Professional Development

April 15, 2019

Critical fundraising … is critical!

Rogare’s U.S. Critical Fundraising Report… Prepped by cool colleagues… Pay attention to the bad news!!

  • State of public trust and what it means for charitable giving.
  • Stagnant donor retention rates and national giving levels.
  • Tax reform and what it means for charitable giving.
  • A look at diversity, inclusion, and gender equity in fundraising.
  • The rise of data, technology and social media – and their effect on fundraising.
  • The rise of social fundraising.
  • The current and anticipated talent crisis.

Check out the Rogare blog. Rogare…the fundraising think tank – and home of critical fundraising.

Read the US Rogare report that focuses on critical issues facing US fundraisers. It’s not a pretty picture – and we’d better fix this pretty darn soon!!!!!

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]

 

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 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.

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!

April 5, 2017

Cool training to help you raise more money

YOU’RE INVITED …

Changing your organization into a fundraising powerhouse through applied donor-centricity….

Join me (Simone), Tom Ahern, Guy Mallabone, and Bernard Ross as we wander around Canada the last week of September.

Focus on Donor Centricity, a fundamental and disruptive concept for many organizations, that requires placing the donor first long before they even become a donor, and all the way through their lifecycle.

Practical. Critical. And if you can shift the paradigm in your organization, you can raise
significantly more money.

  • September 25: Mississauga, Ontario
  • September 26: Toronto
  • September 27: Calgary
  • September 28: Edmonton
  • September 29, Vancouver

And if you can’t join us there in that place, there’s a webcast on September 26.

For more information, click on the title back up at the top. Or click here.

 

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.

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!!!!

August 15, 2016

Your grit score

Do you know that there’s a 12-item GRIT SCALE?

I didn’t know that. But I know now, thanks to some colleagues in Cohort 25 at SMU. Was it you, Jordan, who mentioned the grit scale?

Here’s another version of a Grit Scale. Check out Dr. Angela Duckworth’s info about grit scales.

There’s even a grit scale for kids, too. True grit: check your kid’s resilience…

Do you have grit? Am I gritty? Hmmmm…… What is grit anyway? 

All about remaining committed to goals – so you can actually achieve those goals. In one article, grit is defined as “passion and perseverance for long-term goals.” And Woody Allen kinda defined grit when he said, “80% of success is showing up.”

Check out this article in Frontiers in Psychology… “The grit effect: predicting retention in the military, the workplace, school and marriage.”

Filed under: Leadership, Research

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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