Nonprofit Management

August 12, 2019

I’m thinking about new stuff… Part 1. (Part 2 is next week.)

Part 1 of a 2-part blog:

Of course, I love all the fundraising and governance stuff I’ve done for years. And I love changing and adjusting and adding new stuff and and… I’m just not one of those people that likes doing the same old stuff the same old way.

  • I’m also reading new stuff and stuff that so few other people in the nonprofit sector seem to be reading. Come on peeps – let’s get out of just reading fundraising and governance and donor stuff.
  • Have you read systems thinking and learning organization business theories yet? I wrote about that back in 1997. How about the stuff that’s happening to our brains because of too much technology?
  • Leadership…Oh sure, some conversations on the job. But who reads actual leadership research and stuff from the Harvard Business Review and and and ….
  • By the way, when was the last time that your professional association recommended readings beyond your specialized field?
  • How about organizational development? Culture and top-notch management and and and… SO MUCH MORE!!

There are 3 sectors: Government. For-profit. Nonprofit. I think the nonprofit sector is more important than most of our society thinks. And I suspect that most of you reading this honors our sector, too.

  • I want the government sector to do more. I’m appalled at what government doesn’t do.
  • I want the for-profit sector to be put in its proper place…. NOT the best the greatest the most important the individual and corporations are bestest. I want the for-profit sector and its people to be punished more often than they are. And if I hear one more person say “If only the nonprofit sector would operate more like the business sector….”)…well I just don’t know what I’m gonna do!!!!!!!!! WTF!!!!!!!!!!!

But if the nonprofit sector doesn’t get itself together better… Just survival isn’t good enough. The excuse of “We nonprofits and our staff are just sooooooo busy just doing what we have to do that we can’t possibly learn more…” WTF????!!!! Would you do your mission in a half-ass manner? Most of you tell me, “No way. We do our mission excellently … or we will choose to close.” Well if that’s the case, then do all the other stuff — fundraising, governance, management, leadership, organizational development, and on and on — damn well, too. Or close down!

The world needs and deserves the best and most loved nonprofit sector. Because people and the planet deserve the best. Social justice. Diversity. Inclusion. Equity. Health. Safety. Employment and economic security. Joy and love and education and peace.

The world needs and deserves the best and most loved nonprofit sector. Because people and the planet deserve the best. An environment that endures – with animals and plants and insects and all those living things. And learning and pleasure and the strength and support to build and care and live and…

Oh good heavens…How did I start down this path today? I read Seth Godin’s July 9, 2019 blog, The $50,000 an hour gate agent. I got frustrated because I hear too much whining from my beloved nonprofit sector people.

  • Yes, yes… I know what it’s like to work long hours and fight with a silly CEO and icky board members – too few of whom seem to “get it.” I know what it’s like to work for less than I’m worth – and without adequate support systems.
  • So leave the sector. Or first, look for a better nonprofit job with smart staff and board members who give you the respect and support I hope you deserve.
  • Because there’s no excuse for we all in this sector accepting inadequacy in others or in ourselves.

Okey dokey. Part 2 is next week. Thanks for listening.

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…

 

 

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 4, 2019

Measuring fundraising

Maybe my next newsyletter will focus on how to measure fundraising.

BUT ONLY IF YOU ALL SEND ME YOUR THOUGHTS!!! 

I’m thinking 2 kinds of measuring:

Measuring our institution’s fundraising performance. What would those measures include? For example: Organizational culture. Culture of philanthropy. Fundraising body of knowledge and applying research.

Measuring the performance of the chief development officer. What would those measures include? (And I’m telling you right not, “making goal” is not an appropriate measure!!!!)

Ideas? Send them to me.

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.

February 19, 2019

Gave online – or paid online ???

There’s a difference!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m tired of hearing about giving through the internet or through social media or…. is increasing. Do you mean “PAID ONLINE” or “SOLICITED AND GIFT GIVEN THRU ONLINE ACTIVITIES”.

I just loved your print donor newsletter. Loved that article about what ME and other donors like me did… And so I rushed to my computer and sent you a gift through the your website. (And then I visited Amazon and bought a book.)

Your direct mail (PRINTED!) made me really angry — which was what you wanted to happen. And the outside of the envelope made me open it immediately. I ranted all the way to my computer and made a gift through your really cool giving button.

OR

You periodically send out really cool little videos about the kitties. Your most recent one was so hysterical that I clicked on the link and made a gift.

There’s a big difference!!!!! REALLY BIG!!!!!! Quit conflating the two. JUST STOP IT NOW!

And work hard to distinguish and count PAYING ONLINE or GIVING IN RESPONSE TO THE ONLINE SOLICITATION.

YES THIS MATTERS….. LOTS!!!

 

February 11, 2019

Making change in the world

Creating better business value…. Creating better nonprofit value….

Imagine if lots of nonprofits followed what California Green Academy (CalGreen) does to operate its business. (And gosh, just imagine if for-profits behaved this way??!!! WOW!!!!)

I’ll turn back to the nonprofit sector. And the wonderful nonprofits fighting so hard for justice and good ROI and and and….

Hey you nonprofits….Take a look at the Triple Bottom Line... The triple bottom line… an accounting framework with 3 parts: social, environmental (ecological), and financial. And systems thinking. YES! Systems thinking. Read all about it in my book Strategic Fund Development: Building Profitable Relationships That Last, 3rd edition. (There’s so much more to fundraising than just the asking part…than just the fundraising part…There’s the systems thinking part!!!

Try the CalGreen approach — Using various existing global documents to develop nonprofit corporate policies. How about these:

Why bother to write our own policies for our nonprofits? Our nonprofits can adopt these UN policies – or adopt with some edits. Hey nonprofits worldwide… Let’s be leaders. We can be leaders for the for-profit sector, too.

Hey. Here’s a question: Has your country (or mine) agreed to these – and ratified them by your country’s (or my country’s) legislature/congress/appropriate body?

Hmmm…….

 

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 

 

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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