#GivingTuesday Gratitude (& a free webinar)

gratitude, fundraising, free webinarPhew. You made it through another #GivingTuesday. Awesome!

Now what?

Have you thought about how to thank the fab donors who donated to you on #GivingTuesday?

Have you pondered how you’re going to handle the thank-then-turn-around-and-ask tango that happens between #GivingTuesday and year-end?

Do you have ideas for how to infuse gratitude into your donor loooooooove strategy so you have an explosive, joy-filled fundraising year in 2017?

Maybe a tidge? Maybe not at all? Maybe you have but want new ideas for changing things up?

Well have I got good news for you: I’m doing a free webinar next week with the Goddess of Gratitude, Shanon Doolittle!!!!

Gratitude-a-palooza: A gazillion ways to make your donors feel like rock stars
Wednesday, December (yikes, December!) 7, 2016

 

1-2Pm Pacific

Can’t join us live? No big. It’ll be recorded. But you have to sign up to get the recording. So sign up, sit back, and soak up all the ideas me and Shanon have to share with you.

Oh, yeah, we’ll also have lots of time to answer your questions so bring ’em on!

No more light knocking: Unexpected Inspiration from #12NTC

door, old door, wooden door

No one can hear you when you knock lightly!

“Stop knocking lightly on the door of change. We’ve got to knock it down! People are counting on you.” 

By day, Jeff Shuck runs Event 360. By night (or perhaps in the wee hours of the morning as he has 4 kids!), he blogs at Your Part Matters.

At the 2012 Nonprofit Technology Conference, Jeff gave a session on using data to effectively segment your audiences. There was talk of regression and p-values and pivot tables. Not what many would consider “inspiring”, although highly useful.

That’s why his closing was so unexpected…and awesome.

After geeking out for 87 minutes, Jeff took the last 3 minutes to implore the audience to get serious about doing good. To do more. To do it louder. To get more people involved. To really give this making the world a better place stuff everything we’ve got.

I said a really loud “Amen!” and whooped a lot at the end. If it’d been remotely appropriate, I would’ve stood on my chair and cheered.

We’d spent the morning listening to Dan Roam, author of Blah, Blah, Blah, so we all had visual representation on our minds. But Jeff’s words gave us all a mental picture that we can use every day to gauge our effort, if not our impact:

Did we knock the door down today or simply lightly knock, hoping not to disturb anyone with our do-gooder ways?

Perhaps it’s not realistic that every day we’ll knock the door off its hinges. But just by asking the question, we’re way more likely to way more often, right?

Even if you’re not an Excel whiz or a data-head, check out his session for that last bit. It’s worth it.

For  more inspiration, check out the Do Gooder Video award winners, which were announced at the conference. (Get out the hankies!)

 

Dream: verb and noun

When you have a dream while sleeping, that happens in spite of you. You’re asleep, after all.

When you have a dream while awake, it happens because of you. Your dreams reflect who you are and what you stand for. It is both verb and noun. “I dream of a better world and I’m making that dream come true.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. epitomized dreaming in action. His “I Have a Dream” speech is as resonant today as it was on August 28, 1963.

Below shows another dream in action. It’s the dream of Severn Suzuki as described in an address she gave to the United Nations. She is 13 years old.

What’s your dream? Are you working every day to make it come true?

Because We Can! A Tribute to Senator Scott White

Senator Scott White

Scott White: waving to voters the day after he was elected

On Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 2:14PM Pacific, I published a blog post on the iSector.

On Friday, October 21, 2011 at 6:11PM Pacific, I got a phone call from my dear friend, Alison Carl White.

On Saturday, December 24, 2011 at 8:24AM Pacific, I was running around the seawall in Vancouver, B.C. in gale force winds and torrential downpour.

This three moments are inextricably linked.

The iSector was the outgrowth of my long-held belief that the name of our sector–currently, the Nonprofit Sector–does a huge disservice to what we are trying to accomplish. I can’t say I love the name ‘iSector’, and I will continue to search for a better name, but at least it gets us away from referring to ourselves as the ‘Non-Progress Sector’.  Publishing that post was a big moment for me.

The phone call from Alison was another big moment, but in a very different–and tragic–way. She was calling because she had just learned that her husband, Senator Scott White, had died. Alison is 39. They have two young children. Scott embodied health, energy and leadership. To say this was a shock would be the understatement of 2011.

What struck me most about Scott was his belief that so much was possible. While most of us would scratch our heads, shuffle our feet (looking a lot like Eeyore), and wonder how we’d get out of this mess (insert whichever mess might cause you consternation, e.g. education, transportation, the environment), Scott was bounding along in pursuit of a better path forward (sort of like Tigger, with the brains of Owl).

I imagine Scott knew a roadblock when he saw one, but he never seemed to focus on its presence. He always seemed focused on how to find a dignified way around it that would make the world a better place. He was pragmatic, for darn sure. But he was also an optimist.

And this brings me back to that gusty run. As I came around the point, it blew so hard I actually fell over (not a pretty moment). I was so wet that my shoes were making a bizarre squishing noise every time my foot struck the ground. You’d think I would’ve been cursing this run.

Instead, I was grinning ear to ear.

Why? Because I could be running in that crazy weather. Because I had a choice. Because it was possible.

In moments like these, I now think about Scott. I think about what’s possible. I try to think bigger. As big as Scott thought about what’s possible.

I believe it is possible for us to  truly make the world a better place. Call me a Polyanna. Call me naive. I really don’t care.

I believe–regardless of tax status and official sector name–that if you get up every morning set on making the world a better place, that you can. And that you do.

On that run, I had a vision of a sea of people with t-shirts, badges, ball caps, tattoos, and buttons that all said: Because we can!

Because we can make the world a better place. If we couldn’t, why bother trying?

We should try. Every day. In ways big and small. We should try.

We should make the world a better place, because we can.

 

 

 

Charity or Philanthropy: take your pick

Charity and Philanthropy: both bring light to the world

Here’s a question during this season of giving: If you volunteer at the local food bank or toss coins into the Salvation Army bucket, are you being charitable or philanthropic?

Last year at this time, Aktkar Badshah, who heads up Microsoft’s Corporate Citizenship office, spoke at AFP Washington’s Annual Meeting. He made an interesting distinction between charity and philanthropy. It’s a distinction that I’ve been mulling over for twelve months now. It may seem like quibbling over semantics but I think it’s worth getting clear on this distinction as you head into the final throes of 2011.

Akthar explained that charity is an individual act that benefits the community at large whereas philanthropy increases the well-being of human kind. In this construct, charity is shorter term and, it would seem, lower impact whereas philanthropy is longer term and higher impact.

This is not to say there’s anything wrong with charitable acts. Quite the contrary! They add up to a philanthropic culture and that’s what we’re going for, i.e. enough charitable acts eventually lead to wide-scale impact, or philanthropy.

During this time of year when your supporters have doing good on the brain, the question is: are you creating opportunities for charity or fueling philanthropy? Depending on your goals, either is fine. Just be clear on which one it is.