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 Makes A Fundraising Event Successful?

What Makes A Fundraising Event Successful?

Whenever an event goes as planned, organisers are inspired to do more. However, success is determined by many factors: the number of attendees, the money raised and the donors acquired. For new fundraising organisations, the entire process is not easy. You need people to execute your plan. You also required creating a strategic plan so you will know what you should do if faced with a problem.

In determining the success of the event, it should start with how staff and volunteers are helping you organise the event. Are they responsive? Do they make an effort to provide their creative input? The success of the event is not determined after the event but before and during the fundraising event. There is only a little chance of succeeding in fundraising if volunteers are not cooperating. Failing to acquire donors will also reduce the chance of succeeding in fundraising.

What to do to ensure success?

Provide training to new volunteers: Leaders cannot expect volunteers to know their role in an instant. They need to learn the ropes before you send them out on a mission. They should understand the role they play. They should be aware of your mission, vision and objective. Hiring volunteers for the sake of adding people to the group without profiling them will only result in prioritising quantity over quality.

Communicate regularly: Communicating with your volunteers or staff will also help you deal with problems that may serve as a deterrent to the success of your fundraising event. Identify the obstacles that are stopping you from achieving your goals. Discuss with the team how you can overcome these problems. If time is one of the issues your volunteers are facing, ask them about the most convenient time they can volunteer.

Use social media: Never underestimate the power of social media as it can provide a great way to reach out to people who may be interested in supporting your organisation, but may not have the time to express their interest personally. Keep your page up to date so followers will know what is going on. Provide other options to donate so others will no longer have to make a trip to the bank to make a donation.

A successful fundraising event is a determining factor in your efficiency as a leader. It shows how you are leading the team. There is no such thing as perfect fundraising. Even seasoned fundraisers also encounter problems. This is why as a leader, you need to keep a strong and solid team that is ready to face obstacles and bounce back. 

Why Is Strong And Solid Management Instrumental To Building Trust?

Why Is Strong And Solid Management Instrumental To Building Trust?

How many organisations have you encountered falling apart simply because they are not meeting halfway? How many members have decided to leave because of unclear rules and policies? It might be common to fundraising organisations to lose members and donors before trust is established. There are several reasons these things happen.

Lack of communication 

A solid organisation is built upon constant communication with your staff. You will never know what they are capable of doing unless you tap into their potential. This only happens if you communicate with them regularly. Scheduling a meeting on weekends will help you to establish rapport with your staff. It is only then that you will be able to find out how each of them can contribute to the success of your fundraising campaign.

Lack of transparency

Since fundraising involves money, your donors and staff have the right to know how you are going to use the money. If you are keeping secrets from them, you are leaving an impression that you are only after their individual contribution. Not keeping them involved will only raise doubts, which can be toxic to the organisation. Take time to create an accurate financial report that your staff can check every once in a while to know what it going on with your funds. 

Why is strong management important?

The leaders of your organisation are responsible for building a strong foundation to accomplish common goals and overcome challenges. Effective management is essential to the process. You will never know the struggles of your staff if you fail at the management department. Make time to find out about the challenges that deter each member from working towards a common goal. Give them enough time to be familiar with the ins and outs of fundraising. If you do not see any results, talk to them so you will understand what the problem is.

Some leaders fail because of failing to communicate with subordinates. A strong and solid management is your ticket to earning your members' trust. If you do not trust them, it will be difficult for them to believe in your cause. Fundraising should be a team effort.

If members have questions,  make time to answer them so clear doubts. It is also important to demonstrate attention to strong and effective management. Find out about your organisation's strengths and weaknesses so you will know how you are going to create a strategic plan intended to build trust. Your program officers must also be involved in providing training to staff so they will also learn the fundraising ropes.

Signs You Need A Fundraising Consultant

Signs You Need A Fundraising Consultant

A consultant has mastered the fine art of fundraising. They are well-versed as they know the ins and outs of fundraising. They have an idea what works best and they are also familiar with the practices to follow to increase the chances of success. They also have all the contacts with providers. For organisations that are new to fundraising, hiring a consultant might be deemed necessary especially when it comes to public relations. Since consultants have contacts with the local media and fundraising providers, they know exactly how to get the word out to the public. 

A consultant provides a sense of professionalism, which is essential to your organisation especially in creating a positive public opinion of your organisation's mission. They are known for bringing new concepts and ideas. If you decide to hire a fundraising consultant, their scope will depend on your budget and needs. 

Since consultants give their professional advice for a living, expect them to charge a professional fee and this is something that your organisation should be prepared for. It is also interesting to note that a consultant can be expensive. You may need to pay them upfront once the fundraising begins. 

When do you need a fundraising consultant?

For organisations that do not have a lot of experience in fundraising, a consultant is often beneficial. They can provide you useful tips that are not biased since they are from a third-party perspective. The consultant will also help you create an overall strategy including planning for your next fundraising event, making connections and facilitating introductions. 

Although a consultant has substantial knowledge with fundraising, they are not doing the actual fundraising. Which is why you should not expect them to bring in money directly. However, their strategic help will increase the likelihood of succeeding in fundraising. 

