that many nonprofits spend 50 percent of their time working on fundraising-related activities in one form or another. Setting specific periods for reaching out to donors can help nonprofits stay focused on their goals and balance fundraising efforts with the work of the organization.
Why is heavy frequency so important? Because as the graphic notes, “The Golden Rule of Marketing is to get the right offer in front of the right person at the right time.”
This is particularly true when it comes to the use of direct response, especially direct mail, for acquisition purposes. We’re far more capable of dealing with the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘why’ and even ‘when’ questions with our own donors rather than with strangers yet to become our donors. Thus the admonition to resort to heavy frequency of mailings/impressions in direct response acquisition.
From fundraising guru Tom Ahern: The one-page thing is a myth. It’s not an ideal or a model or viable or worth doing. It’s just short. The untrained love it. They’re totally wrong. But the length of the letter is NOT your primary concern … and boards often don’t see that. They ASSUME that a 1-page letter is the BEST. That a 2-page letter does worse. And a 4-page letter does even worse. And, OMG, are they ever WRONG!!!! Admittedly, it’s harder to write a 4-page letter that sustains interest; you have to have some serious skills to pull it off. But to assume that 1 page is better than 4 pages automatically is “magical thinking.” It’s just wrong.
Here’s how Maximize Social Business skyrocketed its Facebook Business Page Engagement by using Post Planner, tweaking its content strategy, and paid social.
Stories are abundant at nonprofit organizations. Our real task is finding them and sharing them with our donors more often. As you do, you will be inviting engagement and inspiring donors for years to come.