Leadership

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.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

April 10, 2019

To PPT or not to PPT

Absolutely PowerPoint is so very very very right and good and appropriate and useful and cool and marvelous…And stuff.

Also true that PPT is just not necessary. Please, let’s interactively present and engage in conversation etc….. WITHOUT using PPT.

I mostly always use the latter…RED & BOLD!

So check out poem below. Written by Eugene Scanlan, PhD, CFRE, 01-25-02

PowerPoint Persecution Blues: (after Bob Dylan)

For I’ve been PowerPointed

‘Till I’m disjointed.

Been misled

By an overhead.

Can’t change what I want to say

In any way.

Because it’s on the screen

All neat and clean.

And it always tells me what comes next,

Even if there’s another context

I want to talk about;

With PowerPoint there’s no way out.

For in work and life, at least for me

It’s not always “bullets 1, 2 and 3”.

In life when all is done and said

What really matters is not the next overhead.

So today we may wander here and there.

There might be side trips if we dare.

We may stop to smell a flower,

And that’s the Point – without the Power!

 

Filed under: Leadership

March 31, 2019

Pictures worth a 1,000 words

Saw an old picture. Decided to gather several together. I call this leadership and respect – and love. Love for others. Love for community. Love for differences.

1968

 

 

 

1968 Olympics Black Power Salute. Mexico City. Tommie Smith & John Carlos.

Colin Kaepernick taking the knee, 2016/

And how about this marvelous New Yorker magazine cover?

Love. Leadership. Courage. Respect. Justice. Speaking out. Taking risks to care for others and everyone.

Thank you.

March 25, 2019

Transformation: Where love meets social justice

Transformation newsletter [Activism. Economics. Intersectionality. Nonviolence. Culture. Love and Sprint. Environment. Care.] Lovely newsletter located at the website openDemocracy.

Check out this article, February 7, 2019: Five behaviors that perpetuate toxic capitalism. Author Suzannah Weiss.

  1.  Praising kids unconditionally.
  2. Pushing kids, even when it takes a toll on them.
  3. Looking down on people who get less done.
  4. Praising people based on money.
  5. Telling people to care about their health so they can work.

This article was originally published at Everyday Feminism. Check out Everyday Feminism.

 

March 11, 2019

Pretty darn cool quote…

One of you out there told me about this quotation. I’m sorry to have forgotten whom. But here is the great quote…

Theodore Rossevelt, The Man in the Arena, April 23, 1910. In Paris France…

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs; who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

This was an excerpt of Roosevelt’s speech, “Citizenship in a Republic,” delivered at the Sorbonne.

Filed under: Leadership

February 17, 2019

Voluntary ranting!!! for the common good!!!!!

I’m so excited. My podcast with Cathy Mann.

Subscribe to Cathy’s FREE podcast series.

Visit Cathy’s homepage, too.

Filed under: Leadership

February 15, 2019

Work hard. Play harder.

You work like you think you’ll finish. But you’re never going to finish.

WOW! Thanks for sharing that, Sharon Floyd, CEO at Interim Place, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. (Speaking at Happy YOU Year conference.)

I need to remind myself of that: My work will never finish. Philanthropy as my life’s work will never end for me. Even at my death, those bequests will keep giving.

And there’s always more work to do. So take a deep breath, Simone. I (and you all, too!) have permission to rest.

In fact, as Sharon noted…. work hard and play harder.

And I’d add – as a reminder to myself: There is always more work. In order to keep doing this work, I have to play – harder than now, for sure!! (How about you?)

We’re never going to finish the good work. So take of ourselves. There will always be more work to be done.

Filed under: Leadership

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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