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!

4 Golden Rules For Fundraising Success

JM 03292016 Healthy dsc 9489copyThe first thing an organisation needs to do to ensure fundraising success is to understand the golden rules. Regardless of your mission and vision, there are rules and principles you need to live by so you can keep your organisation on its feet even if you encounter challenges along the way.

Have a good knowledge of your donors

You will not be able to establish a positive relationship with your donor if you do not know them. If you know your donors, you will be able to persuade and convince them to donate money. You need to communicate regularly and scratch beneath the surface. Each donor has a different personality that you need to adjust to. Some prefer to get additional information before committing to your organisation while others want you to cut to the chase and reveal your intention.

Educate your supporters

Educating your donors will build trust and give your donors assurance that you are well-versed. You will also bring about a positive change because you know why you are dedicating your time and effort for a fundraising campaign. As you send testimonials and brochures to your donors, you have taken the first step to changing lives. It is also a way for you to keep the lines of communication open without necessarily asking for help, but showing the results of the donors' support. Staying in touch with donors show them of their true value in your organisation.

Respect your donors

It is easy to say you care about your donors, but it will be meaningless unless you prove it.  Saying all the right words will not gain the trust of your donors especially if other organisations have already attempted to approach them. You need to go the extra mile in showing donors you really care. Prepare a written document showing the principles of your service.

Make giving fun

Giving does not have to be boring as you can employ some techniques to make fundraising fun. You just have to do things differently so you can get the attention of your donors. This can be made possible if you have a little fun. Be creative with your fundraising ideas and make sure your donors are involved. Donor involvement can really make a great difference when it comes to adding spice and flavor to attracting donations.

These golden rules can motivate donors and build trust. Be sure to be consistent with your efforts because these rules will be useless without consistency.

Early Fundraising Mistakes Can Have A Long Term Effect On Your Organisation

right or wrong directions on a signpost fyyNQHv The most exciting stage of a fundraising organisation is the initial funding stage because it requires a lot of hard work. However, early funding mistakes can have a long term effect on your organisation if you do not do something to correct them. In fact, what happens during the early stages of your fundraising journey can have a big impact on your organisation ability to secure additional funding and mature. Success needs to start early for your fundraising to go smoothly.

Raising a lot of money

For first-time entrepreneurs, it is easy to put more focus on getting money but this practice can have a negative effect on your organisation as this creates a difficult funding dynamic in the long run. Although raising a lot of money may seem like a good practice, but once it is spent, the amount you spent can raise questions about your leadership.

Setting high valuations

A high valuation may seem to provide a good headstart but this can be a problem later on because it can result in setting too high expectations, which your organisation cannot meet. This can make your board members feel frustrated especially when the outcomes are not the ones you have expected. It might be difficult for your organisation to top your initial valuation and this can really hurt your fundraising efforts.

Choosing the wrong route

You might be spending too much time on the wrong prospect that you miss out on recognising potential donors. It is necessary to know the route you are going to take if you want to make sure that you are going to reap the long term benefits of fundraising. When it comes to choosing your board members, it is a good idea to choose individuals who have experience so you will know how you are going to become a successful fundraising organisation.

Not establishing a relationship with your board members

You should not only invest in your donors but in your board members as well because they also play a critial role in ensuring that your organisation will have reach its fundraising goals. It seems too difficult to invest in your board members if you do not take the time to engage with them. Make sure you know your board members personally so you can connect with them. If there is anything they need to make every fundraising effort a success, you should be there to provide it to them. Your board members can reach their full potential if you guide them before your fundraising journey begins.

How Do You Encourage Monthly Giving?

Organisations are less likely to settle with one-time donors. This is why they take the time to cultivate a positive relationship with donors so they can be converted into monthly donors. However, things are often easier said than done as there are many challenges along the way such as projecting the kind of mission and vision that donors expect from the organisation. Before thinking about the benefits of steady stream of contributions, it is necessary to formulate a strategy that will encourage donor consistency and loyalty.

Create an appealing package

How do you win your donors’ support if they are completely clueless about the mission of your organisation? It is difficult to achieve the result you want when your donors are still doubtful about the main objective of your organisation. Donors are more likely to stick to your organisation if it has a powerful impact on their lives. It should have a meaningful and touching message that will encourage them to give more than just one-time donation. An organisation will find it difficult to attract monthly donors if they are also doubtful about their purpose and objectives. Be clear with your message and create an appealing package that represents your organisation.

