Capture Everything

Capture Everything

Here are a few of the tools mentioned in this video:

Alex Toys – Rub a Dub Draw in the Tub Crayons

Evernote – Digital Filing Cabinet

Moleskin – Classic Large Blank Hardcover Notebook

Uniball Jetstream – Ballpoint Pens

Do you have a capture tool that isn’t mentioned?  Join this discussion in our private Facebook group, the Fundraising Fish Fry.  We’d love to hear your tip!

For more productivity tips, check out all the productivity resources in our Free Resource Library.

Have a Fundraising Plan, Period.

Have a Fundraising Plan, Period.

For a step by step walk through of a simplified fundraising planning process, check out our upcoming webinar “How to Craft a Simple Fundraising Plan.”

What’s does your fundraising planning process look like?  Join the discussion in our private Facebook group, the Fundraising Fish Fry.  We’d love to hear from you!

For more fundraising planning tips and templates, check out all the productivity resources in our Free Resource Library.

How to Find Time to Read as a Busy Fundraiser

How to Find Time to Read as a Busy Fundraiser

I’m often asked by nonprofit board members, “What’s the most important skill to look for in a fundraiser?”  My answer is always the same … a relentless passion for learning.  A successful fundraiser always needs to be seeking new ideas and improving their fundraising knowledge base.  One of the best ways to acquire this knowledge is through reading.  There are so many great books, magazines, and blogs dedicated to nonprofit fundraising.  But many fundraisers state that finding the time to actually read is quite difficult.

So, here are my six hacks for fitting more reading into your daily schedule

1) Keep a list of what you want to read

When you hear about a great book or article, make note of it.  I add books I hear about to my online wishlist (at either amazon.com or paperbackswap.com).  When it comes time to look for new reading material, I have a list and don’t have to waste time browsing.  I can use that time for actual reading.

2) Save posts & articles to read later

When I’m spending time on social media, I do my best to get in and get out.  I don’t read articles or follow link trails.  But fellow fundraisers post lots of great content that I do want to read at some point.  That’s where Pocket comes in.  Pocket is a service that lets me save articles for later (in my pocket).  Then when I have a few minutes (e.g. waiting for an appointment, standing in line, before a donor meeting, etc.), I can read these articles — on ANY of my devices at ANY time.  It’s like having your TO READ pile with you at all times, but without the clutter or the weight.

3) Stop reading if you aren’t getting value

If you start reading something and it’s not what you thought it would be, STOP.  There is no rule that says you have to finish what you start reading.  We aren’t in grade school anymore.  We choose what we read.  This is especially important with books.  Reading an entire book is a big commitment – make sure it’s worth your time.  I will admit that I only finish about half the books that I start reading.  Once I can tell that I’m not going to get enough value out of it to justify the time, I’m done.  It’s that simple.

4) Read during all the little moments of extra time

Surround yourself with things to read.  Fill your Pocket with articles.  Keep books and magazines that you want to read on your coffee table, desk, night stand.  Keep reading material in your briefcase and in your suitcase.  Make sure you are never in a situation where you have time to read, but nothing to read.

Then instead of hopping on Facebook on your phone when you have a spare minute or two, pull up something to read.  Even if you only read a page, you are making progress and being inspired.  Don’t let these little moments go to waste, they add up.

5) Schedule a lunch with yourself

When I have something that I really want to read, like a book written by my favorite speaker at a conference or the latest edition of AFP’s Advancing Philanthropy, I schedule lunch with it.  I literally go to my calendar, find an open lunch slot, and plug in “Meeting | Advancing Philanthropy.”  It’s a lunch date, with reading material.  The key is that it is blocked from any other commitments (and it looks like a real meeting to the folks that help manage my calendar).  It’s a great way to make progress on beefier items which really require time to digest (puns intended).

6) Try audiobooks or podcasts (especially in the car) 

Driving is one of the least productive uses of time, but you can change this.  Listening to audiobooks or podcasts is a great option.  Almost any book is available in audiobook format these days and there are countless podcast options — even a few about fundraising.  You can also turn up the speed on audiobook or podcast apps to have them play at 1.5x or 2x speed.  This can allow you to finish things in half the time, and it is often times still very easy to understand.

So there you have it, six tips to help you read more and grow your fundraising knowledge base.  What are your favorite reading hacks?  Need something to read?  Check out the recommended reading section of our Free Resource Library.

Have another tip to share or a favorite resource?  Join the discussion in our private Facebook group, the Fundraising Fish Fry.  We’d love to hear from you!

Thank When Others Ask (Especially on Community Wide Giving Days)

Thank When Others Ask (Especially on Community Wide Giving Days)

What does your organization do to show #donorlove on giving days?  Join the discussion in our private Facebook group, the Fundraising Fish Fry.  We’d love to hear from you!

Here’s our FREE donor thank you call script to help get you and your volunteers started.

For more donor stewardship tips, check out our Free Resource Library.  Or sign up for our next stewardship webinar, “How to Keep All Those New Donors You Worked So Hard to Get.”

Get Permission for the Next Step, BEFORE You Leave

Get Permission for the Next Step, BEFORE You Leave

What’s your preferred next step after a donor visit?  Join the discussion in our private Facebook group, the Fundraising Fish Fry.  We’d love to hear from you!

Here’s our FREE list of sample donor touch points to get you thinking in the right direction.

For more donor visit tips, check out our Free Resource Library //or attend our donor visit webinar, “How to Get Donor Visits and Knock Them Out of the Park.”

Use “Consider” and “Join Me” in Your Asks

Use “Consider” and “Join Me” in Your Asks

For the complete ins and outs of donor visits (and our complete process), check out our upcoming webinar “How to Get Donor Visits and Knock Them Out of the Park.”

Do you have a great donor visit tip?  Join the discussion in our private Facebook group, the Fundraising Fish Fry.  We’d love to hear from you!

For more donor visit & ask tips, check out our Free Resource Library.

Block Time for Donor Visits (and for Scheduling Them)

Block Time for Donor Visits (and for Scheduling Them)

Here’s a FREE resource we put together which calculates how much time to set aside for donor visits (and for scheduling them) based on your fundraising goals, it’s our Visit Time Blocking Formulas.

Have you had recent success with donor visits?  Join the discussion in our private Facebook group, the Fundraising Fish Fry.  We’d love to hear from you!

Want to learn more?  Check out the donor visit section of our Free Resource Library.  Or join us for our upcoming webinar, How to Get Donor Visits and Knock Them Out of the Park.

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