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!

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.

Getting Volunteers To Commit To Fundraising

Getting Volunteers To Commit To Fundraising

Time is an essential component of fundraising. Not having enough time for taking part in volunteering jobs will render all of your fundraising efforts useless. Unfortunately, not everyone can commit 100% of their time to your fundraising organisation. With lots of responsibilities to juggle, taking the time to take care of fundraising jobs is just too much to take. You may have enough volunteers to do the task, but are you utilising their talents well? Do you have the resources to ensure that they are well-trained?

Here's how you can encourage volunteers to commit and become more responsible members of your fundraising organisation:

Avoid Overusing Volunteers

Volunteers are not just chosen randomly. It takes passion and drive for a person to be good at volunteering. However, there are instances when overdoing things get in the way. Regardless of the effort they put in, being stressed is inevitable especially when it comes to solving challenges associated with fundraising. As a leader, volunteer staff must be managed carefully, making sure that tasks are distributed evenly. No one should be overburdened. Each volunteer must have the freedom to decide on their own schedule. They will also appreciate it if you make it clear that even a couple of hours a week would be considered a huge help. 

Find The Right People

Finding willing volunteers is not easy because you have to make sure that they can give time. It is important to know where to look for these people. If you are considering finding volunteers from a team of workaholics, you will have a tough luck because these people would hardly make it to weekly meetings as these people are too busy to even read your newsletters. Search for people with more spare time. College students are often willing to volunteers especially if they believe in your cause. 

Make Volunteer Activities Social

Many people are looking for social opportunities. They like to have fun, meet people and even go out on the town. One way to achieve this is by volunteering. Making your volunteer activities social will also increase participation. Volunteers should not just work on newsletters and wait to be sent home once they are done. You will not keep volunteers very long as this can be a boring and mindless routine. There should be some form of activities that create a sort of variation. Provide refreshments for the group and give them a break to keep themselves refreshed. Incorporating plenty of social activities will keep your volunteers involved. 

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 Types Of Fundraising Every Organisation Can Consider

4 Types Of Fundraising Every Organisation Can Consider

When it comes to choosing a fundraiser, organisations cannot easily make up their minds because of the options to choose from. Even for beginners, the chances for success is still high. You just need to choose the type of fundraiser that will cater to the audience you are trying to target. 

1. Host a fundraising event

There are many ways you can get potential donors together in one venue and one of which is by hosting an event such as a golf tournament, 5k and gala. Aside from creating a memorable experience, you will also bring awareness. Events must be carefully planned with a purpose. 

2. Online donation

Organising an event does not have to happen in a specific venue because asking donations can also be done online. However, this type of fundraising is not as simple as creating a website and expecting people to click the 'donate' button and voila! instant donation. You will need to tell a story and toss a number to get the transaction processed. You can set up an online registration and also add an option to donate on the website. The donation page should give donors the option to make a donation upgrade.

3. Crowdfunding

Speaking of online donation, leaders can also encourage supporters to create a page that they can share with their friends and family. Crowdfundraisers can either stand alone on their own or they can also be paired with a fundraising event. Supporters will be the ones to spearhead the event making sure that all networks are used to maximise the effectiveness of this type of fundraiser. 

4. Auction

A silent auction can also complement an existing event. Donations can be obtained from purchasing tickets. You will also have the option to have any number of items available for auction. This technique will boost the donations and attract potential donors. 

You can also mix any of these types of fundraising to boost your efforts. If you have many supporters, it is possible to incorporate at least 2 or three fundraisers. It is also important to note that organising an event must also be coupled with commitment and hard work. 

Steps To Organising Your Fundraising Strategy

Steps To Organising Your Fundraising Strategy

What happens to a fundraising organisation that goes into a fundraiser without creating a solid and long-term strategy? In an event, you cannot simply say you are going to run a fundraiser and hope for the best. Strategies are your cushion in case you fail. You will know what you are going to do next if results are not as excellent as you expect. Meetings are supposed to help you identify opportunities and threats so you will know the areas you have to improve. 

Organising a Strategy Meeting

Meetings are composed of too many people including your board members, volunteers and donors. A strategy meeting should be comprised of key persons that will be instrumental to the success of your event. Although you are running a fundraising group, this does not mean that you should allow every single person to participate in your meeting. You cannot get anything done if you share your strategy with everyone. Elected officials in your organisations are the ones that must be involved in your strategy meeting. You can also invite one or two active volunteers. 