A consultant is also essential if you wish to venture into a new aspect of fundraising such as online fundraising. Larger organisations also use a consultant in searching for qualified executive staff members. While hiring a consultant can be an exciting idea, it is important to decide first on some specific results you want delivered. Hiring a consultant just because you want to improve your fundraising does not take you in the right direction because your goal is too vague. 

Your committee should work together so you can come up with action points. A consultant is helpful in creating more innovative campaigns, improving your messaging and more. 

5 Ways To Improve Your Fundraising Event Strategies

5 Ways To Improve Your Fundraising Event Strategies

Fundraising events provide a great way to engage with your supporters and bring in donations. Organisations make sure that supporters are going to an event with a fun and energetic environment. There are lots of ways to organise a fundraising event such as planning a large gala, community-based school auction and many more. However, planning a fundraising event must be done carefully to maximise donor engagement. Aside from modernised fundraising techniques, organisers must also mobilise the supporter networks. 

1. Create an online campaign

A really effective fundraising campaign can raise vast amounts of cash each year. Crowdfunding is probably one of the revolutionised fundraising campaigns with a simple concept. If your fundraising story is impactful, you will surely win the hearts of supporters. This fundraising method considers online networks to be a useful tool to spread the message. The success of this method depends on the effectiveness of spreading the word. When pairing your fundraiser with an online campaign, be sure to stay active online, be visual and tell your story. 

2. Create a mobile-friendly website 

In the age of smartphones, supporters are more likely to support your campaign if you have your own portable fundraising tools. These days, donors are more comfortable using their smartphones for making a donation than other payment modes. You can take this as an opportunity to connect with your donors or supporters. Mobile giving technology is simple, speedy and hassle-free. 

3. Promote your campaign

Donors are essential to holding a successful fundraising campaign. You will need to advertise your campaigns so you can increase brand awareness. For your campaign to thrive in online environments, you need to fully brand your event, work closely with supporters and use traditional methods alongside digital campaign techniques. 

4. Engage with donors

Although everyone considers donor acquisition as a vital component of fundraising, the relationship does not end after your donor confirms donation. In order to secure recurring donations, donor engagement should be given importance. If you want to keep your donors commitment for the long haul, thanking them and providing updates are a great practice. You can also connect with your donors by calling or sending them email. As much as possible, you should not include a donation request in every communication. 

5. Invest in good software

It is not easy to manage a fundraising campaign. In fact, the tasks involved will surely have your hands full. Even planning can be made easier if you take advantage of software. It reduces manual tasks so you can execute your event successfully. The planning process will be smooth sailing because the software takes care of everything else. It allows you to focus on engaging your donors or supporters. 

Hiring Committed Volunteers For Your Fundraising Organisation

Hiring Committed Volunteers For Your Fundraising Organisation

Having people to support your organisation is a huge advantage because it only goes to show that they have a heart for supporting a good cause. And while many are called, only a few will be chosen because not everyone can be 100% committed especially when the going gets tough. The hiring process is an important step to identifying willing candidates. Although there are many prospects that will offer to volunteer, once the program starts, only a few will show up. Here are 4 tips to consider when hiring volunteers. 

1. Create an online application form

It is difficult to answer questions related to volunteering when you have a lot of things to do. As a leader, you are not only tasked to take care of volunteers but to make sure that other responsibilities are not overlooked as well. An application form will help save both time and effort. Here you can get a list of potential volunteers that you can rely on during the fundraising campaign. When creating an online application form, make sure that you have a field that will allow your potential volunteers to provide a summary of their most recent volunteering experience. It is important to know whether or not they have done any volunteering jobs in the past because it will help you gauge their commitment and determine the skills they have. 

2. Shortlist candidates

Not everyone who filled out the application form can qualify for the volunteering job. There are who just got carried away because of peer pressure. This is the stage where you have to screen candidates. Shortlisting candidates will involve knowing the experience they have as a volunteer and their commitment. One mistake that organisations often commit is hiring everyone who fills out the application form without taking the time to find out if all of those who volunteered are really committed. Shortlist those who have the potential to help your organisation succeed. 

3. Conduct a personal interview

Do not wait for the event to start before scheduling a meeting with your volunteers. Starting a casual conversation will help you gain a deeper understanding of how passionate the volunteer is. Asking the right questions will also give you some hints if you have indeed chosen a deserving person. Aside from asking them about their past volunteering experience, you will also have to find out about the problem-solving skills. There are willing volunteers who easily give up once they are faced with problems. 

4. Train new volunteers

Although new-hires have prior experience, they may encounter tasks, which are unique to your organisation. Aside from hiring volunteers who are strong cultural fit, it is also important to consider people who have skills. Go for someone who is trainable and has innate qualities that can take your organisation to the peak of success regardless of the amount of voluntary work they provide. 

Problems Faced When Fundraising

Problems Faced When Fundraising

Some organisations are struggling to accomplish their fundraising goals while others achieve them effortlessly. Successful organisations are not immune to problems. They too have encountered a lot of challenges before savoring the fruits of their hard work. They still have occasional setbacks, but they have strategies in place to face these problems. Identifying problems and knowing how to deal with them will increase your chances of succeeding in fundraising. 

1. Everything gets boring

Routines make your members lose their motivation to continue. Repetitive tasks hinder you from using your creativity and imagination. While it is unavoidable to repeat tasks, variations will prevent boredom. There should be proper intervals so you can avoid using these techniques excessively. 