Make the process easy and convenient

When donors consider the process of donating convenient and hassle-free, they will give monthly donation a second thought. When consider online donation, provide a form that is easy to fill out and will not eat a large chunk of the donor’s time. Give them an option to sign up and send newsletters that will give them an idea about the advocacies of your organisation. Once you keep your donors updated, they will not forget about organisation and its mission. It will also be convenient to provide an option to donors to select the donation amount they can automatically give throughout the year.

Phrase your question

Asking money from donors requires good timing. It is also essential that you frame your ask so donors will be more convinced of donating to your organisation on a monthly basis. When you ask has a positive impact on your donors, you are more likely to get monthly donations.

Monthly giving requires continuous effort so you can win your donor’s trust. While one-time donation may be a good thing, it will be more advantageous if you get donors to give on a monthly basis. However, winning your donor’s loyalty may take some time and effort. Your organisation needs to show that you are indeed deserving of their support.

What Makes Fundraising A Rewarding Experience?

DSC 9480 1179Fundraising is both a demanding and rewarding job. A person involved in a fundraising organisation needs to be active in a community not only to reach out to potential donors, but also to keep the organisation on its feet. A donor is an essential component of a fundraising organisation. However, it is not enough that you have plenty of donors. It is also important that you retain donors so there is continuity in your fundraising efforts. One of the challenging aspects of being involved in a fundraising organisation is convincing donors to support an organisation.

Potential donors have many questions to ask and most of which are rigorous because they themselves are successful in their field. They have all the reasons to ask tough questions because they are about to put their trust in an organisation they have just known. When your mission and vision are not directly aligned with their expectations and values, it will be hard to win their nod.

When asking for support, you need to be familiar with how your organisation works because you will be introducing it to prospects. They have to know the how they can benefit from your organisation. If you have an impressive number of supporters, you will realise that they are indeed a great boost to your organisation. This is one reason fundraising is so rewarding in spite of the challenges along the way.

When it comes to fundraising, success does not necessarily have to be measurable. The mere fact that you are getting donors to support a good cause is enough to continuously exert extra effort. There are some roadblocks that may hamper the organisation’s growth, but if everyone is involved, there is no reason that the organisation will fail at achieving personal and team goals. Even as a leader, a person is not immune to committing mistakes. This is why it is important to take full responsibility for these mistakes. Failure does not limit your chances for success as it only hones your ability to fight back. In fundraising, everyone must be a co-contributor and no task is greater than the other.

Not everyone has the ability to run a fundraising organisation because it takes more than just leadership skills to lead a fundraising group. A fundraiser may consider running a fundraising organisation rewarding when many people can benefit from the efforts. Fundraising teaches valuable lessons that everyone can learn from including donors, board of directors and volunteers.

Does Charity Fundraising Need To Change Tactics?

support on sign showing customer help and advice G1iYTQP Although the attention that charity fundraising gets is overwhelming, thanks to the large amounts of direct mail, some activities have been found to be unacceptable. Is there a need for a change? Like all tactics or strategies being used by organisations, there are some limitations that must be kept in mind because not all strategies will work all the time. Due to the proliferation of strategies inspired by modern technology, charity fundraising must take tactics to the next level. Even when the strategies are very effective in getting donors to support an organisation’s cause, it does not necessarily mean that there is no need for modernisation. Donors may get bored if they find out that you are employing the same techniques for years.

When donors no longer feel the need to support an organisation, they just take a different direction. In the past, people rely on marketing materials and sales to obtain additional information about a particular aspect of life such as taking a holiday. However, companies need to keep up with the fast-paced digital technology.

What makes charity fundraising less appealing?

The digital age has so much to offer. It provides information that often serves as an interruption to a person’s daily activity. Aside from checking out your email, mailbox and answering machine, you will also have to deal with other interruptions such as social media channels. Where there are more interruptions than the donors can handle, information becomes less valuable. Does this mean, we should stop sending fundraising letters to prospects? This is not necessarily the case. Organisations just need to learn when and how to be in touch with prospects.

Due to information overload, donors become less tolerant of organisations that are offering the same. If these techniques used to provide valuable information to readers or audience, they become a form of interruption in the digital age. When these methods are predominantly used to raise funds, things become redundant and too common to be noticed. Charities need to keep in mind that a traditional marketing strategy that used to be a good form of interruption requiring a prospect to take action is now less valuable because everyone has a channel.

