Tag: charity

Don’t forget to ask

There’s a lot going on. Don’t forget to ask your donors to donate.

You thanked quickly. You share your impact often, along with personal notes to donors sharing how their donation impacted your work. You continually work with board and staff in building the relationship you have with your donors.

Is it time to ask them to donate again?

I bring this up because this has come up a couple of times with me in the past month. I see an organization going through an intense time in serving those they serve, hoping they will reach out to me as a donor for help.

Your donors are very interested in you and your mission. They see the world as you see it and embrace the change you are making. They have your back.

So when times are tough, or tougher, bring them in. Let them know what’s going on and how they can help. I don’t mean always going to them with “urgent” requests. I mean during those times where your team has encountered even more difficult circumstances and those you serve are in even darker circumstances, bring your donors in. They want to help. And because you are in relationship with them, they will.

Thank you for reading! I really appreciate it.

Time off and self care

Whatever you call it (vacation, PTO, time off), take it.

Plan it. Create an awesome out of office auto-reply. Let staff/clients know you’ll be out. And go!

Go somewhere or do something that takes you to another world, one that doesn’t include work. Everything will be OK.

We all hear about self care. Many may even highly recommend it to staff or clients.

We have to practice it. I won’t go into all of the reasons why because we all know them. We know the benefits of self care and of actually taking time off. Of completely unplugging. It’s necessary, and possible.

Off to the beach. I’m officially on vacation!

Social media tips for smaller nonprofits

If you are reading this blog post you’re on social media. Based on my Altrui website data, you’ve most likely found me because of my presence on social media platforms. My favorites for Altrui and for being part of the nonprofit world are Twitter and LinkedIn.

I’m one who believes social media can be a relevant tool for nonprofits, especially in marketing, fundraising, and communications. Like everything, some nonprofits work and hustle on social media and you can tell. Others, well they have a ways to go.

I’ve recently been looking at social media from smaller nonprofits, and have some ideas on how they may grow their presence and possibly their mission impact through social media. If you don’t know this yet, there are as many opinions to how or if social media can be beneficial to nonprofits as there are nonprofits. This is simply my opinion based on a good amount of time working in social media for causes that are super close to my heart.

This post is specifically for the smaller nonprofit, or the nonprofit that has very little capacity to take on social media.

First, you have to start somewhere, but not everywhere. Pick one platform and give it a go. Before deciding which one to start with, speak with people you trust, staff, supporters, donors and friends at other nonprofits. See what they think. Side note: Your donors will LOVE that you asked them!

For the purpose of this post, you’ve chosen Twitter. You create your account, add the two photos (put some thought into this), and post your first tweet.

Many nonprofits then post again in a month, follow a dozen orgs/people, and then decide that Twitter is not working for them. Like any social media, one has to give it some hustle, time, and careful consideration. The posts need to be posts that people can learn from or feel engaged with, and have to be consistent. One or two posts here and there, without any thought, will not grow an audience.

The biggest lesson I learned that I can share with you all is that growing social media takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight, or even in weeks. It’s definitely a growth process. Before starting in social media one has to have a commitment to see it through. That means time and effort.

Post about what you know. Become a resource. If you serve people seeking asylum at the border, become a resource on that. You serve survivors of domestic violence, well you know what to do. Become a resource.

Share from others. On Twitter it’s called retweeting. Find articles that you learn from or feel could educate others and share them.

Connect with others. Keep doing that. It’s rare that I find social media accounts that are that good, that don’t have anyone that they follow. Everyone has something to learn.

Put a link in your profile to your website. Get people there.

Share your fundraising campaigns.

Don’t use twitter to share your Instagram photos. I’ve seen amazing nonprofits whose missions I love post only their Instagram photos, which comes up as a link. Imagine what that feed looks like.

I use social media to get in front of more people and to share nonprofit missions and Altrui work. Sharing good content helps. Sharing crap content doesn’t do anything for nonprofits or my business. Share content that can help people learn, grow and take action.

Thanks for reading! Questions or comments? dan @ altrui.org

Lessons learned from Altrui

I’m in my 21st month of Altrui Consulting and while I’m having the time of my life, I still get surprised by how many lessons I learn each day. Some of these come from my amazing clients, others from my super supportive peers, and still others by those of you who are kind enough to share your experiences on social media and teach people like me.

This past week I was reminded once again by how much I have to learn as a consultant, and thought it was a good time to share some lessons learned so far.

First, I’ve learned to slow down. To take it easy. Take it day by day. Focusing on what I have in front of me right this moment is super helpful.