Create an Outline of your Tasks and Development

Aside from raising funds, there can be too many other goals that you should focus on to ensure fundraising success. These goals can be accomplished if you are going to divide larger tasks into smaller ones. You will also need to create a timeline so you will know whether or not you are setting realistic goals. How long should you wait to accomplish a specific goal? Outlining your tasks will give you an idea what needs to be done. 

There are many tasks involved in fundraising such as ordering products, distributing them, getting volunteers to sell and creating publicity. When creating a timeline to accomplish these goals, it is essential to break tasks into weekly goals. Accomplishing these goals involve taking timelines and milestones into consideration. Do you have readable charts that everyone in your organisation can see? Solid volunteers are also necessary so you can accomplish financial goals. When each milestone is reached, give small rewards and recognitions to keep your volunteers motivated. You can also retain the momentum this way. 

Planning is an essential step to ensure fundraising success. It plays an important role in creating a strategy. Knowing the goals you have accomplished by keeping careful records will help you know the direction your fundraising organisation is taking. 

4 Key Traits Of A Successful Fundraiser

4 Key Traits Of A Successful Fundraiser

Many organisations do everything to become successful in fundraising, but there will always be a missing piece of the puzzle that makes success elusive. Your organisation may have all the resources including donors, volunteers, board members, developers and supporters, but it is still not enough to achieve your goals. Aside from your resources,  professionals will succeed  in fundraising by possessing the following traits. 

1. Ability to adapt to what donors want

One of the greatest challenges you will face all throughout your fundraising career is the way the industry changes. Just when you have embraced changes, you will discover that there are better techniques being introduced to make fundraising more convenient for everyone. As a leader, you will need to know what donors want and respond immediately. Delays can drive donors away. Whether you are retaining existing supporters or welcoming new ones, having the ability to adapt to change makes a great difference. 

2. Interpersonal and communication skills

Donors are convinced to make a donation if they see genuine interest in leaders to help a community. Being part of an organisation means that you need an effective interpersonal and communication skills. Maintaining positive and pleasing relationships with donors is essential. Even though you do not have an upcoming fundraising event, it does not necessarily mean that you should stop communicating with donors. Make it a point to stay in touch with them as this sends a message that you also recognise their generosity. 

3. Resilience

Everyone in your organisation may have a brilliant idea, but not all of these ideas can catapult your organisation to success. Failures are part and parcel of running a fundraiser. However, this does not mean that your quest to greatness ends. Being resilient is a trait every member of your organisation should have because it enables you to explore ideas and become innovative. Failures are also part of learning and stellar professionals have the ability to bounce back and try again. 

4. Patience and tolerance

There is no such thing as perfect donor relationship as there can be road bumps. As a development professional, having tolerance and patience to listen to volunteers and donors even if you do not get all of their approvals, means that you are ready to go the extra mile to make every fundraising campaign a success. Keeping your cool despite the chaos is a great example of good leadership. Do not be the first one to give up because it will also create a ripple effect on your members. 

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. 

3 Ways To Make Fundraising Successful And Rewarding

3 Ways To Make Fundraising Successful And Rewarding

Is there a secret recipe for fundraising success? Why are organisations that continue to soar high while other flop? Are fundraising leaders born not made? There are many questions that linger. Is it really possible to predict fundraising success? If you have been asking questions as success seems to be elusive, it only takes three techniques for you to be on the road to success. 

1. Personalise your fundraising approach 

Personalisation gives value to your fundraising page. It tells a unique story and sends a message that you stand out from the crowd. Although employing this technique can be a challenge especially when you have been using generic approaches, practice makes perfect. Doing a lot of research and profiling your donors and supporters will be the first step to personalising your fundraising approach. Do not be afraid to experiment because that is the only way you will be able to learn how to get your donors' attention. Tell interesting stories that will impact your audience. It should show how committed you are to helping your community. 

2. Step out of your comfort zone

It pays to have a theme when you are conducting an online fundraising campaign. While the Internet is a great place to attract potential donors, catching their attention is going to be a challenge. When organising your campaign, make sure that you have prepared activities and materials unique to your organisation. There should be something that will help people identify your organisation. When choosing fundraisers, it is important to find out about your prospects' interest. Do you wish to target schools? Knowing how to capture your audience's attention will help you achieve your primary objective.

