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.
Traditionally, enterprises have focused their data strategies around business intelligence (BI), but the rise of predictive and prescriptive analytics platforms, in part thanks to machine learning and artificial intelligence, is changing the equation. Even business intelligence itself is evolving, tipping in capabilities previously exclusive to business analytics platforms.
Analysts and consultants agree that understanding the distinctions between business intelligence and other analytics platforms, as well as the value each brings to the enterprise, matters significantly in getting your data strategy right.
Read the blog by Mary Pratt below on how business analytics is evolving.
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.
How to hold charity trustee and member meetings, including AGMs, so you can make decisions legally and your charity can run effectively.
Clear guidance from the Charity Commission for trustees.
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.
Being a trustee feels like a weighty responsibility. There are so many important issues to get to grips with and fundraising is often one of the areas in which many trustees have little or no experience.
In fact, many of the skills and experiences they have from their business lives directly apply to fundraising: having a clear strategy, thinking long term, understanding the budget, checking out the competition, exploring the data, knowing your customers, and taking a leadership role.
Susie Hills poses six questions to help trustees explore these vital aspects of the fundraising health of their organisations.
Time and time again we see the critical role that leaders and trustees have on their charity’s major gift fundraising success.
If you are a Trustee or leader, how do you develop the skills that make you effective in either fundraising directly or supporting the executive team? What do you need to know about major gift fundraising in order to lead from the front?
Caroline Underwood shares 5 questions fundraising boards should ask themselves in this blog.
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.
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.
It’s important to be aware of data protection legislation across the globe so that non-profits are familiar with requirements. If nothing else, these requirements tend to become the norm and therefore shape the expectations of your donors and supporters.
The CCPA applies to “businesses.” The Act defines that term to include any legal entity (e.g., corporations, associations, partnerships, etc.) that is “organized or operated for the profit or financial benefit of its shareholders or other owners.”1 This accords with the fact that non-profits are exempt from many of the data privacy and security regulations within the United States – in particular, they are largely exempt from enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission, and, therefore, are exempt from compliance with the rules, regulations, and guidance of the Federal Trade Commission to the extent that such rules, regulations, or guidance are not incorporated in state laws that do apply to the non-profit.
In comparison, the European GDPR does not contain any exemptions for non-profit organizations.
So, unless your non-profit has a commercial branch or deals in selling data lists, CCPA does not apply. GDPR, however, does – if you are dealing with citizens of the European Union.
The California Consumer Protection Act requires businesses and charities to make disclosures in their public-facing privacy policies and to update annually such disclosures, starting January 1, 2020.
The California Consumer Privacy Act will effectively be the US national data privacy standard for consumer business and brands when it takes effect on January 1, 2020. (Although enforcement by the California attorney general has been delayed until June 2020, individual and class-action law suits may begin immediately.)
As of this writing, that’s precisely 12 weeks, or no more than 55 working days, allowing for the holidays. Given how many companies were radically unprepared for the GDPR given two years for preparation, this implies that lots of companies need to do lots of work lots of fast.
There are three interrelated and inescapable reasons why CCPA-compliant data practices will quickly become the standard across the US, even for companies that don’t do business in California. Here, Tim Walters, Ph.D. explains more.
The California Consumer Privacy Act could have more repercussions on U.S. companies than the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that went into effect in 2018. The California law doesn’t have some of GDPR’s most onerous requirements, such as the narrow 72-hour window in which a company must report a breach. In other respects, however, it goes even farther.
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) takes a broader view than the GDPR of what constitutes private data. The challenge for security, then, is to locate and secure that private data.
CSO, which serves enterprise security decision-makers and users with the critical information they need to stay ahead of evolving threats and defend against criminal cyberattacks, shares an excellent guide on what CCPA means to you.
On January 1 2020, a landmark new data law comes into effect, subjecting U.S. businesses to a sea change of privacy regulations. After that date, Americans will be able to demand that charities disclose what personal data they have collected about them, and also ask them to delete that data. The California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA) will severely impact tech giants like Google and Facebook, as well as retailers like Macy’s and Walmart.
This heralds the end of an era in which the U.S. defied a shift in global privacy norms, and allowed American companies to commodify consumer data.
There remains, however, considerable confusion over how the law will be enforced, and how much of a burden it will be to U.S. companies. What follows is Forbes’ plain English explanation of the law, the politics surrounding it, and how it will affect businesses and consumers.
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.