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!

Three Valuable Lessons That Kids Learn From Fundraising

School fundraising does not only benefit teachers and parents but kids as well. Kids who start to involve themselves in various fundraising activities become more aware of the values that the activities provide. As they work as a team, they will come to realise that it really feels good to do good for others.  Value formation is not only limited within the portals of your home, as these values can also be harnessed by helping kids become more involved in school fundraising. While it instils a lot of good values, there are three lessons that kids learn from joining a fundraising campaign.

Patience is key to accomplishing your goals

Success does not happen overnight because it is a step by step process. The same is true with fundraising. Before you raise enough money for your organisation and its beneficiary, you need to reach out to your donors and cultivate them so you can establish good donor relation. It does not happen instantly and it is inevitable to get rejected at some point. However, if you are eager to accomplish your goals, it will not matter how long it takes for you to master the art of donor relation. Kids who participate in fundraising campaigns learn the virtue of patience especially when adults lead by example.

You gain from sharing

What is going on inside a donor’s head when they are giving? Why do donors give when they know they are not going to receive something in return? Philanthropy is indeed profound and only those who have genuine interest in giving will be able to understand the fact that giving is also gaining. Observe kids who are sharing their time, efforts or money with the organisation and they will surely tell you that they have a rewarding experience. Without a doubt, giving something wholeheartedly is a great experience as you gain happiness because of contributing to the success of the organisation in helping others.

Fundraising is not just about the money

It is true that there is fun in fundraising and it is not just about raising money. Once kids grow up and they plan to pursue a career, they will realise that having a fulfilling career is not just about money but helping other individuals have engaged their service. They raise funds to help another person accomplish a goal and this valuable lesson teaches them to be selfless. While it is a good thing to be competitive, the non-monetary reward they earn from fundraising is also worth-knowing.

Email Fundraising Myths An Organisation Might Still Be Embracing

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

Email has already replaced print

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

Email is free

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

Everyone has email address

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

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

 

How To Hold A Successful Fundraising Event

business strategy pyramid showing teamwork and plan fJ6lLMwdA fundraising event cuts both ways: the negative and the positive. It is great way raise money, but it is also expensive and time consuming. Before you focus on the strategies to use for your fundraising event, you need to keep in mind that careful planning is also required so you can be sure that your will hosting a winning event. Planning is the first step to winning the race to raising money.

Ten components of a fundraising event plan:

1.    Create a Purpose. You cannot proceed with other steps unless you know the purpose of the event. Do you intend to raise money or gain publicity? Knowing the purpose of the event will help you determine the goals you wish to achieve.

2.    Know your Goals. Aside from creating a purpose, you must also decide what amount of money you wish to raise at the event. If it is a fundraising event, it is important that your event plant is geared towards the specific amount of money. You should also see to it that the amount you choose will appear as a net after all of the expenses have been deducted.

3.    Analyse your budget. A complete budget listing is necessary when holding the fundraising event. The budget should cover invitations, staff, space rental, catering, transportation, security, utilities and many others. One thing that you should take into account when creating a budget is your fundraising goal. Make sure you leave extra room in your budget as there might be some unforeseen costs you need take care.

4.    Appoint Leaders. Ideas from trusted fundraising leaders are also necessary to the success of the event. Substantial leaders who can provide insightful ideas can make wonders in ensuring that the event goes as planned.
5.    Identify your audience. Your fundraising event will not come to existence if you do not know your target audience. Do you want your event geared towards parents or young professionals? You must decide whom you want to invite to your fundraising event.

6.    Plan the event set-up. Plan your event set-up in advance and it should include all of the particulars of the actual fundraising event. The set-up includes the food that will be served the entertainment, the kind of dress required and the itinerary for the event.

7.    Draw up a marketing plan. Convincing your supporters that your event is worthy of their time and money should be included in your marketing plan.

8.    Decide who will sell the tickets. Whether you are accepting donations or selling the tickets, you need to decide whether you are going to assign someone to take care of different contribution levels for the event.

9.    Practice. A practice ensures that your operation runs smoothly especially if it is a large event. The key event staff should have a practice run to identify if there are some areas that still need some improvement.

