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!

Not All Cookie Dough Is Created Equal-Fundraising Tips And Guidelines

Not All Cookie Dough Is Created Equal-Fundraising Tips And Guidelines

Children and adults alike are smiling from ear to ear whenever sweet treats are chosen to be part of a fundraising campaign. Sure fun run, scratch cards and other fundraisers are equally fun, but nothing beats sinking your teeth into chewy, mouth-watering treats and helping a good cause at the same time. Aside from chocolate fundraiser, a cookie dough fundraiser appeals to many. Unfortunately, the excitement ends when your taste buds are less than pleased.

Not all cookie dough is created equal. This is why each and every organisation should make informed decisions. It all boils down to asking the right questions. With only a few days away from Christmas, organisations are already preparing for yet another big event to cap off the year.

Tips and Guidelines:Cookie Dough Fundraiser

No one can resist heavenly tasting pastries and desserts. You can still beat the holiday rush by booking early. Ever heard of Christmas Edition Fundraiser? This is a fantastic idea for organisation that is looking to maximise their profits with minimal efforts. Billy G's Gourmet Cookie and Biscuit Dough is a wise option to consider. Aside from its irresistible flavours, the registration process is also hassle-free.

Looking forward to 2018? You can also go for an early registration here.

Development leaders and members have other responsibilities to fulfil that they cannot be fully committed to the organisation. Choose a provider that will set up the online shop for you. It is normal to be apprehensive especially if it is your first time to organise a fundraising event and campaign. Ask your provider if you could request a free fundraising information pack and samples. It will help you gauge whether or not the fundraiser is right for you.

You will also need to check if the provider has a proven track record. It is easy to claim that you are the best fundraiser provider, but without proof, customers will still be in doubt of your ability to provide excellent products and customer service. Schools are often a likely target for fundraising events. Make it memorable for everyone by ensuring that you do not settle for less. Aside from making sure that a cookie dough fundraiser offers the best-tasting product, you will also have to keep your pricing and profits in mind. Ask your provider if they can give you the pricing for each package and the profit you will generate. Some providers may offer free delivery, but you have to ask prior to confirming your transaction. 

If you cannot find answers to your fundraising-related questions, it is best to ask the provider before you make any commitments to buying the product. You can only make the most out of cookie dough fundraiser if you make informed buying decisions. 

6 Tips For Making Your Next School Fundraiser Run Smoothly

6 Tips For Making Your Next School Fundraiser Run Smoothly

When organising your next school fundraiser, it is important to keep in mind that everyone should be involved. There is no such thing as small or big tasks because everyone who participates contributes to the success of the campaign. There are different roles and responsibilities when running your fundraiser. These tips will help you ensure your next school fundraiser will run more smoothly.

1. Recruit more volunteers

A school fundraiser will be more successful if you let your community know you are in need of compassionate individuals who are willing to participate in your event. Use all of your resources to reach out to people. Use your website, newsletters and even word of mouth to increase your recruitment efforts.

2. Get your website involved in your communication goals

The most challenging part of recruiting volunteers is ensuring that your communication channels are open. Do not just on emails when searching for volunteers because there are other means you can look for potential supporters. Use your website to communicate with contributors and sponsors.

3. Create a solid fundraising strategy

Your previous fundraising campaign will serve as your guide to knowing which strategies did and did not work. Finding areas you need to improve and knowing your strengths can definitely make a difference. If you know your strengths and weaknesses, you will know what strategy to retain and to get rid of.

4. Put new people

Move your fundraiser forward by putting new people. You can do this ahead of time and make sure that they have a good track record. You should also provide proper training to ensure great performance.

5. Define roles of people in your organisation

It is also essential for your team member to know the roles they should play. These roles may vary from person to person. Think about their skill and availability when defining their roles.

6. Set realistic goals

Not setting realistic goals is one reason your fundraising event is doomed to fail. While it can be overwhelming to try new approaches that will enable you to improve your fundraising campaign, it is still important to take baby steps. It is important to break the goals down by creating a sub-group. You will need to set expectations and tell the consequences for participating and not following through. Volunteers should know the importance of the roles they play and the rewards ahead. Setting unrealistic goals might intimidate your volunteers and run the risk of falling short of your expectations.

