Simone Uncensored

July 8, 2019

Committee job descriptions

I expect all committee job descriptions to have the same format and same general content areas. So here’s what I do with committees of the board of directors — and I’m using the Board Development Committee (also called the Governance Committee) as an example………

Title: Role of the Board Development Committee

Purpose of the Committee: As a committee of the Board of Directors, the Board Development Committee helps the Board carry out its due diligence function related to healthy development and operation of the board, its committees and task forces, and performance of the individual board member.

Reports to: Board of Directors

Staff to the Committee: CEO

Committee membership and operations: All committee work is done in partnership with and through the facilitation of the CEO. No committee can usurp the authority of the Board (the collective), and no committee, committee chair, or committee member directrs or oversees staff. Committee members may include both Board and non-Board Members.

Frequency of meetings: As needed – estimated at 4-6 times per year.

Scope of work for the Board Development Committee: See my next blog!!!

July 1, 2019

Knowing…Not knowing…Not knowing the not knowing…

I know there’s stuff that I don’t know. Like I just don’t know enough about some internet stuff. And I don’t know enough about donor-centered communications. (But I live with a guy who knows lots about that so I can just ask him.)

I’m also very sure that there’s stuff that I don’t know … and I don’t know that I don’t know it … And maybe even I’d be better off if I did know.

To me, great organizations and great professionals and great people spend meaningful time figuring out what they don’t know — and learning that stuff if it would add value to their life, organizations, etc. etc.

What’s disturbing to me is that too many people don’t know what they don’t know. And don’t have a mechanism for fixing this. And and …

So what’s your organization’s process to fix this? And your personal and professional processes?

Let’s add the bullets below to strategic planning processes…our organization’s overall management…and…

  • What don’t we know?
  • How do we recognize that there’s stuff we don’t know — and we don’t know that we don’t know?
  • How do we confront that we don’t even know that we don’t know stuff?
  • How do we build into an NGO the concept of regularly exploring / discovering what we don’t know?

Filed under: Leadership

June 24, 2019

Do you know Siegfried Vögele?

If you read about donor communications, you’re probably familiar with Siegfried.

Check out this article by fundraiser Chris Keating: How a good envelope can make the difference to your direct mail’s success. All about designing the perfect envelope.

And stick around on the site where Chris posted his article……. SOFII.…. Showcase of fundraising innovation and inspiration.

SOFII is sooooo cool and informative and full of history and and and !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to Ken Burnett and his pals…SOFII is the bestest compiler of stuff that works in our philanthropic field.

  • Examples of the bestest fundraising letters and cases for support — like even in the 1930s!
  • All about relationship fundraising
  • Direct mail
  • Brand development
  • Telephone fundraising
  • Digital fundraising
  • And on and on and on…

 

 

June 17, 2019

I figured something out!!! Kinda….

Sometimes I wonder what value I add to my beloved nonprofit sector. I haven’t raised as much money as so many of you have. I’m not an expert in direct mail or donor communications or…

I believe that what I add is “bringing things together”. Integrating stuff. Cross-pollinating. I do NOT just read fundraising stuff… I read Sherry Turkle’s book ALONE TOGETHER … which I keep telling you all to read!!! And Shankar Vedantam’s THE HIDDEN BRAIN … another book that I insist everyone read!!! And Harvard Business Review and systems thinking…learning organization business theory…Jim Collins…and on and on and on and on…

Stop it with all the “specialists” in fundraising, e.g., Director of Annual Fund. Director of Planned Giving. Major Gifts Officer. Etc. etc. etc. I want a bunch of damn good generalists in my development office. And I want my CEO to be a generalist and and and … I want generalists everywhere! 

Yes of course, specialists are good, too. And critical at times. And and…

BUT WOW!! Listen to this WGBH radio showKara Miller talking with David Epstein about generalists.

Teach people to think. Transfer knowedge between domains. BEWARE!!!! of too much specialization. Listen to the radio show – because you’ll hear frightening mistakes (that have even caused death) because of specialization.

I just ordered Epstein’s book. RANGE: WHY GENERALISTS TRIUMPH IN A SPECIALIZED WORLD

Filed under: Leadership, Resources

June 10, 2019

The annual fund…all over twitter

Here’s my thinking….

Nonprofits raise money for 2 things: (1) Running the organization.       (2) Some special project.

  1. Running the organization means every single cost required to carry out your mission. Staff. Management systems. Service/program development, design, evaluation, improvements, facility costs like utilities, mortgage, cleaning/maintenance, lawn mowing, whatever.
  2. Some special project means: Building an endowment. Facility capital costs, e.g., renovations, new building, whatever.

Sure, use the phrase “capital campaign” for that special project.

Sure, name your endowment campaign “Building for the Future” or whatever you want.

BUT STOP IT STOP IT with “The Annual Fund.” Geez…. 40 years ago I made letterhead that said: “Trinity Rep Annual Fund.” How dumb was I. Boring!! Maybe I could have called it “Trinity Rep Operating Support Fund So We Can Keep Doing Plays.”

NO NEED FOR A TITLE!!!! Internally we talk about raising money for the fiscal year budget to cover all the costs to run the theatre and hire actors and build sets and perform plays and and and …. That’s what we raised money for every single year. That fiscal year budget to continue our mission.

Presumably every organization raises this money. Every single organization uses every appropriate solicitation strategy and reaches out to all appropriate audiences.

