Guest blogger Maureen Wallbeoff, Vice President at Firefly Partners, brings a people-focused, collaborative influence to the Firefly team and clients.
If the title of this blog post resonates with you, you have lots of company.
In fact, most nonprofit organizations have a degree of dissatisfaction with their online engagement tools – primarily because there is no perfect platform. Nothing like the pressure of year-end to highlight those lacks.
Fundraising, advocacy, email marketing, events, eCommerce, and CRM are all standard components of most nonprofits’ online engagement software. They’re all critical to the smooth functioning and ultimate impact of every nonprofit using websites, online tools, and technology to communicate, advocate, and raise money to further their missions. You just want to provide a great experience for your supporters and an easy-to-manage tool for your colleagues (mostly accidental techies), right?
We’re in count down to year-end fundraising season, with its relentless pressure and never-ending to-dos. Are you banging your head against the wall yet?
Joking aside, it may seem like your team’s hard work and limited resources won’t be enough. Yet you know how much you could bring in, if only…
Good news! There is a way to move past this seemingly insurmountable barrier—Launch a team of messengers to be your nonprofit’s ambassadors for year end (and beyond). Enlist your colleagues, board members, and passionate supporters to boost your nonprofit’s reach and results for little or no cost. The best part? They’re already motivated to help you reach your goals.
Start with these three steps to identify, inspire, and support ambassadors for your year-end campaign:
Watch the webinar at your convenience
Join me to learn how to turn your board, staff, and loyal volunteers into a team of passionate and engaging messengers. They’ll develop confidence and skills while you’ll get more of the donations and donor loyalty you seek—without additional budget or hires. Bonus: They’ll connect your organization with their personal networks—many of whom you’d never reach otherwise.
Guest blogger Heather Yandow brings more than a decade of experience as an outreach coordinator, coalition leader, project manager, and fundraiser to Third Space Studio’s clients.
The latest Individual Donor Benchmark Report is now available with groundbreaking findings to support small nonprofits with their fundraising efforts. The survey compiles annual fundraising data from organizations with budgets under $2 million to highlight trends nonprofits can use to spark their own success.
This year’s findings taps two clear paths to successful fundraising:
- Working from a plan strengthens individual donor fundraising for small and medium-sized organizations.
- Organizations retain just 60% of their donors from year to year, so finding new donors is a critical element of fundraising on an ongoing basis.
The Key to Success
So many of you have reached out to me recently in total panic, asking for guidance because you’re stressed to the max by pressures of launches, giving day, and year end. Then there’s the biggest one—the pressure of unrealistic expectations (especially your own). I know because I live it too.
Methods for addressing those pressures are you- and organization-specific, but some game-changing strategies work across the board. One tried and tested method stands out as the most universal, powerful, and long-term way to get happier, healthier, and more productive at work (sorry if I sound like clickbait, but it’s true):
Team with colleagues and peers in the field to share your needs, provide and ask for help, vent and listen, or to get or give a fresh take. There’s nothing like it—we are so much stronger together. The outcome is stronger too—personally, for your output, and for the ultimate results.
I was thrilled to see Van Jones’ introducing Dream Corps‘ Day of Empathy via this video. Wow!
This incredible experiment in using virtual reality to build empathy—the first step to engagement and action—could be groundbreaking. I am following closely, can’t wait to see how this evolves, and promise to report back along the way. Van, I hope you and your team will share out what works, what doesn’t, and how other orgs and causes can use this technique to build the empathy necessary to motivate action.
Please join me on Day of Empathy’s Facebook group to follow its development, roll out, and results. So much to learn. So much inspiration. I’m so excited!
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P.P.S. This Day of Empathy approach is all about making Dream Corps’ methods and goals relevant to more of us, via virtual reality. Relevance Rules! And it’s meta—Van does a fantastic job of making the experiment relevant to us in this video.
Dig in a.s.a.p. to these tested and terrific ways to get your people out of the heat and into action—shared by peer fundraisers and communicators in the field. There’s no better source of ideas, guidance, and support!
Personalize to Connect!
Here’s where you rely on your robust, reliable donor management software. The more you know and log about your prospects and donors, the better you’ll connect with them.
Connect with Your Patrons, Donors, and other Supporters via THEIR Summer Habits and Passions
When I coach folks on communicating to donors, it’s one-on-one—an individual strategy. I don’t advise them to feature Hawaiian shirts and mai tais on their communications. But every communication needs to consider the audience, so I guess we naturally consider it. People leaving or arriving for the summer have different agendas and needs.
If the recipient is “in town” for the summer, we explore why she’s interested in the nonprofit. What causes her to support a charity while on vacation? From there, we create a strategy. —Marc Pitman, Fundraising Coach