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!

How To Create An Effective Digital Fundraising Strategy?

How To Create An Effective Digital Fundraising Strategy?

Whether you are a seasoned fundraiser or just starting out, the digital age has offered a better way to raise funds and to reach out to potential donors-digital fundraising. While it offers an interesting way to run a successful fundraising program, success will still be elusive if fundraisers do not know how it will be executed. Like other forms of the campaign, digital fundraising requires a solid fundraising strategy. Just because you are going mobile or using social media to connect with potential donors does not mean that you are doing good at fundraising. It is also important to understand the types of online fundraising and the importance of creating a long-term strategy. 

 Types of Online Fundraising:

1. Online Shops

2. Regular Donations

3. Sponsorships

4. One-off donations

Running a successful fundraiser requires an efficient digital fundraising strategy. You need to focus on several areas such as making a donation, setting up the process and providing relevant information. Although your organisation is mostly focused on online fundraising, it is still essential to provide offline options so you can build relationships with the community and promote your cause. With online fundraising, one thing you need to keep in mind is that you will need to establish a strong online presence. You will also have to utilise various forms of new media and digital communication. 

 1. Raise awareness

Digital fundraising must attract followers to boost your online presence. Marketing and advertising involve sending email newsletters, talking to the media, running advertisements and interacting with social media. 

 2. Use mobile phones

Have you ever noticed how websites evolve these days? In the age of computers and Internet, there is no doubt that most transactions can now be done in just a few clicks. Digital fundraising will not be complete without tapping into the potential of mobile devices in bringing better and faster services. If you have a website, be sure that it is mobile-responsive. You can also place adds on social media to raise awareness and spread the cause. 

 3. Include a compelling story

A memorable story has an impact on your followers. It should have a photo and memorable campaign name. You will also need to include a thank you for each person that shares or donates. When creating a story, make sure that you stay reasons you are doing it. It must also be clear to prospective volunteers how they can go about joining your organisation. 

 4. Update your website

Regularly maintaining and updating your websites keep people visiting. Everything on the website must circle back to the fundraising efforts you are trying to promote. The website must engage potential donors and readers so they will know how passionate you are about promoting a good cause. Aside from updating your website, the content must also be user-friendly. A fundraising website also tells your story. Even color choices matter. This is why you need to make sure that they remain strong and cohesive. 

How To Maximise The Effectiveness Of Online Fundraising?

How To Maximise The Effectiveness Of Online Fundraising?

Although not everyone has the ability to take full advantage of digital technology, there are ways we can minimise its effectiveness by following some simple steps. Online fundraising is considered as an effective way of gaining more donors. All it takes is for everyone to know how to raise prospects' brand awareness using online fundraising. 

1. Create a donation page

Donors are more likely to give a second donation if you are using a branded page. A branded page serves as your online identity that lets your donors know what you do and how you are helping others through your fundraising campaign. The World Wide Web is full of complexities, but once you know how to take full advantage of it, you will not only improve your online presence but gain traction as well. 

2. Start an email fundraising campaign

Email marketing helps you gain additional donors. This becomes an effective marketing weapon if you take the time to gather your supporters' email addresses. Knowing that what you are doing is something they can all relate to will have a strong appeal and impact. Send emails to provide updates, tell your fundraising story or even give your audience an idea of your mission and vision. 

3. Convert social followers into donors

With the advent of social media, it seems easy to reach out to prospects especially when you know that your social followers are interested in what you do. Why not seize the opportunity to turn your followers into donors? This can be done in many ways such as sharing your donation link in social media posts or including a call to action in your posts. Not only do millennial donors prefer giving by social media but Gen Xers and Baby Boomers as well. 

4. Place a donate button on your website

Each visitor is a potential donor. Another way you can use online fundraising to gain donors is by placing a donate button on your website. It should be placed somewhere visible to your audience or prospects. You can also link the donate button to a donation page so it will be easier for them to donate on the spot. Give them an option to donate on mobile or desktop. You can also use a widget where donors can conveniently give directly without leaving your page. 

