Last week, I was in San Antonio for the annual AFP International Conference on Philanthropy. It was an amazing conference with many of the brightest minds in our field in attendance. Fortunately, many of those bright minds led workshops.
And since lots of us were tweeting like crazy (over 5,000 tweets from a 3-day conference!), most of the best tidbits can be found on Twitter.
Of course, when I decided to do a compilation of my favorite bits of wisdom, I saw that my friend Gail Perry had done the same thing. Great minds think alike! (You can read Gail’s article at www.gailperry.com). I’m going to share mine, too, and if you follow her too, it won’t hurt you to see some of these twice.
Here are some of my favorite fundraising nuggets from the event.
Have you ever thought how different history would have been if Martin Luther King, Jr. had said “I have a strategic plan”? Dreams inspire. @gailperrync
How donors define oversolicitation: being asked to give again before learning first gift had an impact. @rachelmuir @gailperry
Your donors are being approached about & converted into monthly givers; get in the game or get left behind. @dan_blakemore
You don’t choose donors. They choose you. And then it’s your move. @SMacLaughlin
Opportunity only presents itself to a prepared mind. #gettingtoyes @FundraiserBeth
To get your nonprofit story right, step back! Think about your audience before you present your problem in your marketing. @rdhawthorne
It’s seven times more expensive to get new donors than to keep current ones. @mattforgood
Each ask should have 2 TYs: thanks (gratitude) and thanks (accountability; here is what your gift did). @donorguru @FundraiserBeth
Your challenge this year is to thank donors in a way that doesn’t require a #10 envelope. @donorguru @sldoolittle
55% of nonprofits have no plan for donor relations. @sldoolittle
Stop producing an annual report. Produce an impact report. Show where the money was used. (And put a face on the cover). @Network4Good
The internet is not “the Easy Button” for fundraising, especially mid-level donors. People still want meaningful contacts. @emthesooner
Millenials ACTIVELY follow only 5 organizations. If you don’t interact with them, welcome to their outer circle. @rdhawthorne
Donor loyalty is not about the donor being loyal to you, it is you being loyal to the donor. @harveymckinnon
Smiley faced kids don’t work! Sad faced kids tell donors “I can help those kids.” @thattomahern @gailperry
Major gifts: What will the donor feel as a result of this cultivation move? @tammyzonker @gailperry
It’s not about the WHAT. It’s about the SO WHAT. @blackwelderlisa
Be clear about your #1 goal and measure it. @leamerman
Make communication with donors natural so they don’t say ‘oh dang, they’re cultivating me.’ Dan Samuels
And since I was tweeting out the nuggets from the sessions I attended, here are a few that I tweeted myself:
Complacency is enemy #1 for nonprofits.
There’s a difference between spectators and fans. What does your nonprofit have?
Stop asking people to support your annual fund. Boring. Ask them to help you change lives.
Build a brain trust of people to support and guide you. It’s a safe place to learn and grow.
If you are a workaholic, they will always expect you to be a workaholic. Time for a different strategy.