3. Encourage everyone to participate

Nothing is more inspiring than having a group of supporters helping you accomplish your goals. Each member does have contribution to the success of your fundraising campaign. Make sure everyone is committed to helping you succeed in fundraising. Schedule a weekly or monthly meeting so you can discuss things that need to be done. The only way you can improve results in fundraising is when you are looking for more creative ways to keep everyone interested in supporting your cause. You should not be afraid to take the first step to encouraging your members, donors and volunteers. Every accomplishment, big or small must be recognised as this gesture is one way to motivate them. It makes them feel you appreciate every effort they put it for the campaign to be a huge success. 

Techniques To Building A Rewarding Career In Fundraising

Techniques To Building A Rewarding Career In Fundraising

There may be hundreds of fundraising organisations out there but only a few have what it takes to stand out from the crowd. If you are new to fundraising, you need to learn from experts as they know that there is more to fundraising than just collecting proven strategies and approaches. 

For seasoned organisations, they have not succeeded just because they are destined to do so. They have mastered the art of raising funds by nurturing their donors, honing skills of their members and showing truth, trust and transparency. 

These techniques may seem like a walk in the park to some, but for majority of organisations that are still trying to climb the ladder of success, it is a painful, tedious, tiring and elusive process. Fledgling organisations may even think that success in fundraising is merely a figment of development professional's imagination. This statement will only ring true if you embrace the principle that one solution fits all. 

Your job as a development professional can be quite demanding and you need to stay sane to perform a fantastic job in meeting the needs of your organisation. So, how do you do it?

Be authentic and honest

It takes a lot of courage to look people in the eye and ask for money. You need to show genuine interest and passion. You need to emotionally connect to show people you have the desire to help and you do not have any intention of wasting their hard-earned money. 

Be willing to train staff

Your staff needs a little push for them to become the best performers. While you may already know the ins and outs of fundraising, your staff still needs more time to digest everything that fundraising encompasses. If you tell them to ask people for money, they will immediately focus on the primary objectives, which include raising enough funds to support a good cause. However, they also need to know the benefits of fundraising. Learning the ropes of fundraising takes time. Provide sufficient training to staff to develop a successful fundraising campaign. 

Be realistic

So you have dreamed of shooting for the moon, but have you already figured out what you are going to do in case you miss? Excitement can result in setting unrealistic expectations. However, bad execution gets in the way and it can create a ripple effect. When you set expectations, it is imperative that you also provide solutions. Some things do not go as planned. You need a back up plan to accomplish your goals. 

Be appreciative

Everyone in your organisation contributes to the success of your campaign. You cannot just give yourself a pat on the back when you know that many people made your fundraising event possible. You work as a team and regardless of how little or big the contributions are, each and every member has made a mark. As a development professional, you need to build appreciation to motivate everyone to participate in the next fundraising event. Your volunteers, donors and staff are your greatest investment. Without whom, the success of fundraising will not be possible. 

3 Techniques That Make Fundraising Out Of The Ordinary

3 Techniques That Make Fundraising Out Of The Ordinary

There are many different schools that are interested in holding a fundraising event. Each and every school has unique objectives and goals to meet. Competitions become tougher because not all schools can gain enough support from potential donors. You need to stand out in a world full of imitations. Unfortunately, things can be easier said than done. 

There are many obstacles that will deter a fundraising leader from succeeding. For instance, if there are 5 schools in your community holding a cookie dough fundraiser, what are the chances that your school will get the most number of supporters? Regardless of the preparation you made, other fundraising organisations are also willing to compete.

If you are a keen observer, you will know that outstanding organisations deviate from the usual. Raising the bar with fundraising is essential to gain supporters. Although there are numerous techniques you can employ, you only need 3 methods to become a cut above the rest. 

Focus on the best deals

In sales and marketing, every company should offer something that will poke prospects' interest. Customers are put off by complicated buying processes. They want something that will put a smile on their faces. Offering the best deals attract potential donors and volunteers. Giving discounts is not always the best practice because there are other organisations that are willing to compete. This is why you need to be at the top of your game. 

