Today's fundraising news: New Blackbaud products, a call for Bridge session proposals, and a free webianr from TechSoup.
Check out people on the move in the nonprofit fundraising industry for the month of August.
Being a small organization does not mean you have to settle for small technology. It does require some deliberate decisions on where you spend money on technology though. Even a $5 per month subscription matters. Resources, expertise and time are real limitations with small organizations that depend on a limited staff to do everything.
However, small nonprofits have huge opportunity to leverage opportunities in ways large organizations simply can't. Seriously, stop and think about it.
I suspect a good part of the reason why fundraising and especially acquisition are so flat or down lies in the business-as-usual, risk-adverse nature prevalent in the contemporary nonprofit mentality. Nowhere is this affliction among both agencies and nonprofits alike more pronounced than when it comes to direct-mail testing. The bread and butter of conventional nonprofit testing methodology has long been the A/B split test. And while the logic is sound, it is incredibly inefficient and unproductive.
I speak to thousands of fundraisers every year, at conferences around the world. And the question I hear most often is a plea for help: "How do I convince my boss?" Fundraisers might well be the most second-guessed professionals in the world.
What we have here is a deep and abiding lack of trust. And where's that lack of trust obvious? I see it in the weeds, among the tiny tactics that make or break success in donor communications.
It doesn’t matter how many foundations, individual donors, local and regional governments, and other funders believe in your organization and can donate financial support to it if those donors can’t find you and put you on their radar. Researching grants and prospects is the first step in the process, and navigating the upper levels of major-gift fundraising often requires a different approach than individual gift campaigns.
In the nonprofit world, success is tied to relationships and trust. Both take a hit when the leader leaves and there's no clear successor or plan for succession. On the other hand, if there's a plan in place and someone is ready to step in, or there's a defined path to finding the next leader, you've answered many of the questions that supporters, partners, the board and even staff may have about the changes.
Working on your year-end appeal? Flying by the seat of your pants? Struggling with your copy? Think your copy is OK but not super inspiring? Worried that folks may not even open your envelope? Crafting fundraising appeals is not rocket science, but you do have to adhere to certain guidelines if you want to achieve blastoff. So … here come some guidelines!
I’m putting these in order, with the most important at the top. Since I’ve only selected six tips, however, you can consider all of these critically important to your success.