Another big thing for me to learn has been around business housekeeping. I talk about this often and it’s super important. I have been in nonprofit fundraising for a long time, and I have a comfort zone with sharing my experiences and knowledge when it comes to fundraising and relationship building. At the same time I had never been a consultant or run my own business. Lots of learning curves! Keeping up with business work is crucial, and I have learned to take a few hours one day a week to solely focus on Quickbooks, invoices, vendor check-ins and marketing.

Next has to be communication. Clear, continuous communication. In my nonprofit career, I spent a lot of time with my team and peers. Lots of meetings and many discussions on whatever we were working on. This type of work is different. Sometimes there is only one conversation to plan the work and contract and then another to kick it off. Expectations, concerns, end-game wishes have to be clear to everyone involved. There has to be trust that you are listening, understanding, and fully focused on not only the work but them. This is something that is on the top of my mind with every client interaction.

Lists. I wasn’t a big list person before creating Altrui. I know. How did I survive? That has all changed now. I plan my weeks in advance and each day have my list of what client work I need to accomplish that day. Lists are incredibly helpful and I’m not sure why I wasn’t on the list band wagon before Altrui.

Build relationships. I learn more about this every day, even though it’s a huge part of what I offer to clients. Keep engaging. Keep listening. Pay attention all of the time.

Lastly, for now, I’ve learned to express gratitude even more. Gratitude is a big deal when you work for yourself and you run your own business. It’s important to share all of the gratitude that begins to fill you up. Let clients, vendors, peers and everyone else you learn from know how grateful you are for them.

Thank you for reading! Questions? Email me at dan@altrui.org

Your donors still need you

I’ve written posts that engage people who donate to nonprofits, reminding them that their favorite nonprofits still need them. While writing these and seeing the conversations that rise from them, I realized that our donors need us just as much.

When my husband and I donate to organizations, we’re doing so because their mission is something we care about, typically something we care about deeply. It’s important work to us, work that in some way is making the world a better place. Their work strikes at what causes are important to us.

I think this is important to write about and discuss because I also have heard from nonprofits who sometimes believe that with everything going on in the world, their mission and work may not be as important to their donors.

They are.

And your donors will do everything in their power to be able to continue to support your work and ensure your impact. This is especially true (perhaps always?) when you are in good relationship with your donors.

Keep this in mind. Whether or not your own world is getting back to normal or not, your donors are there. Keep them posted, keep reminding them why they donate to you, and keep asking them to help you make the world a better place.

Thank you for reading.

Notes from our Nonprofit Jobs Summit

Thank you to everyone who joined us!

Here is a list of notes and links from our summit last week on Clubhouse. There were many in the room new to Clubhouse, and that was wonderful. If you’re not on Clubhouse yet and would like an invite, connect with Alex or I and we’ll send you one upon availability.

First, an audio link: https://anchor.fm/fundraising/episodes/Clubhouse-Episode–Nonprofit-Jobs-Summit-with-Dan-Hanley-and-Alex-Simon-e12k1bt

Connect with our presenters:

Heather Campbell https://www.linkedin.com/in/heather-campbell-0880765a/

Erika Pinheiro is on Twitter at @eeerox. Vu Lee is also on Twitter at @nonprofitaf.

Hash tags mentioned: #fundraisingtwitter #ShowTheSalary #CrappyFundingPractices

If you are in the Los Angeles area and would like to subscribe to Dan’s List (not me!), a daily listing of nonprofit jobs, email Dan at dan@dans-list.org.

One of my favorite nonprofit job boards that I mentioned is the Colorado Nonprofit Association board: https://coloradononprofits.org/careers/nonprofit-jobs

Other job boards starting with Mac’s List which was brought up in the room:

Mac’s List (northwest US ): https://jobs.macslist.org/

Higher Ed Jobs: https://www.higheredjobs.com/

Inside Higher Ed Careers: https://careers.insidehighered.com/searchjobs/

Aspen Leadership Group: https://opportunities.aspenleadershipgroup.com/

Lindauer Group: https://www.lindauerglobal.com/

Annual Giving Network: https://agnresources.com/jobs/

On Twitter you can find Alex at @dalexsimon and myself at @fundraiserdan. We’re also both on LinkedIn!

Alex: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dalexsimon/

Dan: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danhanleyaltrui/

Open positions brought up in the room:

Al Otro Lado – Staff Attorney and Development Manager – https://alotrolado.org/employment-opportunities

Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice – Family Law Attorney – https://www.laclj.org/employment/

OkaySo – Techinical Lead – https://okayso.homerun.co/technical-lead/en

That’s it from our notes! Thank you again for joining us!

