Simone Uncensored

May 8, 2017

A thing from Tom Ahern

I really like Tom Ahern’s work…his donor-centered communications stuff. (And yes, I really like Tom Ahern personally.)

He has such a great newsletter.

But do you ever read his personal blog? Apart from his blogs about his gardens or barbecue or vacation trips or…. And he sometimes (more and more often) personally blogs about his life’s work (donor comms).

I think this “business blog re: donor comms” is spot on. And really lovely. Beautiful really. “The skeleton of a direct mail letter.”

Such very good points. Such a clear list of the architecture of the letter. So charming. And such beautiful writing on his part.

He’s such a beautiful writer. Did you know he has an MFA in creative writing from Brown University? And is a published poet and short story writer?

Do read his personal blog about that letter for your donor. Just follow the steps.

Thanks, Tom. Love, Simone (or Sim One as the t-shirt says).

May 3, 2017

Times they are a changing? Or not really. Just back and forth.

Tom, Doris and I are subscribers to the Gamm Theatre. Saw “The Nether” by Jennifer Haley… Science fiction — but maybe not so much; just too damn real.  So very very very linked to Sherry Turkle’s book Alone Together. Robots and the dark side of social media and the web and….

The Agitator alerted us all to “Your new fundraising word for the day,” ACTIGIVER. From Steve MacLaughlin, Blackbaud VP of Data and Analytics…”Giving in the age of outrage.”

The world is really fast these days. From slacktivist to activist to actigivers. But the fundamental human-ness isn’t different.

I am human, not an avatar. Engage my heart in whatever way I want to engage. I’m human. Behave accordingly.

Your NGO must be – at its core and in its activities – human. Watch out. The backlash has already started. Do you and your staff and your NGO recognize, acknowledge, understand, and do accordingly?

April 25, 2017

Various stuff that might interest YOU

What’s happening right now?

  • No newsyletter yet. Too busy setting up new home in France. (Yes, Tom and I are very aware of how fortunate we are!)
  • Just returned from France (and presenting in Portugal) last night. Check out www.calltoaction.pt for information about their 9th annual fundraising conference.
  • Thursday I head to AFP International Conference in San Francisco.

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY…STUFF FOR YOU!!!

May 19 A kick-ass 3-hour session for AFP RI: The Donor’s Journey – Not Yours. Why does this session matter to you? Donors are leaving. Retention rates are awful. Ill-informed bosses and opinioned board members stop good fundraisers from doing the right stuff. And too many fundraisers don’t know the right stuff. Maybe you want to attend? Visit the AFP RI Chapter website.

Anyone near Winnipeg? I’m presenting there on May 31 and June 1: Western Canada Fundraising Conference.

And an AFP International Webinar on June 20. About neuroscience, important information for fundraisers. Visit AFP International to learn more.

 

Filed under: Resources

April 10, 2017

Demons and angels

I very much appreciate the work of OpenDemocracy. And the Transformation newsletter that’s there.

Transformation: Where love meets social justice. Thank you, Mike Edwards.

So today’s article that I’ve just read…. Demons and angels: strongman leaders and social violence… offers important insights.

Insights from psychologist Steven Pinker talking about “changing circumstances” that produce the violence we have today.

Insights from Polish psychiatrist Andrew Lobaczewski writing about the dramatic shift in human behaviour from peace and tolerance to war and genocide. What Lobaczewski wrote really resonated with me: “each society on earth contains a certain percentage of individuals, a relatively small but active minority, who cannot be considered normal…. individuals that are statistically small in number, but whose quality of difference is such that it can affect hundreds, thousands, even millions of other human beings in negative ways.”

Psychopathy, narcissism, paranoia …

Yes…. Bad news. But the Transformation newsletter also always offers hope and inspiration and more. Maybe you want to subscribe. I already do.

Filed under: Leadership

April 5, 2017

Cool training to help you raise more money

YOU’RE INVITED …

Changing your organization into a fundraising powerhouse through applied donor-centricity….

Join me (Simone), Tom Ahern, Guy Mallabone, and Bernard Ross as we wander around Canada the last week of September.

Focus on Donor Centricity, a fundamental and disruptive concept for many organizations, that requires placing the donor first long before they even become a donor, and all the way through their lifecycle.

Practical. Critical. And if you can shift the paradigm in your organization, you can raise
significantly more money.

  • September 25: Mississauga, Ontario
  • September 26: Toronto
  • September 27: Calgary
  • September 28: Edmonton
  • September 29, Vancouver

And if you can’t join us there in that place, there’s a webcast on September 26.