If you want to foster creativity and stop being repetitive, explore on subjects such as business models, fundraising strategies, art and design and even relationship building so you will know how to improve your fundraising approaches. You can also identify various aspects of your organisation that will help you understand your strengths and weaknesses. 

2. Not delegating the tasks to the right person

Doing all the work can be stressful and may even be the cause for you to lose your motivation. Getting everyone involved will prevent any inclination to take more than you can handle. Even if you are the leader of your organisation, you need to loosen up by distributing the tasks to your teams. You work smarter not harder when you get everyone in the organisation involved. 

3. Uninspired Volunteers

Your volunteers are one of your greatest assets. When they lose focus on your common goal and they are no longer motivated to make an effort to make the campaign or event successful, there is a problem you need to resolve. Volunteers may be exhausted that they no longer look forward to carrying out the task you assign to them. You will need to analyse if you are setting realistic goals. If they need help, get additional people so the campaign will be able to move smoothly. Check their schedule and identify the tasks they resonate with. They are going to deliver a great performance this way. 

4. Outdated Website

Your website represents your organisation. It should provide essential information to your audience about your mission, vision and objective. Your website informs your members, volunteers, donors or supporters about any activities or events that they can participate in. When people do not feel connected with your organisation, it might be because your website does not talk much about your cause. Use your website to send your message to supporters. Make it a point to add relevant and engaging content. Make your website user friendly and professional looking. Having rich media content will capture your audience's interest. 

5 Steps To Evaluating Your Fundraising Campaign

5 Steps To Evaluating Your Fundraising Campaign

When you are running a fundraising campaign, there is no guarantee that it will be successful. Just because your campaign did not succeed does not mean you should quit. The feedback from your community can help you improve your strategies. It is also essential to come up with improvement question. This way, you will know which areas you need to improve. Evaluating your fundraising campaign helps you reach new levels especially if you are running a campaign every year. Here are the steps to evaluating your campaign. 

1. Analyse your data

At the end of your fundraising campaign, gather the data you need to analyse strengths and weaknesses. Find out whether you have met your goal or you have fallen short. Having numbers in hand will give you an idea about your performance. You can also use the data as your starting point when it comes to getting some additional donors that can help you with your fundraising campaign. Your data will also serve as your roadmap that will lead you to the direction you are going to take. 

2. Continue to evaluate

Even if you have succeeded in running a fundraising campaign, there will still be a lot of room for improvement. If you used to accommodate a small community, your success can lead you to setting bigger goals. With bigger goals to accomplish, this will include creating new strategies. Keep in mind that you need to have continuous improvement as you go along. You will need to repeat the evaluation process as you set new goals. 

3. Stay focused

It is easy to lose track of your goals and mission when there are so many things left to do. A successful fundraising organisation stay focused on the mission to ensure it is successfully completed. You can raise more money if you know where to put your focus on. Come up with qualitative questions that will enable you to get a better idea of your campaign and its mission. 

4. Have a forward-thinking mindset

Setting goals should not be a one-time thing. Since running a fundraising campaign needs commitment, have a future-focused evaluation. It helps you set goals for next year. Being prepared for your future campaigns will give confidence to solve problems. In this process, you will need to identify the things you need to maintain and change. 

5. Welcome feedback

Even the most successful fundraising organisation is not immune to unflattering criticisms. When you welcome feedback even if it means accepting unpleasant comments from volunteers, stakeholders, donors and the people in your community, taking something in your stride will improve your organisation. 

5 Signs Your Fundraising Campaign Fails

5 Signs Your Fundraising Campaign Fails

Is fundraising success really for seasoned leaders? Is there a chance for beginners to succeed in fundraising despite the lack of experience? You might have organised a fundraising event in the past and you found yourself scratching your head, wondering what could have gone wrong. These occasional setbacks do not seem to matter if you have encountered an A-HA moment wherein you have finally found the answers to your questions. However, if you are still in the same situation, completely clueless about the next steps to take, then your next fundraising event is doomed to fail. Fortunately, you can take full control of the event's outcome. The solution is simple: Avoid common fundraising mistakes. These five mistakes may be the reason for fundraising slip-ups. 

1. Confusing Fundraising Story

A fundraising story has deep impact on people. However, it is also essential for these stories to connect with your audience emotionally. Ambiguous stories will only dissuade people. Make sure you are mindful of how you deliver your message. It helps when you ask yourself how you are going to attain your goal. Your message should be informative and focused. Avoid rushing into creating a story when you have not yet articulated your mission. Everything must be clear and detailed. 

2. Unclear Call to Action

A call to action compels people to take the next step. It signals audience to act now. A clear call to action means that people are completely aware of the steps to take. Missing a call to action or failing to push people in the right direction means that you are not doing well in promoting a campaign. Readers should be motivated to spread your campaign. If there is no sense of urgency established, it will be difficult to get a response from your target audience. 

3. Poor Visual Content

Why is putting high-resolution images and photos required to increase online fundraiser success? Quality visual content matters. Compelling images tell your fundraising story minus the words. While it only demands less effort, many organisations fail to get the right formula because of choosing the wrong images. Aside from fundraising stories, photos and videos also create a powerful impact. Make sure your visual content communicates to your readers. 