Be sure to start early so you will know the deals that are appealing to customers. Persuasion is also important in convincing business owners to participate in your fundraising campaign. This is where your charismatic members come in. Teach them the drill so they will know what they are going to do. 

Create the highest level of interest

The quest to stand out from the other schools is no easy task. If you are going to provide the best deals, make sure you also offer variety that appeals to all of your supporters. You can offer discounts, snacks or other valuable benefits. Some prospects love to get free snacks and treats while others appreciate gift cards. Offering variety enables you to maximise your school's appeal to supporters. 

Use your creativity

Fundraising cards that give supporters the ability to take advantage of discounts are the way to go. However, a plain-looking card can bore your prospects. Provide an eye-catching fundraising card. It should include colors, school logos, motivational messages and more. It is also a good idea to have students participate in designing the card. This is also an extra selling point for your supporters. 

What Motivates A Donor To Give?

What Motivates A Donor To Give?

Every seasoned fundraising leader knows that attracting donors is not an easy job. It involves a lot of hard work and dedication so you will be able to win a potential donor. However, the idea of attracting donors is easier said than done because each donor has different personality. One would certainly agree that you will need to optimise your strategies so you can get more donors to support your cause. It is important to identify the motivating factors that drive donors to donate. 

Donors make a donation if there is emotional connection

Fundraising stories have an impact on potential donors. Poignant stories influence donors so they will be inspired to donate especially when stories are weaved in such a way that will connect to donors emotionally. It is not easy to create an interesting story that donors can identify themselves with. If you are on a mission to present your organisation in such a way that will poke your donor's interest, make sure you create a compelling story. You can also share someone else's inspiring story so long as you ask for their permission. 

Donors commit when they know about your cause

Using social media to increase awareness is an effective strategy because most people have now turned to the internet for information. Use technology to your advantage by reaching out to your prospective donors with the use of Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. Ask for your donor's time so you can educate them about your organisation and your campaign. 

Donors who feel sympathy are more likely to donate

You can get your audience to donate if they feel more sympathy. When a donor finds similarity in others, positive feelings increase. One of the reasons people donate is when their contribution makes a huge difference. If their donation does not create an impact on the situation they will never feel that they have an important role to play. 

Donors choose to donate when you are closer to your fundraising goal

Donors also want to be part of a winning team. This is why if you are closer to your goal and donors see that you are likely to reach it, people are willing to go the extra mile to help you accomplish the goal. Let your donors know how closer you are to your goal so you will gain momentum and inspire others to participate. When donors realise that they are a valuable part of helping you cross the finish line, it will not be long before you inspire others. 

4 Qualities Of A Successful Fundraiser

4 Qualities Of A Successful Fundraiser

Fundraising is a career that requires more than just sales and marketing skills. For the most part, you will be dealing with your organisation and the community. You need to be innovative to continue to inspire people. Many have been interested in entering the profession, but only a few people were able to succeed. There are four qualities you need to focus on if you want to ensure you hire the right person to fulfill your organisation's mission and vision.

1. Good Listening Skills

Good listening skills are as equally important as good communication skills because it helps you to know the donor's concerns that you have to address before additional steps are taken. When you know how to listen, it is easy to spot any problems that may deter you from accomplishing your goals. Your volunteers may be passionate about helping the community, but they too have problems that you need to address. Frustrations take place when these problems are constantly ignored. 

2. Perseverance

If you want to build long term relationships with donors, volunteers and members of your organisation, perseverance is one quality you should possess. This is because you will not always get a 'yes' and rejection may slow you down and even reduce your motivation to keep going. Regardless of the task you want to carry out, you need to be persevered as you are leading a team of people who are also counting on you. You can cultivate perseverance by setting realistic goals that will enable you to measure success. If you feel like giving up, think about your milestones and achievements as they will serve as motivating factors to continue. 

3. Passionate

Volunteering, writing fundraising letters and making sure that there is enough support for the organisation are just some of the tasks you need to fulfill on a regular basis. These jobs can be overwhelming especially when the event is fast approaching. You need to be passionate so you will not only complete the job but also make sure they exceed expectations. At times, you may feel worn out, bored or frustrated, but your passion will remind you to move on. 

4. Ability to motivate

Successful fundraising will also be dependent on how leaders motivate volunteers, staff and donors. Motivation does not necessarily mean persuading your donors to give money or to do something they do not want to do. Motivating people means bringing out the best in them , ensuring they enjoy what they are doing. 

