Tag: social media

Tips for an amazing conference

Many of my colleagues and friends in the nonprofit world are in Las Vegas attending AFP ICON. I’m very new to AFP (just joined last month), and although I won’t be there I do have some ideas of how to make this conference even more amazing for those attending.

My tips for an amazing conference have mostly to do with actions to take once you get home. Conferences are filled with awesome speakers and an endless flow of information, ideas, and actions to take. What happens many times though is that, upon returning to the office, reality sets in and the business of the work takes over. Soon all of the wonderful notes, ideas, and business cards are in a drawer.

Here are my tips to help make your conference even more amazing!

First, keep track of everyone you meet. Take their card, connect with them on LInkedIn, or simply make a list to refer to. Once you get home calendar in contacts for all of them. It could be two or three a day, or a week. Don’t let all of these amazing contacts go. Reach out to them, and plan it.

Next, those notes! My last conference I typed notes right into a document. For the first time, I have actually referred to them many times. Take action on what you hurriedly typed in. Calendar ideas to take action on or meetings to present the possibility of these actions with your team.

Next, take time to connect with companies and people on social media. I am on Twitter and LinkedIn, so I focus my efforts there. If anyone I meet is on one of those platforms, I make sure I connect with them either during or after the conference.

Once social media is done, another tip in making your conference experience amazing is to calendar thank yous to people who taught you something mind-blowing or had some intense affect on you. Send a personal, hand-written note to thank them and let them know the affect they had on you.

Lastly, hold on to the excitement you felt during the conference. Don’t let anyone take that from you. If you learned a great way to plan your next direct appeal, try it!

The key with all of these is to keep the conference going, to take what you learned and those you met with you as you continue to make the world a better place back home at your nonprofit.

I hope this helps! Any questions, just email me at dan@altrui.org

Thank you fo reading! And if you’d like to see me in action at a conference, I’ll be attending the Nonprofit Storytelling Conference in San Antonio in October: https://nonprofitstorytellingconference.com/

An unforgettable thank you

Thinking about my experiences of how my organization has thanked donors, or how organizations I support have thanked me, there is an unforgettable experience that is at the top of the list.

I had made an ask of a donor who had not donated in three years. They hadn’t responded to anything I had sent. Add to this that they had donated before my time with the organization and didn’t know me.

One day I was making a call and the donor accidentally picked up the phone. They were in a rush to get out of the house with the kids, and could not speak. I asked if I could email them what I was going to speak about, and they said yes!

I emailed the ask. They had a couple of questions which I responded to quickly and soon they decided to give again. They doubled the size of their already large first gift. What a wonderful experience.

I asked my board chair to call them to thank them. This was a common occurence for me and them, so my board chair knew what to do and made the call.

The donor answered!

Immediately after the call, the donor called ME!

They said they had given hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past many years, to several organizations, and had never received a thank you call from a board chair. This of course made my heart swell, mainly because they were taking the time to thank me, and share how they felt about an action that was common place for our fundraising team.

I left that organization to create Altrui, and am ecstatic that that donor continues to generously give.

A simple thank you can catapult your relationships with your donor.

Thanks for reading!

Quick tips on building relationships with donors

Building relationships with donors is something we focus on a lot here at Altrui, and I thought now would be a great time to write about that as we introduce our new website and welcome people here for the first time.

Fundraising is all about relationships. Regardless of your role in fundraising at your nonprofit, you can be part of the relationship building with donors.

Here are 6 quick tips for building lasting relationships with donors:

  1. First, set aside time to communicate with donors. This is not about making an ask. It’s simply checking in, sharing impact, or a quick reminder on how grateful you are for their continued support.
  2. Next, get comfortable with the phone. Call your donors. Even if you leave a voicemail you will have affect on them. Let them know of a story you just heard from the program teams. Remember to keep this all about building your relationship with them and not about asking for a donation.
  3. Another great action is to send a personal thank you note. I recently received one and it made my day. All I could think while reading the note was “good on you” for the person who sent it.
  4. We know that thanking is a huge part of building relationships with donors. I like to engage organization leadership and board members in the thanking process. For many donors, a thank you call from a board member adds another connection to the organization and mission.
  5. I also like to share news articles that have anything to do with the mission. These are easy to do, simply copying and pasting the link into an email to the donor. This is especially helpful when your organization is mentioned in the article.
  6. One last idea to help you build relationships with donors is around events. As more events are being planned, carve out some time for donors during the event. I like to have a list of donors I want to make sure I at least say hit to during the event. It definitely makes a difference if you can drop by their table to say hi, even if it’s super quick!

There are many actions you can take to build relationships with your donors. The key is to take them!

Thank you for reading!

Your 2022 development plan

This post shares ideas that can be used for both nonprofits and for-profit organizations. It focuses on development/fundraising, and many of the ideas can be incorporated to a business plan.

First things first. If you haven’t created a development plan yet for 2022, begin work on it today. It’s as simple as creating a document titled “2022 Development Plan”. The key in starting now is that you’ve started the process.

In my mind, a development plan, or fundraising plan, is a road map for how we will fundraise this year, who participates in it, what are our goals, what are our challenges, and what we need to accomplish the goals. I’ve seen plans that are dozens of pages long with small type and ones that are simple Power point documents that are specific ideas and goals. Choose which one best suits you and your organization.

Keep your plan positive. Keep in mind you want a plan that can be accomplished with your current capacity. Keep your plan realistic with the goals. For example, if you raised $50,000 from individuals in 2021 and your 2022 development plan is to raise $500,000 there is an issue, unless you already have committed donations close to that amount.

