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Joanne Fritz

Joanne's Nonprofits Blog


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Best Links: 24-Hour Giving, Donor Data, Brain Triggers

Friday May 30, 2014
Sharing Ideas

May 30, 2014

Nonprofit Blog Carnival

May Carnival: Letting the Non- Profit Sector Go to the Dogs - Donor Dreams. Check out this month's Carnival to learn more about canines, donors, and loyalty. "Dig" in for a slew of ideas for keeping your best supporters around, not to mention the fun of learning about everyone's pets.

June Carnival: Share Your Posts on Inspiration and Innovation. Lori Halley, of Wild Apricot, is asking about the stars in your eyes. Lori wants to know what has had an inspirational impact on your work; your words of inspiration for young non-profit staff, volunteers, and board members just starting out; or how you or your organization found inspiration to innovate.

Fundraising, Marketing, and More

How Can Your Nonprofit Leverage 24-Hour Giving Campaigns to Raise Big Bucks in One Day - Huffington Post. If you haven't already been swept up in one of these crowdfunding campaigns, it's only a question of when you will. They can be dismal failures or great funding opportunities. I like the tips in this post, from getting your team together and training them to putting together a media relations plan.

3 Ways Fundraisers Can Leverage Telemarketing - Fundraising Success. Gabe Raff admits that phone campaigns are the Rodney Dangerfields of the fundraising world, but suggests that they can be useful. Just follow his tips for making them work.


If Your Nonprofit Waits, a Crisis Will Overwhelm You

Tuesday May 27, 2014

This Memorial Day Weekend, crises continued to wash over us. There was the mass shooting in California, wild fires in Arizona and Alaska, and many more that we will learn about soon.

Nonprofits are not immune to crisis. Need I mention the Boy Scouts, Komen, or Penn State? Bad things happen, even to good organizations.

That TV interview? The viral social media? They are more likely to come as a result of bad news than good.

Don't wait to be overwhelmed. Advocate for crisis planning in your organization. start with these 6 Tips for Effective Nonprofit Crisis Planning.

Photo: Marcelo Santos//The Image Bank/Getty Images

Who's Bored? Probably Not Your Donors

Tuesday May 27, 2014
Mia and Sophie never get bored!

Many of us are having fun this month responding to the Nonprofit Blog Carnival's theme of Letting the non-profit sector go to the dogs. Erik Anderson is really asking for tips on encouraging loyalty among our stakeholders, and he's giving extra credit for canine mentions.

So I have to show off my granddogs, Mia, the lab, and Sophie, the sheltie. The thing is that I'm the dog sitter of choice for these pups whenever their parents are traveling, and they travel a lot. In fact, I spent the Memorial Day weekend with Mia and Sophie.

I'm a bit quixotic by nature. I get bored easily and like to move around, and have. Among locations, jobs, houses, projects. But my granddogs have taught me to love routine.

Yep. When we're together we move into a very strict and repeatable schedule. We go to bed at the same time every night, get up EARLY every morning, hit the same park, throw the same ball over and over, eat at the same time, have scheduled play and treat times throughout the day and blissfully go back to sleep at our scheduled time.

The dogs love it. They know just what to expect, and I get scolded if we vary from our routine. And I love it too. I don't have to think about it too much. I've arranged it to conserve my own energy, and, although it does get a little "routine" for me, I know it makes the doggies very happy. In fact, they don't want to leave when their parents return. We call their visits with me "Nana-cations."

I think there is a lesson here for our donor relations. Not that donors are dogs. It's just that we, the fundraising, marketing, and volunteer managers get bored. So we look for novelty and excitement, rewriting everything, chasing after every new tool and tactic, running from thing to thing helter skelter.

But our supporters don't get bored that easily. They don't tire of familiar messages. Heck, they're so busy they might not even remember them. We're the ones who tire of the repetition. And then we project our boredom onto our supporters.

But donors, volunteers, even staff like routine. They want to hear from us on a schedule. They prefer to get into a groove. We worry too much about being different, agonize too much about over communicating, forget that if we have a good message it bears repeating.

With my granddogs, I didn't at first know what would work for them and me. But over time, I experimented with our schedule, observed what worked, and gradually developed what suits all of us. Sound familiar? I didn't do a spreadsheet or check my analytics, but I was measuring in my own way.

You might try the same with your supporters. Communicate often and on a schedule, and don't be afraid of repetition. It will be better for them and easier on you.

