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!

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. 

4 Steps To Creating Engaging Fundraising Content

4 Steps To Creating Engaging Fundraising Content

When you are appealing to potential donors, it is important to personalise every interaction to create a social impact. When donors' judgement is clouded with doubts, it is difficult to win their approval. You need to make sure that you know how to connect with donors in such a way that will touch their hearts. 

If you have been observing how successful fundraising organisations do it, you will realise that all of them have one thing in common: the genuine interest to make a difference. Regardless of your objectives, you need to go the extra mile so you can reach out to as many donors as you like. It all starts with creating engaging content. 

1. Do it now

They say that you have to strike while the iron is hot if you want to make the most out of fundraising. Creativity has no limit. This is why you need to find time to make use of it while you can. Before you start writing your content, think about how you can connect with donors. This is where formulating creative content comes into play. If you are going to take advantage of the opportunity to connect with donors by exhausting networks and connections, accomplishing your goals will never be as challenging as you think. 

2. Make it personal

Narratives are supposed to be unique and personalised. Generic fundraising letters and stories will never have an impact on your readers. In fact, it will only bore them especially when you are not conveying your message. Use social media platforms to inspire other people. Powerful images have a strong impact on donors. Connect with people from your email list. Give them a phone call and provide them updates. 

3. Ask directly

Before posting on social media, it is essential to have some momentum. Although your family and closest friends will be your direct supporter, you also need to go beyond approaching them. Your friends can provide you support whenever you need it, but you also need to approach others to get on board. Find out how you can make a connection. Start establishing rapport and make it an effort to learn about the things that will poke their interest. 

4. Send handwritten thank you note

Aside from updating your donors on your organisation's progress, sending a handwritten thank you note can go a long way. It tells donors that you are making an effort to connect and appreciate them. A handwritten note is indeed personal. Thanking your donors can also increase your retention rate because it shows that you acknowledge them.

Payment Processor And Its Importance To Fundraising

Payment Processor And Its Importance To Fundraising

The donors' experiences can have a great impact on their decision to support your organisation's future fundraising plans. Aside from their overall experience utilising your website, it is also essential for organisation to be aware of the payment processors because these can also affect one's ability to retain or convert donors. Freedom and flexibility are two of the most important qualities that you should look for in payment processors. 

Payment Processor vs Payment Method: The Difference

Payment processors move cash from one place to another. It is easy to confuse payment method for payment processor, but there is a big difference. Payment methods have to do with the source or form of the money that an individual plans to transfer. This means that you can pay with a credit card, gift card and cash. On the other hand, payment processors are the ones facilitating the transaction to ensure that the money is received by the recipient. PayPal Pro is an example of payment processor. 

The importance of payment processors:

These days, many people consider online transactions convenient and in spite of the option to give with credit cards, having limited choices can affect the organisation's conversion rate. 

Organisations should make it easy for donors to complete the transaction. Any extra step can cause a donor to walk away as they may not have the luxury of time to follow all the steps. When it comes to filling out the donation form, the only option available to donors is paying with their credit card. Having the option to pay with their PayPal account is another easy way to complete the transaction. Credit cards may not be available all the time, so giving donors other payment options will reduce the risk of not completing the transaction. 

Choosing a payment processor involves a number of factors such as integrations, user experience and fees. You should also remember that a processor does not fit all. You need to assess your payment processor to ensure that it fits your business needs. Transitioning from one payment processor to another is also essential as fundraising strategy evolves. 

First-time donors who have great experience using your website will decide to regularly support your organisation. Aside from ease of use, organisation should make it fast and easy for donors to make an online transaction. Donors can change their minds once they experience difficulty. However, a processor that can be completed in minutes can definitely make a difference.

What Does It Take To Be A Fundraising Trainer?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

7 Signs Your Fundraising Program Needs Major Changes


change 948024 1920A fundraising program can be at its lowest point when it always obtains disappointing results. Even if the program is composed of dedicated leaders, something needs to be changed if the strategies are no longer working. The problem is, embracing major changes in an organization is often easier said than done. Aside from adjusting to the new approach, you will also need to make sure that everyone agrees to your proposals. If you are struggling with fundraising, you may have to reassess things so you will have an idea what needs to be done. You will know that it is time to make a change if your fundraising program is already showing these signs:

• Your Profits Decline

Diminishing returns is a clear sign that your efforts are no longer paying off. Whether or not you have increased or decreased the size of your group, the kind of result you wish to accomplish seems far from happening.