5 Techniques For People Who Are Too Shy To Raise Money

5 Techniques For People Who Are Too Shy To Raise Money

Talking to donors is an important part of fundraising because it enables you to get to know your donors. Successful fundraising professionals have established a good relationship with donors by communicating with them regularly. However, there are those who are not comfortable with the idea of talking to people. Since fundraising involves interacting with people to know the strategies that appeal to their emotions, carrying a conversation is essential. If the job seems intimidating, here are some strategies that can help you overcome shyness. 

1. Prepare in advance

When you go to a meeting unprepared, you will be tormented by mixed feelings of nervousness, fears and even self-doubt. If you are scheduled to talk to a potential donor, preparing ahead of time is going to be your best bet. You may be sincere in talking to the donor, but nervousness can get in the way that it leads to being misinterpreted as rudeness. Never pick up the phone unless you are well-prepared so you do not end up completely at a loss for words or distracted by your anxiety. 

2. Research about your donor's history

Meeting a donor for the first time is going to be nerve-wracking. You can change the situation by doing some research. Find out why they are interested in supporting your campaigns. Learn about the things they are interested in. Building a rapport helps you alleviate shyness by letting the conversation flow as natural as possible. Check your previous events to know if your donor has recently participated in them. 

3. Meet in a quiet and less distracting place

When you decide to meet a donor it means you are eager to know them personally. In this case, you should also be mindful of the place where you are going to meet up. This is the stage where you will be able to learn about your donor's personality. If you easily get distracted because of too much noise or too many people, you will not be able to accomplish your goal of familiarising your donor. Choose a less busy and more relaxed location. 

4. Ask questions

One sign that you are interested in getting to know your donor is when you ask lots of questions. Aside from building a rapport, you will also have the opportunity to learn more about your prospects and the passion they wish to pursue. When you listen to your donors, you get more information and you will see them as a valuable asset to your organisation. 

5. Talk about your campaign

Organisations do not just need one-time donors, but long-term donors as well. Aside from knowing your donors' interest, it is also necessary to let them know more about your organisation or campaign. If you involve them in your upcoming project, you will be able to make them feel valued. Letting them know about your future plans for your campaign will also give you a hint of their commitment. 

Reasons You Do Not Succeed In Fundraising

Raising money seems easier said than done let alone getting loyal donors that will become your loyal supporters. You have already employed known techniques to succeed in fundraising, but something is still not right. Although your journey through fundraising may appear smooth and problem-free, there are can still be some roadblocks that will deter you from succeeding. If you want to get the most out of fundraising, you should know the strategy that will work for you. Analyse the areas you need to improve and be aware of these common roadblocks.

You reinvent even when it is not needed

These days, fundraising is taken to the next level with the emergence of intelligent technology. This is why some organisations are tempted to switch to modern fundraising techniques even when traditional techniques are still working. The problem with reinventing your approaches is that you need to make major adjustments so approaches will be more aligned to your new fundraising style. While there is completely nothing wrong with this, a dramatic change in strategy can do more harm than good as this means your board members, supporters and donors will be required to adjust to the new approach. Instead of choosing modern strategies, observe and try to combine both if both strategies work for your organisation.

You target the wrong donor

When getting loyal donors, you need to start with building meaningful relationships. While the road to engaging with your prospective donor may not be easy, knowing your target market can help you make the task easier. There are uninformed prospects and there are uninterested prospects. You need to know which one you should choose. If you are after uninterested prospects, find out why they are not willing to commit to your organisation. A prospect may not be interested because you fail to communicate with them. Offer encouragement and keep lines of communication open so you can connect with your prospective donors.

You do not personalise your fundraising letter

When you are only aiming for getting more donors, you need to forget the most important aspect of fundraising, which is forming a connection. If you are sending a common and generic template out of habit, you should consider sending a personalised request. The letters should be engaging as this is a tool for establishing rapport with your prospective donor. When you always have a canned response and you do not connect with your donor, they will be under the impression that you only see them as a person giving money to your organisation.

