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Network for Good

This just in: Fundraising is hard.

This just in: Fundraising is hard.

In the category of "Tell Us Something We Don't Know," last week Compass Point published UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising, which concludes, among other things, that nonprofits struggle with high turnover, difficulty finding qualified staff, and a lack of a holistic orientation towards fundraising. I had no idea!

I intended to write a summary and commentary on the piece, but the week got away from me – and better still, Katya Andresen of Network for Good has already done both for me here

Oh, I don't know – I don't mean to be so snarky about the study. It's a good read, and worth a few minutes of your time. That said, I'm not sure I'd consider it groundbreaking. If you've been in the nonprofit space for more than two weeks you knew all of this already. 

Fundraising is hard work, and despite what some people will say it isn't sales or marketing or communications. It is its own discipline. It requires practice and patience and determination. And more than ever, it requires leadership.

Yes, fundraising is hard work, but it is work worth doing – and work that, more than ever, desperately needs to be done. Call me old fashioned, but if we want better fundraising leadership the place to start is within ourselves. I'm not saying we don't need structural and cultural change; that would help. However, to overcome the obstacles we have to decide we're going to stop complaining about them and start figuring out ways to climb over them. 

A short commentary on fundraising incentives.

Long-time colleagues know that I’m not a huge fan of fundraising gifts and incentives — I think they are nice as recognition tools, but not particularly smart when used as a way to drive action. I’ve never really taken the chance to expand on my thoughts, though, and so I jumped at the offer by Katya Andresen of Network for Good to riff a bit on why. 

The full text of the article, running today at Katya’s Non-Profit Marketing Blog, is here.

I love a soapbox, and I thank Katya for offering one!

Homer Simpson for Nonprofits

I’m pleased to pass on that Event 360 has partnered with Network for Good and Sea Change Strategies to sponsor a new eBook, Homer Simpson for Nonprofits: The Truth about How People Really Think and What It Means for Promoting Your Cause.

This guide covers the basics of behavioral economics and how you can use these principles to craft more effective messages that will win the hearts and minds of your audience.

Some of the ideas:

  • Small, not big - The bigger the scale of what you’re communicating, the smaller the impact on your audience
  • Hopeful, not hopeless - People tend to act on what they believe they can change—If your problem seems intractable, enormous and endless, people won’t be motivated to help
  • Peer pressure still works (Nope, it doesn’t end after high school) - People are more likely to do something if they know other people like them are doing it. 

You can download the eBook here.