It’s that time of year again. The leaves are starting to change colors – in fact the dogwood trees out my window are well on their way already. Having grown up in Central Florida, the changes of season are still a novelty for me.
In the fundraising world, fall signifies the start of fundraising season. In the next three months, organizations will raise a significant portion of their annual operating budget. Are you ready? Is your campaign structure in place? Do you have a long list of prospects you’ll be meeting with and a draft of your fundraising appeals written?
If not, don’t panic yet. Give me a call or send me back an email and we’ll schedule a time to chat about my recommendations for your next step.
This week’s most ‘liked’ quote: People of mediocre ability sometimes achieve outstanding success because they don’t know when to quit. – George Allen, American Football Coach
Here’s a summary of recent articles and blogs related to fundraising and nonprofit organizations. As always, please forward this to others who might benefit from the information. Thanks again for reading!
AWARENESS / MARKETING
- Lists As Part of Your Content Strategy: A Short List of Tips and Tools I’m a list maker! I keep to do lists, mega to do lists, grocery shopping lists, lists of restaurants and movies, you get the picture. There is something zen about making a list – it clears my mind. But who knew that they could be useful as part of your content strategy or for content curation. By Beth Kanter
- Nonprofit newsletters boost donor retention Are you not producing a newsletter for your donors? If not, you should be. It’s the single best tool for improving donor retention. And sure, it’s difficult and costs money. So please take a good look at this post at Bloomerang by Tom Ahern: 6 Dumb Reasons for Not Sending a Charity Newsletter. By Jeff Brooks
- Stories as Data Are you ignoring your richest intel? How organizations can yield a wealth of valuable data through story-based research. By Denise Withers
WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING
- 6 Unique and Unconventional Fundraising Ideas “How are we going to bring in more money? Let’s get creative, folks!” Employees at nonprofit organizations of varying shapes and sizes have heard this from upper management in one way or another. There are only so many sources. By Adam Weinger
- 3 Ways Crowdfunding Can Support Traditional Fundraising Campaigns Modern crowdfunding first emerged in 1997 when the British rock band, Marillion, used online fan donations to fund a $60,000 reunion tour. In 2000, ArtistShare became the first official crowdfunding platform. By Joanne Fritz
- A Fundraiser’s Guide to Effective Gift Acknowledgment During the last few years, the case for knowing and improving every fundraising organization’s donor-retention percentages has nearly reached a fever pitch. One of the first methods to improving donor retention may sound obvious, but it is so often taken for granted: proper gift acknowledgement. By Lindsay Nichols
- My #1 Secret to Raising Major Gifts Do you ever feel like you are stuck in the office? All my fundraising friends tell me they “don’t have time” to get out there and visit donors. What’s YOUR biggest obstacle to closing major gifts? The problem is – you’re not going to raise any money in your office. By Gail Perry
- Persuading Your Donors The Agitator has a bit of a debate underway as to whether in fundraising our task is to change donors (which I regard as moving someone from disinterest and apathy to at least some level of commitment) versus tapping and activating some sentiment and concern already in place in their heart and mind. By Tom Belford
- How to market last minute charity auction donations “Just added” was stamped on this poster to alert guests to a last-minute donation to the charity auction lineup. Here are some ideas on how to market charity auction donations that arrive “last minute,” meaning anything acquired after the catalog is printed. By Sherry Truhlar
- Why Fundraisers are Bad at Bequest Marketing “Pork. The Other White Meat.” was an advertising slogan introduced in 1987 for America’s National Pork Board. Brilliant and effective: It got me thinking: in philanthropy, we have a somewhat similar situation. We have “major donors” … and then we have the “other major donors.” By Tom Ahern
- Why you need to entertain Outrage or pity can generate huge sums of money. But when it comes to creating loyalty, entertainment really needs to be considered. Great entertainment of any genre – comedy, pathos, thriller or horror – generates a sense of gratification in the viewer. It’s the same with great fundraising. By Mark Phillips
- Let your donors see the real you Smart cookie Alia McKee of Sea Change Strategies shared some brilliant ideas on “breaking the fourth wall” for your donors. Here are her suggestions for sharing more personality and giving supporters a new perspective. By Caryn Stein
ONLINE / TECHNOLOGY
- 4 Facebook metrics your nonprofit shouldn’t overlook You may have heard of the term “social media ROI calculator.” It refers to a method of figuring out whether you’re getting an adequate return on investment for your organization’s investment in Facebook, blogging, Twitter or other social media. By John Haydon
- New Study: Facebook Hashtags Decrease Engagement Facebook assumed by rolling out hashtags, that organizational and brand pages using hashtags would receive increased exposure from other brands and organizations who were using the same hashtags. However, according to a new study, posts with hashtags on Facebook don’t have as good as good reach as posts than those without. By Allyson Kapin
- Is Your Email Quacking to Be Opened? Whether you’re sending an email appeal, an email thank-you to a donor, or an email newsletter, that subject line should quack like a duck that has just found a big puddle for splashing. Otherwise, it’s going to get lost in the black hole of today’s email box. By Joanne Fritz
- Making the Most of Mobile Nonprofit donors and advocates are spending more time online than watching TV—it’s time to get their attention.By John Kenyon
LEADING A NONPROFIT
- Are you creating magic in your nonprofit? Wouldn’t it be great if working at your nonprofit were as fun as going to Disney World? In “Creating Magic” by Lee Cockerell, you can find out what it takes to make it happen. I was given this book a couple of years ago by my coach to help me build my team. By Sandy Rees
- Leveraging Your Board Members for Major Gift Fundraising The topic of this week is the importance of using your board members to help with fundraising. By Amy Eisenstein
- How to effectively ask for advice Last week, I was at a meeting and heard a board member say: “Ask a man for advice, and he’ll give you money. Ask a man for money, and he’ll give you advice. Isn’t that the truth? Think about the times you as a board member or nonprofit employee told someone you were asking for money. By Marc A. Pitman
- The positive effects of charitable giving What are some current and emerging community needs throughout Canada? How can we begin to solve them? By Nicolas Locke