Blogs

Fundraising: Are You Open Minded?

Within the last week, I have received three three calendars in the mail.

Solving the Mystery

I’m stumped on a particular challenge. I want you, my reader, to help me solve it. In fact, I believe you’re the only one who can. Game? What I enjoy most about what I do is the opportunity to provide clarity and direction to someone who wants it and to see the result of that counsel borne out in the life and work of the person coached.

From a Fundraising Appeal to a Donor-Centered Appeal

Are you struggling to nail the perfect appeal letter? Whether we are sending appeals via email or direct mail, we will need to nail the ask. It needs to be solid, heartfelt—and donor-centered. Everybody’s talking about donor-centered fundraising, but in my opinion, very few nonprofits are getting it right.

Other Staff Bloggers
Direct Marketing

Within the last week, I have received three three calendars in the mail.

By embracing the attributes of the mid-funnel specifically, and the behavioral analytics that stem from this platform, fundraisers have a much clearer understanding of their supporters, which in turn allows for the development of more relevant, customized and personalized experiences and relationships that will result in far greater dividends to the organization.

It seems that whenever a celebrity endorses a product it turns to gold, and more often than not, a celebrity appearance or stamp of app

Leadership Management

I’m stumped on a particular challenge. I want you, my reader, to help me solve it. In fact, I believe you’re the only one who can. Game? What I enjoy most about what I do is the opportunity to provide clarity and direction to someone who wants it and to see the result of that counsel borne out in the life and work of the person coached.

Be sure that before you ask for the first gift that you are prepared. Have everything in place to drive the campaign to completion in an appropriate timeframe. Timing is everything. Momentum is vital. A campaign that languishes does nothing to build donor, prospective donor, volunteer and staff confidence.

Advocacy can be an essential piece of a nonprofit organization's ability to meet its mission. It's about embracing and promoting a particular point of view. And while it may seem like some of the most successful nonprofits excel at championing a single issue or cause, in reality, the long-term work of building change is made up of a series of smaller gains (and losses) done behind the scenes over a long period of time. You’ve probably heard the saying—change doesn’t happen overnight. It involves a cycle of advocacy, policy efforts and building support from the inside out.

Development

Are you struggling to nail the perfect appeal letter? Whether we are sending appeals via email or direct mail, we will need to nail the ask. It needs to be solid, heartfelt—and donor-centered. Everybody’s talking about donor-centered fundraising, but in my opinion, very few nonprofits are getting it right.

I will never forget my visit to the city garbage dump of Manila. We had a major project operating among the people who lived there and made a living out of sorting garbage. The stench was beyond unbearable. There was acidic smoke everywhere. And the dust wanted to choke the breath out of us. Even more dramatic were the living conditions, the health of the kids, the look of despair in the eyes of a mother who wanted to do better. I wanted to run away. But I couldn’t, because we were there to gather project information and stories to take to our donors back in the States.

Awe

As a master BS'er (behavioral scientist) in private and professional life, I want to know why people do things, so I can use it in executing my evil plans. My beloved henchman, Otis the neuropsychologist, feeds my habit regularly with links sent in emails with cryptic subject lines. This subject line was “awe.” I thought it was about cute puppies. But no, it was a gem. Turns out, if I can get someone to experience awe, they are more likely to be less narcissistic and be more helpful to others. How can we do that?

Data Management

According to Lisa Scott, data can be as dangerous as it is a success factor if you are not careful. She is absolutely spot-on and reminds us that transparency isn't just for commercial companies anymore. You all know from my other blogs how important I believe data is to our success in the nonprofit industry. But, it is not enough to just say “data"—it’s about data strategies, business rules, organizational priorities and much more when you think through your data.

Just like professional basketball players continue to practice basic acts like catching and throwing a basketball, we fundraisers have to sometimes be reminded of the basics of historical analysis, which supports better decision-making for the future.

Urologists noticed a bump in vasectomies at the start of March Madness, and they took action. Vas Madness was born. Urologists got a bit of data — wow, we do a lot of vasectomies during March Madness — and took advantage of the landscape represented by that data. Nonprofit income departments can do that too, if we don't get in our own way.

E-Philanthropy

Make sure you are where your donors are when it comes to social media—and then do what is right for that channel.

You have 15 seconds to create engagement online. How does your site measure up? Can your donors get what they need in that time to make

Today Ted Hart speaks with John Murcott, CEO and co-founder of Crowdster, on Hart’s Nonprofit Coach radio show.

Sectors

How often do you try to connect with someone at another organization? Sometimes you need an opportunity to call on others without seeming too aggressive. If you have an opportunity to make a positive impression, do it.

I have been very fortunate to have mentors throughout my life. I have always been drawn to the wisdom of those older than me.

A big part of life—as we know from our profession—is continually giving and continually learning. Continue to associate with great folks and be part of a cause larger than yourself. Don't make leading or giving a "season of life." Make it a lifelong habit and commitment.