People do not want to be interrupted. Marketing should be about earning and retaining donors. When charities create a community, there is an opportunity to recreate the real power of digital technology. When donors are interrupted, charities become less and less attractive. Instead of donating, they will think of the organisation as a major blockage to fulfilling a particular task because they need to stop and check out their email.

Charities also need to recognise donor engagement. If the tactics used to work for them, it does not necessarily mean it will work forever. Always pay heed to what the donors need and respond to the requirements of various stakeholders. This way you will be able to meet the donors’ demands and take on the challenges that organising a charity fundraising entails. Although the technique is as simple as re-evaluating your fundraising techniques, the positive outcome you wish to happen will never take place unless the organisation starts to make a change.

Workplace Philanthrophy: Charity Begins At The Office

heart shaped symbol as medical technology concept GktZQ9H Charity at the office is considered a growing trend in spite of taking only baby steps. One thing good about workplace philanthrophy is willingness of employees to contribute to charitable causes by utilising their resources including their time and money. These days, workplace giving programs are easier to administer and set up because there are new technology platforms that maximise employees’ efforts. In the past, workplace giving programs were struggling because there are several factors that get in the way. Aside from lack of experience and awareness in delivering programs, the people behind the program also lack understanding of how corporate and charity sector works.

With workplace giving that encourages employees to develop a habit to donate to their chosen charity, a fundraising event will not be difficult to organise. It is evident that workplace philanthrophy is making big waves. Based on Australian Charities Fund, approximately 250 million dollars was raised in January 2016 alone. These funds were joined by 3,100 employers and benefitted by 300 charities. Without a doubt, these figures are impressive and they are making a difference in terms of the income and service delivery of charities, which are connected with good programs.

With these figures, organisations will be more inspired to improve the techniques and take workplace giving to the next level. Corporate social responsibility is considered a key driver of workplace philanthrophy because employers will get to decide on the part their business is going to play in contributing to the social good. Employers will also encourage employees to contribute and participate in peer to peer fundraising.

Progressive companies that have plans will take corporate social responsibility seriously. An employer needs to be committed so employees are motivated to make a profit from their own contribution. With the help of social media, inspiring fundraising stories will be shared with the prospective donors and the action plan will be in effect.

Peer-to-peer fundraising also involves sacrifice and when everyone in your business is involved, you know that the vital component of corporate social responsibility is obtained. Not only does it create a huge impact on your campaign but on your fundraising efforts as well. With the use of innovative online platforms, you can be sure the employees will create and track giving campaigns. Employees are also given the opportunity to stay flexible and transparent. As a result, employees will have the opportunity to connect the donor with the mission of the organisation. Efforts must be continuous so retention and long-term engagement are achieved.

Is Donor Fatigue A Myth?

hand picking puzzle to piggy bank as concept zkF15qruThe prompt response and donations you get from donors are just overwhelming that you want to go the extra mile so you can continuously get more donors to support your fundraising organisation. So you prepare your fundraising letter and since you have attracted donors using the same letter, you did not bother to make it more personalised. However, instead of attracting more donors, you are not getting any. Worse, your existing donors have suddenly stopped getting in touch with your organisations. Should you blame the lack of donations on donor fatigue? Is this a natural thing that happens to existing donors?

Does the interest of donors have limitations?

It might be easy to think that the donor’s interest is only short-lived, but if you are going to analyse it, donors can stay if organisations know how to take good care of them. Is there a secret to ensuring that you retain donors? Even when you are already becoming repetitive, you can still ensure that every interaction you may with donors are unique.
Fundraising is not about your enjoyment it is about connecting donors with your organisation’s impact. Although you are saying the same thing over and over, it does not necessarily mean that you are becoming repetitive. You can still make each interaction unique to every donor. Once you start reconnecting with your passion to ask donors, you will be able to see the connection.

It is not an easy job to retain your donors especially the ones that have been very passionate from the start. However, if you start to take your fundraising to the next level, you will be able to realize that your donors can be deemed to be more than just a donation. If donors are no longer connecting the way they used to, then you know that something is wrong.

Donor fatigue is not a myth because donors can also grow tired of donating in your organisation if they do not see any results. While it takes time before you earn a donor’s trust, investing your time and effort can really make a difference. The effort you put into the organisation and donors will pay off once you notice the donor’s growing interest. You should also keep in mind that retaining donors is no walk in the park as it involves establishing a good relationship with them. If you value them as a person instead of just a donor, you will be able to realise the importance of making a connection.