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. 

3 Common Misconceptions About Fundraising

3 Common Misconceptions About Fundraising

Organisations face a different set of challenges every day. Misconceptions make it even harder for fundraising professionals to accomplish goals. It is important to keep in mind that donors are not created equal. It is not enough to categorise donors by age as they have other distinctions such as their personality. When an opportunity comes your way, it is a wise move to learn more about your donors to get them to make a commitment in supporting your campaign. Grooming donors and volunteers should also begin with knowing the right approach to use. 

It will also help if you let go of common misconceptions about fundraising. Here are 3 most common fundraising myths: 

1. More connections mean more donation.

Although it is helpful to have more connections when starting a fundraising campaign, it does not necessarily mean that you do not stand a chance to succeed if you have few donors. It is normal for every organisation to struggle at first, but once you understand how fundraising works, you will be able to attract more donors as time goes by. Your strategy will play an important role in engaging your donors. Be sure to make every interaction worthwhile and memorable. You should also remember that it is not about who you know, but what they know about you. You need to provide enough information to your prospects so they will have an idea about your mission and goals. 

2. Young generations are not interested in fundraising. 

Some organisations may not approach young generations for the belief that only older people have a penchant for sharing. Even younger people have passion for giving. They just need all the necessary information to know what your organisation is about. Young donors are passionate and committed. You can groom them to become volunteers or annual donors. As they build their relationship with young donors, they will soon become your major donors. 

3. New organisations are less likely to achieve big goals. 

Even if you are new to fundraising, it does not mean you cannot achieve big goals. This is a common misconception especially to those who are used to setting conservative goals. Big goals are not only meant for large organisations. Even new organisations can still accomplish greater goals by focusing on their objective. Never sell yourself short to donors. 

Starting a fundraising campaign can be intimidating if you hold on to these myths. One step to moving forward is getting everyone in your organisation to participate in your campaign. Everyone should have a contribution to its success. You can secure donations if you work hard for it. 

How To Use Social Media To Thank Your Donors?

How To Use Social Media To Thank Your Donors?

Aside from board members and volunteers, donors are also a major contributor to every fundraising success. It is imperative that you show your appreciation to them by acknowledging their contribution to your organisation. Without a doubt you definitely owe your success to donors who generously share their time, effort and money to make your campaign possible. Even if you have too many donors, you can still thank them with social media. There are creative techniques you can employ to show your donors you appreciate their effort. If you want to express digital gratitude, the social media is going to be a suitable place for you. 

1. Tag Donors

Even without the words, the photos you post to your Facebook page has a strong impact on people who follow your page. When uploading a successful fundraising event, do not forget to tag the donors who have actively participated to make the event possible. Donors who are aware they have been recognised for their efforts will never get tired of supporting your organisation. They will even look forward to the next event you are going to spearhead. 

2. Post a Shoutout

You may not have enough time on your hands to send thank you letters to all donors, but this does not mean you should skip expressing gratitude. The social media can be a perfect avenue for recognising donors. Post a thank you shout out as a way of letting your donors know you have not forgotten them. You may have hundreds or thousands of donors, but a special shout out will give them the acknowledgment they deserve. 

3. Organise an event dedicated to donors

You owe a large fraction of your success to donors for without whom, your goals will not be accomplished. What better way to thank them than to organise an event for them. Invite them through Facebook and other social networking sites. Make sure they are updated with the event. You can also ask for their suggestion on creating a more exciting fundraising event. 

4. Send a private message

If you want to thank them on a more personalised way, you can also send them a private message. Connecting with your donors is also a gateway to meeting new donors. If existing donors are happy about the way they are treated, they will also recommend your organisation to others. Never underestimate the word of mouth as it is powerful and influential. Connecting with donors is also a chance for you to know how you can improve your strategies by asking feedback from them.

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.

How To Promote Volunteerism In The Classroom

IMG 2907 844Getting classroom volunteers may be a challenge for those who are going to hold a school fundraising event. This is because you need to make sure that you foster volunteerism prior to the onset of the event so you can get as many volunteers as you can. It is important for teachers to pick volunteers with broad thinking, but this will be easier said than done if you do not provide incentives or job sweeteners. Kids should also  be aware that volunteering in the classroom is not merely for the sake of compliance.

