Fundraising Planning

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 / Research

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 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 / Research

January 17, 2017

Prepping for 2017 Giving Tuesday

It’s never too late to start thinking about big actions, small meaningful activities, etc.

If you’re thinking about #GIVINGTUESDAY for 2017, read these blogs and research first. Because maybe #GivingTuesday isn’t so great. Maybe #GivingTuesday needs to change.

And probably for sure…. your organization needs to think long and hard about how you do fundraising and how you might do #GivingTuesday and………

Giving Tuesday and the when versus why of giving (Nick Ellinger, DonorVoice, November 30, 2016)

  • Starts with: “I like the idea of Giving Tuesday very much – there needs to be a day (actually, more than one) dedicated to giving. That’s why it frustrates me that we are killing it….Killing it in the sense of making it unable to survive.”

Losing Donors in the Sea of Sameness (Roger Craver, The Agitator, December 2, 2016)

  • Starts with: “…abandoning support of an organization is influenced and controlled by the actions the organization itself takes…. Perhaps nowhere are the sloppy, copycat practices of some fundraisers more pronounced that on #GivingTuesday.” READ IT!

Please think. Please review your practices. Please let’s make it better.

P.S. A board member asked me the other day about what I think about “donor fatigue.” And I responded: “Donor fatigue is something we fundraisers and organizations make ourselves. And not because we’re asking. But because we’re doing this work so poorly.”

P.P.S. Do you read the Whiny Donor on twitter. I’m always apologizing to @thewhinydonor. I asked if s/he was actually a fundraiser in disguise – “NO.” I asked if I had ever met him/her – “NO.” Check out @thewhinydonor. Ah tristesse.

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.

December 12, 2016

Read research. Learn stuff. Help your NGO.

How frightening if you and your staff colleagues don’t read research. Really frightening.

I’m not just talking about fundraising research. It’s all research. Any research that might be relevant.

Read these articles. What are the implications for your nonprofit organization? How will you introduce this information to your boss and your board and your staff colleagues? How will you apply this research to your NGO?

Human Service Agencies’ Contributions Soar But Retention Rates Plummet for All Nonprofits. (Retention rates – loyalty – are the primary measure for effective fundraising – and any other business!)

Harvard Sciences and Sugar Industry Hook Up to Lead Public Down Dangerous Path.

Public Losing Faith in Higher Education as a Jumpstart to Work Lives

Fundraising Effectiveness Project

Are you reading any of the research at the Hartsook Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy or at the Lilly School?

I read neuroscience marketing research about consumers. Written in a user-friendly way!

Read research! Explore implications of research! Apply research to your work!!!

Any research you suggest? I’ll post it!

Filed under: Resources / Research

November 29, 2016

If “they” fail the 20 questions….

Maybe you should find a better place to work.

Visit Tom Ahern’s new website. Pretty cool. I’m impressed.

Check out “The TEST Your Boss MUST Take!” 

Click here. Take it yourself first, of course. (I’m taking it shortly. Not sharing what I score but making darn sure that I learn the right answers if I fail questions!!!)

Share with your staff colleagues. (Maybe do it as a group in secret somewhere?)

Make sure your fundraising boss (and CEO) take it and learn this stuff and expect you to know the answers and make sure you know the answers. And teach the questions and the answers to your fundraising colleagues and your fundraising boss and your executive director / CEO person.

It’s kinda okay if your boss fails the test, but only if your boss is the ED/CEO. It’s only okay if your ED/CEO boss fails the test if that person says: “Well, of course I don’t know all the answers. But I expect you to know the answers and explain to me. And when you tell me to do stuff, I do it. Including that letter that I thought was kinda icky. But I sign it because you know the answers to these 20 questions. Thank you thank you. I was so smart to hire you!”

And if your ED/CEO doesn’t say what’s above…And continues fighting. You fight back. FIGHT BACK!!!!! No more whiny fundraisers. Your job is to fight back and explain and pass on your learnings. And if you fight for a couple years (yes…it can take that long) — and still no change in behavior from the bossies… THEN FIND ANOTHER JOB. YOU DESERVE BETTER!!!!

June 27, 2016

Will you still love me tomorrow?

Thank you Ms. Pam Grow and the Grow Report. The headline… Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow… So of course, I remembered Carole King.

Why does Pam say this? “Commercial businesses retain 94% of their customers while the nonprofit sector retains only 41% of their donors.”

I keep promising to write a series of blogs or newsyletters about fundraising….using song lyrics. Try this scenario!

“You’re So Vain You Probably Think This Song is About you”  … Donors are yelling at us. Hear them shout. I give through your NGO to fulfill my own aspirations. The song is about me, the donor. Not not you the organization.

“You Don’t Own Me” … You don’t own your donors. Your donors choose. And Lesley Gore is speaking for every single donor everywhere. “You don’t own me. I’m not just one of your many toys. You don’t own me…Don’t tell me what to do.”

“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” Who’s singing here? Maybe the fundraiser, alone in her office. “Tonight you’re mine completely. You give your love so sweetly….But will you love me tomorrow?” But maybe this is the donor singing. Just think about that. Tonight, your NGO seems to love me completely. The thank you letter was great. And a board member even called to thank me. But I’ve been abandoned as a donor before. You don’t tell me how you’re using my money. You don’t know what customer centered and donor-centered mean.

“I Can’t Make You Love Me.” Look in the mirror, Ms. Organization. Think long and hard Mr. NGO. You can’t make me love you. You can’t “educate me” so I love you. Stop it! You actually make me disrespect you.

Thank you, Pamela Grow and the Grow Report…. for motivating me to write more stories with song lyrics.

Hey Simone Uncensored readers, visit the Grow Report. Check out the 2016 Donor Love Toolkit.

 

May 2, 2016

Where can you get money?

Step #1: Read this issue of The Agitator about giving across generations. Read my response, posted at the Agitator.

Step #2: Study the infographic.

Step #3: Review the original report from Blackbaud.

Step #4: Share the infographic with your boss, the program staff, and the board. Explain the implications. Offer insights. And, of course, make sure your development staff understands, acknowledges, accepts, and performs accordingly!!!

Step #5: Stop the crap. (“Oh my gosh, we need to focus on millennials and get gifts from them.”)

Step #6: Pay attention to research. You know: FACTS. SCIENCE. Destroy ill-informed personal opinion as soon as it rears its silly, ugly head.

Step #7: Please please please. Could we please build a profession? Could we please behave like professionals?

Thank you.

 

Simone Joyaux, ACFRE, Adv Dip, FAFP, Certificate in Philanthropic Psychology is an internationally recognized expert in fund development, board and organizational development, strategic planning, and management.

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