 

Hype Up Your First Fundraising Event With These Techniques

school 1a 16 1460As you organise your very first fundraising event, you and your board members are filled with apprehensions and your head is in the clouds knowing you are completely clueless about the result of the upcoming event. While you are trying to shake off the negative thought, you just cannot help but entertain them as the event approaches. Yes, it is never easy to host a fundraising event because you need to meet if not exceed expectations. Regardless of your fundraising idea you can still get people to come to your event using marketing approaches. However, you need to take note that one size does not fit all. You still have to make sure that these approaches have a personal touch to call them your own.

Do Not Let Your First Fundraising Event Intimidate You

1.    Promote your event using all available online channels. It is time to take the pressure off your chest by promoting and managing your events. You can save time and money if you consider taking your invitations and marketing online. However, you should also keep in mind that you should not abandon offline communication. You can also spread the word using email marketing and share post about your fundraising event using various social media platforms. Online marketing can help you get valuable exposure, which can gain a myriad of supporters.

2.    Captivate your audience, ask for feedback. When organising an event, it is not just about getting more people to attend the event because you should also let the people know your cause. You need to engage with your potential donors and supporters for you to know how to capture their interest. For the event to be a success, you should have passionate supporters. You will never know who fits the bill if you do not gather feedback and testimonials.

3.    Ensure your event is relevant to your donors. An event that appeals to your donors can increase involvement. Your donors need to be tied to your event so there will be relevance. Donors may hesitate attending your fundraising event if they cannot relate to it. Once people are connected and engaged with you, they will develop passion for your cause.

4.    Set clear goals. Your first fundraising event may be overwhelming because of the expectations from donors and whether you are organising a fundraising event for raising money or awareness, your goals need to be reasonable and realistic.

5.    Prepare a follow up plan. When you prepare for a fundraising event, you need to have a follow up plan so you can clearly identify what else needs to be done. Sending thank-you notes, an email blast, posting event pictures and follow-up calls should be part of your follow-up plan. Do not forget to stay in touch with people you hosted so you continue to ignite a spark of interest and excitement.

Hosting your first fundraising event can be challenging especially when you are pressured to meet expectations. However, taking it one step at a time can lessen the pressure and regardless of the cause, it is important that you have fun.

Why Is It Important For Members To Understand The Big Picture?

education 548105 640In fundraising, missing the big picture because of focusing only on a single part can create a ripple effect on the success of the campaign. This is why it is required for board members to participate in fundraising to understand the big picture. As they effectively participate in meetings and other activities, they will be able to understand how your organisation is funded. Fundraising is a combination of contributed and earned revenue, which finance your services and programs. The revenue also provides every member of the organisation an ability to make financial decisions that reflect on the vision of the organisation.

Before You Present Your Funding Mix To Your Board Members, Make Sure These Steps Are Not Missed:

•    Make mission a motivating factor to take action. Most likely than not, your conversation with your board will focus on funding, but money should not be the only factor that will fuel your board to run the programs and services. When you focus on the organisation’s mission, you are also creating a bridge between action around fundraising and passion for programs. There is a sense of balance and variation when you take this into consideration.

•    Give board members a deeper understanding of how contributions and earned income fund the organisation. If a board member misses the big picture, they may think that collecting fees for services denotes that the organisation’s fundraising needs are not really that great. They need to obtain thorough explanation of the percentage of total revenue that each of your sources provides. They should also be aware of the type of funding that these sources represent.

•    Help boards realise the importance of investment of human and other resources. Your fundraising program does not solely focus on funds but on other resources as well. Board members often misconstrue fundraising as asking money and meeting budget goals. When they are not made aware of other tasks they should fulfil, they will only focus on raising money without realising the value of team work. Now, this is completely missing the big picture. It is essential you have a comprehensive dialogue with your board so you can help them understand the goals of your organisation. Do not simply emphasize the need to accomplish goals because if your board members are completely clueless where and how to start, nothing will be accomplished. People need to understand how something works. Otherwise, they will end up doing something for nothing. They are going to carry out the task without realising its value to the organisation and to their personal experience.

When you start a dialogue, you will also have the opportunity to find your board champions you can use for your fundraising campaign. Keep in mind that board members’ support is critical to the success of your organisation. Make sure you are aware of their potential and you should always remember that no ideas are better than the other. Every creative input is important. The idea may be brilliant, but if you are missing the big picture, you and the rest of the group will not share the same goals.

