And yet I am troubled by the trend of organizations to steer all conversation towards data. No data bashing here, we go to work in organizations because love, embrace, and breathe our missions. We need to show success, we need to show an impact to stay relevant but sometimes I feel that data is over-kill. When an economy is strong and fewer people are accessing a food pantry I don’t need a data set to tell me that economically people are better off.
When a museum installs a new learning exhibit that appeals to all age groups, the sound of cash registers ringing in the gift shop can tell me what the data report will tell me faster and with a lot less extraneous material.
And yet we have some how come to believe that we should embrace as much of the corporate practices as possible but to what end?
Organizations do have an obligation to be fiscally prudent and provide an annual statement and comply with all tax laws. Moreover an organization must always remember that once public trust is lost reclaiming it is an epic uphill battle that will leave a dark stain.
Organizations should also remember that even though we are not for profit it is ALWAYS in our best interest to respond to all feedback and criticism in a positive manner and learn a lesson.
Organizations should be proactive: DIVERSIFY, DIVERSIFY, DIVERSIFY, never count on one funding stream no matter how popular or how long you have been funded by any one source.
Times change. I have lost track of the number of organizations that have become dependent on one funding source, and when the well dries up they go into crisis mode hiring a director of development who will allegedly be able to make it rain Money. Be proactive, hope for the best, but always plan for the worse.
Your organization should make a point of inviting other organization with similar missions to planning meetings so you can pool resources! THIS IS NOT A COMPETITION WE ARE NOT CORPORATIONS.
More and more I am hearing funders at foundation who are impressed with organizations who are joining resources to tackle tough areas be a leader and stand out.
Remember at the end of the day we chose this line of work because we wanted to make a positive difference in the world.
Well the summer has officially come to a close Autumn is upon us, and I started to think of how the changing seasons affect fundraising cycles.
Most organizations spent August not on vacation but crafting holiday, that would resonate with their audience.
If your organization is working on a direct mail appeal now is the time to supplement/enhance with an online campaign.
1. Ask for testimonials from individuals who have received services from your organizations
2. Start a count down and invite teams to compete to race the clock
3. PICTURES. I have said it before I will say it again and again. A picture is worth a thousand words.
Imagine the following two scenarios on your website: a) A heartfelt appeal to your community because your food bank is running low on canned goods b) a picture of your food pantry with empty shelves. Which would move you? if you picked (b) you realize that “less can be more”
4. Engagement on Twitter. You have been diligently tweeting but remember Twitter is a two way street you should be responding, answering questions, inviting questions etc.
Your mobile smart phone is one of the most important tools in your social media campaigns.
Need to capture a quick picture of your luncheon attendees to post up on your website and you forgot your digital camera? Time to take out your mobile phone; want to make the experience truly fun and collaborative have the attendees also take pictures of the event and share them the with the special events coordinator. You never know who is going to capture the one shot that embodies the fun and spirit of your event.
But your smart phone isn’t just for picture-taking.
Here are just a tasks that with the tap of an app you can head out for a cup of coffee and still keep track of what is going on in the office
1. Set up and manage a guest list for your event
2. Post updates to your website
3. track the number of visitors to your website
4. Set-up, manage and update your calendar of events
5. Collaborate with your internal and external teams on projects
6. Track the progress of your projects.
I can think of another 15 things but would love to hear from all of you, how are you using your smartphones to manage your social media campaigns?
Some people watch cat videos, others like to shop online. I like to view nonprofit organization websites. I have a top 10 list of favorite out of thousands that I have viewed.
One of the things I have noticed is the “fundraising” page/section/blurb/pop-up etc.
fundraising face to face is challenging, one on one you can make a compelling case tailored to the specific person pick up on visual, social and verbal feedback to help you request your gift.
99% of online fundraising appeals are generic do not make a personal appeal, do not follow-up by asking why the person did or did not make a donation and more importantly what brought the person to the organization’s web page.
Most people view this as a lost opportunity, I disagree I actually see this at minimum of 12 lost opportunities with the count only escalating for each person who visits your site and leaves.
Stalking and tracking people is a no-no. What is important is that you allow and give people an opportunity to share with you why they are visiting your website, what they hope to find (did they find it) and with their permission would it be possible to send them more information about your organization.
Fundraising online also is an opportunity for your organization to show its great work, lean operation, and most important TRANSPARENCY
Sticking up a page asking for contributions without any of the above shows that your organization does not care to engage future donors.