4. Lack of Social Media Strategy

The social media is one of the contributions of advanced technology that has the power to tap into your target audience. Many organisations have succeeded because of utilising social media well. This social platform can reach thousands and even millions of potential supporters and donors. One engaging content and you can win yourself multitudes of followers. Unfortunately, social media sites will not attract audience for you unless you have put strategies in place. For these social platforms to work perfectly, your social media site needs to keep your audience come back for more. 

5. No Updates

After an event participated by interested members of your community, everyone deserves to be updated to get ideas of what your future plans will look like. Not giving updates to your donors, volunteers and supporters will only send a signal that your future projects are hanging by a thread. Keeping people in the loop will let them know the status and milestones of your organisation. 

What Makes A Fundraising Campaign Unique?

What Makes A Fundraising Campaign Unique?

Have you ever wondered why some fundraising campaigns are successful while others are still struggling to connect with the audience. There are key ingredients that should be present in your campaign to ensure long term growth and deeper connection. 

1. Your target audience

You will never earn sufficient support from your audience if you do not understand them. It is important that you know your audience so you can achieve your goals. When it comes to understanding your audience, having evidence of their genuine passion and interest in supporting your campaign goes a long way. When creating a copy, think about the reaction of your audience before sending the fundraising letter. Ask yourself as though you were in your audience's shoes: how would you feel if you were to receive the fundraising letter? When you ask the right questions, you will be able to create an impactful campaign. 

2. Your story

It is difficult for potential donors to connect if they do not know the stories you tell. A personal story that people can relate to will not only capture your prospects' attention but also touch their hearts. Emotional connection matters especially to first-time supporters. Is there any campaign that created an emotional impact on people? Knowing the story that can help people understand your objectives, values, mission and vision will help you gain enough support.

3. Your engagement

Engagement encompasses many aspects such as branding, email, print and many others. Nowadays, there are four active generations you should engage: traditionalists, boomers, Gen-X and Millennials. Each generation has a different way of using technology. Although the social media connects all generations, there are different ways you can tap into these audiences. Check your branding including the logo, font sizes, font types and other specifications. Direct mail is still relevant to your audiences, but integrated approach must be considered. 

4. Your communication

Aside from engagement, your communication strategy is also considered as a driving force that will take your fundraising campaign to the peak of success. However, crafting a communication strategy is easier said than done. This is because the email you send should be branded and have call to action. It is also essential that your call to action is visible. It will also be important to give something back as incentives for their hard work. In terms of email campaigns, structuring them as an automatic resend will also help you follow up on your prospects. 

Even if you only have a limited resources and time, it does not necessarily mean that you cannot have a successful fundraising campaign. Even saying thank you provides you a better chance of earning and retaining donors.  

How To Accomplish Fundraising Goals As A Community Organiser

How To Accomplish Fundraising Goals As A Community Organiser

There are many things that a community organiser needs to focus on for a fundraising event to be successful. Some organisers who already know the ins and outs of fundraising may consider the task fun and exciting, but for those who have just plunged into this type of endeavor, fundraising principles are quite foreign to them. Being an organiser is not an easy task. You have to be always prepared and ready to give a helping hand. You should also be true to your mission. Here are some key steps so you can benefit from your role in the community. 

Understand the role you play

Perhaps you have your own reasons for accepting the position. While it is not easy, there is no reason for you to quit. It is important that you understand how fundraising works. It is only then that you will be able to help people in your community. You cannot help strengthen the community if you do not know your objective. Do you want to help people recover from a disaster? Do you want to plant flowers or trees? Knowing your objective will serve as your road map. It will take to the direction you desire. 

A clear purpose will enable you understand your efforts. You will also have a clue how the community can benefit from your program. Involving everyone in your project will lessen the burden and give you more ideas that will connect people in your community. 

Encourage community involvement

Fundraising requires group efforts. Even if you have a brilliant idea, it will not be materialised unless you decide to involve donors, volunteers and your fellow organiser. Their involvement will help you craft some creative ideas, which you will need to achieve your goals. You will also notice that your tasks become less burdensome as you know that you have made a great difference. Invite people to attend meetings so they can also contribute their ideas. Giving people an opportunity to extend a helping hand and set goals as a group are going to be a rewarding experience. 

Avoid competing with other local fundraisers. 

Keep in mind that timing is everything. If you want your fundraising event to create a great impact on the community, it needs to be properly organised. While there is no such a thing as "off-season" in fundraising, you will still have to avoid competing. You need to create a plan for the next few months. You need to be prepared and try to tap into everyone's potential. 

Boost campaign by using social media

The social media can widen your public reach. A Facebook group or page can go a long way when it comes to boosting your fundraiser. It is also a great avenue for improving your circle of support. The page has to be updated by sharing photos or videos. A short video that highlights your project will definitely help people understand your objectives and mission. 

5 Reasons Your Fundraising Campaign Does Not Get Enough Support

5 Reasons Your Fundraising Campaign Does Not Get Enough Support

All the hardwork and planning will be useless if your fundraising campaign is failing. You may already have a campaign strategy which has been effective in the past. Some organisations have already used them, and they succeed in bringing in more supporters and donors. However, when it comes to your organisation, it seems that nothing is working. It is either your members are no longer motivated or you lack donors to commit to supporting your campaign. There are 5 reasons your campaign is failing:

1. No solid strategy

A fundraising campaign may sound fun and easy, but without a strategy, an organisation may find itself into a chaotic situation. A strategy can be as simple as sharing your event on social media. Knowing exactly who you should target will help you tailor your post to your prospects' preference and interest. Sharing is not enough that you also have to know how each medium is performing. Tracking helps you identify the type of content, which is a cut above the rest. 

