Australian Fundraising Ideas Blog

Learn the secrets to holding a fun and profitable fundraiser from Mr Fundraising himself, Billy G - and others who have made fundraising work for their school or organisation!

What Does It Take To Be A Fundraising Trainer?

back to school 953250 1920One of the challenges of being a fundraising trainer is to make sure that you meet or exceed expectations. It is also the trainer’s primary duty to see to it that people learn new fundraising skills.

Here are some simple tips that can help you to excel as a fundraising trainer:

1. Acknowledge your need for preparation. If being a fundraising trainer makes you step out of your comfort zone, you need to have ample preparation. Although others easily jump in when trying something new, it is better to be prepared so you will know what to do especially when it comes to designing exercises for participants. If you need to prepare in advance, do so and never be afraid to read an exercise or open a book until you are comfortable sharing your knowledge with the trainees or participants.

2. Do not be afraid of committing mistakes as you do not have to be an expert. For trainers who already have a background in fundraising, the idea of training people will be a walk in the park. However, for new trainers, it can be very challenging because there are nagging doubts at the back of your head. You do not have to be an expert for you to be a good trainer. If you know a fundraising trainer that can share tips that will make each training session much easier for you and the people you train, the better. You should not hesitate to acknowledge that you are a new trainer and as you lead the exercise, ask people to help you out. After all, the success of the training will depend on team effort.

3. Do not say it, do it. As a trainer, you need to facilitate the group by leading the exercises. Role plays, activities and games allow people to learn the basics of fundraising. Aside from lectures, you should also focus on activities that will help participants learn fundraising in fun and dynamic way.

4. Focus on people’s physical comfort. As a trainer, it is also important that people are comfortable for learning to take place. The place needs to be conducive for learning and during activities position chairs so people will have the opportunity to talk to each other. The room must also have a good light and comfortable temperature. Visual aids must be easy to understand. Write reports visibly using letters that are large enough for everyone to see clearly.

5. Keep pace and people moving. New trainers often have the desire to answer every question and to ensure that you stay on task, design activities that encourage learning. At times, people may raise unrelated topics and as a trainer, you need to address their concerns while still keeping them on track. Give participants a chance to move and set a time to entertain questions.

6. Be supportive. Make people feel involved in the exercises and if they are making suggestions and brainstorming ideas, include them in your notes. People feel disrespected if you selectively include some comments. As a result, they will hesitate to offer more ideas. Encourage group participation because it is one way to make learning more effective.

Common Questions Donors May Ask

woman 687560 1280Before donors know about the cause of your fundraising program, they are going to pass their judgment to the members of the organisation, specifically you. You can present a very impressive fundraising letter, spend hours collaborating with your board members, but it can be easily overlooked if donors know nothing about you.

Being too consumed with impressing your prospects can lead to overlooking other essential details. You need to believe in your cause before you can get donors to believe in it. Putting yourself in your donors' shoes can help you determine the things that can capture your donor's interest. When you view things from a donor's perspective, not only do you get to know your strength but you also identify your areas for improvement. 

What's on donor's mind?

You will remain a stranger to your donors if they know nothing about you and the organisation you are running. It is easy to formulate a case that can create an awesome impact on your donors, but the real challenge may arise when you don't have the ability to remove any doubts that your donors may have about your organisation. It is not just about the objective but how you present yourself to the prospects.

Key questions:

Do you believe in the cause of your organisation?

A salesperson who believes in his product is considered effective and the same is true in promoting your organisation. If you don't believe in your cause, no one else will. However, if you are enthusiastic about promoting your organisation, your enthusiasm can be contagious and can clearly send the message to your donor. 

Your role is to convey your passion to the prospects. You don't have to be a skilled salesperson to do that. You just need to make sure that you strongly believe in the success of your organisation. It is also immensely powerful if you are going to share success stories of how your organisation has touched lives of other donors or beneficiaries. 

What have you given?

The success of your fundraising will be far from happening if you have not given generously. When you lead by example, it is easy to gain confidence from your prospects. Donors will have the tendency to be suspicious ifyou have not made any effort to give.

You don't have to necessarily match the amount that your donors have given. Make sure you consistently give so donors can see your willingness to help.

What are your motives? 

Donors have the right to know your objective. A person you are asking donations from can clearly sense if your efforts are genuine. If they see that you have sacrificed your time and you truly care about your organisation, all of the doubts and questions that linger in the donor's mind will be laid to rest.

Who are you?

The stakes are higher when asking for a gift or donation. When raising money, you will also need to raise friends. It is one way to ensure that donors know you as popularity also plays a vital role in getting more donors to support your cause. In theory, it is easy to say no to a friend or acquaintance, but in the context of fundraising it is a different story.