Billy G’s Cookie Dough Fundraiser

cookie 235799 640Once you have chosen the fundraiser dates, the next step you need to take is to send an on-line booking form for Billy G’s Cookie Dough. Upon receiving the booking form, the fundraising packages will be mailed so the fundraising organizations can start the campaign. You will also need to send your booking form as early as possible so sending the required order forms are scheduled in advance.

The order forms and the required number of pre-printed form brochures are also provided. One order form per family is recommended. The order form brochures also include all the details you need to start your fundraising campaign. It also includes the accounting software program that automatically tallies your profit and other information you need. For those who prefer a traditional way of tallying products and prizes, an Excel order form will also be sent via email.

For you to know how the cookie dough fundraiser works, a Co-ordinator’s Information Brochure will also be sent and it also provides suggestions on running the fundraiser successfully. Fundraising organisations will no longer have to worry about advertising the fundraiser because the posters will also be provided and they are also free of charge.

When running the fundraiser, it is suggested that families and members should only dedicate 2 to 3 weeks including 2 weekends. This is to ensure that they will not become too complacent. The standard delivery will be 14 days after the receipt of the order on the day the request was sent. The cookie dough is dispatched locally because they are stored in warehouses. An invoice will be emailed to you within 48 hours of receiving your order and the payment must also be sent 7 days before the delivery so arrangements can be made. The reason for the 14 day turnaround is for you to have enough time to prepare all the things you need including getting the volunteers for your campaign.

The cookie dough does not require immediate refrigeration because it arrives frozen. It may remain unrefrigerated for up to 6 to 8 hours between delivery and distribution. Any unused cookie dough can still be refrozen. When distributing each product, it should be placed in separate piles and the packing process is made easy as there are picking slips that the accounting software produces. These are intended for each family or member.

For non-fundraising organisation that wishes to purchase the product, they will be directed to a fundraising organisation in their area that is running the cookie dough fundraiser. The cookie dough is not sold in the supermarkets to ensure that the product remains successful and popular among members and parents. Each tub contains 52 good sized 25g cookies and the tub weighs 1.3 kg.

Billy G’s Cookie Dough is an ideal fundraiser this holiday season. It never fails to capture members’ interest because aside from the awesome taste, you can also generate a great deal of profit because this fundraiser is undeniably popular. You can also fill out on-line request form for free info kit. Billy G’s Cookie Dough also has various flavours for you to choose from.

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.

Maximize Volunteer Retention With These Strategies

door 14530 640Volunteers are filled with enthusiasm the first time they participate in a fundraising event. However, the short-lived excitement that volunteering brings lead volunteers to quitting. There are many reasons volunteers decide to quit even when you share the same goal. As a leader, you need to find out what your volunteers’ concerns are so you will be able to find out how you can increase volunteer retention.

Why volunteers quit?

Before you come up with a sure-fire solution to the problem, it is important you know the reasons your volunteers quit. Keep in mind that happy volunteers are more likely to keep on doing what they are doing. They will have a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment knowing that their volunteering efforts are for a good cause.

1. Lack of professionalism

2. Poor communication

3. The skills of your volunteer do not match with the assignments and tasks

4. Absence of strong leadership

5. Lack of feedback

6. Failure to recognize the value of volunteers

7. Lack of flexibility with scheduling of volunteers and other opportunities

8. More unnecessary than productive meetings

9. Lack of training

Make Your Volunteers Feel Empowered

• Make sure volunteers are engaged in meaningful tasks and opportunities.

• Provide updates to volunteers about your fundraising and the tasks you have accomplished.

• Make all of the necessary resources available for volunteers so they can complete the work.

• Share inspiring stories that show the importance of volunteers in the success of an organisation.

• Keep volunteers informed about new opportunities that can encourage volunteers to utilize their strength.

Provide Orientation And Training

• Post a clear job description

• Conduct an orientation that outlines the organisation’s roles, programs, mission and staff introduction. When     volunteers understand your organisation, it will be easy for them to help you accomplish your goals.

• Provide ample training to your volunteers so they will have sufficient knowledge about the tasks they need to fulfil.

• Make sure your assigned tasks and responsibilities are based on your volunteers’ qualifications.

• Communicate with your volunteers so they will have an idea of the tasks assigned to them.

Supervision And Follow Up

• Make sure your volunteers have adequate supervision so all of the tasks are carried out based on your expectations.

• Provide assignments that are flexible by searching for a schedule that work for each volunteer.