The Old And New Fundraising Tactics

In this day and age, technology has made fundraising much easier as organisations can reach out to prospect through various methods such as using mobile device, social media and many others. While adopting modern tactics can help you gain a competitive advantage, it does not necessarily mean you should take old tactics for granted. Good fundraisers do not necessarily use new tactics rather they choose to listen to their audience and experiment with available tactics. Seasoned fundraisers also know that the luxury of experimentation may not always be possible. It is imperative that you start with the basics so you will know which strategy works for your prospects. Without a doubt rules have also changed in fundraising.

It is also necessary to evaluate both old and new tactics as this allows you to give fair consideration. Although it is tempting to use the latest and greatest technology, your organisation should not also lose sight of traditional but effective ways of attracting donors. It is still important that you evaluate both old and new approaches for you to find out which ones work for you.

Old Tactics

Events:Invite prospects to a fundraising event such as walks or galas. This approach has been an effective fundraising tool for many years. Fundraising events provide donors a venue to interact and learn about your organisation.

Direct Mail: Most organisations still consider direct mail an effective way to communicate with donors. Aside from the fact that it is a less expensive tactic, it is also considered effective. Older donors also prefer direct mail. When using direct mail as a tactic, make sure you compose a fundraising letter that creates a powerful impact on your prospects.

Door-to-door: While the use of door-to-door fundraising has diminished over the years, many organisations have still utilised this approach successfully.

New Tactics

Online Videos:These days online videos are an effective tool in educating prospects. Since it is easy to creat, any organisation can spark a viral campaign if proper techniques are employed.

Social Networking:Almost everyone turns to social media when it comes to finding out about the latest event because this is the venue that increases awareness. If you are going to use this as a medium for gathering supporters, you will be able to expand your geographical reach as your audience is most likely to recommend your product or brand.

Blogging:Another tactic that provides a way for organisations to communicate with existing donors and new prospects is through blogging. It has become an acceptable communication tool that allows donors to know more about the things your organisation can offer.

Fundraising Techniques To Engaging Millennial Generation

If you have a fundraising organisation that wants to connect with the millennial generation, going digital is important because traditional donation options and channels may not be able to help you achieve the kind of connection that will make this generation more involved in your fundraising efforts. In the past, boomers are the ones considered to make the most donations, but with proper technique, millennial is filling their shoes. If you are still stuck in the same old technique, it is time to adopt the latest trends and innovations.

The payment is one area of innovation you need to improve on. Millennials want the most convenient way to pay and be paid and this is the reason mobilisation wins their nods. If they can access your website and make payments anywhere and with any device, it will not be difficult to get their support. Your organisation should anticipate changing consumer choice and preference because prospects often choose the most convenient way of making transactions.

There Are Three Ways To Engage With Millennials:

Go Mobile: For fundraising to keep up with the changes in today’s technology, it is essential to go mobile because almost everyone relies on mobile devices for almost everything. Even with purchasing goods, many individuals find it convenient to transact from a mobile device. Your donations must be optimised for mobile so you do not end up missing out on millennials. In the era of smartphone, most millennials are more likely to use their mobile phone to donate.

Embrace Social Media: Using social channels can amplify your campaign and a perfect example of an effective social media strategy is the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. This campaign went viral and raised millions of dollars for the ALS Association. However, it is also important to keep in mind that not every campaign will become viral but you can improve engagement by expanding your geographical reach. With social media, you can increase your volunteer efforts and donation by encouraging participation.

Be Accountable: Millennial donors have the desire for accountability by knowing how your organisation is planning. In the era of modern technology, it is easier to reach out to donors than before. At present, all you need to do is to let donors know via social media or email. You can gather ideas this way and provide fundraising updates. There are various ways you can show that their donation matters such as using visuals, real case studies and anecdotes. Millennials also like to be recognised for doing what is right and when you acknowledge their efforts, they will feel good about and will not hesitate to become a regular donor.

Mastering The Art Of Donor Relation

Have you found time to check your donor retention rate? If only 3 out of 10 donors came back to give again, you know that something is not right. A low retention rate is just as bad as donors saying ‘no’. What do these two have in common? If you are having difficulties retaining first-time donors or getting a prospect to say yes, you need to ask if you have been carefully cultivating your donor relationships as this is important. Building long-term relationships with your donors is also part of your fundraising goal and it is the art that you should master for donors to stay.

