Donor Cultivation

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!!]

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.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

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]

 

August 3, 2018

Notes from my dorm room #2

YES YES YES!!!! CRQs… Cage-rattling questions. 

Anyone who ever reads anything of mine knows how I adore and admire and desperately want LOTS of CRQs.

So here are some CRQs from Cohort 28, the new cohort for the Masters in Philanthropy and Fund Development at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Try asking your donors these questions. Because every donor could be invited to share his/her/their philanthropic story.

  1. Tell me about the path that brought you here today.
  2. What drives you to get up, go to work, and do your best each day.
  3. What is worth fighting for?
  4. Tell me about yourself – share with me your life’s journey.
  5. What are your interests? Passions?
  6. What unique hobbies do you enjoy?
  7. Who are some people who have influed your charitable life?
  8. What is your favorite thing about giving?
July 6, 2018

On my gosh. I forgot my weekly blog!!!

I got lost somewhere in Twitter and in my e-newsyletter. And I fogot my favorite place… my weekly blog.

I’m so sorry! So here are some interesting resources that I’ve just been encountering:

BOOK: The new ASKING STYLES: REVOLUTIONIZE YOUR FUNDRAISING book by Brian Saber

ORGANIZATIONS:

  • MULTICULTURAL BRIDGE. A grassroots organization dedicated to advancing equity and justice. The wonderful Gwendolyn Hampton VanSant.
  • EduLeadersofcolor.org. Cultivating spaces for leaders of color invested in social justice to challenge inequities in education, strengthen local organizations led by people of color, and foster community partnerships. I met Karla Vigil, co-founder on the telephone today!
  • RI Urban Debate League: RIUDL is all about equity and social justice. In fact debate is a proven tool that helps students in urban schools. Ms. Ashley Belanger has been a marvelous Executive Revolutionary and I know RIUDL will hire another great one.

EDUCATION AND LEARNING: Do you know MOCEANIC? What’s not to love? GREAT blog. COOL cartoons. EXCELLENT online courses. You must visit Moceanic!

  • People like Jeff Brooks and Harvey McKinnon and Tom Ahern and Sean Triner and Christiana Stergiou offering courses. Me, too, eventually (I just have to create it still!)
  • Popular blog posts and even videos from Jeff and Tom and Roger Craver and Sean and…

AND FINALLY…VISIT SOFII, the Showcase of Innovation and Inspiration.Ideas, information, initiatives to help you change the world. The best of the best fundraising… from yesterday and today. And help for you to create the best of the best tomorrow.

Okey dokey. I’m off to play with clients now.

 

Filed under: Resources

June 5, 2018

Ah neuroscience… So useful for fundraising.

Surely every single fundraiser knows that giving a gift is not a rational decision. In fact, most decision-making is based on emotions. Sure, we might rationalize it within seconds, but even the rationalizing isn’t rational!

Dr. Antonio Damasio “…[A]t the point of decision, emotions are very important for choosing. In fact, even with what we believe are logical decisions, the very point of choice is arguably always based on emotion … we are living an illusion of conscious choice.”

Dr. Antoine Bechara, leading authority on the mental processes behind decision making: “What if sound, rational decision-making in fact depended on … emotional processing? The studies of decision-making in neurological patients who can no longer process emotional information normally suggest just that … I will make the case that decision-making is a process guided by emotions.”

Want more information on all this?

  • Read Keep Your Donors: The Guide to Better Communications and Stronger Relationships (2008. Ahern and Joyaux)
  • And read Tom Ahern’s books and newsletter.
May 21, 2018

Neuroscience can help fundraisers

Thanks to MRI machines, we can monitor what’s happening in the human brain.

For example, did you know: When you’re the victim of a mistake – if the handling of that mistake is really good – you experience a dopamine high. (If you don’t know what a dopamine high is, check it out!) That dopamine high can be great … I almost think we should make mistakes on purpose to give our donors a dopamine high. (On the other hand, I figure we all make sufficient mistakes that what we really need to do is to handle mistakes very very very well!)

So here’s my story of my dopamine high! One day, I get a very nice email from EMILY’S List, indicating that it appears that I haven’t renewed my membership. And how much I matter as a member and what my participation has accomplished.

I checked my checkbook and, as I had remembered, I had renewed.

So I called EMILY’S List. A human being answered. I asked for the development office. A human being answered. Wow. Not caught in voicemail hell!

The development officer immediately looked me up in the database. Quickly and efficiently. No referral to someone else!

I had renewed. She apologized very graciously and corrected the entry.

I wasn’t angry or even annoyed. Everyone makes mistakes. No big deal at all. Off I went to my appointments.

I returned home and there was a very gracious email apology. Then a couple hours later, a personal call from the chief development officer apologizing. That was so unnecessary. No need for another apology!!

And then… After apologizing to me personally, the chief development officer said: “Do you realize that in 4 more days, it will be the anniversary of your 20thyear as an EMILY’S LIST member? Thank you so much.”

What an amazing experience. Talk about a dopamine high! I tell everyone this story. I repeat this story over and over when presenting.

Thank you EMILY’S LIST. You gave my brain a dopamine high. You made me admire you even more.

May 8, 2017

A thing from Tom Ahern

I really like Tom Ahern’s work…his donor-centered communications stuff. (And yes, I really like Tom Ahern personally.)

He has such a great newsletter.

But do you ever read his personal blog? Apart from his blogs about his gardens or barbecue or vacation trips or…. And he sometimes (more and more often) personally blogs about his life’s work (donor comms).

I think this “business blog re: donor comms” is spot on. And really lovely. Beautiful really. “The skeleton of a direct mail letter.”

Such very good points. Such a clear list of the architecture of the letter. So charming. And such beautiful writing on his part.

He’s such a beautiful writer. Did you know he has an MFA in creative writing from Brown University? And is a published poet and short story writer?

Do read his personal blog about that letter for your donor. Just follow the steps.

Thanks, Tom. Love, Simone (or Sim One as the t-shirt says).

February 27, 2017

Check out some interesting resources. What do you think?

There’s interesting stuff out there in our fundraising and nonprofit world.

See what you think:

What would you like to share?

 

 

Filed under: Resources

January 10, 2017

New stuff that impressed me

Check out The Grow Report. Pam Grow’s stuff is sooo good. I was reading her January 5 new year hello. And the examples she gave. And the book about justice… And the blog roll. And how about your very own “Donor Love Crib Sheet?” Maybe you oughta subscribe?

Pam focuses on the small development office. BUT… I suggest that even the larger offices check out her stuff.

  ♦ 

That Tom Ahern guy has done some very interesting writing recently. I particularly appreciated the following: His newsletter article “HOAX!!!! Raising awareness unmasked.”

And his personal blog about Siegfried Vögele. And his personal blog of January 5, 2017 about communications:  It’s built backwards from your target audience.

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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