I like to break down my plan to revenue-generating categories: individual giving, corporate, civic/faith, and institutional (foundations) are some for a good start. Some organizations like to have specific line items for board giving and major gifts. Others may have some type of income, which I would keep out of a development plan. If you have special events, there are different ways to have that in the plan. The two most common are to have that revenue separated out completely, or (#2), have event revenue within the other categories based on the category that generates the revenue.

Be sure to have a part of your plan that includes who is participating in what. This can be super helpful, especially when presenting to groups, like your board.

Every revenue area comes with a fundraising goal. Like I mentioned earlier, keep it realistic. I’ve seen many nonprofits toss a ridiculous amount into individual giving because they had to add revenue, with no reality in that amount. If you know your annual fundraising event will be different because of , say COVID, keep that in mind when creating your goals. I fully encourage thought-out growth and positive thinking, just keep it realistic.

What are items, events, people, situations that can possibly keep you from reaching your goals? I usually create a one-pager listing these.

Lastly, consider all of your ideas you have, and others have offered, to reach the fundraising goal of each revenue category. This becomes your check-off list. For example, under individual giving you may have the following: expressions of gratitude, impact sharing, phone calls, one-on-one meetings, video calls with the director or a program manger, increased direct mail, increased e-appeals. This list can go on and on. I’m sure you get the idea.

I realize this all may seem over-simplified. For me, it’s not. A development plan does not have to difficult or complicated. After all, this document is your plan for the year, the plan you will use to be successful.

Thank you for reading!

Year-end fundraising begins now

I’ve been excitedly waiting to write and share this post.

Yes, I’m writing about year-end fundraising. Yes, I know you just finished your year-end fundraising efforts and you probably don’t want to read anything about year-end fundraising for at least a month or two.

The fun thing about this is that success with a year-end campaign really begins now. You can have the best, most strategic plan and appeals and e-appeals, written by the best people and supported by the best staff. All of this and you can still struggle.

That’s because if you lose your donors during the year, it’s difficult to get them back for a year-end gift. Not impossible, just difficult.

So let’s make it easier for us, and better for those who support us, (and those we serve!) by taking care of the donor part now, and all year!

Experience has proven that we cannot ignore our donors, volunteers, and other supporters all year and then expect a donation when we ask.

What works well for my clients is to add donor contacts into your development plan for the year. Contacts can be an email, a Thanks for Giving Day call, an impact update, a thank you note or call, etc.

Creating practices of gratitude expression and sharing impact strengthen relationships with those who support you.

If you haven’t created a development plan yet, see my next post!

Thank you for reading!

Thanks for Giving Day is November 18th

Time flies, and here we are already in the end of October!

That means that Thanks for Giving Day is coming up! Thursday, November 18th, nonprofit board members and staff members will call donors to say one simple thing:

Thank you!

That’s it. It’s all about thanking the donor.

If you haven’t done a Thanks for Giving Day before, here is a quick list to help:

Ask board members to sign up to make calls/send emails.

Create a list of donors who have donated in the last year.

Create a quick script for board members.

Send each board member a list of donor names and contact information, along with the script.

And go!

Something that has helped me in the past is asking board members to send anything they learned about the donor during the call. Had they moved? Do they have a new email address?

Give it a try. Thanks for Giving Day is a great way to support you in building life-long relationships with your donors. It also a great way to get board members engaged with fundraising in a fun way.

Thank you for reading!

Giving Tuesday

If you saw the title of this post and wanted to immediately move on, this post is for you!

I totally get if you want to pass on Giving Tuesday. You’re busy, it’s too big for you, and with as many times as you get asked to give that day, you don’t want to put your donors through that.

And since you’ve begun reading this, give me just another minute to share some ideas with you.

First, whether you decide to participate in Giving Tuesday or not, take some time to make sure your website is ready for new donors. How easy is it to donate? Is it clear what the impact of the donation is? Is there information on how a donor can connect with you directly?

Next, take a moment or two to review your social media. Is your most recent post on Twitter from last year? Are your Facebook photos up to date?

Now, consider peer-to-peer fundraising! This is a great way to engage with donors and their friends, and Giving Tuesday is a fantastic way to introduce this.

Now consider Giving Tuesday. It could be a great time to share your impact on social media. It could be a great day to just thank your donors. It could also be a good day to have an event that promotes your organization and mission. You can use Giving Tuesday to promote it among supporters and the press.

I love Giving Tuesday because it allows even the smallest of nonprofits a chance to ride on the coat tails of a huge event. Simply using the hashtag #GivingTuesday on that day and the days prior may get you in front of people who don’t know you. I’ve also had success in planning events that go along with the day.

Give it a try!

Thanks for reading. Any questions? dan (a) altrui.org

Thank you for two years of Altrui!

Today I am celebrating two years of Altrui Consulting and am filled with gratitude!

Two years ago I left the job I thought I would retire from, created a website that included a few thoughts on how I might be able to help nonprofits with relationship building and fundraising, and Altrui was born.

Although I had been in the nonprofit fundraising world for many years, the worlds of consulting and running my own business were all new to me. There is a long list of lessons over the past two years, and every day I learn something.

It’s been a magical road. I have loved every minute of it. While Altrui I have grown, we’ve been honored to work with nonprofits that are making the world a better, safer place. Their impact inspires me every day, and I am lucky to be a part of their work.

My thank-you list is extensive. If you have supported me in any way, thank you. That means a kind word, a warm welcome, sharing your experience, listening, a retweet, a kind comment on LinkedIn, or if you are one of hundreds whom I have learned from. I am forever grateful for that and happy to have you in my life.

I am ecstatic to see what year three brings!

Thank you all!

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

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!


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