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AFP Top Ten Fundraising Tips for the Week (November 22, 2017): Using Your Form 990, Silence in Conversations, Donor Surveys & More!

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Need some tips on how to do your job better? Or maybe just a reminder on some key skills, the insight on the latest research, and the latest, coolest ideas from the best minds in the fundraising profession?

Each week, AFP gathers the top blog posts, videos, articles and other resources to help you keep on top of latest trends and reach your fundraising goals. Here’s this week’s Top Ten:

1.  Ten Guidelines for Creating Corporate Sponsorship Packages (Fundraising Leadership): Professionals who touch, move, and inspire prospective sponsors about the mission of their organization often get what they ask for. Good sponsorship materials should have these essential elements.

2. (Their) NEED before (Your) WANT (OnFundraising-Dan Shephard): It might seem obvious but your first, and most important job, is to remind donors why they care and to intentionally explore their experiences, memories, wishes, and dreams for your nonprofit.

3. The Power of the Pause: Using Silence in Donor Conversations (Advancement Resources): The Power of the Pause: In one of our research interviews, a donor informed us, “People will tell you anything if you’ll just sit there and listen.” Knowing when to implement the power of silence will help you shepherd potential donors toward meaningful giving.

4. Five Cultural Challenges Nonprofits Face With Digital Fundraising (Forbes): In the nonprofit world, direct mail is still king when it comes to generating revenue. But that primacy often hinders the advancement of digital fundraising. Here’s a roundup of five major challenges within the culture of many nonprofits that, if rectified, could open up a windfall of online revenue.

5. What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know About Amazon Alexa (Nonprofit Tech for Good): Smart speakers are voice-activated digital assistants that enable users to use their voice to command a wide variety of activities, such as play music, listen to news, make calls, watch video clips, shop online, and control smart home devices. Here’s what you need to know from a nonprofit perspective.

6. Your 990: What Nonfinancial Matters Does It Reveal to the Media and Donors? (The Nonprofit Quarterly): Don’t dismiss the 990 as a requirement for auditors and finance experts to deal with. Nonprofit staffs, boards, donors, and volunteers should be aware that the publicly available return is a public relations tool.

7. Seven Tips to Make Your First #GivingTuesday a Fundraising Success (Give Lively): #GivingTuesday is approaching fast, and organizations that are brand new to the movement are gearing up to make the most of it. Make sure you check out these seven tips!

8. Three Examples of Nonprofit Donor Surveys (Bloomerang): For-profit businesses understand that in order to retain customers, they need to continuously collect and act on feedback.  Unfortunately, the nonprofit sector’s equivalent – donor surveys – are not as ubiquitous. Here are three examples that you can draw inspiration from.

9. Five Myths that Perpetuate Burnout Across Nonprofits (Stanford Social Innovation Review): There is a pervasive fear in the nonprofit field that focusing inwardly—on our staff, our leadership, even our own salaries—will take away from achieving our organizational missions. That needs to change.

10. Six Simple Ways to Help Volunteers Make Successful Asks (Fired Up Fundraising): Your volunteers are time-stressed, but they really do want to make their asks. So help them out. Here’s a simple six-step checklist you can follow to help all your volunteers be wildly successful.