2. Inaccurate list

You are bound to fail if you do not make it a point to update your list. Your campaign requires a group of people to support it. An outdated list will reduce your chances of getting supporters. Updating your list will enable you to determine the people who are still committed to supporting your campaign. 

3. Limited donation options

Is your organisation open to change? Does your website have flexible donation functionality? Organisations just cannot remain comfortable with their old strategy even if it worked in the past. Situations and preferences do change. Organisations need to survive by taking a proactive stance. 

4. Unclear call to action

Donors who know what they should do next signifies that you have clear call to action. Whether you want your visitors to donate or share a post, you need to tell them. Giving clear instructions will increase the chances of getting support from prospects. It is also important to note that you should only have one call to action per page. People get confused with too many instructions and may even result in leaving your website. 

5. Not exploring

Having loyal donors is a sign that your fundraising campaign is doing great. However, asking the same donors means that you are not exploring other options. There are other potential donors who also want to support a good cause, but if you continue to stay within your comfort zone, you are also missing out on having long term fundraising growth. 

3 Techniques For A Successful Fundraising

3 Techniques For A Successful Fundraising

Fundraising success requires hard work, commitment and dedication. Sadly, not everyone has the drive to stay in the game especially if are challenges ahead of them. There are three techniques you can employ to ensure a successful fundraising campaign.

1. Personalise your fundraising strategy

Fundraising does not necessarily mean that one size fits all. Every strategy must be tailored to the needs of your organisation. One thing that convinces donors to make a commitment is when they realise that your organisation has a unique cause. Something that is out of the ordinary. Personalising your strategies means that your mission must be aligned to the values of your organisation. Be sure that everyone participates so you can ensure success. Each member must know the value of their participation and it should not just be for the sake of compliance. Educating your members how important their participation is will also double their effort and commitment. 

2.Create and share fundraising pages

No matter how creative and brilliant your campaign is, missing out on spreading the word will not get you the supporters you need. Take advantage of social media so your organisation can gain traction. Reaching the wider public will enable you to get more donors, volunteers and supporters. Be as interactive as possible and update your page regularly so your supporters will know what your organisation has been up to. Your fundraising campaign should not be centered on raising money only. It should also involve cultivating positive relationship, teamwork and commitment. 

3. Encourage members

It is hard to start a campaign when you do not get enough support from your members. Lead by example because once donors see that your willingness to help, they will also make an effort to donate. You are also removing the barrier if you make the initial donation. Sure there will be challenges along the way, but this is not a good reason to give up as you are half way through crossing the finish line. 

Your volunteers, supporters and donors play an important role in ensuring the success of your fundraising campaign. Make sure you nurture them and always go the extra mile so they do not lose their drive and motivation to help. 

Do You Take Care Of Your Volunteers?

Do You Take Care Of Your Volunteers?

Fundraising provides fun and rewarding experience. You also owe the success of your campaign to the people who undyingly support your cause-these are your donors, supporters and volunteers. When there is little time, but so much work to do, volunteers make it easier for you to carry out the day to day task. However, there are some instances when volunteers also feel the stress of trying to accomplish your goals. Without recognition, it is easy for volunteers to leave as they do not have good reasons to stay to begin with. If you want your relationship with your volunteers to prosper and last, here are some things to keep in mind: 

1. Provide substantial training

Volunteers may already be passionate about what they are doing, but this does not mean they already know the ins and outs of fundraising. You still need to lead them in the right direction by showing them the steps and letting them practice. It will also be helpful if you allow them to ask questions. When you have happier volunteers, you will also have higher revenues. 

2. Provide the right materials and support

Aside from training, volunteers also need materials and support to ensure success. They should have printed copies of training materials and sufficient supply of items needed for fundraising such as donor envelopes, order forms, annual reports, brochures and many others. There should also be a support readily available when they need assistance. 

3. Be open to new ideas

Volunteers must also be encouraged to make use of their creativity by sharing their ideas. While you may have some policies and protocols in place, this does not mean that you should be rigid all the time. Volunteers also need some opportunities to grow so they can excel at what they are doing. 

4. Track progress

Encouragement is important to your team of volunteers. Tracking their progress involves monitoring people who are working and contributing to the success of the organisation. If you happen to notice that some are no longer motivated to keep going, you should help them regain their confidence. If something is stopping them from doing their best, schedule a coaching session so you will be able to find out what really is wrong. 

5. Thank your volunteers

The entire process of fundraising can be tiring and tedious. Volunteers deserve recognition because of their efforts to make the event possible. Never forget to praise and thank your volunteers. They will surely appreciate this one simple gesture. 

3 Signs You Are Running A Successful Fundraising Campaign

3 Signs You Are Running A Successful Fundraising Campaign

It is every organisation's goal to run a successful fundraising campaign because it is a sign that efforts and dedication have paid off. Perhaps the most obvious indicator that your organisation has succeeded in its fundraising efforts is when you have accomplished your goals. However, there are signs which may not be visible, but you can easily tell that the campaign has fostered values when your members are looking forward to the next fundraising event. Beyond heaps of donors, thousands of cash and a plethora of inquiries, there are 3 signs that indicate you are indeed running a successful fundraising campaign. 

