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Klein & Roth Consulting E-Newsletter

February, 2012 

Dear Friend,

We hope 2012 has started out well for you and you are looking forward to raising the money you need this year.  This issue of our occasional e-newsletter has some great information, a call to action, and upcoming training opportunities you won’t want to miss.

In This Issue:

  • March 6th Webinar with Stan Yogi
  • If you Love it, Fund it! By Kim Klein
  • Come on in, the Water’s Fine! Jumping into the Social Networking Pool by Rona Fernandez
  • Money for Our Movements: A Social Justice Fundraising Conference
  • Hidden Talents of Klein & Roth Consultants: Stan Yogi
  • Please “Like" us on Facebook 


Webinar with Stan Yogi

You’ve Got the Gift, Now What?:  Practical Ideas for Donor Cultivation
featuring Stan Yogi
March 6th, 2012 10am PST
More information and registration at GIFT

 

If you Love it, Fund it!

by Kim Klein

I admit that one of my favorite days of the whole year is Valentine’s Day.  It is not just the romantic aspect, although I am so lucky to have had the perfect Valentine for the last 23 years: my partner, Stephanie Roth. But I also just love the that there is an international holiday devoted to telling people you love them—as friends, as lovers, as parents, as children. At Nonprofits Talking Taxes, we decided to use Valentine’s Day to kick off a month long appreciation for what taxes do for us.  We are calling it, “Love it, Fund It” and we invite everyone to join us. 

As we go about our business, we are driving on roads and walking on sidewalks paid for by taxes and safely eating at restaurants that must meet health standards, the development and enforcement of which are paid for by taxes. Some of us who have children are sending them to schools supported by taxes. 

As people who work in nonprofits, we see how shrinking budgets are hurting our communities: perhaps you have seen clients struggling, lost funding for a program, or struggle to raise funds for your organization.  Nonprofits exist in the world to promote the common good and budget cuts make that harder at every turn.

A healthy budget requires looking at revenues as well as cuts. All our communities have seen in the past few decades in California are cuts to things we depend on. But the time has come to say, “We love it, let’s fund it!”

So we ask you, “What do you love that is paid for by taxes?”  Let us know by going to http://nonprofitstalkingtaxes.org/uncategorized/love-it-fund-it/ and posting on Facebook or Twitter.  Download a poster and take a picture of yourself with something you love paid for by taxes. 

Join the movement today!  

 

Come on in, the Water's Fine! Jumping into the Social Networking Pool

by Rona Fernandez

In any given fundraising workshop or consulting session that I conduct with a client, I often hear things like:

 “If we could just figure out how to raise money through email and Facebook, we’d be set!”
“One of our board members said we should have a Youtube channel. Is that really necessary?”
“We have a Facebook page and a Twitter feed, why aren’t we raising more money online?”
 
Like any fundraising strategy or new technology, an organization’s ability to raise more money through social media depends on many factors, and is a long-term strategy in any case.  The reality is that online giving is the fastest growing form of fundraising.  This is due to donors being more comfortable with making gifts online as much as it is about solicitations being made through email or social media.  (For example, many donors will go to an organization’s website and make a gift online after receiving a fundraising appeal in the mail.)
 
But like any other type of fundraising, online fundraising is all about relationships. Granted, those relationships can be very ‘shallow’—for example, you may be Facebook friends with someone you’ve barely spoken to In Real Life (IRL in Internet lingo)—but they are relationships nonetheless. The difference with online relationships and how they affect your group’s ability to fundraise is that you can get information out to a large number of people very quickly with little expense.
 
This is the beauty of social networking and social media—they are SOCIAL. Meaning, their strength lies in their ability to create and / or strengthen relationships between people by allowing people to quickly share information with each other.
 
Many nonprofits that I work with come to the table with a ‘silver bullet’ mentality when it comes to online fundraising. They’ve heard the success stories about how a group raised $50,000 in ten minutes through Causes on Facebook or how Barack Obama raised millions of dollars online. But the reality is that the main function of social media and social networking is to create a higher level of ‘buzz’ or awareness about your group or cause. Your organization is just one blip on the massive screen of online ‘noise’ (information) that people have access to everyday. Social networking can help your ‘blip’ get bigger, louder and more visible, so that it is more likely that people might want to learn more about you, and ultimately, more likely that they will make a gift online if asked.
 