Online fundraising is an easier way to reach more donors. For every page visitor, there is a great possibility that you can convert them into long-term donors by giving them the information they need about your organisation. Once they are aware of your mission and vision, it will not be difficult for them to decide whether to give or leave. 

5 Things You Need To Create A Successful Fundraising Event

5 Things You Need To Create A Successful Fundraising Event

In holding a fundraising event, it is important for the guests to have a memorable and enjoyable experience. Not everyone can organise an unforgettable event. This is why months of preparation is needed to ensure that there is enough support from donors, volunteers and staff. There are five things you need to make the fundraising event a huge success: 

1. Budget

Drafting a budget is the first step to organising a fundraising event. It gives you a clear perspective about the amount of cash needed for the entire duration of the event. It will also provide an estimate of the potential funds expected to be collected. It is also important to have a realistic attitude to avoid disappointment once the event is over. Along with drafting a budget, setting timelines will also be imperative. You may also want to consider some chances of cash sponsorship as it is considered to be an important contribution to a fundraising event. 

2. Plan

Now that you have analysed your budget, you need a plan to know how you are going to organise the event. A fundraising event is not something you just think of doing without carefully planning for it. You need to research or even curate ideas as these will serve as your guidelines. You will need to prepare your mood boards, contact lists and even deadlines to make sure that your goals are met within the agreed period. 

3. Venue

Location is also another factor to be taken into consideration when organising a fundraising event. You cannot just pick a location without doing a thorough research. The location must have a significant impact on the attendance and should create a welcoming atmosphere. It is also essential that the location is accessible to your audience. The venue must also be checked what else it can offer when it comes to special promotions and discounts. Even when selecting a venue, the budget must be reviewed. 

4. Sponsorship

You may not have enough cash to organising a fundraising event on your own. With that said you need some helpful contribution from your sponsors. Keep in mind that you will be spending money on printing, beverage sponsors and audio-visual. Choosing event partners must be done in a strategic manner. 

5. Resources

Part of organising a fundraising event is making sure that you are spending your money wisely. This is where assessing your available resources comes into play. Before you make any final decisions, research and budget so you will know how much you are going to spend. You may also outsource experts if you want to be cost-efficient and effective.

Online Fundraising And The Best Practices To Follow

Online Fundraising And The Best Practices To Follow

Have you been using social media platforms to take fundraising to the next level? It may be time to refresh your approach by checking if you are following best practices. Although technology can do a lot when it comes to improving online fundraising approaches, it is also important to keep in mind that there are many privacy issues that must be addressed. As a development leader, donors' rights must be protected especially in the online world. 

Unfortunately, maintaining ethics of online giving is easier said than done. In fact, it can be daunting as you need to follow some guidelines in improving safety in the digital age. There are best practices you can follow to protect both your donors and organisation. As a fundraising organisation, you need to maintain reputation that you are a safe and trusted recipient. 

1. Build your identity

Donors need to know who you are before they commit to making a donation. Establishing your identity not only builds trust but creates positive relationship with your donors as well. When creating a website for your organisation, include your purpose and mission. More often than not, these basics are the ones being missed out. Make it a point to include essential information upfront as this is the first step to communicating honestly with your donors. You can also include a video as this can be a start of a friendly conversation. 

2. Keep your website current

The last thing that a donor wants to see is a website cluttered up with unnecessary information that will only cloud your donors' mind. A clear and current website with fresh content helps your donor know your fundraising activities. Having a website that is easy to understand will also help your donors find out what your organisation is about. 

3. Be honest and transparent

Transparency is the identical twin of trust. You cannot earn your donors' trust if you are not transparent to them. If there is part of the donation process that you need to disclose, you can share the essential information so donors will have an idea where their donation goes. It is also important to be open about the privacy policies of your organisation. A privacy policy must be included on your website. It should state the information you gather from your donors and how you are going to use the information. For instance, making online donations must be processed using a secure system so the personal and financial information of donors are protected. 