How to find class room volunteers?

1. When conducting a survey, be sure to include classroom help in your category.

2. Your newsletter should also include a call for volunteers.

3. Provide reminders to teachers regarding mentioning their need during parent-teacher interviews.

4. Ensure you have flexible rostering so you can accommodate parents who are willing to help once a term or once a month.

The benefits of classroom volunteerism

Aside from getting enough help to organise your school fundraising campaign, regularly working with a child can also foster positive traits such as compassion. It is also a time for children to showcase their talent especially if they have passion for art, music or even environmental science.

How to keep volunteers involved?

1. Be clear about your objectives and the reason you need volunteers.
2. Welcome new volunteers and have someone to show volunteer essential locations.
3. Use the time of your volunteers wisely.
4. Thanks your volunteers by creating a personal note so you can show volunteers you are valued.
5. Be mindful of volunteer burnout.

Provide incentives to kids who volunteered

One-time volunteers can become regular volunteers if you are going to provide incentives to kids. This is because it makes children feel appreciated. You can have your volunteers' names go into a monthly draw everytime they volunteer to help out. Be creative with your prizes. The prizes may include a free lunch, gold stars, certificate of appreciation and much more.

It takes some creative approaches to encourage children to volunteer in fundraising campaigns. Before you decide to ask children to volunteer, it is important for children to know the implication of fundraising. Children need to realise the value of fundraising and volunteering. They should not only volunteer just because they are required to do so. When children feel they have contributed to accomplish your goals, they will also feel good about their decision to volunteer and will become regular participants in your next fundraising event.

Do Sad Images Really Have A More Powerful Impact On Donors Than Happy Images?

crying kid emotional scene BtkZrtSpSoImages connect with people's emotions.

Suppose you flip through the pages of a magazine and you see an image model donning a very classy fashion piece while she pulls funny faces. Would you look at the classy piece of clothing in a different way?

Images are very powerful. A research was recently conducted to know the influence of images on people's emotions. According to the results, donations are much higher for fundraising campaigns with sad images as compared to those with happy or neutral images.

Although the images alone will not be enough to conclude what the campaign is all about, people are more likely to base their support on the image. This is why images are considered to be a starting point for promoting a campaign for most organisations.

The implication of sad faces

If you were to put yourself in your donor's shoes and look at a sad photo carefully, you will realise that it elicits giving and sympathy. You may have a beautiful and compelling caption but the moment potential donors rest their eyes on the image and it does not connect with your story, you can blow your chance of attracting a donor.

Would you still use an image of a happy child if you are trying to raise money to help children dying of hunger in some parts of the world?

If your photos contradict with the sad stories you tell, your campaign will be empty and meaningless as it does not convey the right message to your donors.

How do happy images send the wrong message?

Now that you know that sad images can stir sympathy, it is also imperative that you gain a better understanding of the impact of happy images if they are not used appropriately. For example, you want to help a family who had survived a typhoon disaster.

The first thing you would do is to create a compelling copy that will capture your prospects' interest and emotion. You provided a detailed account of the ordeal that the family had to go through because of the typhoon disaster. The story could have brought your prospects to tears until they saw the photo that came with the copy.

The photo showed a family with the sweetest of smiles gracing their faces. Potential donors stopped reading the rest of the story and moved to the next email. So what went wrong?

The problem with producing happy images for sad stories is that they do not mix well. The truth is donors do not have the luxury of time to read your stories and they will usually rely on images to understand the message you want to convey. If they see a happy family, it will not take long for them to conclude that nothing is so special about the organisation because, again, the images do not tell a story.

Your images should work as hard as your copy. When reaching out to donors, you should show them that a problem exists. You can even show both the problem and solution in one image, but it should be powerful enough to connect with your words.

Fired-Up Fundraising:Steps To Creating A Strategic Plan

hand writing business success diagram fk0sJcBuIf you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

A strategic plan serves as your organisation's compass that ensures you get to the right direction. Imagine spearheading a fundraising event without a plan, in case things do not go as planned, you will no longer have an idea how you are going to resolve the issue that may arise.

Creating a plan defines your mission. It helps you to focus on the most important aspects of your campaign. It only takes a few steps to create a strategic plan for your fundraising campaign.

