Fundraise Smarter

Sneaky Ways to Drop Hints to Your Director

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Feb 23, 2015 8:00:00 AM

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I think everyone in their career has dealt with the sticky situation of trying to convince your boss to spend some money on a tool you need.

Software, a new computer, a training, or maybe even hiring a new employee.

This is usually met with resistance from leadership due to costs.

It would seem that nonprofit workers deal with this more often than any other industry. Limited resources or strict oversight from funders means less freedom to invest in new tools.

But sometimes all leadership needs is a convincing argument. They need some stats to justify the cost.

And maybe, just maybe, they need to feel like it was their idea the whole time.

Hey, we all like to feel like we were the one that came up with the genius idea, right? No shame.

So rather than just coming out and asking for that new software, you need to be sneaky (or maybe just resourceful. Yeah, that sounds much nicer.)

I’ve got you covered, hardworking fundraisers of the world! Donor management research firm Software Advice recently released their annual nonprofit software report. It’s chock full of stats that will convince even the stingiest director to allocate some of their budget to software.

Let’s explore some resourceful methods of dropping hints to your director.

The Sub-Tweet


Nothing embodies Millennial passive-aggressiveness quite like the sub-tweet. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, sub-tweeting refers to the practice of sending a tweet directed towards an individual without actually mentioning them by name. The name comes from “subconscious” and is typically used to get the attention of someone without directly confronting them. For example:

“You’ve got to be kidding me. #rude”

We can use this practice to drop some hints to social media-minded leadership. I’ve prepared some tweetable nonprofit software trends that you can sub-tweet to your heart’s content. Your boss not a Tweeter? Copying and pasting the stats into Facebook or LinkedIn status updates will work just as well!

“99% of nonprofits say fundraising software increased amount of donations collected http://www.softwareadvice.com/nonprofit/userview/fundraising-management-report-2015/ via @SoftwareAdvice”



“More than half of nonprofits plan to increase spending on software in 2015 http://www.softwareadvice.com/nonprofit/userview/fundraising-management-report-2015/ via @SoftwareAdvice”



“98% of nonprofits say fundraising software improved record keeping, financial reporting, and work flows. http://www.softwareadvice.com/nonprofit/userview/fundraising-management-report-2015/ via @SoftwareAdvice”



“96% of nonprofits say fundraising software helped donor retention http://www.softwareadvice.com/nonprofit/userview/fundraising-management-report-2015/ via @SoftwareAdvice”



“9 out of 10 nonprofits say fundraising software helped their donor acquisition http://www.softwareadvice.com/nonprofit/userview/fundraising-management-report-2015/ via @SoftwareAdvice”

“9 out of 10 nonprofits say fundraising software helped their donor acquisition http://www.softwareadvice.com/nonprofit/userview/fundraising-management-report-2015/ via @SoftwareAdvice” 

The Accidental Email


Oh God, that horrible feeling of accidentally hitting reply all or including the wrong person on an email reply. Ugh. The worst.

But! You can use this forgivable mistake to drop some hints too! “Accidentally” include your director on an email to a co-worker citing some of the stats above, then quickly reply to your director with a “Whoops! Sorry about that, that was for _______” email.

This is especially believable if your office uses Gmail. They have that dangerous new feature that suggests people to include in an email when you enter an email address of a co-worker. Your finger could accidentally slip and include leadership. It happens.

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The “Oops, How Did That Get There?!”

So maybe your leadership is more of a hard-copy-over-digital type (hence the resistance to new software). I’ve got you covered there too.

I made this fake presentation hand-out that you can print and leave in the break room where the right person might just happen to see it. It even has fake highlighter marks and coffee stains, just to make it that much more believable. For best results, crumple it up and leave it under a mug on the break room table.

The coffee stains are fake, but the stats are real. Give it a look!

Nonprofit software trends

Got any sneaky techniques of your own to add? Comment!

Image credit: Flickr user Jackie, CC BY 2.0

Topics: Nonprofits, Software

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