Simone Uncensored

November 12, 2018

Notes from my dorm room

Thinking about my SMUMN…where I teach every summer. And yes, live in a dorm. Students and faculty are colleagues. We talk and disagree and agree and learn together. Just check out these comments from Cohort 28 final projects….

Some very good CRQs (cage-rattling questions). Thank you, members of Cohort 28!

  1. Without passion, purpose, or predictability – what’s keeping me here?
  2. How can we embrace both stability and creativity?
  3. What are we – and only we – in the ideal position to achieve?
  4. Questions to ask donors: How has this organization transformed your life? Out of all the gifts you’ve given, which one is most memorable to you – and why? How do your core values impact your philanthropy?
  5. To what extent does status affect a person’s ability to make impact on a large philanthropic scale?

 

 

 

November 6, 2018

Say thank you better. It’s even more important than you think!!!

New research PROVES how massively important saying thank-you really is!!

Yes, I know that you know that saying thanks is important. Your mom told you so, right? Or maybe your grandma? At least someone told you so.

But now we have actual academic research carried out by the amazing team at the Philanthropy  Centre and a team of philanthropic psychologists at Plymouth University, U.K. (Make sure you subscribe to the Philanthropy Centre!!!!!)

Hey, people out there. This is real and valuable and applicable to any organization no matter the size. Imagine what the findings will do for your fundraising!

  • The summary: Even subtle changes to communications have the ability to profoundly influence how good donors feel as a result of reading that communication. AND! There’s evidence that the recommended practices have the potential to increase average donation amount, response rate, and how good the donor feels and….
  • A few specifics: How/when to use an email thanks. Thanking donors who give most frequently. And……………….Download the research! Apply it!

Report authors: Professor Jen Shang. Professor Adrian Sargeant. Kathryn Carpenter. Harriet Day.

Sponsors…YES!!! Donors… The marvelously wonderful organizations that made this possible. In alpha order: Bloomerang Inc,  Institute for Conversational Fundraising, and Pursuant Inc.

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So now I’m going to play around with thank yous.

Hello research sponsors Bloomerang, Institute for Conversational Fundraising, and Pursuant. WOW! OH MY GOSH!! So absolutely marvelously wonderfully important for the nonprofit sector and world of philanthropy…

Without your leadership support, Pursuant, my clients wouldn’t know how massively important thank you is. Sure my clients know it’s important. But there’s so much else to do and…. So thank you Pursuant for your ongoing support of the Philanthropy Centre’s research.

Gracias, Kent. We haven’t talked or seen each other in ages. How wonderful to see your support of critical research for fundraising. We’ve got a long way to go to strengthen fundraising – and your support helps us all move forward. Thank you so much.

Hey Bloomie peeps… You know I love you. And again, you’re sponsoring critical research about donor retention. Thank you et merci!! With donors like you, we can help nonprofits around the world. Thank you again.

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And here’s just a bit of what our sponsors – our exceptional donors – say about the research findings. Their testimony reminds us of what great research can do.

“If charities were as studious and deliberate about thanking as they are about asking for philanthropic support what a difference it would make!” Kent Stroman, Principal and Founder, Institute for Conversational Fundraising

“…The time and effort used for proper acknowledgements is easily justified based upon the results of this study where significant increases in funding were realized!” So says Jay Love, Chief Relationship Officer and Co-founder of Bloomerang

“…Cultivation and acknowledgement is vital to building strong, long lasting and authentic relationships with donors.” Rebecca Gregory Segovia, Executive Vice President, Pursuant 

 

November 1, 2018

This organization pushes several of my buttons !

[This is a long blog. More like an article. But there are good resources and cool ideas and – as usual – my various musings…. insightful, I hope. So I hope you’ll stick with it – or print it for future reading.]

I recently learned about the California Green Academy. I’d previously met the Founder/Chief Sustainability Officer, Greg Justice, through a masters program at the University of San Francisco.

So off I went to the internet to learn about CalGreenLots of stuff pushed my buttons! Here goes…

  • Mission: Promoting systems thinking and the Triple Bottom Line in business, energy, and transport.
  • Vision: Becoming a premier educational source for sustainability and systems thinking.

I fell in love with systems thinking back in the 1990s. I wrote about systems thinking in the first edition of my first book, Strategic Fund Development: Building Profitable Relationships That Last. And systems thinking is alive and well in each subsequent edition of this book, now up to the 3rdedition.

I’ve never fallen out of this love. Systems thinking is a permanent love. And that an organization actually includes systems thinking in its mission and vision? Wow!!

A few years ago I developed an entire workshop on nonprofit sustainability. My sustainability was definitely NOT just financial. Visit my Free Download Library for my handout.

How about that triple bottom line? Adding  social and environmental values to good old economic measures. Social values like fundamental rights, respect for human dignity, democracy, respect, honesty, and…

By the way, when I think “business,” I think for-profit mostly. Or rather, I think that the world thinks for-profit.