  1. Sources of gifts are: Individuals. Foundations. Government. Corporations. Faith groups. Civic groups. You check with every single particular source to see what they give to…. running the organization or some special project. Anything else to add?
  2. Solicitation strategies are: Personal face-to-face solicitation. Direct mail (print or electronic). Telephone. Proposals/grantwriting. Fundraising events. Can you think of anything else to add?

Here’s what I recommend to all my fundraising clients and what I put in every single fundraising plan for that annual operating/mission/purpose/existence that a nonprofit has:

Segment all donors by solicitation strategy: 

  1. Who will staff and board members personally meet with and ask for a gift from. When I worked at Trinity Rep, I had 75 volunteers who personally solicited annual operating gifts every single year. Given how much I give to my Planned Parenthood affiliate, I expect a personal solicitation to support annual operations. (Yes, many fundraisers and organizations call this major gift solicitation. I find that so offensive I want to scream! Because major gift donors implies there are minor gifts and minor donors.)
  2. But neither Trinity Rep nor PPSNE talked about annual operations. We told stories about plays and students and favorite actors…And education programs about sex and saving men and women from HIV/AIDS and breast cancer and primary care and….
  3. Who will receive direct mail letters? And this donor segment may receive 3-4 letters/fiscal year … even after they’ve already given. Different stories resonate with different people. And some people respond to more than one direct mail letter. So cool!
  4. And pretty much everyone receives an invitation to the fundraising event.
  5. And on and on…

All my fundraising plans include using every solicitation strategy — and of course a comprehensive relationship-building program.

This is all just for annual operations, our mission.

And then the special campaign for the building or the van to hall kids or or??? We figure out which donors and how to solicit. And sure, there’s a name and maybe even special letterhead and whatever.

So all that’s my thinking. Great fundraisers tell stories about beneficiaries and donors, too. Great fundraisers segment the market for solicitation strategies. Great fundraisers avoid language that is unclear and kinda icky and has no emotional content and is unclear and confusing and… 

Okay. Back to work. Getting ready to head to Saskatoon for the Western Canada Fundraising Conference 2019. Thank you David and Christal. Thank you Common Good Fundraising.

 

 

 

 

June 3, 2019

Storytelling…just some thoughts

What cool cards from Ireland’s cool company, askdirect. 

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Rudyard Kipling

“Because if we, the storytellers, don’t do this, then the bad people will win.” Christiane Amanpour

“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” Joan Didion

“We’re all made of stories. When they finally put us underground, the stories are what will go on.” Charles de Lint

Think about all the great storytellers you know… Fiction writers. Historians.

May 24, 2019

In RI June 6: Jay Love + Tom Ahern + Simone Joyaux…. LIVE!!

FUNDRAISING POWER SESSION

Jay Love, Co-Founder & Chief Relationship Officer, Bloomerang. Plus
Tom Ahern & Simone P. Joyaux

Thursday, June 6: 7:30 am – 12:30 pm. Radisson Hotel Providence Airport
2081 Post Road, Warwick RI  02886. Members: $50 / Non-Members: $85.

Jay’s really cool workshop on “Maximizing the Lifetime Value of Your Donors for Fundraising Success.

And then the 3-way talk. Jay + Tom + Simone. Bring your questions. Ask and ask more. Want to be unknown? Then write your question on a piece of paper and hand it to Simone in private. Time to complain and whine. Wail and weep about stuff back at the office. Secrets and doors closed.

May 20, 2019

Have you enrolled at SMUMN yet?

You’ll learn soooo much getting your Masters Degree in Philanthropy and Development.

Just imagine!!!

30 hours of governance so you the fundraiser or executive director or consultant can really do this really very well!!!

Learning all about asking … and then actually having to do it! (And this professor might actually give you a gift if you ask well.)

Why strategic planning matters – even if you’re the development officer – and making sure your voice is heard.

And so much more.

 

May 17, 2019

You can be a better fundraiser…Any one of us can!

Check out the new Fundraising Standard…… Proper professional fundraising training for every new fundraiser in North America.

So what’s this new program, you ask? The Standard is a 40 hour program of online learning designed to give participants a thorough introduction to the process of fundraising and get them started on their first fundraising campaign. It provides an introduction to the nonprofit sector and its associated fundraising ethics, before taking the lid off what we know about giving (who gives and why). You’ll also receive a thorough grounding in the science and practice of communication design and how to raise substantively more money simply by avoiding common errors that nonprofits typically make and focusing on donor satisfaction and wellbeing.

Developed by Adrian Sargeant. Faculty includes Adrian.

8-week curriculum – based on research and science and…. Online for your convenience.

Curriculum includes: Fundraising ethics. Who gives and why. (The WHY is really important!!) Donor relationships and donor retention. Designing a compelling case for support. Communication design and donor centricity. The fundraising mix. And getting the most from your database.

Visit the Fundraising Standard website. Sign up now! [Or at least darn soon!!]

May 13, 2019

Some jokes…from a friend looking out for the rest of us!!

My ability to remember song lyrics from the 80s far exceeds my ability to remember why I walked into the kitchen.

 

First rule of cleaning while listening to music…The toilet brush is never the microphone…Never.

 

Does refusing to go to the gym count as resistance training?

 

She danced like nobody was watching. But people were watching and she looked like bees were attacking her.

 

Filed under: Just for fun

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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