This week do something totally unexpected for a complete stranger.
Treat the driver behind you to coffee on you at Dunkin Donuts…or your favorite drive thru.
At the market: Check the shopping cart of the person behind you. Is there a turkey in the cart? Ask the person if you can treat for their Thanksgiving turkey.
Have a couple of $15 or $25 gift cards in your pocket. At the supermarket, walking down the street, at your lunch spot: If you see a person sweeping the floor or sidewalk or emptying trash or stocking shelves, step up. Wish the person Happy
Thanksgiving. Give them a gift card as a token of your appreciation.
This is kind of the opposite of terrorism. Maybe it’s do-good-ism. Let’s be do-good-ists this week.
As Veterans’ Day approaches, I am taking a moment to acknowledge not only those who have defended the USA from attack in our military forces, but also Peace Corps volunteers who have taken assignments in remote villages around the world to share technology and other knowledge to improve quality of life; volunteers of all ages and experience who help nonprofits by serving meals at soup kitchens and working in hospitals to broaden service to those recovering from illness and surgery.
Thank you to all who pitch in to help make life better for others in varied roles.
Nearly every authority on nonprofit governance I know agrees: One element of board responsibility is to contribute to the nonprofit they serve. The concept does make sense. If members of the board of directors are reluctant to give we’re off to a rough start in our fundraising.
But what if several members of the nonprofit board feel like they give of their time. Why should they also give money? A hush fills the room.
This is very much about attitude. And the problem is exacerbated because this non (financial) giving board member is also unlikely to ask others to give. Makes perfect sense to me.
So how do we bridge this gap in attitude? I suggest we start with an attitude of gratitude, as Gayle Gifford tells it on her blog http://www.ceffect.com/2011/11/16/an-attitude-of-gratitude/.
So let’s start with building a sense of gratitude for those who do support the mission in a financial way. As your annual campaign unfolds, recruit board members to thank certain donors. Start by asking them to scan the donor list for folks whose names they might recognize. Design a Thank You Plan that asks board members, within a specified time following receipt of the gift, to call or email this donor and express thanks. Gratitude. And at the next board meeting, let’s hear from a few members on how the Thank You went.
I recommend we give as much time to the Thank You process as you do in planning the campaign of asking.
Our hope is that as we enlist board members in this activity, and we hear about this at board meetings, we build an attitude of gratitude that leads to growth in personal giving by these very board members.
What do you think?
It’s time once again to consider the “something old, something new” that should go into our 2015 Annual Appeal.
Just for you: A few new 2015 twists on Annual Appeal practice:
For Starters: Time to get creative with copy in the first appeal? What’s the new take on your work that will capture your donors’ attention? Something that will motivate. That captures a sense of urgency. That tells the donor how you deliver hope. Short but powerful images that can’t be ignored.
In my estimation, these steps should produce a 10% or greater bump from your Annual Appeal. Track it. See what some revision of your practice can do for your Annual Appeal revenue.
Congratulations to Mike Ostrowski, Interim CEO NH Center for Nonprofits for the work of his team to present a topnotch conference. Jeanine Tousignant, VP of the Center’s Board, served as Master of Ceremonies.
Steve Zimmerman, Spectrum Nonprofit Services, opened with “The Capacity to Endure.” His Six Key Questions starting with “What do our constituents need?” were provocative and can help a nonprofit establish and maintain a proper focus. Aren’t we in business to serve our primary customers? Those who need our service?
Kim Klein of Klein and Roth Consulting followed with her stimulating talk: “Less is the New More.” The work to downsize government, cut taxes and leave more $ in the taxpayers pockets has resulted in more competition for the charitable dollar and not enough new dollar sources from all the tax savings to serve the needs of various client groups. Among other things, Kim contends that “public” schools are disappearing and raising more and more money in the community to cover more children’s programs that used to be paid for with tax dollars.
Meanwhile, the top 1% accumulate more and more wealth while the rest of us stay stagnant.
What is wrong with this picture?
Some may argue that Kim is feeding a cultural war on the wealthiest Americans.
The point truly is, there is minimal trickle down.
And we’re in a rut…by many measures, the US is falling behind in its pursuit of happiness.
Nonprofits discussed at table talk: What can we do?
Results will be captured and reported back to NHCN members.