Do you ever get discouraged and feel like you’re not really getting anywhere?

Last week I was listening to a teaching from a well-known Christian teacher who talked about this very topic. It’s easy to feel discouraged and it’s easy to forget about the new and great things that are happening. That’s why it’s so important to keep a list of things that are going well. Whether you keep this in a journal, in your calendar or on your desk the important thing is that you add something to the list each day. Then at the end of each week you’ll have something to encourage you that yes, even though you may feel like things aren’t moving very fast, they are moving forward.

Each little step forward is worth celebrating.

Looking forward to hearing about your (growing) list of things that are moving forward!

Here’s the quote of the week:

When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself. - Wayne Dyer

Kind regards,


Article of the week:

Great Storytelling Tips from Pixar

Who better to take storytelling tips from than a former Pixar staffer? In Take Your Fundraising Pitch from Mediocre to Memorable with These Storytelling Tips, Oren Jacob shares his tips on developing great stories. While this article is geared towards seeking business capital, the tips are easily translated to the nonprofit fundraising context. Here are the cliffnotes. Continue Reading

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Here’s a summary of recent articles and blogs related to fundraising and nonprofit organizations. As always, please share this with others who might benefit from the information. Thanks again for reading!

Awareness / Communications

  • Empathy Map Your Way to Relevant Messages You know it, and I know it. Connecting with your audience is harder than ever. And that means more of your org’s messages than ever before are ignored or deleted. So how do we cut through the noise? @NancySchwartz
  • How to Create a Business Card That's Actually Useful Many people would argue that face-to-face introductions leave the longest-lasting mark on the successful positioning of your brand. But networking events are busy places, with lots of names and faces to remember...@HubSpot
  • Connect as Powerfully as Lupita Nyong’o: Messages Matter @ Oscars & Nonprofits  Take 3 minutes to listen to this incredible speech. Relevance rules at the Oscars too. And for all of us nonprofit communicators and fundraisers, there’s much to learn from Lupita’s words and delivery. @NancySchwartz
  • The Benefits of Using Content to Show Your Nonprofit's Impact Using content to show your impact, whether it be through videos, a blog, images, interactive website pages, or downloadable guides or brochures, is becoming more and more important to your current and future supporters. Even Charity Navigator is adjusting its rating system to take into account how impact is reported on and communicated to supporters and the general public. @HubSpot

Fundraising Planning

  • Tapping Into Social Proof to Gain New Donors Social proof is the concept that a personal will follow suit the thoughts and actions already validated by others. On the Internet, marketers have looked to social poof as a measurement of a product or company’s value of credibility. @stayclassysd
  • How to Connect with a New Generation of Donors and Volunteers The Millennial generation—those 80 million folks born roughly between 1979-99—may not be your organization’s largest contributors today, but these “digital natives” are poised to receive the largest transfer of wealth from their Baby Boomer and Greatest Generation parents and grandparents. @Network4Good
  • Highlights of the first Clayton Burnett Annual Lectures Last December fundraising agency Clayton Burnett held its first series of Annual Lectures in London. Twenty two experienced fundraisers, charity sector leaders, and researchers shared some of the key lessons in fundraising they had learned on a range of topics – from leadership, innovation, emotions, and branding to retention, change, and culture. @howardlake
  • Why Cultivating Sustained Giving Makes Our Nonprofits Better Would a business ever try to lose money acquiring a customer? The answer might surprise you. @npEngage
  • Are Gift Acknowledgements Really Necessary? I don’t have a lot of unfounded opinion in my workshops. As a practitioner, as a writer, as an author of how-to books and a trainer, I trust research. I trust experts. I trust proof. But I do fiercely cling to one bald assumption: That the nonprofit with the best “thank you” program wins. @BloomerangTech

Fundraising Tactics

  • Is face to face fundraising really worth it? Before I start I should make two confessions:1) I am biased - my companies analyse data, help donor retention programs, acquisition, legacies and major donors and regular giving conversions by phone, mail and online, mostly in NZ and Australia.  I don't 'do face to face. 2) I am not very good at face to face fundraising. @SeanTriner
  • Asking as an Intentional Conversation: Six Simple Steps to Nailing the Gift! 6 Steps to the Intentional Asking Conversation Ok, you are ready to ask for the gift. What do you do? Here is an amazing approach from the very smart Andrea Kihlstedt, one of the masters of our business. @GailPerryNC
  • Maintain (or Even Increase) Your Annual Fund During a Capital Campaign In my most recent Ask the Fundraising Expert video, you’ll learn how to maintain – or even increase – your annual fund during a capital campaign. @AmyEisenstein
  • How to Break Through Your Money Ceiling Did you know there’s an upper limit to how much money you’re comfortable asking for? It’s called a money ceiling and we all have one. We’ve all got a number and it’s somewhere close to the biggest gift you can imagine getting. @SandyRees
  • We Require 2 Weeks Notice For Sudden Death Last week, Phyllis Freedman, the gift planning specialist and just plain savvy fundraiser, asked in her blog, What’s Wrong With This Picture? The question — and far more importantly, the answer — deserves everyone’s immediate attention, but especially those working in planned giving. @AgitatorEditors

What Others Are Doing

  • From the Olympics to the Oscars - Non-profit Newsjacking Gold Here are some great examples of how bloggers have "newsjacked" the Sochi Olympics and the Oscars and tips on how non-profits can use this tactic. @WildApricot
  • Thank-You Letters Donors Will Love When donors are thanked and shown how their gifts made a difference, they are more likely to give again. Thank-you letters and notes are at their best when they make donors feel appreciated and let them know how and who they helped. @JoanneFritz
  • Ellen’s Oscar Selfie Raises $1.5 Million for Humane Society If you watched the Academy Awards, you know that Oscars’ host, Ellen DeGeneres, kept pulling out her Samsung Galaxy Note 3 during the show.  She managed to gather a bunch of celebrities, including...@kanter
  • Causes Benefit from Famous Selfie and a Polar Plunge We saw an over-the-top bit of viral sharing over the weekend when Ellen DeGeneres tweeted a now infamous selfie of squirming celebrities trying to be part of a MOMENT. A lot of people (more than 3 million) rose to Ellen's challenge to make that selfie the most shared Tweet ever. That was the "call to action" of the year. @JoanneFritz

Online / Technology

Leadership / Other

  • Nonprofit Boardroom Elephants and the "Nice Guy" Syndrome: A Complex Where major failures occur, be certain that the board or outside counsel determines the causes by conducting a post mortem analysis. What can be done about the elephant in the boardroom? @HuffPostBiz
  • Charitable Deduction Is Again Under Assault Ever since Barack Obama became President in 2009, we have had to endure his annual budget proposal to limit the tax deductibility of charitable contributions.  And each year, we, along with almost the entire nonprofit sector, scream in frustration, knowing the terrible impact it would have on nonprofits.  This year is no different. @foundationgroup
  • A Better Board Will Make You Better Most nonprofit boards are ineffective. We suspect that few people in the nonprofit sector would argue with that proposition. Although some of them might sit on a board that they believe performs at a high level, they’re unlikely to deny the larger point...@SSIReview

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