1. Prepare a case for support

A case for support is an essential component in creating a fundraising plan. Think of a case of support as the backbone of your campaign. It enables you to provide reasoning for support by giving your supporters, donors and board members an idea of how your campaign works. When creating a case for support, there is a series of questions you have to answer. One of which is how you are going to address the problem arising in your organisation.

2. Determine your key players

If your case for support is your compass, your supporters are your key players. You need to gather your most dedicated and passionate supporters to ensure campaign success. The reason for handpicking dedicated supporters is to ensure the people in your campaign are all committed to transforming your organisation for the better. You will be working closely with these people throughout the campaign. While it can be challenging to start a campaign, ensuring that the people involved in planning are dedicated will make the job less burdensome.

3. Know your prospects

Your strategic plan will not be complete without identifying your prospective donors. This is where profiling of donors comes in. You need to get really specific with your list because you will treat each approach as unique and personalised. With personalisation, you will be able to deliver engaging messages that will capture your potential supporters' interest.

4. Execute the plan

A strategic plan has several components, which are broken down into three categories: campaign setup, communications and preliminary work. Executing a plan should involve the active participation of your key players and potential donors. For the campaign setup, be sure to know your start and end date, fundraising goal and donor acquisition goal. With communications, you need to prepare emails for your soft launch, celebrations and even campaign milestones. Check your commuinication channels and determine how often you will send your emails. Your preliminary work should involve brainstorming with corporate partners and getting support from major donors, coporate partners and your board.

Now that you have a strategic plan in place, it is important that you develop the plan effectively because its success will still be dependent on the people behind it.

3 Ways You Can Use Emails To Attract And Retain Donors

opened email box shows outgoing mails MJQ8PMvOIn the absence of physical interaction, email is your virtual replacement. 

As a fundraiser, exhausting all of your available resources to interact with existing and prospective donors is a must. Even if you are strapped for cash, time and resources, you need to make a conscious effort to connect. Sending emails becomes a viable solution for fundraisers who are unable to physically interact with donors.

You need to double your effort when sending emails to donors. Why? Simply because they cannot easily sense your genuineness if your headline does not create an impact.

It only takes a few seconds to leave an impression to donors. Keep in mind that as donors open their emails, the subject line is the first thing they rest their gaze upon. A generic headline that does not have a powerful impact on them will only lead a donor to clicking the delete button.

As you invest your time and effort in ensuring donor loyalty, you may also need these following emails.

These emails will keep new donors interested:

As you attract new donors, it is also important that you cultivate them. How are they going to impact your organisation? What are the things that interest them?

Welcome Email: You need to welcome a new donor within 48 hours of signing up for your campaign. A welcome email is your virtual red carpet. It sends a friendly greeting and serves as a quick thank you note for signing up.

A welcome email should contain a quick explanation of the benefits of subscribing to your website, a call to action and a short but sweet thank you note.

Email that offers information:The welcome email is your starting point to establishing trusting relationship with new donors. They need to know more about your organisation. You have to make them feel that they have made the right decision to choose your organisation.

This is where a 'did you know?' email comes in. New donors should be educated so they can learn more by visiting your website.

Email offer for new subscribers: Now that they are educated about how your organisation works, reward them for choosing your organisation. Offering an exclusive deal can help you to build relationship with new donors. A promotional item or a free tour of your facility is the best way to go.

These emails bring in donations without being pushy

The first three emails you sent to your donors is a start of an email friendship. The next step to take is to keep donors engaged.

Success story email: Your success is a powerful tool for collecting donations. Before donors make a commitment, they need to know how their money will help your organisation. A compelling story will show them of the impact of their donation to the success of your fundraising campaign.

Goal email:This email lets you send an update to your donors. Once they send their donation, the next step to take is to inform them where the money was used. Discuss your long term goals and how donors can contribute.

Event email:Keep your donors updated by inviting them in a fundraising event. Aside from keeping them in the loop by sending out emails, you are also giving them an idea of the direction your organisation is taking.

Maintaining Donors

Now that your donors are already engaged with your organisation, you need to maintain your relationship by sending them newsletters, donor preference email and useful news emails.

Do not forget to use empowering language that will persuade donors to take action. Make your email more compelling with the use of images that include real people to motivate your donors to act.