Technology Traps You Need To Avoid To Succeed In Fundraising

robot sign hello technology concept zkm2mnCuTechnology plays a vital role in fundraising in this day and age. There are many fundraising success stories associated with using technology as a primary tool. However, there are times when technology is carried to extremes. Instead of reaping its benefits, it becomes a burden to fundraisers. When implementing technology, make sure you avoid these traps:

Choosing Free Technology

Fundraising organisations do have budget limitations. This is one reason they become price-conscious. While there is completely nothing wrong with choosing free technology, not all of them can give you the right tool you need to succeed in fundraising. There are instances when the new technology does not meet your organisation's needs. You can be wasting your precious time when you try to make the technology work. Before you fall prey to what new technnology offers, make sure you make an assessment of available technology products. Put together a plan so you can raise funds to pay for the technology you are using. If you want to produce greater results, you should understand the importance of choosing and investing in the right technologies.

Falling Prey To Fundraising Hype

When you are presented with a new technology, the idea of choosing can be overwhelming. However, not all technologies offer the same benefits. You should not choose the new system but the best system for your fundraising needs. Trying out a new technology that you are not completely familiar with can only do more harm then good. You might have heard of a new fundraising buzzword that promises to transform your organisation, but make sure you assess things.

Going Digital Without Thinking Digital

It is easy to get swept away by the modern advances of technology. However, going digital without assigning someone to create a strategy or counter the challenges that it entails can still have a negative effect on your organisation. The system will not run or fix itself. Despite the amazing things an intelligent technology can do, it still requires someone to run it. You can benefit from digitisation if it is not used properly.

You can be an effective fundraiser if you choose the right technology for your organisation. Just because you come across a new technology does not necessarily mean it is suitable to your organisation. As technology begins to play a larger role in your organisation, make sure you implement the best technology that can help you succeed in fundraising. This technology will require significant investment, but once done correctly, you get an exceptional value from it in the long run.

eFundraising: A Brave Move?

The Internet, with its wide geographical reach, has promised new fundraising opportunities to organisations that are struggling with increasing the number of donors. It might be true that the Internet provides every organisation with an ability to explore prospective donors by means of using various social channels. However, there is more than just taking a look at what the internet can do when it comes to getting more donors to sign up.

Just like other strategies, online fundraising may not work for everyone. It does not offer one-size-fits-all formula that addresses concerns in raising money. It is also interesting to note that the forms of solicitation to use must be taken into consideration. While the Internet offers a new way to communicate, it does not necessarily mean that all fundraising techniques that involve using the Internet are effective. There are some forms of online fundraising that donors find appealing, but there are also those they do not like.

When you deal with various forms of solicitation, it is important to check which forms have the highest percentage of commitment. If you are already using a proven method and add internet solicitation to the mix, you will be able to have a killer fundraising campaign. You just have to know how you are going to go about making such an addition to your existing program.

Although it may go unnoticed, but there is a constant change on the number of websites which are offering to receive and process contributions. When raising money using the Internet, building your own website is very important. Due to the fact that fundraising and websites go hand in hand, it is important that people have enough information so they will be able to decide if there is something that needs to be changed.

Although eFundraising is a powerful tool to reach the number of audiences that can help an organisation accomplish goals, it does not necessarily mean that overstating your case is acceptable. It is still important for you to make sure that you are focused on your primary goals. It is also fine to use traditional methods because not all techniques you come across will be able to help you make your techniques more effective.

The Internet allows you to go global, but it will involve a series of experimentation so you will be able to get the right formula for a successful eFundraising. Do not be enamored with the Internet because it also has its own drawbacks. The main purpose of the Internet is to extend more opportunities so people will be more aware of the kind of program you wish to promote.  Traditional fundraising combined with eFundraising can create a great difference to your organisation.

Fundraising In A Virtual World

These days, meeting with your board members is easy through a virtual meeting platform online. Collaborating with all the members of your fundraising organisation is no longer difficult because everything is done virtually. However, virtual meetings also have their own challenges especially when there are some technical issues that an organisation needs to deal with. There are some best practices that an organisation needs to follow to ensure that all members think more creatively and expansively.

