Friday Inspirations, Episode 7 :)

Mar 02, 2018

Wish you were here with us in sunny San Diego for Social Media Marketing World 2018 - the conference.

True confession: we came here a little grudgingly. Two years ago, Jenna and I weren't even on Facebook - and we didn't want to be. We thought social media was mostly a waste of time. We. Were. Wrong.

This conference has absolutely wowed us. Every single talk has focused on community, connection, trust, service. Is that all that happens on social media? Of course not. But it's the best of what can happen on social media - and it's exactly what nonprofits do best.

We've also learned endless tools and approaches that can help nonprofits maximize their reach, build their following and boost fundraising. 

We are listening to, watching and reading these amazing social media gurus:

  • Brian Solis, author, analyst and "digital anthropologist." He was there at the beginning of social media and remains a "hopeless optimist" about it. He reminded 3,000 people here at #SMMW18 that...
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Friday Inspirations, Episode 6 :)

Feb 23, 2018

Happy Friday, Generous Changer!! 

Finding inspiration absolutely everywhere this week. Lots and lots of it! (Read to the end for links to cool tools!)

Quote we're loving: 

"Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken."  - Oscar Wilde

We're reading: Bill and Melinda Gates' Annual Letter 2018. (There's a teaser version on LinkedIn, where I first saw it.) I am pretty fan-girly about these two - they take their philanthropy very seriously. But my favorite part of this letter is the personal bit at the end: 

"Maybe 20 years ago, we could have made a different choice about what to do with our wealth. But now it’s impossible to imagine. If we’d decided to live a different life then, we wouldn’t be us now. This is who we chose to be."

A great reminder that giving means a lot to generous people - it can be deeply defining. Which makes our role as connectors to causes honorable, enviable, lucky.

We're viewing: the Picasso show at the Nelson-Atkins...

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How To Talk About Money On Your First Visit

Feb 20, 2018
 

Asking for money before you even know someone can feel creepy.

And it may not be appropriate. But....it probably is.

This potential donor knows why you're there, right? At the very least, they saw the signature line of your meeting request? 

Think of it this way: if they know what you do, then it's actually weirder not to talk about money. Right? Kinda gets things off on the wrong foot?

Honestly, if you don't say something on this first visit, it only gets more awkward later. 

Here are a few approaches that may help (thanks to peeps on Office Hours last week for asking!).

If s/he already gives at any level:

  • "Thank you so much for your generous gifts through the years." And, as you discover what s/he is excited about/interested in, then name a level of support and ask about future interest: "It is amazing for students to have international experiences. We have a lot of donors who give $1,000/year to help with tickets - often that alone makes it possible. Some have...
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Friday Inspirations, Episode 5 :)

Feb 16, 2018

Happy Friday, Generous Changers!

This week we've been so inspired by the amazing nonprofit leaders in our Fundraisers' University and Fundraisers' Monthly. These hard-working humans exemplify servant leadership and remind us that we learn so much more - in every single interaction - when we ask great questions.

Quote we're digging: 

"What people think of as the moment of discovery is really the discovery of the question." -Jonas Salk

We're watching: Simon Sinek talking about leadership on Marie TV.  This is seriously good stuff. Heart of the matter: those with leadership roles are responsible for their people (more than "production"). If leadership is at all an obsession for you, as it is for us, give it a watch.

Bonus takeaway: just seeing a generous act provides a jolt of oxytocin, a happy hormone!

We're reading: The Coaching Habit. We cannot refer people to this book too much. The subtitle says it all: "Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way...

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How to Have Your Best Discovery Visit

Feb 13, 2018

First visits with potential donors are awkward.

You're meeting a stranger.

They're meeting you.

This can lead to all kinds of nervousness...

...and that voice in your head telling you you need to sound smart, be likeable, say all the right things AND ask for money...

This month, in Fundraisers' Monthly, we're talking all about the Discovery Visit:

  • Phrases to help turn the conversation to money
  • The best questions to ask in discovery meetings
  • Tips to make your best case for your org
  • Keys to being your best in every conversation

How can you show up to your next discovery visit calm and confident?

Here are the 4 keys to being your best in every conversation:

1. Be Authentic. - Be You. This sounds obvious and easy, but it isn't. I've walked into the offices of plenty of super-successful CEO's, lawyers, hedge fund managers, museum curators and filmmakers feeling inadequate. That voice in my head told me I wasn't smart enough or successful enough to be talking to those people.