10.    Thank volunteers, staff, vendors and contributors. Keeping donors and other people who have contributed to the success of the event can be as simple as saying thank you. Anyone involved in the event will be happy if you take the time to thank them.

Fundraising Tips For Next Year: Start The Year Strong

heart shaped symbol as medical technologyclipping path G1q275BuA few weeks to go and everyone will be welcoming another year. For fundraising organisations, there are still several days left to reflect on the strategies that worked and did not work during the previous year. It is also a great opportunity to lay plans for the coming year. Organisations need to plan in advance and these plans should not only inspire but also provide an effective strategy that the team can follow. You can either improve existing goals or develop a new plan that will benefit your organisation. Here are some tips that can help you start the year strong as a fundraising organisation:

1.    Set realistic and defined goals

It is easy to set goals but taking action is the hardest. If you have been stuck in the same vicious cycle during the previous year because you cannot seem to put your goals in proper perspective, it is about time you set defined goals. Plan what you would like to do and assign people from your team who will be responsible for executing these plans. Make sure you appoint members who perfectly suit the goals and responsibilities you set.

2.    Try at least one new strategy

Is your organisation doing the same thing year after year? Do you have the same communication strategy? Are you holding the same event? You need to try at least one new tactic starting next year so you can step out of your comfort zone and explore other options. Donors and members may get bored with the same approaches you use over the years and it is time you give them something fresh. This way, you are adding variety for prospects and donors and a chance for your fundraising network to grow.

3.    Go over the revenue numbers

Ending the year will not be complete without reviewing your organisation’s performance. You will not be able to move forward if you are completely clueless about the things your organisations have already accomplished. While it can be challenging to fulfil all of your goals this year, focusing on measurable success can help you get going. Have you raised more money this year? If so, lay all possible strategies that can help you improve your performance in the coming year. Do not forget to acknowledge those who have helped you accomplish your yearly goals because without whom, your plans will not be materialised.

4.    Start visualising your new goals

It may not be easy to accomplish new goals if you are already used to the same old strategy you have been using for years, but visualising new goals can help you adopt new approaches. Encourage your members to focus on your goals for the group to accomplish these goals. It will only be difficult at first but once you know the plans you want accomplished, things will fall into place.

There are some greater opportunities that your organisation will face next year. If you stay solid, focused and motivated, none of your plans will ever go to waste. Your organisation will continue to improve once you know how to accomplish new goals.

When Good News Travels Fast, Think About Social Media

These days, organisations are relying heavily on social media when it comes to sharing great stories that create a powerful impact on potential donors. However, social media must be used sparingly because too much of everything is still bad especially when it is used for raising funds. The beauty of technology can be on the opposite of the spectrum if you do not set your boundaries. While good news can travel fast, bad news travels even faster thanks to the advancements in modern technology. While many will surely get overwhelmed by the existence of Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, drawing the line is still imperative.

Ponder on these things before using social media for your fundraising campaign:

• When using social media to boost your fundraising efforts, it is important that you understand their significance in your campaign. You are not going to use them for the sake of media sharing, but for providing useful information on your fundraising drive as well. You will need to keep in mind that social media’s strong impact on donors and supporters are only evident if you use these tools wisely.

• Social media should be interactive and dynamic. It is used as a form of communication and it is also time sensitive. If you decide to use social media for fundraising, make sure that it has real-time turnaround. If someone posts a question on your blog, make sure you respond in a timely manner.

• Since social media communications are essential, an organisation must also appoint someone who will be responsible for breathing life into the campaign’s online platform. Make sure they understand technology, your brand and image.

• Using social media for conveying your message should also come with great responsibility. Observe online etiquette when using social networks. Make sure you keep written policies in place and you post accurate information that the public can gain access to. Respect others and never use vulgarity that can only invite negative criticisms and repel potential donors.

• Relying on online tools such as social networking sites also make plenty of room for security and privacy issues. Make sure you know how to treat information with confidentiality. You and your members should be well aware of the importance of privacy especially when it comes to providing personal information.

• Using social media to support your mission should not be a deterrent to the other tasks you wish to perform. You will be maximising the advantages of using these social networking sites if you use them properly.