Why The Name Of Your Organisation Matters In Fundraising

question mark 460863 1280You have already followed the basic principles of fundraising. You send letters and make sure that prospects are aware of your objective as a fundraising organisation. You have also ensured that your members stick to the organisation's mission and vision. After a few months of expending your energy in making your fundraising campaign more effective, you don't seem to get any results. 

Most of your prospects would rather skim your fundraising letter rather than read deep. You are waiting for donors to respond to your letters but you don't get any positive response. 

When you dig deeper into the real cause of the problem, you have come to realize that something is missing. Even when you have an attractive campaign that can win the hearts of prospective donors, your organisation will be labeled as 'just another fundraising campaign' if you don't invest your time in choosing a suitable and easy-to-remember name. Your organisation's name represents everything including your primary objective. A donor who barely remembers the name of your organization will perceive you as a solicitor who is only asking money and nothing else. 

If you want to make a lasting impression, you need to pick a name that everyone can easily recognize. 

How to choose an organisation's name?

Research

Find out about the reasons you consider your organisation's name unappealing. Is it just a personal opinion? Have you gathered feedback from donors, members and the people who are part of your organisation? Know the reasons your organisation does not seem to attract donors and let your members know about your plan of changing its name. 

Make sure everyone agrees with the name change

Deciding on changing the name of the organisation requires approval from the members of the organisation. Ask them how they would feel about your decision and get some suggestions. Not everyone may agree with changing the name of the organisation especially if everyone has already gotten used to it. Ask members if they have other options aside from changing the name. 

Be creative

Once everyone in your organisation is in agreement, you need to discuss with your members whether you should change the entire name of your organisation or use its acronym. When choosing a new name for your organisation, think of its benefits and impact on your organisation's overall appeal. 

Don't use any geographic locations in your name

Although is it a good idea to add a specific area where your organisation is currently focused on, it will be rendered useless when you decide on expanding it. If you have plans of expansion in the future, it is best to avoid using geopgraphic locations in your name unless you are sure that you will only be concentrating on a specific location. 

Use your budget wisely

Changing the name of your organisation can also hurt your budget as you need to think about the marketing and promotional costs. Before you use your budget on these two essential things, make sure you know how to utilize the money available to your organisation. Avoid unnecessary expenses and focus on the promotional materials that will make your donors more acquainted to your new name.

Tips For Making Corporate Fundraising A Success

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When it comes to charity fundraising such as corporate fundraising, there are several techniques you have to employ so you can promote steady funding and make the campaign more defined. For someone who has just ventured into this campaign, it can be a challenge as it requires a lot of effort for the program to yield positive results. It all starts with setting realistic goals that are based on actual experiences. Fundraising campaign fails when you don’t know where you should exactly begin. There will be some challenges along the way, and if you don’t understand your mission and vision, the rest will also be vague.

Discover Your Unique Selling Point

Every good effort that you put into a charity fundraising will be recognized without necessarily asking for money. In fact, this is how people should see charity. It is not just about asking money but helping people who are in need. This might sound like a cliché but the truth is, it is the best practice that successful charities consistently follow. While it may sound proverbial, you really have to think outside of the box. You need to give good reasons to support your organization. Once you have identified a unique selling point, find out how your donors can benefit from your organization. You can seal the deal this way.

Be Prepared Before Meeting Your Potential Donor

When you schedule a meeting with potential sponsor, it is not like the usual meetings. You have to be prepared and armed with sufficient knowledge about the sponsors. You need to let them know how they can provide a huge contribution to the organization without highlighting donations. Make sure you outline the organization’s mission and vision. You can also research about the type of charitable concerns they had previously contributed to.

Ask Yourself How You Can Reciprocate Your Corporate Sponsor’s Generosity

Once you have persuaded a company to provide you a charitable donation, ask yourself how you can return the favor as a charity. You should keep in mind that no two companies are alike and you need to come up with an effective way to make your donors happy. Aside from showing up early on meetings and maintaining your involvement, you can also make your donors feel more inspired of making a donation if you always recognize their efforts.

Recognize Small Success

One way you can succeed in corporate fundraising is when you get more people involved in your fundraising event. You have to encourage regular participation by holding meetings that will allow you to get to know your potential donors. This is also an opportunity for your donors to know more about your organization. Companies also have the right to know what happens to the money they donated and giving the feedback and greater involvement will help you build a stronger relationship.