• Have volunteers complete a satisfaction survey so you can gauge their commitment level. This way, you will have ample time to make necessary changes when it is necessary.

• Watch for signs of volunteer burnout. Your volunteers are more likely to experience fatigue if you are overusing them. If they are given too many responsibilities, hours or shifts you will not be able to get the result you are looking for.

• Get to know your volunteers’ strengths and weaknesses and the reasons they joined your organisation. 

Reward Volunteers

• Make sure you acknowledge the efforts of your volunteers by saying thank you. This simple but ongoing recognition means a lot to your volunteers.

• Offer perks to volunteers during a volunteer appreciation event. Some perks you can consider include a free admission or a free meal.

When volunteers are rewarded for your hard work, they are more likely to repeat what they are doing. With these practices, you can also increase volunteer retention and double your fundraising success.

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.

Key Factors That Can Help You Identify Donor Commitment

boil down 880277 1280Donors play a huge role in the success of every fundraising program. A first fundraising campaign may be successful, but the real issue starts when you ask for the donors’ commitment. Some fundraisers are wondering if there really is a secret code for ensuring donors’ commitment. In identifying donors’ commitment, you need to take several factors into consideration such as consistency, reliability, trust and fidelity. This way, you will be able to measure the donors’ commitment, retention and value. You should also identify key drivers that ensure donor’s long-term commitment. These drivers are classified into two categories: the personal connection drivers and functional connection drivers.

Personal Connection Drivers

1. Receiving a personalized thank-you letter for the support that donors provided;
2. Timeliness in terms of thanking donors;
3. Thanking donors in such a way that will make donors feel good about their donation;
4. Regularly thanking donors especially for their ongoing support;
5. Making donors feel accomplished for the support they made;
6. Making donors feel that their involvement is appreciated;
7. Making donors feel they are part of an important cause;
8. Providing an innovative charity;
9. Being focused on the mission;
10. Ensuring that the charity is well-respected;
11. Giving donors ample opportunities to take action for the cause such as organizing the campaign;
12. Giving donors more opportunities to be more involved such as extending their volunteer time;
13. Recognizing their contributions;
14. Acknowledging their views and opinions of the organisation.

Functional Connection Drivers

1. Keeping donors informed how the donation was used;
2. Giving explanation of the tax benefits of the donor’s donation;
3. The knowledge of the organization regarding the issues it focuses on;
4. Spending money efficiently;
5. Achieving mission effectively;
6. Using donations in an ethical manner;
7. Asking donors for appropriate donation amounts;
8. Providing regular information on the results of the campaign;
9. Sending information showing the recipients of the donation;
10. Sending information that indicates how glad the organisation in receiving support from the donor;
11. Sending information that reflects the donor’s interest;
12. Giving readable information;
13. The frequency of the organisation’s request for donation;
14. Assuring donors that the organisation will do a good job of addressing their concerns and complaints;
15. Setting donor’s expectations;
16. Regular communication.

Donors won’t risk wasting theirefforts, money and time in an organisation that does not share the same goals as theirs. Donors also like to give their full commitment to organisations that they perceive to be effective in achieving their mission. If you are really eager to improve your donor’s commitment, make sure that you place your efforts and attention on these key drivers.

Your fundraising program can become more productive if you know how to make your organisation more productive and powerful. You will notice that the amount of donations rise dramatically once you see to it that you give more importance to these drivers.

Make sure that you monitor your progress and observe how donors respond to your techniques. You will notice changes taking place once you follow these practices. You should also discuss these techniques with the key players of your organisation so you will be able to enhance the fundraising system.

Three Personal Giving Style Most Donors Have

raspberry handed 166378 1280Do you consider asking for a gift or donation the most dreaded stage of organising a fundraising campaign? Do you usually get an unfavorable response whenever you attempt to ask the prospects? Being unaware of your donor's giving style can become a major roadblock to your success. You won't be able to move forward if you get more rejections than support. Even when it comes to raising money, profiling your donors is essential. Otherwise, the donors will remain indifferent even if you know that you have a good intention. Each donor is unique and with that being said, you have to make every approach more personalized. Before you attempt to ask a prospective donor, find out about the three giving styles, donors usually have. 

The Loners

This type of donor is known as the independent thinker. Their decision is not based on what other people think. They are not easily persuaded by the tricks of fundraising trade. They give money to the organisation that creates a huge impact. If you intend to talk to them about the benefits of choosing your organisation, you may risk losing their interest. Loners will donate without outlining the benefits. You just talk to them about the project and get straight to the point. They more likely to donate if the cause is unpopular. You can get this type of donor to donate when your fundraising campaign is transparent and out of the ordinary.

