The hottest fundraising topics of 2021 – as voted by you!

year-end fundraising

I don’t know about you, but this year just flew past for me.

Before we turn that last page of the calendar (yes, I am that old school), I wanted to share the top five articles that got your attention in 2021.

But first, I wanted to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to you for taking the time to read and share my posts.

I’ve had a blast writing all of them - and if they’ve made your life a little better, and your fundraising more successful, I consider my mission accomplished!

So, without further ado, here are the top five hottest Blue Sky Philanthropy reads of 2021:

4 ways to land your next donor meeting

Most fundraisers give up far too soon when it comes to trying to land a meeting with a donor.

To borrow a statistic from sales - it can take an average of eight touch points to actually hear back from or qualify a lead or a donor. Make sure you stay persistent in trying to land that meeting!

Be sure you are bringing value to the donor, and keep mixing up those touch points - experiment with different channels including making personalized videos for your donors, sending emails or letters, because now is a perfect time to do that! Here are four ways you can start landing more meetings with major donors.

3 things I wish I’d known before the pandemic hit

In March 2020, I was merrily going about my business, and blissfully unaware that the world was about to be turned upside down. On the one year anniversary of this date, I did some reflecting on the things I learned and wanted to share some of my thoughts.

What have you discovered about yourself, your organization and your fundraising over the course of this challenging year and a half? I’d love for you to hit reply and share your experience!

How to support your LGBTQ+ colleagues 

Every June my partner Ingrid and I put up our Pride flag - because our visibility matters!

As much as I love raising our flag every year, being out in our work as LGBTQ2+ fundraisers and non-profit leaders isn’t as simple as putting a rainbow on it.

I wish I could say things have gotten better since I first started coming out 27 years ago (!!!), but research says otherwise. That’s why I put together some resources to help support your LGBTQ+ colleagues. 

My holiday reading list

Ever since I was a kid, my favourite thing to do with my quiet time is bury my nose in a book (hello Emma, introvert much?!)

So, this summer, I put together a themed reading list on an important topic: how to rest and recharge so you can return to work feeling rejuvenated! This is a great topic for the Holiday season as well. 

(I don’t know, is reading about rest when you’re supposed to be resting an extension of my problem above? Please discuss.)

3 fundraising lessons I learned from running

I am not a born runner. Until last year, the only time you’d catch me running is if I was being chased (to use a tired old line!).

But that all changed when the pandemic hit.

Gyms closed, my favourite fitness classes got cancelled, and like many of us, I was stuck at home feeling frustrated.

I started by running just one minute, and walking four. Then I worked up to running two minutes, and walking three…  

It took almost four months of cumulative, incremental steps to work up to running 5K non-stop.  

And you know what it reminded me of? Fundraising!

It’s trusting the process. And knowing that every incremental step you take to build great relationships with your donors is leading to something amazing.

As I pass the one year mark of becoming a runner (it took me that long to start claiming that identity!), here are a few more fundraising lessons I’ve learned from my journey.

That’s all from me! I’m signing off for 2021 – I’ll be taking some time to unplug and spend time with my family over the holidays, and I’ll be back in action in January.

Whatever you are doing as your year winds down, I wish you all the best. You’ve worked so hard this year raising money for your great cause, and I hope you too will get some time to rest and recharge, so you’re back better than ever in 2022!

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