For me, life focuses on 3 sectors: Nonprofit sector. For-profit sector. Government. Businesses are for-profit and nonprofit. (Of course, we can also think of the government as business. But I don’t so much.)

I wish the world better understood the nonprofit sector – called the social sectors by Jim Collins in his marvelous monograph Good to Great and the Social Sectors; and, read about civil society in Mike Edwardsbook of the same title. By the way, here’s a must-read book for anyone who works in the nonprofit sector, also by Mike – Small Change: Why Business Won’t Change the World.

I’m pleased to say that the CaliforniaGreenAcademy just added Nonprofit Studies to its Programs. Hey, CalGreen, consider the book suggestions above for your library in Nonprofit Studies – and for those for-profit businesses, too.

More Simone buttons pushed by CalGreen peeps….

Anyone who knows me or reads anything of mine or hears me speak knows how important diversity-equity-social justice are to me. I contacted Greg about the dominance of men within the organization. Greg explained the impressive detailed efforts taken to-date in this 1-year old organization. He talked about the board member search firm CalGreen has just retained.

Now check out these blogs – and the impressive actions described.

When I’m talking governance, I always talk about board composition and diversity and equity and… But I’m now thinking about following the lead of CalGreen and talking about adopting these UN policies.

Okay. That’s it. Farewell for now, Simone

P.S. I’m increasingly pissed about energy and transport and the not- so-good job we do in the US about these 2 items.

P.P.S. I think “chief sustainability officer” is a really good name for the chief executive officer. Of course, we’ve encountered so many CEOs who did/do a damn awfully terrible job of making sure their corporations are sustainable. Remember these corporations: Lehmann Brothers, Enron, Wells Fargo Bank…And on and on still today and over and over…

Okay. This is really farewell!

October 29, 2018

More cool learning…Australia & New Zealand

I’m going Down Under again. I am so lucky!

The Extraordinary Donor Journey is off to Auckland (December 3), Melbourne (December 5), Brisbane (December 6), and Sydney (December 7).

All day long with Guy Mallabone, Stephen Pidgeon, Bernard Ross, and me, Simone! Imagine the learning and insights, joking and laughter.

Check out the details and schedule and each location by clickinghere.

Read all about us 4 presenters and our topics in this brochure.

Hope to see you there!

 

October 17, 2018

Meet the Donors…HURRY UP!!

You know those typical panels….with a bunch of foundation reps sitting up front and making mini presentations and then you ask them questions?

Feel like you ought to be there because it’s “face-to-face” with grantmakers. And if you don’t go, your boss will be pissed.

But really…Did you learn anything more than what you could have found on the internet? Hmmmm…..

If you’re in the Rhode Island area and have ever wondered what’s not on funders’ websites… Register HERE for a new and improved AFP-RI Meet the Funders experience coming up on October 26 7:30 – 10:30am.
Intimate setting. Fabulous venue. New and returning funders. World style cafe format… Think elbow-rubbing. Truly!
Participating funders (down from the stage and right at your tables):
  • Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
  • Centreville Bank
  • Citizens Bank
  • Division of Community Development for the City of Providence
  • Rhode Island Foundation
  • Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
  • United Way of Rhode Island
  • Wells Fargo
  • Women’s Fund of Rhode Island

Only about 20 tickets left…    Register FAST!!

October 15, 2018

Bob Dylan. Hurricane. Thurgood Marshall. Racism then and now and still!

I was listening to Bob Dylan’s Hurricane the other day.

So I looked up the story on Wikipedia…Rubin Carter…20 years in prison for a crime that he did NOT commit.

We don’t always do so well with “and justice for all.” Racism triumphs over and over and over…

No matter that LBJ worked hard to get the Civil Rights Legislation passed back in 1964 and 1965. No matter that Barack Obama was President for 2 terms.

The day before listening to Bobby sing Hurricane… Tom and I watched the 2017 movie Marshall about Thurgood Marshall and his 1940 case in Bridgeport, CT.

Such sadness and anger about racism. Such admiration for those who fought and fight and will fight. Forever.

Filed under: Social Commentary

October 8, 2018

Double your donations!! Are you interested?!!!!

A NEW masterclass for really greedy nonprofits … March 4-6, 2019.

New research shows how to double donations. How cool is that?

And guess who your instructors are? Adrian Sargeant and Tom Ahern.

Where? Someplace improbable, like Lord of the Rings or The Game of Thrones improbable (hint: Scotland, on scenic and legendary Loch Ness; in a venue with a Michelin-rated chef; includes a single-malt whisky-tasting bar to encourage deep, peaty conversations)

 Who’s attending? Well, first of course, there’s YOU … and then there are your other high-performance, really-worth-knowing classmates … and these two experts who speak internationally to rapt audiences … trapped in a small-class setting.

So, yeah, there’s science.

But mostly you get friendly, encouraging, cheer-leading-even (Tom has a story of high-school hijinks), prayerfully supervised, critiqued-by-experts PRACTICE.

It’s a 3.5-step process:

  • You come up with stupid ideas.
  • You come up with better ideas.
  • You come up with breakthrough ideas.