Plan a good meeting

Even when you are meeting on a conference or Skype call, it is important that you know the essential ingredients of a good meeting. Before you start, make sure you have prepared a list of topics, which you are going to discuss. An agenda is important because it is only then that you will be able to know more about the concerns of your board members. You will also have to think through the purpose of the meeting, the process and even the outcome. It is also necessary to limit the meeting time to no more than 90 minutes and see to it that you start on time. If possible, you can also end a few minutes early.

Appoint a facilitator

A virtual meeting may seem to be in chaos if the people involved do not know if it is already their turn to speak. As a result, they speak at the same time causing barriers in the process of communicating. If you have a facilitator, everyone gets a chance to speak and there will be someone to speak out the rules of engagement. A facilitator will be able to play a strong role in ensuring that the people in a virtual meeting will not talk over one another.

Confirm attendance and participation

Another reason virtual meetings become unsuccessful is due to the lack of commitment of some participants. A facilitator must be able to confirm attendance by getting everyone to discuss how they will participate. Make sure they are aware of the effects of background noise. They should also be informed they will be called on to participate.

Utilise technology but be prepared for problems

Virtual meetings provide convenience to all members of the fundraising organisation who cannot be physically present in a meeting. However, there are also some problems that you need to be prepared for if you want the meeting to be a success. Some of the common problems that you may encounter during a meeting include connectivity issues, audio crackles, unreadable documents and many others.
While these problems cannot be avoided, it is necessary that you are aware of the resolutions to these problems. Since you are going to conduct a virtual meeting, it is important that you have a good audio. Have the technician check your connection 30 minutes before the meeting. You will also have to set your expectations that people have different internet speeds. If it is not required, do not ask everyone to be on video. Encourage real-time note taking so they will know the issues that have been discussed during a meeting.

Fundraising In A Virtual World

These days, meeting with your board members is easy through a virtual meeting platform online. Collaborating with all the members of your fundraising organisation is no longer difficult because everything is done virtually. However, virtual meetings also have their own challenges especially when there are some technical issues that an organisation needs to deal with. There are some best practices that an organisation needs to follow to ensure that all members think more creatively and expansively.

Plan a good meeting

Even when you are meeting on a conference or Skype call, it is important that you know the essential ingredients of a good meeting. Before you start, make sure you have prepared a list of topics, which you are going to discuss. An agenda is important because it is only then that you will be able to know more about the concerns of your board members. You will also have to think through the purpose of the meeting, the process and even the outcome. It is also necessary to limit the meeting time to no more than 90 minutes and see to it that you start on time. If possible, you can also end a few minutes early.

Appoint a facilitator

A virtual meeting may seem to be in chaos if the people involved do not know if it is already their turn to speak. As a result, they speak at the same time causing barriers in the process of communicating. If you have a facilitator, everyone gets a chance to speak and there will be someone to speak out the rules of engagement. A facilitator will be able to play a strong role in ensuring that the people in a virtual meeting will not talk over one another.

Confirm attendance and participation

Another reason virtual meetings become unsuccessful is due to the lack of commitment of some participants. A facilitator must be able to confirm attendance by getting everyone to discuss how they will participate. Make sure they are aware of the effects of background noise. They should also be informed they will be called on to participate.

Utilise technology but be prepared for problems

Virtual meetings provide convenience to all members of the fundraising organisation who cannot be physically present in a meeting. However, there are also some problems that you need to be prepared for if you want the meeting to be a success. Some of the common problems that you may encounter during a meeting include connectivity issues, audio crackles, unreadable documents and many others.
While these problems cannot be avoided, it is necessary that you are aware of the resolutions to these problems. Since you are going to conduct a virtual meeting, it is important that you have a good audio. Have the technician check your connection 30 minutes before the meeting. You will also have to set your expectations that people have different internet speeds. If it is not required, do not ask everyone to be on video. Encourage real-time note taking so they will know the issues that have been discussed during a meeting.

Has Your Organisation Already Joined The Digital Fundraising Bandwagon?