1. Donors are asking about the next fundraising event. 

You do not win donors just by telling them you want to help others. They have received stories which do not demonstrate genuine interest to help. This is why writing fundraising letters is challenging because you need to make it more personalised to connect with donors. A fundraising campaign that has continuously touched the lives of your donors creates a great impact on their loyalty. Donors are regular consumers endorsing their favorite brand. You will not see them use the product if they do not believe in it. If your organisation has left a positive impression, you do not have to keep on begging for their support. A satisfied donor will even be the first to approach you when you are organising your next fundraising event. 

2. Everyone participates even in meetings. 

The most challenging part of running a fundraising organisation is getting everyone to participate in achieving the organisation's goals. From development directors to donors, everyone is expected to participate. However, when motivation is slowly wearing off, convincing your team to participate will be a difficult task. A team that has witnessed the success of your campaign will feel inspired and eager to find out what is in store for them. There will be plans a couple of months in advance to ensure that the next event will be as successful as the previous one. You will no longer have to keep on nudging your members awake to keep them motivate. 

3. You gain more followers.

Another indicator that your organisation is on the right track is when you are gaining more followers on your social media pages. These days, potential donors, volunteers and supporters will not follow an organisation if they do not see tangible proof of its success. Having a successful fundraising event means that you are effective in implementing strategies and setting goals. 

Early Planning: An Effective Way To Improve Your Fundraising Techniques

Early Planning: An Effective Way To Improve Your Fundraising Techniques

Whether you are not completely satisfied with the results of your fundraising efforts or you just want to improve your overall strategy, early planning will help you improve your annual fundraising strategy. In January, you should start the year right by challenging yourself and determining your strengths and weaknesses. Your strategies need to be in order for your goals to become a reality. You do not have to wait for 2017 to come to improve your approach because a written plan that enables you to align your goals across your fundraising organisation will help you keep your plans more systematic.

Define Your Fundraising Strategy

Your strategy serves as the guiding force of your organisation. The document will help you communicate your goals and progress. They can serve as your organisation's motivational factor to keep going.

There are four main components you need to check to analyse your fundraising strategy: fundraising methods, fundraising goal, mission and timeline. Your fundraising strategy will be your tool in setting your goals and winning support from potential donors. Planning will be less daunting if you break the process. 

Review Your Current Year

For you to know the areas you need to improve, you should start with determining your performance from the previous year. Find out if your efforts still serve your mission. There are campaigns that perform better than others. Know the campaigns you should retain and let go for the coming year. Be sure to document them and take your resources into consideration as well such as donor data, volunteers, staff, budget, software and relationship with donors and partners. 

Determine Areas Of Growth And Improvement

Knowing which direction you will take in 2017 should start with analysing your opportunities, threats, strengths and weaknesses. For strengths, list the most successful campaigns and initiatives. Determine if you have reliable pool of donors and techniques in raising money. Aside from strengths, you should also find out about your weaknesses. Do you lack standard process, or do you need to improve your social media presence? For your opportunities, you should also have an idea about an upcoming event. It is important to have a system in place. It is also inevitable to encounter threats so you need to be prepared for the worst case scenario. You need know how you are going to respond to a threat. Know the state of the economy, changes to government policy and possibility of high turnover.

Are You Preparing For Your Next Fundraising Event?

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After organizing your first fundraising event, the next step you need to take is to plan your next event. You can be filled with ambivalence of excitement and fear as the pressure is on you. Your apprehensions may serve as an obstacle to the campaign’s success. Although it is already your second fundraising event, no two events are created equal. The approach you should use must be tailored to the kind of event you plan to organize.

The planning process can be challenging, but if you already know the fundraising system, it will be easier than you know.

So put your thinking cap on and take note of these planning tips:


1. Choose an interesting theme. If an event benefits a great cause, people will not hesitate to attend. Think about your audience and be more creative especially when it comes to the kind of event you and your members are going to organize. If you are targeting young professionals, you can consider wine tasting or date auction as some of the fundraising events to organize. If you want to target corporations, you can organize a sporting event or a game night. You don’t have to spend much to be creative. You just need to keep your audience engaged in the event.


2. Create a calendar of activities. Once you have chosen a theme, the next step to take is to think about the promotional channels that can help you promote your event. In order to keep your activities more organized while preparing for your next fundraising event, you have to create a calendar that shows a list of your activities in one place. The calendar should include essential details such as the owner, marketing channel, additional stakeholders and the date. You can use spreadsheet or an online calendar to do this. You can also collaborate with your team by sharing your calendar publicly. This way, you will be able to know if there’s anything you need to improve.


3. Provide incentives for early ticket buyers. Typically, tickets are sold at a discounted price four to six weeks before the event. Majority of registrations also take place towards the last week, when the event is almost approaching. When you incentivize your attendees to sign up for registration early, you will be able to reduce the same cycle for ticket-buying. With this technique, you can plan in advance and get a more accurate head count.