Boring, routine, scheduled, and repetitive just could be more effective than you ever thought. Just ask Mia and Sophie!

Read more....

Photo: Sophie and Mia camp a lot. Here they try out their new tent.

Best Links: Great Donation Pages, Crowdfunding, Unmentionables

Monday May 19, 2014
Donation page by Malaria No More

Fundraising, Marketing, and More

19 Ways to Raise More Money From Your Donation Pages - John Haydon. A brillian post from John with some wonderful examples. Don't settle for a boring or hard-to-use donation page. It may be the most important place on your site.

New Donor Welcome Kits/Your Next Gift Strategy - Pamela Grow. In the battle of retention, getting the second gift quickly is a predictor of good things to come. Include a welcome kit with your donor acknowlegement and see retention soar.

Simple ideas, big impact - in pictures -The Guardian. I love this roundup of "unmentionables." I've been fascinated by how many of the things we prefer not to think about or that we take for granted in our own countries are so important in the developing world. To be specific: poop, sanitary pads, cooking fuel that doesn't kill people, and simple lighting. Check out the stories and photos here, and let's start menioning the unmentionables.

What Does That Mean? - Ann Green. Ann takes on one of my pet peeves. Nonprofit writers often use jargon and big words that stop readers in their tracks. Ann has some excellent examples and alternatives.

Social Media, Tech, Content Marketing

Why Email Still Rules - Frogloop. The main reason? You have control. No social media rules to confuse, good analytics, it raises money and keeps people engaged.

Social Photos Generate More Engagement: New Research - Social Media Examiner. Have you checked your Facebook newsfeed lately? It's gotten more beautiful even as reach has decreased. Here are some fascinating data about images. For instance, 75% of content posted by Facebook pages worldwide are photos. Are you posting your share?

5 Reasons Why Nonprofit Crowdfunding Campaigns Fail - Social Fish. Wondering why your crowdfunding attempt never got off the ground? Check out these basics before you try again. Otherwise you'll keep adding to the failure heap.

Keeping the Wheels On

10 Ways to Immediately Invest in Your Nonprofit Organization - Nonprofithub. I love the optimism of this post. Too many times we're told what not to do, what mistakes we've made, and how we messed up. But here, it's all about the possibilities.

The Pros and Cons of Engaging Young Volunteers - Speaking of investing, is your organization helping kids to get involved with your cause. There are drawbacks, but I'm pretty sure the benefits are greater.

Image: Donation page from Malaria No More, snagged from John Hayden's blog

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Want to Keep Millennial Talent at Your Nonprofit? Treat Them Well or Watch Them Walk

Friday May 16, 2014
Millennials may be more demanding as employees than former generations.

Millennials might be just the employees that nonprofits most want to have. After all, they are well educated, digital natives, and often have a burning desire to do something worthwhile.

But some nonprofits might not understand just how to get Millennials on board or how to keep them.

A recent article in Forbes relayed some helpful tips from Nancy Altobello, Vice Chair of Talent at EY (Ernst & Young), a consulting company that has been on FORTUNE magazine's "100 Best Companies to Work For" for 16 years. This company obviously knows its talent.

Altobello admits that Millennials are fickle when it comes to jobs. They, on average, only hang around for about 18 months. But Millennials might stay with you if you pay attention to what matters to this generation, such as:

  • Make it interesting. Millennials don't want just drudge work or just do the same things over and over.
  • Pay them well. Just like all of us, Millennials want to be paid what they are worth.
  • Give them flexibility. Let them choose how and when they get the job done. Set the parameters such as deadlines and outcomes and then let them figure out how to get there.
  • Evaluate them frequently and promote quickly. Millennials want constant feedback and to be rewarded when they do well. A once-a-year performance evaluation just won't cut it.
  • Give them good training. That's something everyone wants, but often don't get. Don't just throw these employees into the deep water and wait for them to make it or not. They expect, and deserve, the best training you can provide.

All of this sounds like just good human resource management. The difference with Millennials is that they may be more insistent about being treated well. Or they will walk.

Here's more about Millennials and how to be the nonprofit employer of choice:

Photo: Thomas Barwick/Iconica/Getty Images

Donations Grow from the Ground Up, Not Fall from the Sky

Monday May 12, 2014
Donors don't fall from the sky, they grow from the ground through careful cultivation.

Joe Garecht, of The Fundraising Authority, touched a nerve for me when he recently wrote 5 Reasons Your Non-Profit Didn't Get a Major Gift Last Week.