• Volunteers Are Getting Tired

Aside from getting low levels of seller participation, another reason you need to consider making changes in your fundraising program is when your volunteers feel too tired even if you have not yet accomplished your goals. This only means you are running too many fundraising campaigns with a limited number of volunteers.

• Your Sales Force Lacks Enthusiasm

If your sellers lack enthusiasm, convincing people to support the fundraiser or buy your product is going to be challenging. As they say, you cannot give what you do not have. If you want your sellers to be enthusiastic about selling the fundraising product, choose something you and your sellers will love. The fundraising product you should choose has to be valuable.

• Poor Participation Among Sellers

Aside from leaders, volunteers are also vital to the success of your fundraising program. If you have not built a strong group of volunteers, you will have slimmer chance for success. Poor participation among your volunteers results in generating low profits. In order to encourage group participation, create a larger group of volunteers and make sure that each responsibility is designated to all group members.

• Tough Competition

If another competitor is selling the same product, your group is selling, the race to success will surely be hard. If they are difficult to beat, try partnering with another group so you can share the profits. Once you have more sellers, you will also have bigger chances of increasing sales opportunities.

• Short Sighted Planning

Your fundraising program may end up being trapped in a vicious cycle if you do not pay attention to the contributing factors that cause volunteer burnout and low profits. It usually takes deep-dive analysis for you to find out how you can improve your fundraising program especially if you have been caught in a loop of negative results.

• Absence Of Creativity

Never lose the fun in fundraising if you want it to succeed. Being creative can take your fundraising program to greater heights and with that being said, you need to explore approaches you have not tried in the past. If change is for the better, don’t be afraid to embrace it. You should also keep in mind that fundraising is a team effort and each member can contribute to the success of the organisation.

Conquer Your Fundraising Fears

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Fundraising can be intimidating and majority of people who want to venture in a fundraising campaign are quite apprehensive in giving it a try. If you are not brave enough to be a fundraising leader, you may easily give up at the first sign of rejection. It takes a brave heart to spearhead a fundraising campaign because you will receive rejections that can dampen your spirit. You need to be surrounded with people who share your cause so you will be able to walk the extra mile and fulfill your fundraising dreams. The good news is, fundraising fears can be conquered. It is not something that you have to live with for the rest of your life. You just need to be focused on the goals you set for your organisation.

Strategies That Can Help You Conquer Your Fundraising Fears

Support Your Cause And Be Positive.

If you want to reap positive results, you need to change your approach. The way you view things does create a powerful impact on the outcome of your fundraising campaign. You need to be passionate so you can share your cause and meet a need. It does not have to be drastic so long as you see gradual changes.

Be Clear With Your Purpose And Goal.

For supporters to learn about your purpose and goal, you need to express it in detail so they will know how they can benefit from your organisation. They should also be informed how their money will be used. Once supporters are updated of the progress of your campaign, they will feel the importance of their support.

Get Ample Support.

Telling donors about your goal is OK. In fact, when you are specific about the purpose of your campaign, you are more likely to increase your sales. Tell your supporters about the goals you wish to achieve and how their support can be vital to the fundraising success.

Believe In Your Cause.

Be confident so you will be able to encourage and motivate your donors to support your campaign. Once you believe in your cause, other people will also be motivated to help you because they know you are sincere in reaching out to them to help organisations or people. If you show signs of doubt, you will have difficulties convincing your donors to support your cause.

Don’t Forget To Thank Donors And Supporters

Retention increases when your donors’ effort and support are recognized. Even if the fundraising campaign is over, you should not forget to thank your donors. It is one way to show your donors that you value them. Even when you have been rejected, you should consider it as a motivator. You can use the rejection to improve your strategy and to create a better fundraising organisation. Giving up is not an option in fundraising.

Keep your eyes on the prize so you can reap fruitful results. Fundraising should not be feared especially if you are focused on your goals and you have embraced the process no matter the difficulty. You should not also forget to have fun and enjoy the process. Don’t get discouraged by failure because they can be used as your stepping stone. It can be a difficult process at first, but it will be much better once you have learned the ropes.

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 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.