Fundraising is focussed on the bottom line. Hard, tangible cash. Facts and figures. Brand is about perception. The heart and mind of the audience. Intangible feelings.
OK, so I’m being purposefully black and white. But everyone of my friends in the sector feels that brand and fundraising teams need to work better together. And with the sector still suffering reputational damage and a new drop in voluntary income, it needs to be all hands to the pump.
And I’ve seen where this happens in perfect harmony. The case for support. I’ve worked on lots of cases for support for very different charities, and they always show me how close communication, brand and fundraising teams actually are, and how well they can work together.
Alexander Scott explains how the case for support is the core story that weaves together brand narrative with need, and the action you want your audience to take.
Everybody wants to run a successful nonprofit, but there are far too many that do not realize the importance of good business practices when doing so.
Take, for example, branding. When you set out to save the world, or at least make it a better place, it’s easy to just assume that the worthiness of your cause will be enough to convince people to contribute. What’s not immediately obvious is the sheer depth of other causes competing for attention—not to mention other nonprofits in same or similar niches.
This results in the same problem that every for-profit business has—how can you differentiate in a crowded marketplace? Nobody wants their nonprofit to be blasted for spending more on promotions than actually helping others, but a little bit of expert branding can be a force multiplier that guarantees that a mission is accomplished correctly.
Raissa Frenkel from the Finker-Frenkel Family Foundation explains how improving your brand strategy can actually bolster a nonprofit, too.
Five key figures in fundraising tech reflect on how technology has changed fundraising and what’s next. With contributions from Mike Gianoni (President and CEO, Blackbaud), Bill Strathmann (CEO, Network for Good), Mike Geiger, M.B.A., C.P.A. (President and CEO, Association of Fundraising Professionals), Steve Spinner (CEO, RevUp Software) and Jean-Paul Guilbault (President and CEO, Community Brands).
Survey respondents for the 2018 Global NGO Technology Report were asked to rate the effectiveness of the most commonly used communication and fundraising tools. Their answers provide valuable insight into which tools NPOs, NGOs, and charities should prioritize in their communications and fundraising strategy.
Picture this: a wealthy donor opens up the daily newspaper at her kitchen table and sees a heart-warming story about a school-age child benefiting from your nonprofit’s services.
On her drive to work, she hears your executive director interviewed on morning news radio.
Before an afternoon meeting, the same donor scans her Instagram and Facebook feeds and sees your story being shared.
Later, she gets an email from your nonprofit, featuring the story and a direct request for a gift. In one click, a donation is made.
What steps did it take to turn one story into a donation? Maura F. Farrell provides the details.
The formula for getting work done is simple: Show up and sit there. Think. Stare out the window. Write.
There’s no muse, no need for a perfect storm of artistic conditions to come together before you can rack up the pages. You just do the work. The work gets done.
But simple formulas don’t always produce good results. Let Rachel Toor guide you through tips to of what to do when you get stuck.
One of the greatest challenges of being a development professional is dealing with rejection. The fact is, you are going to hear the word “No” a lot.
But the best fundraisers know not to take it personally and get right back on that fundraising horse. They also learn that sometimes a No can help you find your way to a Yes.
Here, Allison Gauss, defines the 9 types of fundraising nos and what to do with them.
The nonprofit sector has created a culture in which strategic work is seen as a necessary evil, a process to endure, something to suffer through. Executives often enter the process begrudgingly. They may insist there is no time, money, or support. They may say that the board adds little value, that a bold and expensive vision will be hard to “sell” to a board that must raise money. It’s pretty easy to see how an executive director could have an attitude problem.
When it comes to strategic planning, chief executives often feel sure they know the right answer and already have a sense of what needs to get done in the next few years. Board members will tell you their voices aren’t heard or valued. Precious few board members find making plans invigorating or enriching, nor are they excited to promote a new strategy to potential donors.
Some organizations get the planning process right, but in this blog Joan Garry discusses some of the strategic-planning problems and how to solve them.
At some level, every fundraiser knows that alumni engagement is an important driver of alumni giving. At the same time, the advancement profession seems perpetually perplexed by how to measure engagement and apply those measures to increase philanthropy. Why is that?
Generally speaking, advancement offices have access to a pretty accurate picture of who alumni were as students, but very little information on who they are now.
As a result, advancement professionals are primed to treat alumni as former students instead of getting to know them as mature adults. This leads to false assumptions about current alumni needs and the relevant steps a school might take to increase engagement by addressing those needs.
Different from alumni affinity, Dr. Jay Le Roux Dillon describes “Alumni Role Identity” in this series of blogs – a measure of a graduate’s level of connection to their alma mater and an indicator of their inclination to donate to same.
Part 1: https://www.salesforce.org/alumni-engagement-weve-gotten-wrong-fix/
Part 2: https://www.salesforce.org/higher-education-fundraising-culture-sameness-busting-3-massive-myths/
Part 3: https://www.salesforce.org/alumni-role-identity-new-way-alumni-donor-psyche/
Part 4: https://www.salesforce.org/past-webinars/alumni-engagement-scoring-science-tell-us-webinar/
Unsuccessful fundraisers don’t understand qualification. They don’t recognize its power. They wait for the next wealth screened list. They fiddle with it in Excel or in some other database. They make a few calls. They don’t get any appointments. They give up. Then they say the list was no good.