4. Keep your event page informative. One of the sure-fire ways to determine whether your attendees are going to be present in your event or not is by creating an event page. It should include the basic information that is usually present in an event page such as who, what, where, when and why. The attendees have the information they need to decide if they are going to attend your fundraising event. Make sure you focus more on quantifying the impact from your fundraising goals.


5. Track everything about the fundraising event. This is where your promotional calendar plays an important role. Be sure to create an online tracker that will enable you to track each of your activities. This way, you will be able to monitor and understand the activities that attract more visits and create better conversions.

 

Check These Misconceptions Before Writing A Fundraising Letter

shopping list 707760 1280How can you bring out the wordsmith in you when writing a fundraising letter if you are quite unsure of the rules to follow? Although thinking through your fingers and simply pouring out your thoughts on paper make the writing tasks easier, you still have to make sure that your thoughts are conveyed properly to potential donors.

When writing a fundraising letter, choosing your words carefully means a lot. You may have a hard time coming up with the best fundraising letter because you can be your own worst critic. This is why you should review your draft and identify some areas for improvement. Make sure your potential donors will feel engaged in your conversation.

Avoid conventional prose and cliches because donors will only get bored. Try to create a connection not only with your potential donors but also with your organisation.  

Although you are writing a letter, when your letter feels like an actual conversation, your prospects will also sense your sincerity. Don’t just be mindful of your grammar and punctuation as you also have to pay attention to the letter’s overall appeal.

Suffice it to say, being keen on details lead you in the right direction.

• Incomplete sentences: A real conversation should have subject-verb agreement. A sentence is a complete thought and when you are writing a letter that resembles a text message, your reader will more likely to skim through the pages of your letter rather read it. Take time to write in complete sentences so you can convey the right message.

• Using “I” frequently: If you are trying to achieve objectivity, this singular voice is often drummed out especially on essay writing. The same rule applies when writing a letter.

• Too much use of dashes: One of the purposes of dashes is to link phrases together but when used liberally, it can also become an eye sore in your letter.

• Contractions: For direct mail writing, contractions are a big no, no. However, many people including the most educated leader cannot avoid using this shorthand especially when speaking.

• Using “and” at the beginning of a sentence: You may consider using 'and' to encourage your readers to keep reading the letter but the improper use of this connector can repel readers instead of engaging them in a written conversation.

• Repetition: Instead of using the same words over and over again, try to rephrase your sentences to come up with a more thoughtful and insightful idea. See to it that you organize your thoughts or points in a logical manner. The message must be conveyed in one paragraph to avoid redundancy.

• Writing in short paragraphs without checking whether the sentences belong together: Creating seven lines in a paragraph that don’t seem to connect with each other may leave your readers lost. Your main goal is to make sure that your readers’ interest is captured and this can be done by ensuring that your letter is easy to read.

• Empty words: In the hopes of making your letter lengthy, you add words that don’t give weight to the entire message. If you wish to write with flair, make sure that the real purpose of your letter is not set aside.

5 Common Reasons Donors Leave

disapprove 149251 1280Your donors play an important role in the success of your fundraising program. However, the happiness you feel upon discovering that you have convinced plenty of donors is only temporary as they are nowhere to be found when you announced that you have another fundraising program. 

You are trying to think of the reasons your donors are leaving the organisation. Is it the strategy you use? The manner they were treated? Did you recognize their efforts? There can be one thousand and one reasons your donors leave and instead of sticking to an assumption, you need to ask for their feedback so you will know how to improve your approaches. 

Common Reasons Donors Choose To Leave

1. They think you no longer need them.

Most donors may be under the impression that you only get in touch with them because you want to raise money. You often leave this kind of impression if you have not take the time to establish a deeper relationship with your donor. Once the fundraising event is over, they will resign to the fact that they are no longer needed and staying in your organisation will only be useless. Give them reasons to stay and let them discover your organisation on a deeper level. 

2. They were not informed how the donations were used.

Donors have the right to know where the money they donated went. Donors deserve an honest answer to their questions. When you fail to answer their questions, you can't expect them to be loyal to your organisation. More often than not, donors want to know the reason you need their help and how their contribution would make a difference. They need proof as some donors can be skeptical if they don't see any positive results. 

3. They have forgotten about your organisation.

Your organisation is not the only one that needs a decent number of donors. In fact, it takes creativity and innovativeness for your donor to remember your organisation. This is why you need to make a lasting impression. Avoid generalized taglines because they only reduce your chances of standing out from thousands of fundraising organisations. Your organisation needs to be unique, transparent and straightforward. 

4. They never got thanked for donating.

Whether in cash or in kind, thanking your donors is necessary because without them, you won't be able to make your fundraising event possible. When you don't thank your donors for their kindness and generosity, you are sending a signal that you don't care about them and you are only after their donations. Instead of keeping donors, you are repelling them.

5. They don't receive proper communication.

When you are obssessed about making your logo attractive, you are missing another essential detail of your copy, which is the content. Some of the common mistakes when making a copy is paying little attention to the overall content of the letter. You fail to proofread your letter and you ignore spelling and grammar mistakes. All of these must be taken seriously because they can create a serious impact on your readers. Don't just concentrate on the logo as the content of your copy matters as well. 