The Followers

This type of donor won't consider donating without seeing a list of people who have already signed up for the fundraising campaign. You can win followers' nod if the campaign is spearheaded by someone they admire. When soliciting a gift or asking donations from a follower, make sure you use terms such as pariticipating, joining etc. Make them feel counted and significant so you can convince them in joining. A follower likes to discuss about the community, the responsibility to give and making a difference in the community. 

The Leaders

This type of donors wants to be the first person to give the gift. They like to lead the organisation or become an instrument to starting a campaign. If you are going to ask leaders, they need to be informed that their donations can greatly influence other donors. This alone can create a huge impact on their decision. You should also tell donors that they are pioneers of this program and don't hesitate to ask for a challenge gift so you can motivate other donors. You can identify that a donor is a leader when they talk about being the first to do a specific task. They also appreciate the value of creativity and thinking outside of the box.

Some questions that can help you profile your donors include:

1. Can you tell us about your motivation to give?

2. How do you want to be treated by the fundraising organisation?

3. Do you have any influences for your generosity?

The donors you are most likely to encounter are the followers. Their motivation to give is driven by the people whom they deem their greatest influence in donating. Once you are familiar with the donor's giving styles, you will be able to use an approach that really works for them.

5 Common Reasons Donors Leave

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

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

Common Reasons Donors Choose To Leave

1. They think you no longer need them.

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

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

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

3. They have forgotten about your organisation.

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

4. They never got thanked for donating.

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

5. They don't receive proper communication.

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

Why The Name Of Your Organisation Matters In Fundraising

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

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

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

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

How to choose an organisation's name?

Research

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

Make sure everyone agrees with the name change

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

Be creative

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

Don't use any geographic locations in your name

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

Use your budget wisely

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

Things You Need To Avoid Doing In Fundraising

thumb 440352 1280Although there is no special formula or secret for ensuring fundraising success, there are some practices that successful fundraisers follow from the time they started the program until they become a pro in raising money for a good cause. Without a doubt, raising money is often easier said than done. You need to stick with your mission and vision and keep an eye on your campaign's progress. You just can't let every precious moment pass you by because every minute counts. 

Time is going to be of essence for every fundraising hopeful. For those who are new to fundraising, it's quite easy to formulate a technique and you can have high hopes in the beginning but frustrations start to sink in when you are not getting any results at all. If this is the case, you might be guilty of these common fundraising mistakes: 

Feeling slightly embarrassed about asking for donations.

Being direct with your intention increases the posibility of receiving positive response from your prospective donors and supporters. Don't feel uncomfortable asking for donations especially if you have good intention. Keep in mind that you are not approaching people to create a short story or a literary piece. You are asking people to help you materialize a project and beating around the bush won't help you. You need to include your ask early and it should be included throughout your copy. 

Your objective gets too confusing.

Although it might be tempting to include several objectives in your letter at once, your donors will not get the kind of message you wish to send. It is good to educate them about your campaign, but you have to do it gradually or they will get bored reading your letter. In fact, too much information repels donors instead of attracting them. Make sure you only focus on the main objective of the appeal. 

Asking for an incorrect amount.

Before you ask money from your prospective donors, make sure that the amount you're asking is appropriate for them. See to it that you are not asking too little or too much. This is why you have to get to know your prospects before you consider asking money from them. When you profile your donors, you will be able to know the right amount to ask. In your copy, you can also suggest at least one donation amount, which should be supported by an explanation of the difference it will make. 

Focusing more on style instead of substance.

In an effort to drive donations, fundraisers often excite themselves with creative ideas. Unfortunately, instead of focusing on the core or primary purpose of fundraising, more time is spent on the layout and designs of your copy. There should be a balance between style and substance so you can achieve your goal as a fundraiser. See to it that your copy is easy to read and does not have any mixed messages. 

Not paying attention to detail.

Your prospects must be fully engaged in your fundraising proposal and these will only be achieved if you pay attention to your copy's essential details. They should not be distracted by poor grammar, punctuation and spelling mistakes. Don't compromise on quality if you want to get your donor's full attention and commitment. 