Fundraising with a technological twist is immensely popular these days, but not everyone can emerge victorious in the digital world. When prospects see the donate button, it seems difficult to support an organisation if donors are not yet completely informed about the organisation’s mission and vision. One thing that can keep an organisation on its feet in the digital world is a strong online presence. What are the elements that an organisation need to keep in mind for their online presence to soar high in the digital world?

•    Easy-to-use website that is well-branded;
•    A social media strategy;
•    A secure way to process donations;
•    Regular update on everyone’s efforts

The components are important because people take action online once they have decided to make a donation. When donors make an online donation, you must give them an engaging content so they will keep on coming back for more. More often than not, the Internet is where donors turn first during natural disasters. When prospects connect via social networks, you need to give them enough information so they will continue to support the fundraising event.

You may already have some donate pages and Facebook fan sites, but these won’t work if you do not have any compelling content and great messaging. Make sure your page is interesting for prospects to check it out. When your audience realises that what you are doing is relevant to them, they will feel connected with your organisation. You can also use images to tell stories and help your audience relate.

Donors are  also encouraged to donate if you provide answers to their questions. If you convince them that they are going to make a huge contribution to your organisation and they are aware of your organisation’s mission, there is no reason for them to be hesitant in making a donation. You will also have to work with your donors to help them realise their contribution to your organisation. Instead of primarily focusing on need, you should also explain the impact of their donation on your organisation.

There should also be trustworthy messengers that will help you send your message to the prospective donors. You can also get your friends and family to help you send the right message to your donors. Your family and friends are also influential and they can give you assistance in your effort raise awareness. Do not let technology do all the hard work because your organisation needs to make an effort to reach out to your donors. Technology is just a tool, but with team effort, your organisation will be able to make the most of technology.

Email Fundraising Myths An Organisation Might Still Be Embracing

email button for sending message over internet fkrygHvdAlthough most fundraising efforts are done online, it does not necessarily mean that digital fundraising yield positive results. There are donors who may come across your organisation, but this does not mean they are going to donate. Email fundraising is one of the popular tools to reach out to potential donors. It has unlimited potential of ensuring that all potential donors are aware of your organisation’s mission and vision.

Email has already replaced print

Although most people communicate digitally, this does not necessarily mean that email has replaced print. Digital communication has some limitations and more often than not, it is used for membership renewals. If donors are not used to receiving membership renewals through email, they are most likely to delete the emails instead of keeping them. It is also too late to go back if the donors have already deleted the emails. You need to redo the process so you will get the response you are looking for.

Email is free

When crafting emails that can help you establish relationships with donors, it is important that you dedicate your time and effort to write. Once your fundraising letter is ready, you should also take some time to test the email. Email is not free because it will cost you your precious time. You will also have to monitor your emails after you sent it. Monitoring your emails is important because it ensures that unsubscribes are being honoured. You will also know the number of people who are reporting your email as spam.

Everyone has email address

There might be a lot of potential donors and supporters out there but not all of them have an email address. Some may have email, but not everyone is reading their email. These people use their social accounts to communicate and this lets email take a backseat. There are also email programs that categorise email appeals into a ‘promotions’ tab. As a result, your email is less likely to be noticed.

Fundraising emails must be brief and concise because potential donors do not have all the time in the world to read everything in your email. Key points must be presented in such a way that will capture the reader’s interest. It is not about sending the longest email so you can impress potential donors, but conveying the message so donors will understand the objective that your organisation wishes to achieve. Once you keep donors away from distractions, they are going to be more focused on reading your email.

 

What Do Successful Fundraisers Have In Common?

success 479568 1280Ever wondered why some fundraising campaigns are successful and others are still struggling? Is there really a special formula that creates a perfect fundraising blend? Competing for supporter’s attention is most likely a challenging job for every fundraiser. You need to be good at the creative department and should always think outside of the box. Of course, you can’t always come up with a brilliant idea on the spur of the moment. There are times when your ideas just don’t seem to work.

All successful fundraising campaigns have 4 things in common:

1. Powerful Images

2. Dynamic Subject Lines

3. Compelling Story

4. Clear Call To Action

How to get the right mix?