And you’re launched … into the next stage of your career’s advancement … the one where you make WAY more money for your charity employer. 

What’s it like being there?You sit, casually dressed, in an old hunter’s lodge, above Loch Ness. That’s your classroom.

Dress warmly if you like to be outdoors. It’s March; in the very midst of some of the most spectacular hiking country on earth (if that’s you).

Also a great place to read a novel by the fire. Or write some of the deepest, most moving pages in your diary.

Also a great place to walk a few meters … and then hurry back into the bar for a double of that one you liked so much last night.

Just click here.

October 4, 2018

I’m crying. Yelling. And so deeply deeply sad.

Larisa Alexandrovna. Journalist, essayist, and poet. Managing Editor of Investigative News of The Raw Story. Twitter: @larisa_a

Larisa is talking about Judge Brett Kavanagh and on and on…   Thank you, Larisa, for allowing me to put this in my blog.


I think I understand now why I am upset about this case. I tried to sleep last night and all I kept thinking is why are they trying to “ram him” through despite the majority of the country and the majority of women saying “no,” and “please stop,” and “wait”… and in that very question I found the answer. It was so simple and so alarming.

They are literally playing out out on the national stage and in real time what it feels like to be overpowered. They won’t take no for an answer. They won’t listen or slow down. They won’t stop. The more we say no, the more angry they get. The more we ask them to stop, the more entitled they feel. This is, I think, what is affecting me and countless other women.

We are being overpowered despite us being in the majority and asking rightfull that they stop or wait. They are saying no and the more we beg, the more aggressive they are getting. Until finally, they play on “ramming” through his nomination while we are supposed to just take it.

This is what is affecting me. This is – I think – what is affecting most women. This overpowering, entitled and demeaning attack on our body politic.

Us: Please stop

Them: no

Us: Wait

Them: no

Us: STOP

Them: NOOOOOOOOOO

Us: Crying

Them: Angry, yelling, ramming

This is why I am upset.


Thank you, again, Larisa. This is deeply caring and deeply sad to me. Thank you.

Filed under: Social Commentary

October 1, 2018

Management. Government. Society. Community. LIFE!!!

Some favorite YouTube videos.

I use them in my classes at SMUMN – where I teach in the masters program in Philanthropy and Development.

If I were on staff at an institution (instead of being a consultant) – I’d insist all staff watch these together….And then talk.

HEY! What a great way to start a board meeting…periodically watching something like this and talking about the implications for your clients, your donors, your organization, the community, and on and on and on…

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE MARVELOUS VIDEOS is about the work that you and I do. The work that pretty much any human being does.

EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE INSIGHTFUL VIDEOS is about life…your life and mine, and the beneficiaries of our work and the volunteers helping in our organizations, serving on boards.

AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE HUMAN AND HUMANE VIDEOS is about our donors.

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Watch these. Share these. Explore the implications. Learn. Make change. Do and be better.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Ahmen, “Batman of Social Impact.” Nonprofit leader by day and hip-hop artist by night. His marvelous opening for IFC 2017. I was there. I took the knee with my hand in a fist.[ https://twitter.com/TheResAlliance?lang=en]

#likeagirl “What does it mean to do something like a girl.” [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XjJQBjWYDTs]

Ash Beckham: We’re all hiding something – coming out of the closet. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSR4xuU07sc]

Brené Brown and vulnerability. [https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability]

“What is Privilege?” The privilege walk is one of the most insightful, saddening things I’ve ever seen or experienced. Better than watching it, you can actually do it. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hD5f8GuNuGQ]

 

September 25, 2018

Raise more money by learning the right stuff

Yes, there is right stuff to learn in this profession of ours. The fundraising thing.

And there’s wrong stuff…or irrelevant stuff…or OPINION instead of EXPERTISE.

So here are some great resources to learn the right stuff and develop yourself and help you tell your boss and board to stop the opinionating and focus on the expertising.

MOCEANIC!!  You MUST MUST visit and join us and learn and share and………

  • Sign up for e-news and free fundraising tips and online courses and all kinds of cool useful important stuff!
  • WOW! Check out the Moceanic crew like co-founders Sean Triner and Christiana Stergiou. Add in Jeff Brooks. And advisors like Roger Craver and Adrian Sargeant and Tom Ahern and Harvey McKinnon and Ken Burnett and me, Simone and more!

BLOOMERANG!!! I’ve decided NOT to talk about donor/fundraising databases. Instead…Get yourself a marvelous donor retention tool.

  • Loyalty is the Holy Grail of any business (Thanks, Roger Craver 2009). LifeTime Value is the best of the best.
  • Adrian Sargeant’s donor loyalty research is what you want to apply all the time. (And that’s the algorithm for Bloomerang.)
  • Bloomerang is so user-friendly that your 5-year old pal can show you how to use it.
  • Bloomerang also has a regular blog and free webinars – whether you use that donor retention tool or not.
  • P.S. Tom Ahern communications stuff is also imbedded in this donor retention tool.

So those are just two thoughts for this week.

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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