Exploring The Truths And Myths About Fundraising

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Fundraising can be a rewarding experience for everyone who participates in the event. Not only does it promote the value of generosity but it also encourages team work. For those who are new to fundraising, the myths mar the success of the program. On the other hand, embracing fundraising truths help you establish a path to successful fundraising. There are several reasons why fundraising becomes another run-of-the-mill program and one of which is not having the right knowledge about raising funds. If you don't understand how fundraising works, you will be expending your energy on an event that will not yield any positive results. Your supporters, donors and members will feel exhausted trying to make the event work but at the end of the day, you know you have yet to find the missing piece of the puzzle. 

The Basic Truths About Fundraising

Don't just raise money, raise friends.

Fundraising can be somewhat compared to a popularity contest for a good cause. You just can't go around asking for money that will support your cause without reaching out to people. Potential donors will hesitate giving money if they don't know you. Ever wondered why some people find it easy to raise money? The more people you know, the more money you earn. If people don't like you, they will not support your fundraising program. Before you start a fundraising campaign, make sure you show genuine interest in other people. It is easy to raise money when you raise friends. 

Successful fundraising involves hardwork.

You can't just cast a spell and wait for your fundraising to work wonders the next day. If you want to be a fundraiser, you need to get involved with all the hard work. It may look like a simple concept but without execution, your ideas will be futile. There are lots of aspects you need to look into. After planning, you have to execute your concept and assess the outcome. You should be sensitive with your organization's needs. Be keen on details so you will know the things you need to improve in your organization. 

People's support is earned not asked. 

You let your prospects know about your organization's objective and they are quite impressed about it. However, you are still not getting the support you have been expecting? What could have gone wrong? As they say, actions speak louder than words and the same principle applies to fundraising. You have to show your sincerity in helping before you can earn potential supporter's trust. You have to show your consistency in your efforts to make the fundraising organization work. 

Myths About Fundraising Debunked

The process involved in fundraising is unknown. 

Fundraising does have clear and comprehensive steps that allow supporters, fundraising officers, donors and members to stay involved in the program. 

Fundraising requires a proven track record if want to be successful in raising money. 

You are bound to fail in your fundraising campaign if you have this mindset. Even if you are new to fundraising, you can still become successful in your campaign if you are dedicated and committed. 

Only large organizations and corporations can help you raise money. 

Fundraising becomes difficult if you only focus on large corporations. Although quality is more important than quantity, you should also concentrate on small organizations. You can build your reputation from small organizations and work your way up to focusing on larger organizations once you have earned a good reputation. 

 

5 Mistakes That Sports Club Fundraising Should Avoid

football 566030 1280Sports club fundraisers are facing a huge responsibility and getting supporters for their program is just a tip of the iceberg. However, there are fundraisers that seem to consider fundraising a walk in the park. Is there really a secret formula to a winning sports club fundraising event? For starters, there will be a series of challenges that will make fundraising success elusive. It usually starts with getting the right supporters for your program. Before you get some supporters, you may want to look into these common mistakes that fundraisers make so you can create an effective fundraising campaign:

1. Failure to establish long-term relationships with stakeholders and board members.

Ever heard of emergency fundraising? While every fundraiser aims for a sense of urgency, keeping a strong organization should involve working together as a team. When calling members for meetings, don’t let your conversation revolve around money or the methods to use for raising money. It should be focused on your fundraising campaign’s core values and mission statement.

Discuss how the community can benefit from the event. If you are going to put pressure on your members to raise money over a short period of time, your campaign is bound to fail because you are not giving your members a pleasant fundraising experience.

2. Focusing more on quantity rather than quality.

When asking members to get some valuable contacts, make sure you provide them one task at a time. If they make too many calls and only get little contributions from prospects, you may have to change the way things work. Analyze which part of the job you need your members the most. When you make the most out of their skills and talent at the right time, you have nothing to lose and more to gain.

3. Relying heavily on cold calls.

Sending members out on cold calls will only increase the likelihood of failure and rejection. Instead of encouraging them to complete the task, you are discouraging them especially if they have already been rejected so many times.

Make the task more fun for them so they will have a pleasant experience to treasure the next time you organize another sports club fundraising event. Send them out on calls that will give them an opportunity to get to know your organization’s views and mission. Once your members have already developed their confidence, you can give them more formal solicitation calls for your sports club.

4. Giving prospects an impression that you are only “asking for money”.

Unfortunately, members who have not thoroughly understood what fundraising is all about will most likely confuse it for merely asking for money. This is why friendship is not built especially when they are unclear with the organization’s goal. Your role is to help your members understand the importance of fundraising not only to help your sports club but also to establish long term friendship.

Stop focusing on the act of soliciting. Instead, get members to focus on the bigger picture, which is the value of sharing and interacting with like-minded individuals. You should also teach them to find ways to express their gratitude to the donors who made the event possible. More often than not, this is the fundraising cycle usually missed by members.

5. Lack of preparation.

It is never easy to raise money for a sports club. You can face a series of challenges and giving up seems like the easiest way out. When your organization lacks structure and proper training, the event will be a complete failure. You need to keep in mind that your members still need proper training for them to understand the philosophy of fundraising.

If you don’t set clear goals and you fail to create a systematic organizational structure, you will sure find it hard to get some committed members. Whether your goal for raising money is to buy new sports equipment or to send off players to an event, you need to be very specific with your goals so your members are aware of their roles.