When you aim for corporate fundraising, make sure you have researched the company you wish to target. A professional presentation is also encouraged because this will provide a great opportunity for involvement. You should also get advice from the group, take note of it and just continue this practice until you succeed in corporate fundraising.

Essential Cs In Crafting A Fundraising Campaign

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Donors can create an emotional connection if your fundraising campaign tells a heart-warming story about your campaign's mission and vision. In telling a great story, you need to go beyond writing a plot. There are 5 Cs to keep in mind so donors can see the potential of your campaign. If one of the elements is missing, you won't be able to convey your message effectively. Donors will have a hard time trying to find out what really your mission is and instead of getting a decent number of donors to support, you end up getting nothing.  

Five Elements That Give Your Campaign A Strong Impact

Content

Email fundraising is a powerful tool that can bring donors together, but it also comes with a caveat: if it is done correctly, you won't be able to attract donors. Storytelling should have elements that can provide a strong appeal to your campaign. This is where the content comes in. When crafting a story, consider your donors' feelings, thoughts and actions. This way, you will be able to uncover your story's main objective and its true message. 

Connection

Generic emails never work because it does not add a personal touch to the messages. A fundraising campaign is not just asking money or donations, you also find people who are on the same wavelength as you are. If you are going to take the short route and skip personalizing your messages, you are also missing out on the opportunity to gather people with the same objective. Canned messages don't create a connection. In fact, your campaign will become another 'solicitation letter' if you don't make the effort to hook in your readers. 

Characters

Think about your source of inspiration in creating a fundraising campaign. It can be anyone whose lives have been touched by your fundraising program. When readers can relate to the characters of your fundraising story, creating a connection becomes a natural thing. It does not require effort or special techniques. 

Conflict 

This element is as equally important as the first three elements. Conflict makes the story more interesting. It urges readers to respond or take action. You can combine call to action and conflict so your story will have a greater impact on your readers. 

Call to Action

This is the last and most important element in telling a fundraising story. In this element, you encourage people to resppond or do something. There are various ways that this can be done and it should be specific andactive.Avoid vague call to action which will only send confusion to your readers. You need to be as clear and concise as possible so your readers will be able to get the message you are trying to send them. Don't forget to include a donate button, which is often missed out by fundraisers who opt for email fundraising. The'donate now' button is a straightforward option for potential donors to become part of your organization.

There are different ways you can tell a fundraising story. However, you tell the story, it is important that these elements are included so your donors stay emotionally connected to your organization. 

8 Key Steps to Successful Fundraising: Step 2 of 8

 

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Step 2. Set Your Goals

I. The goals and dynamics of the organization should be clear to all members. Without clear and deeper understanding of the mission and vision statement of the campaign, the efforts will be useless as no one knows the reasons for organizing a fundraising event. There are some exercises you can try to test if your group really knows the goal that the organization is trying to achieve.

1. Ask each group members to identify the difference between mission and vision statement. This needs to be clear because if they cannot tell the difference between the two, they will be confused of their purpose in joining the campaign.

2. The group should already know the organization’s mission. 

3. The group should already have an idea of the organization’s vision.

4. Ensure answers have been presented clearly.

5. Check if the mission and vision statement reflects the ones that your group is trying to advocate.


II. Once all of the group members provide their answers, try to compare if they match your organization’s mission and vision statement. With their answers, you will be able to determine if they truly know the purpose of such an organization. When checking their answers you need to find out if these following criteria are met:

1. Their answers must coincide with the message of your organization.
2. All members must be in agreement with the organization’s mission and vision.


III. If most of the answers don’t seem to reflect your organization’s goals, it is imperative that you arrange a meeting so you can discuss gray areas. This is an important step because by arranging a meeting, you will be able to update all group members with the goals of the organization. During the meeting you should discuss:


1. The reason for putting up a fundraising organization.

2. The role of the group.

3. The challenges that each group member may encounter and the steps to resolve issues.


IV. Getting all group members to agree on the same goal can be a bit of a challenge especially when they are not updated with the organization’s goals yet. However, this activity will help them become accustomed to what the organization wishes to achieve. It may take time before your group members will be in agreement with the foundation’s goal but this does not mean that you won’t share the same purpose. All it usually takes is to make them involved in every endeavor that the organization wants to make.


V. Make your own assessment for you to determine if they have clearly understood the main objective of the activity. You need to evaluate them on various areas such as their personal understanding on how the organization works. You can connect with the rest of the group members if you share the same goal and concept.

With this step, you will increase your group’s involvement and participation in any fundraising activity you plan to organize. This is due to the fact that they share the same purpose and they know the role they play to make the fundraising event a huge success.