This holiday season, many potential donors can be reached with the use of social media. However, organisations must also be well-aware of their limitations because the failure of using these social networks can instantly render them useless. Be responsible when using social networks if you want social media to be beneficial to your campaign. Use social media in moderation and respond to queries in a timely fashion because to donors and customers, time can be of great essence. When you respect and value their time, they will put their trust in you in return.

Uni Cake Eco Bags

Uni Cake Eco Bag Fundraiser is Australian Fundraising’s new concept in 2015 and it aims to assist groups in raising essential funds. Although it looks edible, Uni Cake Eco Bags are not a real cake. If you want to generate profits and help the environment at the same time, this fundraiser is a great idea. You are not only using regular looking shopping bags as these eco bags are creatively packaged so they resemble real cakes. Uni Cake Eco Bags sell for $5.00 and you generate a profit of $1.75 per Uni Cake Eco Bag. With only 10 sales, you make a profit of $17.50. If you have unsold bags, all you need to do is to return them. The minimum order you can place for these eco bags are 20 carry packs. There is an assortment of ten Uni Cake Eco Bags. There are two apple sweet love, two kiwi juice cake, two strawberry cherry sponge cake, two blueberry sundae cake and two chocolate juice smoothie. Your fundraising efforts are also improved as there are also fundraising tools provided. These tools include parent letters, promotional posters, easy order tally system and coordinator’s information kit. Participants get to retain their carry bag if complete carry pack containing an assortment of 10 eco gift bags are sold.

How To Break The Cycle Of Fundraising Fatigue

Sunday Sep 22 2013 19One of the reasons your profits decline is running too many fundraisers. Aside from declining profits, you will also have low participation and worse, fundraising fatigue. Instead of accomplishing your goals, you will not achieve anything. Although it is necessary to run multiple fundraisers for your organisation to survive, this does not necessarily mean you should bite off more than you can chew. When you do not know how to manage multiple fundraisers, your volunteers will feel exhausted. Instead of heading upwards, you are heading in a downward cycle.

How to get back on track when you are stuck in a cycle of fundraising fatigue?

Before you plan running multiple fundraisers, make sure you set realistic goals. Do not set budgeting and coordination aside as they are as equally important as planning. You will know that you are already going beyond your fundraising limit when you do not seem to accomplish anything. 


• Be sure your members have a clear understanding of the reasons you are raising money. Is it for a special project or just for the sake of raising funds? When you are asking for money without specifying the reason for doing so, you are also forming a cloud of doubt in your supporters' mind. Once supporters have a clear understanding of your reason for raising money, they are more likely to purchase the fundraising products.

• When choosing a fundraiser, make sure you discuss efforts and results. There are programs that are easy to manage. Make sure you know the amount of time required for your chosen fundraiser. You may need to find another program if the benefits cannot justify the rewards. You can resort to online fundraiser if your time and volunteers are limited.

• Focus on your customers before you choose a fundraiser. Your customers play a huge role in the success of your fundraising product. Make a research of the type of fundraising product that can ensure success on your campaign. Think about the factors that can be a good fit.

• Avoid overtaxing your volunteers as it will only result in fundraising fatigue. If you are constantly asking for money or help from your volunteers, you may end up not accomplishing your goals.

Just because your goal is to raise enough money to support a project, does not mean you should spend all of your time or energy on fundraising alone. Less can be more if you try working smarter instead of harder.

If you have multiple fundraisers, focus on one fundraiser at a time. Multiple fundraisers also mean having many goals. If you are putting pressure on your volunteers to raise more money than usual, you may not be able to achieve your fundraising goals as you will be making rash decisions.

Make sure you monitor your progress so you can easily determine if something needs to be changed. If your volunteers have concerns, make sure these are properly addressed. It may take time before you become successful in your fundraising efforts but being aware of your program’s areas for improvement will help you accomplish your goals in the long run. It will also help if you recognize team efforts as it can lighten the work load.

Common Questions Donors May Ask

woman 687560 1280Before donors know about the cause of your fundraising program, they are going to pass their judgment to the members of the organisation, specifically you. You can present a very impressive fundraising letter, spend hours collaborating with your board members, but it can be easily overlooked if donors know nothing about you.

