Leadership

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 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 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.

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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 17, 2018

Loving quotations…redux

Hey thanks you all who read my blog. You sent such cool quotations to add to my quotations!!!

From Vicki James: “Fundraising allows ordinary people to change the world.” [YES! Ordinary people. Because philanthropy should be a democratizing activity…not just a major donor/major gift / wealthy thing!!!

Alex Cooper says: “My favourite, concise quote/directive is ‘every interaction is an ask’ – ingraining this in the organizational culture can sometimes be difficult but it is definitely a game-changer in terms of amplifying the narrative at every touchpoint once it’s in place.”

Bonnie Katusich gave me the total quote from Marianne Williamson, which I shared in my original blog:  “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, talented, gorgeous, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people per mission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

And there are more quotes to come!!!

Filed under: Just for fun, Leadership

September 12, 2018

More quotations!!

I use quotations in strategic plans for clients… in fundraising plans…in articles and in books…And I use quotations to rejuvenate myself…

Thanks to all of you for sending me quotations.

Thanks, Patti Saunders, for sending this lovely poem from Marge Piercy.

On the birthday of the world
I begin to contemplate
what I have done and left
undone, but this year
not so much rebuilding
of my perennially damaged
psyche, shoring up eroding
friendships, digging out
stumps of old resentments
that refuse to rot on their own.
No, this year I want to call
myself to task for what
I have done and not done
for peace. How much have
I dared in opposition.
How much have I put
on the line for freedom?
For mine and others?
As these freedoms are pared,
sliced and diced, where
have I spoken out? Who
have I tried to move? In
this holy season, I stand
self-convicted of sloth
in a time when lies choke
the mind and rhetoric
bends reason to slithering
choking pythons. Here
I stand before the gates
opening, the fire dazzling
my eyes, and as I approach
what judges me, I judge
myself. Give me weaons
of minute destruction. Let
my words turn into sparks.

Filed under: Just for fun, Leadership

August 22, 2018

I just love quotations

Sometimes I just can’t find the words. Or put together the words. That’s when the words of others help.

I’ve collected quotes since I was in high school. I’d like to share some with you.

From THE ANGEL’S GAME, Carlos Ruiz Zafón. This is sooooo beautiful.

  •  “Everything is a tale. What we believe, what we know. What we remember, even what we dream. Everything is a story, a narrative, a sequence of events with characters communicating an emotional content. We only accept as true what can be narrated.”

And how about this one from Marianne Williamson.

  • “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

Do you have a favorite quotation?

Filed under: Leadership

July 27, 2018

Notes from my dorm room….

The recurring series that occurs every summer when I’m teaching in the marvelously cool masters program in philanthropy and fund development at Saint Mary’s University of MN.

The first week of class is over… I’m reading papers from Cohort 28. The assignment: Interviewing a classmate to learn the the classmate’s philanthropic story.

The stories are so cool…how these colleagues wrote about each other. The feelings. Caring. Admiration. Respect.

Imagine a colleague saying something like the statements below…. Or saying something like this about you…

“Both personally and professionally, this philanthropic powerhouse positively impacts people’s lives.

         ♦ How do you want to be remembered? “That I never hurt anyone purposely.”

♦ “My passion is to inspire other peoples’ passion.”

                      ♦ A woman of this caliber has a philanthropic journey that is only beginning.

♦ “There is a lot of work to be done in our world. I hope I can – in some small way – chip away at it.”

She joined a sit-in protest at her comfort level. The next thing she knew, she had busted through her comfort level.

A humanitarian to the core, [he] lives every hour of each day in service to his commitment to make the world a better place.

               ♦ It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.

                        ♦ Asked, “why would you do that?” She responded: “Why would you not?”

          ♦ She doesn’t just talk the talk.

“I hope I’ll be remembered as a ‘listening ear.’ Being there for people. Being present when needed.”

 

 

 

June 11, 2018

One of my favorite “business” books

I believe that conversation is a core business practice. And conversation is different than discussion. Very different!

Theodore Zeldin wrote the most beautiful book about conversation: Conversation – How Talk Can Change Our Lives.

Here are some of my favorite Zeldin statements…direct quotations from his lovely book.

  1. Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. When minds meet, they don’t just exchange facts: they transform them, reshape them, draw different implications from them, engage in new trains of thought. Conversation doesn’t just reshuffle the cards; it creates new cards.
  2. Having one’s ideas challenged and transmuted by verbal intercourse makes one aware how much one owes to others, how much a partner can contribute to one’s intellectual, moral and emotional development, thought one remains a separate, unique person.
  3. Conversation, like families, dies when it is inbred. Or when your guests have had more or less the same experience as yourself.
  4. Conversation has to explore new territory to become an adventure.

Filed under: Leadership, Resources

May 30, 2018

Learn to be a better fundraiser

Enough with just training sessions like all those conferences. Hey, I love conferences. I just returned from presenting at the Festival del Fundraising in Italy. Very good. And Cause Camp was good and so was BloomCon and and… These are curated conferences and they are pretty darn marvelous.

But I’m telling you… There’s nothing quite like some academic stuff going down.

Think about it. Sometimes it feels like fundraising is the only profession that you do NOT NOT need to know anything about to join up and do it.

  • “I’m a former bank manager. I have lots of contacts. I know lots about money. So I can become a fundraiser!”
  • “That cool wealthy guy plans the best parties. Let’s hire him as our next development officer. Besides, he has lots of wealthy pals.”

PLEASE PLEASE ! Let’s stop this foolishness now. Every nonprofit deserves a competent fundraiser who knows the body of knowledge. (Not opinion, please!)

Check out AFP’s Fundraising Principles and Practice course. You want to be good — even great?! Enroll now. Very best of professional practice + cutting edge science. And Adrian Sargeant will be with you all the way.

Learn more by clicking here. Really and truly…Are you sure that you know the cutting edge practice and critically important academic science for these topics: Fundraising and donor behavior. Direct response fundraising. Fundraising planning and donor retention. Major gifts and legacies. Corporate fundraising. AND!!! Managing your fundraising team. Click here! Learn the right stuff!

 

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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