Supporting our nonprofit community

I’ve already written a post about our upcoming Nonprofit Jobs Summit, and this one is part reminder and part “let’s strengthen our nonprofit community”.

In trying to be creative of what value we could bring to the nonprofit community while wanting to create a conversation on Clubhouse, Alex Simon and I landed on the Nonprofit Jobs Summit. At first the data that 7% of our nonprofit peers had lost their job in the last year was a big enough reason. Then we created our own poll which showed 80% of those we are connected with on LinkedIn actually know a nonprofit peer in a job search.

We also realized that in the last few months we’ve both seen an increase in nonprofits looking for staff, especially in the development/fundraising arena, which is our home.

Since we announced the summit and began promoting it, I’ve been surprised by all of the conversations and connections that have happened, some ongoing. Part of me feels like the summit has already been successful. I certainly have met many peers since we started talking about this, and have also learned of awesome nonprofits that are finding value in platforms that promote their open positions.

I’m also happy that Heather Campbell with ThinkingAhead Executive Search, Erika Pinheiro with Al Otro Lado and Vu Le with Nonprofit AF will be joining us to share about hiring, job descriptions, and the diversity of positions in the nonprofit world.

Now I find us in the week of the summit and I am ecstatic. We may have ten guests join, possibly 20. My hope is we make a few connections, evn if it’s on the level of connections I’ve made since planning this in which I know more peers and know of more nonprofits doing work I love.

If you’re interested n joining, here are a couple of actions you can take that would help us:

If you’re seeking a position and know you want to join us on the 10th, connect with me (@danhanley) or Alex (@dalexsimon) on Clubhouse. That way you can see the link at the bottom of our profiles for the summit. We’ll also be able to “ping” you upon starting the room as a reminder. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn where we’ll have updates and reminders all week.

If you’re looking to fill positions, we’d love to make sure we get you “on stage” so please let one of us know ahead of time. We’ll have a list.

Lastly, for everyone, please have your Clubhouse profile updated with links to Twitter and or Instagram. That’s makes connecting for everyone easier.

Nonprofit Jobs Summit

Thursday, June 10th

2:00pm EST/11am PST

Clubhouse, in The Nonprofit Club club.

Thank you! I hope to see you there!

Nonprofit Jobs Summit

Updated June 3, 2021.

This post is to let you know of an idea that has become the upcoming Nonprofit Jobs Summit on Clubhouse (In the “The Nonprofit Club” club), hosted by myself and Alex Simon. We decided to do this because we know many in our nonprofit world have lost their jobs and we want to connect as many people with nonprofits as possible. It’s a small action and hopefully with just promoting the event and then having people attend and connect, we may be able to help those in search of employment. That would be awesome!

The summit will be June 10th at 11am PST/2pm EST. It will go an hour and a half or so and consist of a few presenters about nonprofit hiring and then will be open for people looking for a nonprofit position and nonprofits wanting to promote open positions. Each person and nonprofit will have a minute or two to share what they’re looking for.

The presenters are Vu Le with Nonprofit AF, Heather Campbell with Thinking Ahead Executive Search and Erika Pinheiro with Al Otro Lado. They’ll share about experiences in hiring and what nonprofits and candidates can do to strengthen their chances of being chosen. Then we’ll invite people “up to the stage” (Clubhouse speak) to take a minute to say what they are looking for as far as a position or what type of positions they have open. After the event we’ll share contact information via a blog post here.

Those looking for a nonprofit job: Please have your Clubhouse profile updated with a way to connect, and a Twitter and/or Instagram link.

Nonprofits looking to hire: Connect with Alex or I before the event and we will make sure you have time to present your open position(s).

The nonprofit community is wonderful. I have always felt so supported here, and love being a part of it. This is a chance for us to build community and support those looking for work. I look forward to seeing you there.

Questions? Email me at dan@altrui.org We’ll be sharing a link on social media soon. Alex’s Twitter is @dalexsimon and mine is @fundraiserdan. You can also connect with us on LinkedIn.

Dealing with fear

Every week I begin conversations with clients with a question about urgencies. Regardless of whether my client is a head of fundraising, a nonprofit CEO, a small business owner or a family wanting to solidify their philanthropy, I find that talking about their biggest urgency is a great way to begin the thought process on how I can best serve them.

Most of the conversations around this question center around…..

Fear.

Fear of not enough funds, not enough time, not enough capacity, not enough skills. The list can go on and on.

I like this reference for fear: face everything and rise.

