Fundraise Smarter

Do You Know Your Visibility Settings On LinkedIn?

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Feb 22, 2016 10:00:00 AM


Last week, we talked about the ethical questions surrounding using LinkedIn and other social media tools for donor research.

One of the big questions here regards privacy settings. LinkedIn allows users to see who has viewed their profile. However, users can also browse profiles with varying levels of anonymity.

But how does this jive with the ethical obligation to identify yourself when asked in the process of researching a prospect? Would anonymously researching on LinkedIn run counter to this?

Should you hide your identity on LinkedIn when researching prospects? If so, how do you do it?

**I'm writing a guide to LinkedIn for fundraisers! Click here to pre-order (it's free)!**
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Topics: social media, donor research, prospect research

Is It Ethical To Snoop On Donors' Social Media?

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Feb 16, 2016 10:00:00 AM

What fundraisers and researchers need to know to avoid donor blunders.

Picture this: you’re going on a blind date. You sit down and order a round of drinks, but before you can say “cabernet sauvignon, your date starts listing off every detail of your life and history and asking you about them.

Uhhhh, check please!

That’s the world we all live in today.

That includes your donors.

Social media and the internet have opened a whole can of worms when it comes to our private lives and it’s left us split between two worlds.

On one side, information is freely available for all on social media. It allows us to share thoughts, pictures, and experiences far and wide with nothing more than a device we keep in our pocket.

However, this rapid expansion of technology has also forced us to question what should remain private and what should be out in the open.

Typically, it isn’t until a piece of data or personal moment from our lives has been abused that our ideas about privacy are challenged. But once that line has been crossed, we realize just how much information is out there, and we question whether those social media status updates were worth it.

This situation becomes even more fraught when brought into the realm of nonprofit donor research.

Social media can provide information that is indispensable for fundraisers, and it’s a nonprofit’s responsibility to do their research on a potential donor so that they can effectively reach out and offer relevant opportunities to potential major donors.

But is it ethical to dig through social media profiles?

As with most deeply complicated issues, there is no simple yes or no answer.

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Topics: social media, prospect research

How to Be Your Nonprofit's #1 Fundraiser in 2016

Posted by Andrew Littlefield on Jan 4, 2016 10:00:00 AM

The new year is upon us, and many of us have made a list of resolutions in an attempt to better ourselves in 2016. Some of these resolutions are personal, some are professional.

Unfortunately, most of us are going to fail in our resolution attempts.

An impressive 45% of Americans typically make a New Year’s resolution, but only 8% of us are successful in our attempts.


But you didn't become a fundraiser because it was easy, right? Far from it!

So what if you've resolved to become your nonprofit's #1 fundraiser? What's a specific action you can take that will help you reach that lofty goal?

Here's a big one that is all too often overlooked:

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Topics: major gift fundraising,, Major Gift Officer, prospect research

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