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It’s October 3rd and in honor of Mean Girls Day, here are some helpful tips that are just about as valuable as knowing there’s a 30 percent chance that it’s already raining.

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Keep tabs on what’s trending in the fundraising space.

From army pants and flip flops to strategically cut-out tank tops, Mean Girls showed us just how quickly trends can catch on.

With the ever-expanding landscape of online fundraising, there’s always a new trend buzzing among your donors. In the same way Karen’s disgusting vest was banned by her clique, a dated website could turn off donors from making their first online gift. Whether it’s your website or communication methods, modernizing your nonprofit marketing and keeping your staff up-to-date on new technology is always a good idea. DonorPerfect’s resource page is packed with free guides, webinar recordings, and more to help you stay informed and inspired.


No matter what you do, be authentically you.

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Cady’s descent into the world of the Plastics caused her to deviate from the qualities that made her special in favor of gaining short-term friends. Had she owned her superior math skills and interesting background from the beginning, she would have hit her stride much earlier on.

Adopting a multichannel engagement strategy is key to your growth, but take on each channel and new territory in a way that’s authentic to who you are as an organization. Always make sure you stay true to your nonprofit’s brand in both look and feel and voice and tone. That consistency will help your donors get to know you and set you apart. They give to you because they think you’re so fetch – so stay that way!


Find ways to bring the team together.

The fundraising field is a hectic one. Small teams, big to-do lists, and lofty goals can be grating. Everyone’s aboard the struggle bus at some point or another, so celebrating team member milestones and setting up a last-minute fun activity on an off day can go a long way, such as team outings, lunches, and offsites. You don’t have to spend a fortune to boost morale, so get in loser, we’re going shopping!


Celebrate diversity in everything you do.

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Standing across from snaggle-toothed Caroline Kraft at the mathletes competition, Cady realized how much she missed out on by adopting a culture of exclusivity that benefited no one.

We see the same unfortunate trend in the fundraising field, as 75% of women make up the community of nonprofit professionals yet just 45% earn a CEO title in the span of their careers. It’s no mystery that having the right mix of perspectives in the room is critical to both successfully engaging your donor community and serving your mission, yet statistics show that the nonprofit world as a whole has yet to act. Fortunately, there are ways to champion diversity, access, and equity in your organization. Equip yourself with free resources to help you move forward and join groups that are promoting progress in fundraising right now because when you band together for the benefit of everyone, the limit does not exist.


Knowing is everything.

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Learning that Kalteen bars will not help you lose three pounds was major for Regina George. Just like her revelation helped her pivot back to cranberry juice cocktail, knowing the facts behind your fundraising campaigns now can equip you to make better moves in the future.

Ensuring access to your organization’s most important metrics is necessary for the growth of your donor base. Learn how you can build out your fundraising CRM to add value to your data through reports that transform information about donors and their engagement habits into actionable insights that can help you better connect with them now and in the long run.


Cut ties with bad apples.

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The moment Damian and Janice realized Cady wasn’t the friend they thought she was, they ended their relationship.

As the prevalence of sexual harassment in fundraising has come to light in recent years, many organizations are grappling with how to handle tough situations. Creating a culture of openness and respect and publicly taking a no-tolerance stance on issues like sexual harassment are actions that mean the world to your staff. Don’t excuse bad behavior from donors or accept funds from people whose values go against yours. It’s tough to miss out on a large gift, but in the long run, staying true to your mission and ensuring the safety of your staff will always be the right decision.


Ask donors what they think, too.

In the same way Gretchen Weiners believes in a thorough review of her gal pals’ apparel choices, your organization is best served by taking a temperature check on how your donors feel about the initiatives you’ve lined up for the near future. Your nonprofit can reach new levels of success just by reaching out to the right people: your donors. That’s right. Your donors give to you because they’re literally invested in the work you do. That’s why they’d be happy to serve as trusted advisors when it comes to helping you choose which initiatives to pursue and what kind of messaging will best resonate with your community of supporters.

For your next campaign, consider empowering recent donors to vote on the project you funnel time and energy into next. You can give the opportunity to donate to it, as well as volunteer to bring it to life. Measure how much more engagement you get when you bring donors in at the start. You might be surprised at how excited they are to build something new along with you.


What Kevin said.

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You and your efforts drive the change that many, many people want to see in the world, but YOU are one of the very special few who choose to pursue and champion the progress you do every single day. Sure, you will have days that drive you to the edge of sanity, but in those moments, remember that a great number of people are so grateful that you are who you are, you are where you are, and they’re always rooting for you and your organization to succeed.

by Emily Patz

Oct 3 19
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