How To Make Fundraising Less Boring And More Inspiring

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Some fundraisers can come up with the most brilliant fundraising ideas but often fall short on the creative department. There might be some ideas that are quite inspiring for your donors but when it comes to execution, it is an entirely different story. It is every fundraiser's goal to create an inspiring campaign that makes potential donors deviate from the usual impression. Some donors hesitate in giving their share because they perceive your fundraising campaign as just another scheming tactic in the guise of a fundraising program. If you can break this cliche and create something that is more inspiring than boring, you can sure get an impressive number of donors to sign up for your campaign. 

How to inspire donors to participate in your fundraising campaign?

1. Motivate supporters and learn to inspire others.

Potential donors are inspired to take part in your fundraising program when they can relate to it. If you are starting a fundraising program, make sure that it touches the lives of your potential donors. However, you should not fabricate sob stories just to make your fundraising story inspiring. Make sure everything is based on real-life stories. Find out how you can reach out to your potential donors such as asking feedback from the previous supporters or adding some touching imagery that speaks volumes.

2. Lead and others will follow.

If you are advocating something for a good cause, the biggest challenge you will face is getting potential donors and supporters to believe in your program's mission and vision. It is not going to be easy if you don't walk the talk. When you lead, most of your supporters will not hesitate to follow. It gives them a positive notion that are sincere with your efforts.

3. Be passionate.

For new fundraisers, it is easy to forget about the entire purpose of fundraising event when you have not succeeded the first time. However, when you don't give up even when you have received a series of rejections, your passion can inspire others to do the same. It does take time but when you don't consider giving up as an option, you will sure reap the fruits of your hard work in the end.

4. Don't forget success stories.

For new fundraisers, getting some donors to support the cause is not an easy task. People are skeptic about the success of your campaign and potential donors are in doubt if the money they donated is in good hands. They need proof that your fundraising campaign has yielded positive results and this is where success stories come in. Show them that such campaigns have come a long way. It will sure ignite a spark of hope.

5. Be active in the online community.

Fundraisers who already consider fundraising a walk in the park have some brilliant ideas to share. Don't be afraid to ask them if you need to. You will never know how far these ideas can go when you fuse them into one.

Don't forget to thank your donors for participating and give them updates of the event so they know that the money they have donated was used for a good cause.

 

6 Tips For Boosting Your Online Fundraising Efforts

puzzle 210788 1280For fundraisers who want to see significant growth in their fundraising efforts, using various social media channels are the way to go. In fact, it is one of the easiest ways to reach out to prospective donors. However, not everyone who uses social media platforms has emerged victorious. Like any other approaches, you need to find an appropriate niche and never ignore best practices. Seems easier said than done? Even if you are starting a fundraising campaign from scratch, you can still make a great difference using some simple yet effective approaches.

1. Create an attention-grabbing website.

If you want to get people to support your fundraising campaign, you need to make them feel your campaign does exist. Sending fundraising letters to prospects without helping them understand the essence of your program will make the entire efforts useless. You should start with creating a responsive website that donors can check out. Use some appealing imagery and consider your website as your campaign’s virtual journal: it should tell a story.

2. Less is more.

You don’t have to smother your website with lavish designs because one thing that really matters to your donors is how you present your objective. Remove any unnecessary features and focus on the essentials. If your website, make your donors click on too many options, they might easily miss out on the real cause of visiting the page in the first place.

3. Add touching imagery.

Compelling images are part of your website’s content. Make sure you bank on great images that are highly related to your website. Avoid too fancy photos that have nothing to do with what your campaign is trying to convey. Get something that is touching and engaging.

4. Make sure it’s mobile-friendly.


Since most websites can be accessed through various mobile devices, you should join the bandwagon so you won’t be left behind. Take advantage of the advances in technology and make sure your website still looks great on mobile devices.

5. Build a brand.

A fundraising program is tantamount to putting up a business. It needs to be branded for people to recognize your mission, vision, purpose and objective. However, it is not easy to build your brand because you need to take a few things into great consideration such as the logo, imagery, name and many others. One mistake and you end up losing your chance of creating a winning fundraising program.

6. Use social proof.

Social proof can be used as an effective weapon in encouraging donors to support the cause. If you supply pictures of the program’s success, your prospects will be convinced that your program can create a positive outcome. Some of the essential information you should include are the amount you raised, your fundraising goal and the number of donors. Using Social Proof is ideal for new fundraisers as it helps build confidence.

Online fundraising is both fun and challenging. If you don’t know where and how to start, you may easily give up at the first sign of difficulty. The Internet can either make or break your plan of promoting success. This is why you need to carefully choose the effective weapon that can help you win your fundraising battles.