If you’ve never listed to “Fundraising Is Beautiful,” the podcast I host with Jeff Brooks, now is a great time to start!
We just released a fantastic interview with Jen Love and John Lepp from Agents of Good in Toronto. Not only are they fun people, but you’ll absolutely be a better fundraiser after listening to their perspectives on donor love, how fundraisers can take care of themselves, and why innovation so often doesn’t work.
I’ve been doing this podcast since 2007 and can say – without a doubt – that this is one of my favorite episodes.
And it’s the first in a series of interviews we’re doing with smart fundraisers you can learn from – both how they succeed in fundraising and the important lessons they’ve learned along the way.
If you’d like to listen or subscribe to this free resource, here’s where to go:
iTunes — Google Music — SoundCloud — Stitcher
My personal recommendation for a podcast app for your phone: Overcast. The feature I love: you can play podcasts a little faster than normal speed. I don’t know what software magic they use to make the words still easy to understand, but it works great and saves so much time.
I hope you’ll take a listen to the podcast!
It’s a cloudy and cold August Thursday up here in Seattle. That’s not something we’d normally celebrate, but it’s a welcome respite from the recent heat and smoke from the forest fires.
Wanted to share something with you today that Chris Davenport (of the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference) and I have cooked up.
Two things, actually.
First, a Helpful Video
This video shares a practical plan for how your organization can take advantage of the extra week in this year’s “year-end fundraising season” between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
How do we have an extra week this year? Because Thanksgiving is so early!
You’ve been given a gift of an extra week when donors are extra generous. Make the most of your week!
Year-End Fundraising Summit in Seattle
The second is that Chris and I are hosting a special year-end fundraising summit in Seattle in September. It’s for just 10 organizations, and after our two days together you’ll leave with a customized year-end fundraising plan for your organization that’s based on what’s working best in fundraising today.
We’ll help you write all of your letters, emails, web page updates and social posts.
It’s expensive, but for the right organizations it’s an incredible value. Not only will your most important year-end fundraising work be done in September (!!!!), we’ll show you how each element of your campaign is a repeatable asset that you can use to raise more money (with less work) next year too. And the year after that.
The organizations that have already signed up are excited – and we are, too.
There’s an application on this page; I hope you’ll fill it out if you’re thinking about joining us!
Sometimes fundraising feels broken.
It feels like you don’t have a relationship with your donors. Like you’re just Asking all the time. It feels like your nonprofit should be raising more money. Maybe fundraising doesn’t feel nearly as fulfilling as you expected.
Here’s a simple video that helps organizations (especially small ones) see why fundraising feels this way – and helps you learn what to do about it.
Warning: the solution is deceptively simple but deceptively hard to do.
Why? Because it requires your organization to think differently about fundraising. You have to talk to your donors more often than you think you do. You have to talk less about your organization. You have to be vulnerable. And you have to give credit away.
All hard things.
This video feels like the beginning of a longer conversation. If you’d like to talk more, get in touch. We’ve helped lots of organizations put their finger on what’s bothering them, and then fix their fundraising. It makes your work life so much more fulfilling, and you’ll raise more money.
For now, watch the video!
This July we’re doing a mini-series of posts and videos about how to use your summer to prep for fall fundraising success.
Today we have a short (5-minute) video with Four Questions your organization should be asking itself this summer.
Your answers will tell you what to focus on this summer to have your best fall and year-end fundraising yet.
These questions are powerful.
They are designed to help organizations focus on the ‘easy wins’ – the simple fundamentals we often miss because we’re so busy – to help you spend your time and money on the things that create the biggest impact this fall.
Watch the video!
Then be honest with your answers. You’ll know what you need to focus on!
There’s a type of story that works incredibly well to raise money…
…an incomplete story with a current need.
Here’s a video I recorded last Friday with Chris Davenport from the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference that explains what I mean.
There are two reasons this video is helpful:
- We talk about why telling “incomplete” stories is so successful when Asking your donors for gifts
- I share how to tell an incomplete story, with a specific example. Chris posted the video just yesterday morning, and he’s already getting feedback on how helpful the example is.
Watch the video! It’s 11 minutes long, but it goes fast. And the ideas I share will jumpstart your fundraising this fall!
One final thing to mention: I’ll be speaking at the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference this fall in Orlando (October 15 – 17). And you can save $400 if you take advantage of the Early Bird special going on for the next few days.
For the next couple weeks, we’re doing a mini-series of posts and videos about how to use your summer to prep for fall fundraising success.
I hope that July is a slow month for you. In fact, I hope you’re on vacation as I write this!
But if you’re not, and you know you could be using some of this time to prep for the most important fundraising season of the year, here are our recommendations.
Watch this short video (less than 5 minutes) for the tips that we’ve seen help nonprofits the most.
After you watch the video, take a break. You’ve worked hard today! But then calendar sometime later this month to do a little prep work. You’ll be so glad you did!
I was honored to give a presentation called “Storytelling for ACTION” at the AFP International conference in New Orleans this spring.
But even if you weren’t there, I want you to be able to use these strategies to raise more money. So I’ve recorded the presentation and have a video of it for you today.
Many of the ideas you’ll hear me describe are the same ones that are in our free Ebook (you’ve downloaded that, right?). But in the presentation, I provide more examples and give tips for how you can start raising more money immediately.
The session was called “the breakout session of Day 1 of the conference” by a high-ranking AFP member. I hope it is as helpful for you as it was for the folks at the conference!
Our Goal This Month
If you’d like coaching for how your organization can raise more money by telling stories more effectively, get in touch. Or we can even create your Asks and Reports for you. For less than the cost of an employee, we can improve your fundraising materials, raise you more money, and free up internal resources!
Your Newsletter is the “Report” in Ask, Thank, Report, Repeat. It is where your donors find out if giving your organization a gift was a good idea – or not.
And if you are like most fundraising directors, you are about to create a donor newsletter. Because this is the time of year when many organizations Report back to donors.
Hopefully, you’re Reporting to them the amazing things that happened because they gave a gift to your charity – not just bragging about the things your organization has been doing.
Remember, your donors gave you their money but they don’t know what happened to their gift after you received it. But they need to know if you ever want them to give another gift! So your newsletter’s “one job” is to show donors the impact of their gift.
Last February we posted this video that shows how to improve your donor newsletter. It’s just 3-minutes long and is a great summary plus useful tips as you create your next newsletter.
Click here to watch – and then go Report to your donors and raise more money!
Now is the time to leverage the year-end fundraising season and get the most out of your fundraising!
This video shows you a simple plan that will help you maximize your fundraising efforts by the end of the year. We show you the three main things you need to do, and we list them in order of importance.
This video is a little longer than most of our videos because the things we share with you are so essential to successful year-end fundraising.
By the end of the video you will know exactly what to do to take full advantage of this fundraising season and how to honor your donors in the process.
Watch the video now!