But...

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Friday Inspirations, Episode 4 :)

Feb 09, 2018
 

Happy Friday, Generous Changers!

This week flew by for us - as in, holy moly, where can I buy some more hours?! Hope it was a good one for you.

Coming up next in Fundraisers' Monthly is the discovery visit - how to have the conversation, what to (and not to) ask and how to turn the convo to money, even and especially when it feels super awkward.

So, we're in deep thought about great conversation....

Quote we're digging: 

"Be interested, not interesting." 

Dale Carnegie said that first - and it's fantastic advice for fundraisers...and every single person who wants to be a great conversationalist!

We're watching: the super brilliant Dan Pink on the ABC's of Persuasion. 

  • Attunement: Can you attune yourself to someone else, understand their perspective?
  • Buoyancy: How to you remain afloat in an ocean of rejection? Fundraisers know all about this! Turns out questioning your abilities is more effective than pumping yourself up. 
  • Clarity: There's a ton of information...
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Should I Stay or Should I Go?:

Feb 06, 2018

Retention.

It's a big hairy issue in fundraising - one that's made up of a ton of other big hairy issues: time, money, engagement, productivity, training, management and culture.

Why should you care?

If you lead a nonprofit - money & time (and time is money!).

  • According to research by Penelope Burk, it costs a minimum of $127,650 to replace a fundraiser.
  • The average tenure of a front-line fundraiser is 2 years, but it takes at least 10 to 12 months for fundraisers to feel up to speed in a new role.

If you're a manager - you have the power!

  • 50% of employees who quit cite their manager as the reason.
  • Managers account for 70% of the variance in employee engagement. (No surprise: Engaged employees are happier and more productive.)
  • In short, great management makes all the difference,
  • But, nonprofits provide little to no training for fundraising managers.

If you're a fundraiser - you want to succeed.

  • You're driven by meaning & mission.
  • You get little to no training....
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Friday Inspirations, Episode 3 :)

Feb 02, 2018
 

Happy Friday, Generous Changers!

We're just back from CASE VI, where we got all jazzed up about our work and yours. Advancement peeps are awesome! Thank you, thank you for all you do!

Quote we're digging: 

"People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care."                                                                           - Theodore Roosevelt (and others!)

We're inspired by: Martin Leifeld, Vice Chancellor for Advancement at the University of Missouri, St Louis. Martin has spent a career truly seeking to lift others up. He sees advancement work as "ennobling souls...bringing wonderful people into life as philanthropists." When we asked the secret to good management, he started with authenticity ("let people know who you are") and trust ("you have to fully...

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Friday Inspirations, Episode 2 :)

Jan 26, 2018

Happy Friday, Generous Changers!

A few thoughts as you finish up your work week...

Quote we're digging: Seems we're all struggling with work/life balance these days. Here's a nice little reminder:

"Time is the coin of your life. You spend it. Do not allow others to spend it for you."                                                                                         - Carl Sandberg

Tricky, but transformative, to remember that you own your time and only you can give it away. We may or may not be great at this, but we're working on it!

We're wowed by: water.org's collaboration with Stella Artois. Buy a specially designed Stella chalice on Amazon for $13, and Stella makes a donation that provides clean water for someone in the developing world for five...

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Work-Life Balance

Jan 23, 2018

Millie's got work-life balance all figured out.

When she's working, she's all business.

Her best business skills:

Listening - Millie hears everything (especially "walk" and "go get your leash"). She's got great eye contact and reads body language like nobody's business (like all great fundraisers).

 

Energy - Millie works harder than anyone I know. She runs for miles, hikes, takes long bike rides, chews bones, chases squirrels (and rabbits and opossums and birds), fetches tennis balls, & destroys stuffed animals. And, even after a hard day's work, if you asked her to take a run at midnight, she'd be ready and waiting by the door. She also looks great on camera...

Drive - Millie never does anything half-way. She's all-in. She's got killer focus and ambition.

For all of her amazing work habits, Millie still knows how to relax.

Like, really relax...

 

Hard work deserves guilt-free relaxation.

As a new fundraiser, work-life balance was one of the hardest things for me.

I...

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