Joe said that too often fundraisers have a lottery mentality, hoping that despite everything, a big check will tumble out of the daily mail, or a major donor will just walk through the door, or a big bequest is right around the corner.

Joe's 5 reasons for not getting a big gift last week include:

  • You don't have enough major gift prospects in the pipeline.
  • You don't have a cultivation funnel that will bring donors from just an acquaintance of your cause to a supporter.
  • You didn't ask but just hoped people would give when they "feel" like it.
  • You didn't try to upgrade your donors from a small gift to a larger one.
  • You didn't call any donors.

But donors do not fall from the sky. They grow from ground that has been carefully cultivated by patient and methodical fundraisers. Fundraising is less about dreams and more about showing up and focusing on a series of steps taken at predictable times.

For instance, do you treat small donors with at least some of the attention you might lavish on a big donor? You never know where that next big gift will come from. Do you have a plan to turn one time donors into life time donors? How many donors do you call each week, or how many thank you notes did you mail?

As we become ever more high tech, it's important to remember that fundaising is still about touches made, thank yous sent, and asks articulated.


Getty Images

Give Mom a Gift That Makes a Difference

Sunday May 4, 2014
Oxfam's Mother's Day Gifts

More Americans than ever are socially conscious consumers. In fact, one recent survey suggested that shopping for good might be more popular than just giving to a charity.

Fortunately, there is an abundance of ways to combine gift giving and good deeds. Indeed, the number of companies that offer cause-related products has exploded. But, also, charities themselves have created ways to turn giving into gifting.

In any case, it's quite likely that the woman in your life will be delighted to get a Mother's Day gift that will help other women and families around the world. Here are five possibilities for your Mother's Day gift, some of which work even if you're a last minute shopper.

I'm betting your Mom will be delighted.

Photo: Oxfam

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Best Links: Live Tweeting an Event, Survey Tips, Mobile Madness

Tuesday April 29, 2014
Linking ideas.

Nonprofit Blog Carnival

Nancy Schwartz of Getting Attention! sought and got plenty of ideas about nonprofit productivity for April's Carnival. You don't want to miss 13 Paths to Productivity & Satisfaction--Nonprofit Staff & Consultants. That's a great pairing....more productivity, less stress, more happiness. Check out these great tips.

Erik Anderson of Donor Dreams is obsessed with building loyalty among nonprofit supporters. So naturally he thought of the most loyal of companions, his dog. Now he always asks, "What would Betrys do?" Thus the theme for the May Nonprofit Blog Carnival: Letting the non-profit sector go to the dogs. Eric asks us to answer the question, "How can nonprofit organizations build loyalty among donors, employees. volunteers, board members. or social media networks?"

Fundraising, Marketing, and More

Giving Donors Data on a Charity's Impact Doesn't Always Lead to More Gifts - Chronicle of Philanthropy. Who really cares about impact? It might depend on how much they are giving. Fascinating results from one charity.


Good to Great: Top Peer-to-Peer Fundraisers Drive Success of Race Events

Wednesday April 23, 2014
Charity races depend on great peer-to-peer fundraisers.

It's a lot of fun to have people turn their birthdays into mini-fundraising campaigns, but when it comes to sheer peer-to-peer fundraising volume, events such as marathons, walkathons, and cycling make the most of this type of fundraising.

Blackbaud recently released its 2013 Peer-to-Peer Participant Fundraising Study, which explored the trends across 39 nonprofits over three years. This group of organizations ran more than 44,000 events, raising more than $1 billion online.

Not all charities should or can do these types of events. Indeed, the best and biggest are those that have been around for a long time and achieved a certain level of branding and notoriety that bring participants back year after year.

The Blackbaud study is very useful in nailing down the trends and what events work best. And ROI should be the first consideration for events that take so much planning and consume so much energy in execution.

For the purposes of this study, events were grouped into four categories: cycle, endurance, 5K and walk. The study found that peer-to-peer fundraising plays a key role in making these events successful in fundraising.

So, what works and what doesn't? What are the trends? Here are some data points from the study:


Is $1 Million Too Much to Pay for a Top Fundraiser?

Monday April 21, 2014
Dollar Sign

Fundraising is a complicated task. No less so in these days of constricted budgets, an economy that is still struggling with the aftermath of a recession, and when there is more competition among nonprofits for what money is available for philanthropy.

Still, as the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports, some salaries for a few top fundraisers have reached new heights, even going beyond $1 million. Here are some of the top earners:


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