Unsuccessful fundraisers don’t use the qualification process effectively. They don’t recognize the fact that understanding qualified supporters in-depth is crucial. When they call, write or visit them, they ignore their interests, passions, desires, and needs. And, too often, they ignore them entirely. They don’t call, write or visit them at all.
Here, Greg Warner provides seven easy to follow steps to help you qualify your prospects.
Wealth advisors need to understand wealth trends in relation to their client’s investment strategies. Their companies have the necessary resources to provide that insight for them in the form of studies and surveys. Surveys dealing with wealth allocation are particularly useful for estimating wealth.
In this blog, Kenny Tavares has come up with a list of three resources that can be accessed for free to begin creating your own wealth estimates. Aside from having the data we crave, these reports provide great information on current wealth trends.
GDPR note: Just because data is available in the public domain does not necessarily mean that it can be harvested and used for other purposes. Although you may not have to obtain consent to use it, please check with your data protection officer or seek legal advise before undertaking prospect research.
What’s it like to give away a billion dollars?
One of the few people who know is Stephen Schwarzman, co-founder, chairman and chief executive of Blackstone, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms.
He has given away more than that already, mainly to causes related to education, culture and the arts, but – with a fortune put at more than $16bn (£12.8bn) – is likely to go far further during his lifetime.
His latest big donation, in June this year, was a £150m gift to the University of Oxford to establish an institute dedicated to the study of ethics in artificial intelligence.
He realised very quickly that “the UK was unaccustomed to philanthropy on this scale. During the course of the day [that the donation was announced] I learned that my single gift was about half of the £310m given by all philanthropic individuals to arts and culture in England during 2017-18.”
The UK lags well behind the US, both in terms of the number of wealthy people who make sizeable donations to good causes and in terms of the scale in which they donate.
Ian King, Business presenter on Sky News examines the socio-economic reasons behind the different attitudes to charity in these two countries.
Jeff Brooks takes guidance produced on customer experience and reviews it through the lens of a fundraiser because it’s a look at how people think and decide.
Here are the “6 components of human beings” with what each might mean for fundraisers to give you a powerful advantage.
The fine art of donor communications is a constant topic of study and analysis. But while nonprofits don’t always know what type of communications donors want, common sense would dictate that donors are looking for some kind of feedback about how their money is used. But what kind of contact do they want and how does this contact improve giving?
This data on evidence, updates and thanks seems aimed at nonprofit communicators who are afraid of bothering their constituents, which is a normal response to donor fatigue. Yet, donors also complain about the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am approach, in which nonprofits drag their heels with a timely thanks. So what’s a nonprofit to do?
Amy Butcher shares her thoughts in this blog.
These are dark times for direct mail fundraising. Response rates are down (and have been trending lower for more than a decade). At the same time, costs of paper, printing, and postage keep going up, usually faster than inflation.
So direct mail is dead, right? The sooner you stop using it for fundraising, the better. Right?
Not so fast.
Jeff Brooks takes a sober and non-panicked look tells at direct mail to see that it isn’t dead. It’s not even sick. But it’s changing, like everything else.
Shaun Horan starts this thought piece with: “Nothing splits a room like asking this question: should you ask for a gift from a prospective donor on the first meeting?”
So, what are his reasons? Click below to find out.
For a long time, philanthropy has been defined as “the giving of money to nonprofit organizations.” However, this definition is quickly becoming obsolete.
It’s evolving towards a meaning that is more appropriate to today’s giving paradigm and less industry-driven: that philanthropy is “the action of transforming the social wellbeing of others through generosity.”
The fundraising pyramid has long been the gold standard in the nonprofit industry to “group” donors. But it’s an odd way to represent a community of philanthropists — it’s a misrepresentation of what’s actually taking place through the process. The evolution of philanthropy forces us to re-imagine this structure.
Community Funded explains more.
Propsect researchers should already be adept at verifying their sources but is that good enough to spot fake news?
In this blog, Jennifer Filla shares her method (including a Venn diagram).
Discovering your best fundraising prospects does not boil down to a single piece of criteria. There are several qualities that can help identify the potential donors who can give the major gifts that will lead to your organization’s success.
Here, Kim Becker Cooper – Marketing Director at DonorSearch, shares her five key identifiers.
Stephanie Harvey, fundraising manager from Little Village, shares her thoughts on this year’s Status of UK Fundraising 2019 Benchmark Report.
One outcome is the decreased confidence in charities. Stephanie elaborates: “We have all seen the negative news with various stories being uncovered of late, and like others we were disappointed and angry about what was shared in the press. Just because we work in the sector, doesn’t mean that we are immune to the bad press – and perhaps it’s also shaken our trust in the sector.
“However, I also believe that we reflect the wider public view that whilst we might not like the current public face of charities, we still like the ones we know and support.
“So, what advice would I give to anyone who doesn’t feel confident, or feels their non-profit needs to do more?”
Read Stephanie’s advise below.