Happy New Year! January is a time for fresh starts and resolutions to work smarter, not harder. When it comes to your nonprofit’s technology, ask yourself these questions:
Does our social media captivate and engage our audience?
Does our website support our fundraising goals?
Do we use the full functionality of our database?
If your answer to any of these questions is “I Don’t Know” or even “No” then we can help.
Introducing – the Tech Audit!
The Tech Audit helps small-to-medium nonprofits assess their organization’s tech capabilities based on 150 data points. We cover three essential areas: Social Media, Website, and Database. You’ll get a detailed report showing where you’re top of the class, and a list of action steps where you could do even better.
Social Media: We’ll evaluate whether your nonprofit is using social media to its fullest potential.
Website: We’ll evaluate your nonprofit’s website (especially the Donate Page) for ease of navigation, clarity, and ability to engage visitors.
Database: We’ll evaluate your database’s structure, functionality, and completeness, as well as your team’s ability to maximize this critical resource.
A Tech Audit can be useful any time of the year, particularly:
Before you start a capital campaign
When you hire a new Development Director
When creating your next budget
It’s December! What’s on your nonprofit’s holiday wish list?
How about a gift that keeps on giving…
An endowment is to a nonprofit as an IRA is to a senior citizen. People spend decades saving for a comfortable retirement. An endowment is your goose that lays golden eggs. It can ensure your nonprofit’s future by engaging your most loyal donors.
BUT! Endowments aren’t for everyone. If you’re an established nonprofit with earned revenue and a strong donor base, it can be the perfect wish list item. If you’re a start-up nonprofit without a database… not so much.
Your endowment secures your nonprofit’s future. Donors can fund it in the form of cash, appreciated stock, IRA rollovers, bequests, etc. (There are lots of ways to give to an endowment fund – check out my recent webinar for more examples!) The proceeds of these funds provide operating funds in perpetuity – a gift that gives year after year.
Want to find the donors who will make your endowment wishes come true? Here are two tips you can use NOW:
Love is one of the biggest reasons why someone serves as a nonprofit board member.
Many of us push interests to the backburner as we advance our careers or raise families. But, serving as a nonprofit board member can help you reconnect with those passions and find greater fulfillment in your day to day life.
And, as a bonus, we get to spend time with people who love the same things we do!
Lucy’s first event meant the world to her and it was failing.
My daughter Lucy is beautiful, smart, a passionate political activist… and she’s on the spectrum. She struggles to communicate and strains to organize her week, much less a rally. On that grey October morning, a few friends trickled in, slowly, so slowly. Nearby diners ignored us.
Until Lucy leapt onto the fountain base and raised her violin.
She played I Dreamed a Dream from Les Misérables.
Her violin sang of hopes torn apart, of yearning and love, of loss and revolution. She offered no introduction before she played nor explanation after. She didn’t speak. She just played. To her neighbors, to her town, to a country divided.
And in that moment, she united us. Friends and strangers, protesters and passers-by listened.
True leaders gather us for good, they don’t shatter us into bloody splinters. And sometimes, like Lucy, they use untraditional means to unite us, to raise us above the conflict and chaos.
Try these three tips to foster togetherness this year:
“You will meet a tall, dark stranger, encounter a shaman in Outer Mongolia, and ride a yak.”
If a seer had predicted that future before I met my husband Don, I’d have laughed in her face. It’s true that I love adventure and want to ride every animal that can be ridden, but Outer Mongolia?
Yet 2011 found us crouched with a golden-eyed shamaness in her smoky tent by Lake Khövsgöl.
And yes, I got to ride a yak.
Magic didn’t whisk me there. It was the sweet fruit of a series of steps, decisions made, opportunities offered, and actions taken.
You don’t need magic to boost gifts to your nonprofit, so skip the soggy tea leaves and crystal balls. Focus on what you can do to spark support, right now, next month, and next year. Here’s how you can use sensory language, monthly giving, and planned giving to brighten your nonprofit’s future.
Take-Away: It doesn’t take an extravert to make strong connections.
Don’t forget to book your Nonprofit Hero talk and training!
SIMPLICITY IS YOUR BEST PATH FORWARD. ACT. BRAVE THIS NEW WORLD. CLARIFY YOUR MESSAGE.
“Val, do you think online giving will ever take off?”
“I don’t know, Lawrence, did the telephone catch on?”
Decades ago, I was chatting with a foundation president and, I’ll admit, being a bit of a wise guy. My point was that fundraising is constantly changing. If you don’t evolve along with your donors, they’ll leave you behind.
The threat of nonprofit extinction is serious. By the end of 2021, 10-30% of nonprofits will merge or close, according to experts cited in the Washington Post and Deloitte. We don’t know if this crisis is like a blizzard that will pass or the onset of an Ice Age.
Amidst 2020’s chaotic uncertainty, simplicity is your best path forward.
Consider the ABCs of nonprofit survival that have already worked in 2020: