Nonprofit management

September 25, 2018

Raise more money by learning the right stuff

Yes, there is right stuff to learn in this profession of ours. The fundraising thing.

And there’s wrong stuff…or irrelevant stuff…or OPINION instead of EXPERTISE.

So here are some great resources to learn the right stuff and develop yourself and help you tell your boss and board to stop the opinionating and focus on the expertising.

MOCEANIC!!  You MUST MUST visit and join us and learn and share and………

  • Sign up for e-news and free fundraising tips and online courses and all kinds of cool useful important stuff!
  • WOW! Check out the Moceanic crew like co-founders Sean Triner and Christiana Stergiou. Add in Jeff Brooks. And advisors like Roger Craver and Adrian Sargeant and Tom Ahern and Harvey McKinnon and Ken Burnett and me, Simone and more!

BLOOMERANG!!! I’ve decided NOT to talk about donor/fundraising databases. Instead…Get yourself a marvelous donor retention tool.

  • Loyalty is the Holy Grail of any business (Thanks, Roger Craver 2009). LifeTime Value is the best of the best.
  • Adrian Sargeant’s donor loyalty research is what you want to apply all the time. (And that’s the algorithm for Bloomerang.)
  • Bloomerang is so user-friendly that your 5-year old pal can show you how to use it.
  • Bloomerang also has a regular blog and free webinars – whether you use that donor retention tool or not.
  • P.S. Tom Ahern communications stuff is also imbedded in this donor retention tool.

So those are just two thoughts for this week.

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.”

 

 

 

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 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

April 23, 2018

How do we know what we don’t know?

I know that I don’t know much about sports (of any kind). And I don’t care that I don’t know much. I can make fun of myself. I can ask others. And there’s no substantive impact on my life or my friendships or my business or….

There’s lots of stuff I do know. And I know how to fill in the gaps of lots of my not knowing.

But what about the important stuff that I don’t know and don’t know that I don’t know it? I think that matters.

Not knowing what I don’t know…That’s worrisome. For me and my life. For my business. For my clients and my community and my society and my world.

How do we know what we don’t know? By reading lots. By connecting with diverse people. By exposing ourselves to unfamiliar things. By venturing beyond where we’re comfortable.

It’s the same for our organizations. First, decide it’s important to monitor what we don’t know and figure out how to know what we don’t know. Build this into your organizational culture. Establish systems and procedures to do this. Engage regularly in conversation at both staff and board levels.

Knowing what we don’t know… And knowing what we don’t know that we don’t know… Both are super important!

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!!!!

November 14, 2016

I will stop now…after this last one…

Very good LinkedIn comment from Kevin Feldman about following U.S. law. And being donor centered. I agree.

But I have additional comments. About silence is consent. About public policy and advocacy. About the ethical and moral role of the nonprofit sector.

First read Kevin’s remarks: Do Not Let Your Politics Ruin Your Fundraising. Then scroll down for my response.

Do read Waldemar Nielsen’s monograph “The Third Sector: Keystone of a Caring Society.” See Chapter 1 in my book Strategic Fund Development: Building Profitable Relationships That Last, 3rd edition, beginning on page 6, “Why does this sector matter?”

And always keep nearby John Gardner’s beautiful monograph, “Building Community,” also discussed in my book Strategic Fund Development.

Check the Independent Sector for the Gardner and Nielsen pieces. I read both of these more than 20 years ago– and they’re still favorites.

Okay. Enough.

 

Filed under: Social Commentary

May 11, 2016

I’m on a cool list from a cool guy with other cool people!

Who should influence the future of fundraising? Just read Mark Phillips “Queer Ideas” fundraising blog.

I’m so proud to be on the list with other cool people like Shanon Doolittle and Rory Green and Roger Craver and Jen Love and more…

Here’s why you need to read this blog:

  • Because Mark himself is marvelous. Check out his blogs and tweets and his company, Bluefrog.
  • Because you’ll meet some people you may not know. You can visit their websites and tweets and blogs and…
  • And please please… Watch the imbedded video, Fundraising Theatre 2012. If you haven’t ever seen Tony Elischer, watch close. Tony died too young and too early. But he invented and created some of the most fun and illuminating and weirdly different presentations and extravaganzas that you’ll ever see.
April 6, 2016

Check out these good reads

Thanks, as always, to the Nonprofit Quarterly. I hope you subscribe. You really can’t afford to miss the daily online feed and quarterly print publication.

Have your board members read an interesting article — and then talk about the implications and the strategic questions for your organization. Do this regularly! And with your staff, too.

Check out this article – also good for a conversation.

Filed under: Resources

April 5, 2016

Good stuff from AFP International Boston

I like conferences when I learn something new. Or get a new idea about how to apply and express something old. Or reinforce an angle or an approach. So here’s some stuff I liked a lot at the AFP International Conference in Boston, March 19 – 21…All in the Rebels, Renegades, and Pioneers Track.

Leadership by Marcia Coné [Making change easier]

  • Seeing from 30,000 feet, then deploying on the ground. Leaders have both perspectives.
  • Normative behavior is safe and secure. Change is: Turbulence (rocking the board). Inviting controversy. Forcing discomfort. Causing difficulty. Upsetting people. Causing a problem.
  • Research says that change makers have these 5 qualities: Persistence. Biased to take action. Transparent. Optimistic. Adaptability.
  • Visit Marcia’s website. Attend her workshops. Read her stuff. Great info. Great presenter.

Why business won’t change the world [Michael Edwards]

  • Read Mike’s marvelous book, Small Change – Why Business Won’t Save the World. 
  • 3 sectors: Government. Business/for-profit. Nonprofit (also called civil society). They are different! And the differences matter. Today’s blurring of lines are rather troublesome.
  • Business (the marketplace) satisfies wants and needs at a price.
  • Civil society (the nonprofit or NGO sector) provides entitlements without price. The strength and impact of the nonprofit sector may actually be diminishing. See Mike on YouTube.

Raising money for justice [Roger Craver, Jennie Thompson, Daryl Upsall]

  • Solidarity. Movement. Activism. Fighting for justice. Roger, Jennie, and Daryl have worked in social justice and movements for years and years. Oh the stories they told!
  • All movements begin with a small group of people seeing something wrong. Grassroots organizing then morphs into organizations. And then the long march into the political arena. Citizens > Political > Mainstream
  • Threats: Intimidation by government and special interests.

Gender equity…diversity…dominant and non-dominant groups [Laura Liswood]

  • We need to have enough people involved to make change. Just one “different” person doesn’t work.
  • The dominant group’s performance is improved by the non-dominant group. Heterogenous groups are great! To make change in any organization requires much more than diversity. Read Laura’s book The Loudest Duck.
  • What do you think women leaders – of nations – are talking about? Check out Laura’s book.
  • Check Laura’s presentations on YouTube.

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

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