Acknowledgement

Letting your donors know you received their donations and thanking them encompass acknowledgment. The only way your donors will feel valued is when assure them that their money is on its way to its primary purpose. This might seem like a simple gesture but it creates a great impact on your donor. Acknowledgement is one way to make donors feel that you know them personally. It is the first step to building strong relationships because you are no longer treating them as donors but as friends.

Impact reporting

Aside from acknowledging your donors, you should also tell them what you did with their money. Informing them of the purpose and impact of their donation will encourage continuous support. You can create a stronger bond when they feel involved in your fundraising campaign. Another reason first-timers become repeat donors is when they are aware that donations have served its intended purpose.

Recognition

Celebrating their giving is one way of recognising donors. Recognition comes in after you have welcomed your donor. It is not enough that you welcome them as you should also need to get them to stay. Thank them for their efforts by hosting an annual donor appreciation party. Letting your donors feel they are not forgotten does not only increase retention rate but also builds stronger relationships.

Engagement

Since it is essential to involve people with their philanthropy, find time to connect them with people who benefit from their donations. A personal thank-you letter from a beneficiary or a day at a camp can work wonders. If donors are updated of the development, they will feel good about giving.
Donor relation is a serious art that fundraisers need to master to fully appreciate fundraising. While it takes time to earn donor’s trust, it does not necessarily mean you will stop cultivating them once they make a donation. Donor relation is a process that requires long-term commitment.

Five Bad Habits That Impede Fundraising Success

Have you ever wondered why you are not raising enough money despite of formulating brilliant strategies? Bad habits can impede growth and success of your organisation. It may seem like a minor flaw but not paying attention to your fundraisers’ habits can take a toll on your fundraising campaign.

1.    Not establishing rapport with your donors.

Your donors are one of the primary components of your organisation because without them, you will not accomplish goals and move forward. Fundraisers often focus on raising money without giving importance to establishing good relationships with donors. As a result, potential or even existing donors shy away from making a donation because they do not feel any connection to your organisation. Fundraisers make donors feel welcomed and it is a continuous and consistent effort. One-time donation does not guarantee success. Devote your effort in understanding your donors and thanking them for their commitment.

2.    Making hasty decisions without checking the facts.

More often than not, people use their instinct to make important decisions in life, but in crucial situations, it is also important to rely on solid facts so you do not end up embracing regrets at the end of the day. Instincts may not give you the results you have hoped for and when things go wrong, you cannot present facts to support your claims. Making the right decisions is important in fundraising. Never let instinct get in the way or you may end up missing an important fact. Use your instinct as a starting point but never let it influence your final decision.

3.    Being ashamed of raising money.

Professional fundraisers are ashamed of asking money from people because they consider themselves treading upon a confusing territory. Donors are vital to your fundraising programs and you need to connect with them so you can win their commitment and trust. Donors want to feel valued and when dealing with them, you need to let them know your purpose of reaching out to them. They also deserve to know the stakes and urgency. Asking from them is just a prelude to establishing a better relationship with donors. It all starts with translating values into action.

4.    Making decisions out of fear.

Problems exist in fundraising organisations and you need to anticipate them if you want to succeed at fundraising. When you base your decisions on fear, you are doing more harm than good. You will have trouble coping and you will not be able to know the true value of fundraising.

5.    Not welcoming change.

Change is inevitable and instead of being allergic to it, fundraisers need to embrace it to foster growth and development. If an approach does not work, do not be afraid to make a change. There are techniques you can use so you can acquire much-needed convincing power to interact with donors and connect with them.

Bad habits can deter you from succeeding in fundraising. While there can be some occasional doubts running through your head, you need motivation to keep going and to remove self-doubt. The good news is these bad habits are merely mental and can be changed.

Creating A Compelling Mission For Your Organisation

One good reason a donor commits to an organisation is its relatable mission. Although creating a mission can be a challenging task, focusing on what your organisation really does will help you capture donors’ interest. Regardless of your issue area, it only takes three steps for you to create a mission that is both compelling and clear.

Talk about outcomes instead of process.

Think about your donors when presenting your mission. Most fundraising letters focus on the organisation’s process and philosophy instead of the outcomes. As a result, donors become bored with the same old fundraising story. Donors often want to know the outcome of making a donation. Nobody wants to give to an organisation if they are unsure of the benefits they can reap from it. Donors want to make sure that they are donating for a good cause. They already know your philosophy and they are more interested in the result. They want to see your organisation extend its helping hand to deserving recipients of their donation.