For more information, click on the title back up at the top. Or click here.

 

April 3, 2017

This is lovely…

This made me happy. This makes me happy. I’ll keep this and watch it again and again.

https://www.onedayonly.co.za/blog/?post=this-danish-tv-ad-is-literally-the-best-weve-ever-seen-300

March 27, 2017

Marvelous Matthew & Feminism

Wonderful piece by Matthew Sherrington. “Men in Fundraising: We have a problem and its you.” From 101Fundraising crowd blog.

Matthew talks about:

  • Sexism in the NGO sector…alive and flourishing.
  • Imposter syndrome…and links to other articles and then Amanda “F…ing” Palmer’s 2011 speech at the IFC. I was there. She was great.
  • Tall poppy syndrome…just got off those heads.

And fighting this crap…Men who are not feminists. Women who are anti-feminist.

Remember: EQUITY is different than equality. EQUITY is the best.

P.S. Do you subscribe to 101Fundraising? I suggest that you do so. Especially if you live in the U.S. We U.S.ers need to read beyond the U.S.

 

March 14, 2017

Annual fund is sooo STUPID!!!!!!!!!!

I’ve been ranting about this for years and years. 

No emotional content. Meaningless. (And back in the 80s, I even had letterhead that said “Trinity Rep Annual Fund.” How dumb was I?)

I ask people what they mean by “annual fund.” Mostly the answer is: “Our annual direct mail letter.” WTF? One annual direct mail letter? For your DM segment, you ought to be sending multiple different “themed” letters.

I ask about the fundraising events the organization is doing to raise general operating support for the year. Mostly people kinda stare at me. Or say, “Oh.”

I ask fundraisers if they do personal face-to-face solicitation each year for annual operating support. Mostly fundraisers respond with, “Oh. That’s major gift solicitation.” (And I HATE the term “major gift solicitation.” And too many organizations don’t personally solicit face-to-face for a portion of their donors.)

STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT!!!!!!!!!!! Instead, segment the donor/prospect market via solicitation strategies. Is anything missing from the list below?

  • Personal face-to-face solicitation.
  • Direct mail (electronic and print).
  • Telephone (Yes, some organizations still do this!)
  • Proposals (grantwriting to foundations, corporations, whatever).
  • Special events (ticket sales, sponsorship requests)
  • Telethon…like on TV

THE ANNUAL FUND? STOP IT NOW!!!!!! NGOs raise charitable gifts for special projects outside of general operations. Your nonprofit raises money to support endowment…or a building. BUT MOSTLY, you raise money to support general operations, which includes program and the dread overhead. 

 

So the “annual fund” means all the solicitation strategies and all the sources of gifts and everything you do for that particular fiscal year…to operate… to do your important work… to help your beneficiaries… to fulfill the aspirations of your donors… And so forth.

STOP IT. JUST STOP IT. There is no such thing as “the annual fund.” It’s too silly and too dumb and and and ……….. And yes. I’m grumpy today.

March 13, 2017

What kind of consultant do you want to hire?

What kind of consultant do you want to hire? Think about this!

What is a consultant?

What’s the role of a consultant?

Here’s what I think a consultant is (and does):

Change agent. Teacher. Personal counselor. Trusted advisor. Truth teller.

Brutal truth teller telling brutal truths. (Michael Campbell used the phrase “brutal truths”. I like it!)

Hey consultants, read this great book: The Trusted Advisor

Hey nonprofits, read this 2-part article about choosing a consultant: “Should you hire a fundraising consultant…” And check this out, too: “Tips for using fund development consultants.”

Are we consultants willing and able to take the risks to be this kind of consultant? Do we even want to be this kind of consultant?

March 6, 2017

Periodic video postings: #2 in my new series

A new series… Videos that are particularly special to me. Compelling. Perhaps useful. Meaningful. Whatever.

I’m always learning from Seth Godin. I subscribe to his daily blog. I’ve read tons of his books. Permission Marketing. The Big Moo. The Icarus Deception.

And TRIBES. I want donors to be a tribe… a tribe in the good sense. (Yes, there is a bad meaning to tribes… homogeneous, insular, etc.)

If you haven’t heard/seen Seth Godin speak, it’s time now. “The tribes we lead.” 

 

Simone Joyaux, ACFRE, Adv Dip, is an internationally recognized expert in fund development, board and organizational development, strategic planning, and management.

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