• Focus on your audience.

It will be difficult for you to create a compelling story if you don’t know the type of donors or audience you are going to target. Make sure the story is not vague if you want to develop a compelling content that summarizes your campaign’s true objective.

•Create a theme and develop a campaign.

Avoid fancy campaign themes. Develop a campaign theme that allows you to convey your main idea. The theme can either be carried out through your subject lines, donation forms or email content. It can also be your tag line. Make your tagline short but interesting.

•Invite a spokesperson.

A good story will remain untold without a good spokesperson to tell your story. You can either appoint your program director or someone who has made a powerful contribution to your organization. The type of spokesperson you are going to appoint will also be dependent on your theme. You can also brainstorm with your team for you to find out which is more suitable to tell your organization’s story. The kind of story you create should allow people to react and make a connection. More often than not, people are more inspired to give based on how they feel.

•Concentrate on one clear call to action.

In every fundraising campaign, calling for the audience to make a donation is considered a clear call to action. You just need to highlight the importance of making a donation with the use of narrative, video or images.

•Add some incentives.

Aside from regular messaging, you can also add some incentives to make your campaign more interesting. Some of the effective incentives you can use are gift premiums, matching gift challenge, gift memberships and others.

•Include giving levels.

A donation form should feature donation levels with corresponding amounts. You can also use online software and add brief descriptions of the donation form. The description should appear when someone chooses a level.

•Make your subject line engaging.

The first thing that your target donors, volunteers and audience notice is your subject line. This is considered the gateway to getting your email opened. Your subject must coincide with your campaign’s theme. The subject lines must also be optimized for mobile devices. Make sure you limit your subject lines to 34 characters or less because most smart phones only have the capability to display five or six words. Your subject line should have a strong appeal to your audience so it will be remembered.

5 Essential Elements for Fundraising Online

 

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When it comes to raising money, you need to take your strategy to another level so you can achieve your goal of obtaining more supporters. Fundraising online can be challenging especially if you have not ventured into this approach before. Supporters are going to be essential in meeting your goals and in every approach, there is always a formula that gives you an edge over other fundraising organizations. These are essential elements and without which, the entire campaign will be useless. Just like any approaches involved in fundraising, it does not necessarily take rocket science for you to understand how elements (or the lack thereof) affect your probability of achieving your main objective in raising money.

Key Elements of Online Fundraising:

1. Strategic Planning
There is a huge difference between carefully planning things out and planning just for the sake of organizing a campaign. When you plan a fundraising event carefully, you know who your target audience is and you already have an idea of the challenges you will face along the way. When it comes to planning, you need to be realistic and you need to prepare yourself for the outcome of the event. You should also get sure-fire solutions to issues that may arise during the event.


2. Informative Email Messages
Your prospects or target audience do not have the time to read your emails all day and for sure, they won’t bother reading long email messages especially if they have other obligations to attend to. When you are sending emails to your prospects, make it short but concise. Let them know about your main objective. Your emails must also be tailor-made so potential supporters can relate to it. While fundraising is all about raising money for a good cause, you should highlight other goals of your organization. Your prospects should not have the impression that you are not only asking money.


3. Use Social Media.
The social media is a very powerful tool because it has the ability to encourage additional subscribers to join the event. However, you must also keep in mind that the process has to be done strategically. Just because you used social media as a tool for gaining more supporters does not mean it is a hundred percent effective. Not all social media channels are going to be of great use to you and your target audience so you only have to pick at least two that you consider useful for your campaign. Make sure you bank on a good content and always update the page with relevant information.


4. Powerful Branding
You are promoting your organization for a good cause and branding is going to be crucial in your marketing endeavor. They represent your organization and your goals minus the words. The logo should represent your organization and bear your contact details. The goal is to have stronger online presence and it all starts with branding.


5. Build Rapport
Communicating with your supporters and giving them updates of your campaign will help you win their complete trust. Even after the event, you should show your sense of gratitude by thanking them for participating in the event. This way, you will get to know your audience on a personal level and it will not be difficult for you to connect with them in your future fundraising events.