Being too consumed with impressing your prospects can lead to overlooking other essential details. You need to believe in your cause before you can get donors to believe in it. Putting yourself in your donors' shoes can help you determine the things that can capture your donor's interest. When you view things from a donor's perspective, not only do you get to know your strength but you also identify your areas for improvement. 

What's on donor's mind?

You will remain a stranger to your donors if they know nothing about you and the organisation you are running. It is easy to formulate a case that can create an awesome impact on your donors, but the real challenge may arise when you don't have the ability to remove any doubts that your donors may have about your organisation. It is not just about the objective but how you present yourself to the prospects.

Key questions:

Do you believe in the cause of your organisation?

A salesperson who believes in his product is considered effective and the same is true in promoting your organisation. If you don't believe in your cause, no one else will. However, if you are enthusiastic about promoting your organisation, your enthusiasm can be contagious and can clearly send the message to your donor. 

Your role is to convey your passion to the prospects. You don't have to be a skilled salesperson to do that. You just need to make sure that you strongly believe in the success of your organisation. It is also immensely powerful if you are going to share success stories of how your organisation has touched lives of other donors or beneficiaries. 

What have you given?

The success of your fundraising will be far from happening if you have not given generously. When you lead by example, it is easy to gain confidence from your prospects. Donors will have the tendency to be suspicious ifyou have not made any effort to give.

You don't have to necessarily match the amount that your donors have given. Make sure you consistently give so donors can see your willingness to help.

What are your motives? 

Donors have the right to know your objective. A person you are asking donations from can clearly sense if your efforts are genuine. If they see that you have sacrificed your time and you truly care about your organisation, all of the doubts and questions that linger in the donor's mind will be laid to rest.

Who are you?

The stakes are higher when asking for a gift or donation. When raising money, you will also need to raise friends. It is one way to ensure that donors know you as popularity also plays a vital role in getting more donors to support your cause. In theory, it is easy to say no to a friend or acquaintance, but in the context of fundraising it is a different story.

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. 

8 Key Steps to Successful Fundraising: Step 2 of 8

 

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Step 2. Set Your Goals

I. The goals and dynamics of the organization should be clear to all members. Without clear and deeper understanding of the mission and vision statement of the campaign, the efforts will be useless as no one knows the reasons for organizing a fundraising event. There are some exercises you can try to test if your group really knows the goal that the organization is trying to achieve.

1. Ask each group members to identify the difference between mission and vision statement. This needs to be clear because if they cannot tell the difference between the two, they will be confused of their purpose in joining the campaign.

2. The group should already know the organization’s mission. 

3. The group should already have an idea of the organization’s vision.

4. Ensure answers have been presented clearly.

5. Check if the mission and vision statement reflects the ones that your group is trying to advocate.


II. Once all of the group members provide their answers, try to compare if they match your organization’s mission and vision statement. With their answers, you will be able to determine if they truly know the purpose of such an organization. When checking their answers you need to find out if these following criteria are met:

1. Their answers must coincide with the message of your organization.
2. All members must be in agreement with the organization’s mission and vision.


III. If most of the answers don’t seem to reflect your organization’s goals, it is imperative that you arrange a meeting so you can discuss gray areas. This is an important step because by arranging a meeting, you will be able to update all group members with the goals of the organization. During the meeting you should discuss:


1. The reason for putting up a fundraising organization.

2. The role of the group.

3. The challenges that each group member may encounter and the steps to resolve issues.


IV. Getting all group members to agree on the same goal can be a bit of a challenge especially when they are not updated with the organization’s goals yet. However, this activity will help them become accustomed to what the organization wishes to achieve. It may take time before your group members will be in agreement with the foundation’s goal but this does not mean that you won’t share the same purpose. All it usually takes is to make them involved in every endeavor that the organization wants to make.


V. Make your own assessment for you to determine if they have clearly understood the main objective of the activity. You need to evaluate them on various areas such as their personal understanding on how the organization works. You can connect with the rest of the group members if you share the same goal and concept.

With this step, you will increase your group’s involvement and participation in any fundraising activity you plan to organize. This is due to the fact that they share the same purpose and they know the role they play to make the fundraising event a huge success.