And this is what we end up talking about: rising through our fears. What can be done about this fear? Is it as simple as just letting it go? Or are there specific actions we can take to get rid of the fear. Typically both of these come into play.

There are definitely actions that can be taken when becoming consumed with fear. In my personal journey, I find that if I create a list of actions (even if they have nothing to do with my fear) and get started on them one by one, that my fear usually subsides. This is mainly when the fear is around work and things I am accountable for, and simply taking actions help a lot.

Another action that always helps is talking about the fear with a peer or colleague. Always helpful. For both parties. Talking about it and taking action seem to free us of the power of fear, and allows us to continue our work in making the world a better place.

Thank you for reading. I’d be thrilled to discuss fears with you, especially ones related to nonprofit fundraising and consulting. You can email me at dan@altrui.org

It’s OK to ask for help!

In eighteen months of working with Altrui clients, the number one thing I end up reminding people is that it’s OK to ask for help. This has become an important part of mental health wellness.

Help from your team. From your boss. From your board.

Many fundraising teams are overwhelmed. Some have less resources than they did a year ago, with more expectations put on them.

Success, however you look at it, is possible. It’s easier to get to when you have support. And remember that people cannot support you if they don’t know you need help.

Here’s something to consider. Grab a coffee (I’m a coffee guy) or tea, create a list of urgent items that need to be accomplished, and then next to each item add who you think could help with it.

Think big. The list of people who can help you can be more like a dream list.

Regardless of who or how, the important thing is that you are good with asking for help. We can’t, and shouldn’t have to, go at it alone.

Thank you for reading!

Burning out is not mandatory

I’m on a road trip to work with some Altrui clients. While planning the trip I decided to plan time for self care. Burnout is common in the world of nonprofit fundraising, and although I am far from that I want to keep it that way and be an example to my clients of taking time for oneself.

Self care looks different for each of us. For me it means doing some camping on my own and spending time with friends in my intimate circle. In between Altrui client time and project work I’ll be doing both.

Burnout is real in our field, specifically the field of nonprofit fundraising. I could also say it’s real in the nonprofit world in general, and since I work specifically in fundraising that’s what I am writing about.

Expectations, deadlines, budgets, mission work, too many hours, lack of supportive leadership. All of these can not only add stress to one’s life, they can add to personal burnout. You may see burnout all around you. You may see co-workers having tough times at work. I remember talking to a fundraiser at a nonprofit a few days before an event and they said “aren’t we supposed to be super stressed right now.”

No. We don’t have to be stressed, and we don’t have to burnout.

Remember when becoming so burned out that your only solution is to quit your job is not the best way to deal with burning out. I suggest we as a collective community deal with issues leading to burn out long before anything like that begins to make sense in our heads. And when we begin to practice this and practice self-care, it makes it easier for other to consider it.

And let’s support each other on a deeper level. It makes a difference.

Thanks for reading. And as always, my email is dan@altrui.org if you have any questions. Or comments!

Hiring a new development team member

All is going well at your nonprofit and then you receive the news that your amazing fundraising team member is leaving. It’s time to hire a new development person!

I’m offering this post because I’ve been part of two searches in the past couple of months and have had several others reach out to me for advice in finding the next right person. Keep in mind that this post is more about finding the next person, less about hiring them.

There are a few things you can do this week to make sure your next candidate search is ready to go whenever you need it to be. First is the job description. When was the last time anyone laid eyes on it, let alone got it close to what the actual job is? Doing this before you need to post the position is always helpful.

I suggest adding this to your calendar and going over it with the person currently doing the work. Have a current job description along updated copy for the posting will make this process so much easier for you. It also my help you find someone sooner rather than later.

By the way, make sure the job posting includes your salary range. The salary range is of course up to you, and it won’t come as a surprise that I suggest you give this good consideration which will end up having your position be of higher interest.

Create a network of people you know and work with who will support you in spreading the word of your position. The more people who are sharing the job posting, along with their excitement for your organization, the better.

Have a list of online resources where you can post the position. This is any easy document to have and to keep updated. In Los Angeles we have Dan’s List, an amazing, daily email sent our every day by a development professional in the area listing open positions in the LA area. It’s a wonderful way to get in front of people working in the nonprofit world or part of it somehow.

Lastly, now that you have the job description solid and up to date, have clear copy ready as to what the expectations are of this person, what you want them to be accountable for in the first year, and what your absolutes are in regards to their experience. This is all something you can work on now, rather than worry about when you need to start the process. Having this ready to go will make the period of time when you are doing the search much less stressful.

I hope this is helpful to you. Please email me at dan@altrui.org if you have any questions.

Thank you for reading!


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