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You’re welcome. My 2022 gift to you ...

Notably re-quotable

“But one English word surely stands above all others from the corners of the dictionary. I mention it all the time, because I’m determined to bring it back. Or bring it anywhere in fact, for it never really enjoyed more than a day in the sun. ‘Respair’ has just one record next to it in the Oxford English Dictionary, from 1525, but its definition is sublime. Respair is fresh hope; a recovery from despair. May 2022 finally be its moment.” ~ Susie Dent, from her piece in The Guardian

My best New Year’s gift to you ... for 2022:

A magical guest post by wizard Julie Cooper

7 ways to put your fundraising back on the right track...

Julie, a Moceanic coach, posted this wise reflection on their blog last year. It’s edited here a bit for length. But otherwise it’s her spell. Be enchanted. Julie shared…

Fresh out of college in the mid-1990s, I took a traveling sales job.

My responsibility was to sell as many industrial tools and supplies as possible. Yes, that’s just as exciting as it sounds.

My liberal arts education hadn’t trained me to sell anything, so I spent hours at the bookstore.

I read advice from one expert that suggested sales was a “numbers game.” Another expert recommended creating a flashy sales pitch, telling the prospect what they needed.

And these two ideas were just the tip of the iceberg of snazzy sales strategies I read about and tried out for myself.

The problem was, none of the advice actually worked.

One day, my father, a salesman himself, handed me a little briefcase. Inside was an audio cassette training program from the early 1970s. The expert was an older gentleman teaching how to be successful in sales. My father told me to listen to the tapes because — even though they were old as dirt — from them I could learn the fundamentals.

So, I listened. And believe me, the tapes were BORING. (I may have even dozed off a few times.) What the trainer was talking about was incredibly straightforward. Could success be that simple, that boring?

Yes, as it turns out.

What sales and fundraising have in common are the basic principles of building relationships, following processes, and reflecting on the data.

It’s easy to overthink the path to success in fundraising. We tend to get distracted by the latest fads, tools, or hacks … trying, maybe, to find a zipless way to get people to give without being asked?

It’s human nature to seek out what seems fresh, easy, and exciting.

What I’ve discovered, though, is that the very “boringness” of fundamentals is what makes them exciting … because the RESULTS are exciting … because once you get the simple, unglamorous basics right, you will transform your entire fundraising program.

And THAT’s what’s really exciting: good fundamentals mean more money for mission!!!!

You’ll raise more money, serve more people, and create lasting change! That’s when a job becomes a vocation becomes a career becomes a purpose that makes a difference on earth and for the future. A good fundraiser is a future-maker. A great fundraiser is a future-insister.

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Here are 7 ways to get back to basics and put your fundraising on the right track:

1. Write an Annual Fundraising Plan

Fundraising can be chaotic. A written plan helps bring focus and order to all your hard work. Keep in mind that your fundraising plan is not a budget. Rather, it’s how you will achieve your financial goals. Your plan will allow you to prioritize activities that raise money and that represent the best use of your time. (For help with your plan, contact Julie. Since the first call is free.)

2. Ask for Donations More Often

As fundraiser Steven Screen says, “Letting donors rest gets them out of shape for giving.” Remember that donors love to give. They want to invest in great causes and feel the joy of giving. So ask away! (For help figuring out your best frequency, contact Julie. Since the first call is free.)

3. Make Thanking a Priority

Your mother was right. Thanking is the proper thing to do after someone gives you a gift. John Haydon, the late, great nonprofit marketing expert, said something to me that I’ll never forget. He said, “Thanking is not the effect of a gift. Thanking is the cause for the future relationship.” The central purpose of gratitude is to help us form strong bonds with other people. (For help properly applying the principals revealed in John Haydon’s revolutionary book, contact Julie. Since the first call is free.)

4. Report Back to Donors More Often

Donors want to know that their gift made a difference. Newsletters are an excellent way to show donors exactly how they’re changing the world. While success stories are the focus, money-raising newsletters also include an urgent need and call to action. Conveying the message, “We still need you,” tells donors that there’s still more work to be done. (Since she knows great fundraising newsletters well, you might contact Julie. Since the first call is free.)

5. Listen to Donors

Do you really listen to donors … or do you presume you know what they want? Try surveying them. Surveys help you find mid-level and major donors that you didn’t know you had. Surveys also uncover donors who are ready to give monthly and those who can provide a matching grant for your next campaign — and even the wonderful people who will put you in their will. (For survey tranquility, contact Julie. Since the first call is free.)

6. Invest in Fundraising

“It takes money to make money.” This saying is older than your Great Uncle Eugene. Nonetheless, it is still true: You need to invest in fundraising in order to grow. (For help investing your fundraising budget wisely, contact Julie. Since the first call is free.)

7. Keep Learning

New fundraisers and seasoned professionals alike need to hone their skills. If you’re like a lot of fundraisers, you’re a real go-getter. AND … when you invest in yourself and your career, you develop the know-how and confidence to take on any challenge that comes your way. In fundraising, there’s always something NEW to learn… and something OLD to relearn!  (For help figuring out your training path, contact Julie. Since the first call is free.)

 

 

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Julie’s home page

Julie’s services (my personal favorite? Julie’s $3,995 a month offer. She and her team schedule and create ALL your donor comms — print and digital — including appeal letters, e-appeals, thank-yous, newsletters, donor surveys, social media posts/ads, email sequences, website copy … guaranteeing your organization proven, top-pro-quality fundraising materials … without the expense, training, doubts and turnover of a new hire)

And she has a FREE (and immensely valuable) blog.

 

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Mark Phillips’ lessons learned from the British Red Cross’ Museum of Kindness

HERE. His 5 insight-packed take-aways: (1) Make giving rewarding! (2) Icons create connection!! (3) The power of the personal message!!! (4) A valued member of a valued group!!!! (5) Action beats awareness!!!!! Read Mark’s full analysis of what he gathered.

L’Chaim ~ “To life!”

HERE. In 2010, Lin-Manuel Miranda (creator of Hamilton) married Vanessa Nadal, a lawyer. They’d been friends since high school. And for their wedding, he performed the Fiddler on the Roof song, “To life” … remarkably. Have a view and a listen. You’ll feel better about everything immediately (except maybe your own family’s singing and dancing talents). Hat tip: Nicole Joyaux!!!!

Against willpower

HERE. Cheers. This spoke to me. Enuf sed.

3 strategies for coping

HERE. This spoke to me, too. Full title: “Sorrow and tragedy will happen to us all….” Again: enuf sed.