At the same time, though, the more conventional, high-touch methods of donor cultivation (face-to-face meetings, phone calls, personal notes, etc.)—which often yield larger percentages of gifts as well as larger donations overall—are not supplanted but instead are enhanced, and sometimes speeded up, by online networking. It is faster and cheaper to send an email blast to 1,000 donors (if you have their email addresses, that is) than to send a snail mail newsletter. ‘Going viral’ can only happen online, where a single link to an article or a web page could get shared by thousands of people within a few hours or even a few minutes. 
 
It is also true that even the most interesting online article or nonprofit web site can sit there without a single view.  And this is where social networking tools can help you get more people into your universe of potential online donors.  Social networking allows your nonprofit to get ‘in front of’ more people online than if you just had a static web site with no way for people to find it. So it’s important to have at least a big toe stuck into the social networking pool. Here are five tips for getting started:
 
1. Be real about why online fundraising could be a good choice (or not). If you have a natural base of supporters who is already online a lot, then you should be figuring out to engage them as donors. If not—or if you have few email addresses for your donors or prospective donors—then you may need to re-think what it would take to build an online presence and what amount of effort you should put into that.

2. Get clear on your expectations. Don’t expect that if you launch a Facebook page or a Twitter feed that your online profile will skyrocket overnight (or even in a month), or that you will raise a lot of money online right away (or ever). Successful social networking takes time and patience, but since the tools are free the main expense is in time (which is not a small thing!).  If you can dedicate staff time or recruit volunteers, experiment with social networking activities and see what works for your group. 

3. Get your ducks in a row. If you know you could raise more money online and want to use social networking tools like Facebook and Twitter to broaden your online presence, make sure all your Internet interfaces are functioning and ready. You’ll need at the minimum: a user-friendly, appealing web site where supporters can sign up to be on your email list as well as donate online; an email broadcast service provider so that you can send emails out to a large number of people quickly and easily; and a clear plan for how often you will refresh content on your Facebook page, Twitter feed, etc., and more importantly, WHO in your organization is responsible for doing this. I recommend refreshing content at least weekly if not daily on Facebook and Twitter. There is just too much information bombarding people on those two sites for less-frequent posts to get any kind of visibility.

4. Build your list. I’m talking about your email list, your Facebook ‘likes’ and / or your number of Twitter followers. Remember, all fundraising is about relationships. Even if your group manages to have an amazing, up-to-date web site, a Facebook page and interesting Twitter feed, they really don’t mean anything if no one is checking them out or following you. ‘Ask a Friend’ emails, Facebook page posts asking people to sign up on your email list via your web site, or an online campaign via your Twitter feed to see how many people you can get to make an online donation are some ways that you can build your list.
 
For a great resource on how to build your list and raise money via email, check out Madeline Stanionis book on email fundraising.

Money for Our Movements: A Social Justice Fundraising Conference – produced by GIFT – www.grassrootsfundraising.org – this 4th biennial conference is coming up August 10th-11th.  If you’ve been to a previous GIFT conference, you know what a great opportunity it is to learn new fundraising skills in a social justice, multi-racial setting.  If you’ve never been to a GIFT conference, you won’t want to miss it this year.  Early bird registration is now available!
 

Hidden Talents: Stan Yogi
 
We decided to add a new feature to our e-newsletter to highlight some of the amazing talent of the folks who make up Klein & Roth Consulting.  This is a chance to let you know about things about us, not necessarily related to fundraising or nonprofits.  You may not know that Stan Yogi is an accomplished writer, and is the author of several books.  Most recently, he and Elaine Elinson wrote Wherever There’s a Fight: How Runaway Slaves, Suffragists, Immigrants, Strikers, and Poets Shaped Civil Liberties in CaliforniaHe also co-edited Highway 99: A Literary Journey through California’s Great Central Valley and Asian American Literature: An Annotated Bibliography.  All of Stan’s books are published by Heyday. 

These highly acclaimed books are easy to read and very interesting, even if you don’t live in California.  When taking a break from fundraising, we highly recommend them.  Buy them at your local bookstore.  
Please Like Us on Facebook!
 
We’re taking some of Rona’s advice and trying to build some buzz about Klein & Roth Consulting.  You can help us by going to our Facebook page, and clicking on the “Like” button at the top of the page.

All the best, 

Klein & Roth Consulting

 

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