Simone Uncensored

December 10, 2018

Great New Year gift for YOU!

LEARNING.   Learning more.   Learning new.   Developing yourself!!!   LIFELONG LEARNER.

Check out the Masters Program in Philanthropy and Development at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

See what the students say in this video.

Check out what our graduates are doing… For example:

  • Aaron Sanderson (SMUMN Cohort 20) has been recognized by the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) as one of the Forty Under 40.
  • Cathy Mann (SMUMN Cohort 23) has been recognized as AFP Greater Toronto’s 2018 Outstanding Fundraising Professional.

The SMIT  (Single Most Important Thing)… THE RESIDENCY... On campus for 1 week together. Intensity of learning together, face-to-face. Sharing. Arguing. Laughing. Learning. (And you’ll want to build that back home in your office!)

Of course, there are great courses. I’m sharing just the tip of the iceberg in these bullets.

  • Foundations of fundraising – and major and capital gift fundraising.
  • Governance. Because the best fundraisers are highly knowledgeable about boards and board members and how to involve them and keep them in the right stuff and out of the other stuff!
  • Strategic planning. Because without good institutional planning, how can your organization raise charitable gifts?
  • Program assessment and evaluation. The criteria and process for creating programs with measurable outcomes. Without this, how can you prove that your nonprofit actually makes a difference?
  • And how about legal and ethical issues? Some pretty weird stories there, I’ll bet!

 

 

December 1, 2018

Annual to-do thing

Imagine showing this video every single year …. for your staff and for your board. Exploring questions. Then talking about the implications and applications for you as individuals, those you serve, and and and …

Better yet, imagine actually doing this live. And sure, staff and board members together.

And how about engaging donors in this? Hmmmm……

Learn about why and how and good and bad and and and on the Internet.

And check out the workshop at 2018 AFP Congress, too.

November 26, 2018

WOW! This could be so very cool!

THE PHILANTHROPY INITIATIVE AT THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY 

Thanks Jeff Broberg, cohort 17, MA in Philanthropy and Development at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota for sharing this!!!

“The Philanthropy initiative is a long-term project to collect, research, document, and display materials relating to the history and impact of American philanthropy, broadly-defined. An annual program, The Power of Giving: Philanthropy’s Impact on American Life, and changing exhibition, Giving in America, explore the collaborative power of giving in all forms and at all levels across a wide spectrum of issues and movements.”

HOW GREAT… Philanthrop is part of American history. Remember the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville — and his article “Democracy in America.” In this article, de Tocqueville wrote about civil and political society and the individual.

….Videos. Exhibits. Info about who gives and why and how and what we give. Giving and the arts, environment. Sample pledge letters and more.

Thank you thank you, Jeff!!!!

November 25, 2018

#fightinequality

WOW. I’m listening to Ben Phillips speak at the UN.

The concluding panel of the UN Conference on Overcoming Inequalities, November 2018.

Only 9 minutes long. Listen. Please listen. Reflect. Please please reflect.

We have so much work to do and we’re just not yet doing it well enough.

Filed under: Leadership

November 20, 2018

I think this is rather bad news

New report exposes top-heavy philanthropy and its risk to the Independent Sector.”

What does this mean? Our sector – the nonprofit charitable sector – is changing … transitioning … Not so much broad-based support from lots of different donors giving different amounts of money. Now philanthropy is increasingly dominated by a small number of very wealthy individuals and foundations.”

  • Significant decline in # of households giving to charity
  • Private wealth in US is concentrated in fewer and fewer hands — And philanthropic power is held in fewer hands, too

I think this is bad. No wait!! I think this is very terribly bad!!! Very very awful and deeply deeply sad. So very sad.

Money money money…. dominates too much. Dominates!! So the wealthy give money for specific things – and that doesn’t necessarily include ensuring an equitable society. Big money dominates choices made in corporations and charities and yes, government, too.

Money = power in our society. Money to elect the people who maybe don’t much care about civil society and civic capacity and equity. Most money is held by a few. The few expect and demand certain ways of doing things. Too many donors have their own ideas about how to solve problems and do stuff and… Those few may not (probably do not) know the right stuff and understand the lives of those who experience life differently.

I’ve been writing about philanthropy as a democratizing activity for more than a decade. And this new report comments: “Charity is now becoming increasingly undemocratic…”

I believe that philanthropy faces (has always faced) a moral dilemma…Big bucks. Wealthy people. Major gifts. The “right” people on our boards to get those major donors. (By the way, if there are major donors and major gifts – that means there are minor ones, too!!!!!) Read “Philanthropy’s Moral Dilemma,” the final chapter of Keep Your Donors: The Guide to Better Communications and Stronger Relationships (2008, Joyaux and Ahern).

I talk about philanthropy as an opportunity to make change – and making change must must must include ensuring social justice. I’ve long thought that philanthropy was too much about the status quo. I want philanthropy to also be a subversive activity. I want progressive philanthropy that strives for social justice. And that means a broad, diverse donor base.

This is what I believe: No healthy society can exist when only the wealthy play…lead…dominate…control. No matter the intentions of those wealthy. Some of the biggest most important movements in this country – and worldwide – weren’t led by or funded by the wealthy.

Read this report. Talk about the values and meanings therein. Talk about the implications for your organization…for your local community…for your nation and the world.

Talk about this report as part of a board meeting. (And yes, all senior staff and board members should read this!) It’s past time to talk about philanthropy’s moral dilemma. Way past time.

I’m sad and hugely pissed. And not surprised.

 

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!!

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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