Give your mission a heartbeat

Your mission should have a positive effect on people. A message that only talks about your organisation’s purpose of asking will not create any impact on donors. Put yourself in the donor’s shoes so you will know the impact of a mission with a pulse. Your donors will find it difficult to relate with your organisation’s mission if they do not feel any sincerity. Although you may feel you have done enough, your donors will still feel you are still missing another ingredient to success. If your organisation focuses on helping children, make sure you talk about kids. Set aside advocacy techniques because donors are more interested in your beneficiary. You will be able to succeed if donors feel that your organisation does more than just asking money from them.

Tell a story

Do not be afraid to tell a story to your donors that will help them get to know your organisation and its mission. Compelling stories that involve past successes will sure win your donor’s nod. A story of success that captures their heart can definitely encourage them to donate because they know for a fact that they are going to be instrumental to the success of the organisation. There is indeed a positive result you are going to reap once you take the time to create  a mission that will not only capture your donor’s attention, but also give them more reasons to commit to your organisation.

Turn One-Time Donors Into Supporters

christmas smgl 372Fundraisers are faced with the biggest challenge in retaining donors because most donors only give once. Without a doubt, it is a struggle to find techniques that can covert one-time donors into repeat donors. While an organisation can be more focused on getting that second donation, it is also important that there is enough time dedicated to turning a donor into an all around supporter. Organisations need to invest more time in doing this so positive results can be obtained.

Thank Your Donors

Although this is a common gesture for every organisation, there are donors who choose to leave because they do not feel appreciated. Donors care about your organisation, but they will decide to support another fundraiser if they are not valued. It is a simple gesture, but it can turn donors around. When they are underappreciated, they will have an impression that you are only after their donations.

However, when their generosity is acknowledged, you will realise that there is a big difference. A personalised thank you letter can make a great difference. Appreciating your donors can turn them into engaged members. It can either be a quick phone call or a handwritten note. You will notice that you have more engaged supporters when you let your donors know you appreciate them.

Invite donors to your fundraising events

More often than not, a donor is only interested in making a monetary contribution to your organisation. This may not be true if you do not make an effort to invite them to do more than just donating to your organisation. When you reach out to your donors, you will be able to know if they want to take the opportunity to be more involved in your organisation’s mission.

When donors see their impact in action, you will not only retain a good relationship but open more doors so your donors can provide ample support to the organisation’s mission. When donors are given a change to give back, they will feel more involved. Donors will also realise that their donation has made a positive impact on the outcome of your fundraising event.

Welcome your donors

Welcome your donors with open arms so they will feel more comfortable and involved. When donors are comfortable with your organisation, they are more likely to feel involved. You will not only increase their engagement but also continue your relationship with them. A simple gesture such as remembering their name at your next event, can send a powerful message that you value them as a donor. Your donors are also important members of your organisation and when you make them realise their importance, it won’t be possible to turn one-time donors into supporters.

 

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.

3 Simple Principles That Make A Fundraising Organisation Succeed

jigsaw puzzle G16cZPOOEvery organisation formulates a strategy to keep up with the tough competition among fundraising organisations. Even if you have previously succeeded in your fundraising efforts, there are times when you have suddenly lost your passion for helping others or making a difference. The first thing you need to remember is that ideas you use for your organisation need to be re-energised. For an organisation to be successful, you need to be consistently passionate about your job.

Building strong relationships is essential to fundraising success

You may have the money and machinery to reach out to donors by sending out a fundraising appeal, but the positive response will only be temporary if you do not do something to take care of your donors. Establishing strong relationships may seem like a basic principle, but it creates a powerful impact on donors. Even if your donor has supported your fundraising organisation, it does not guarantee you of long-term support. You need to take care of your donors so you can develop relationships and gain additional support.

Once you have identified the people who might want to support your organisation, the next step to take is to develop a relationship through cultivation activities. Ask should only be made after the relationship has been built. The organisation needs to work hard to maintain a positive relationship with the donors so follow up donations will be received.

Scalable fundraising efforts are the best

It may take time before you cultivate a prospect and make an ask. In order to maximize your effort, you need to have a development person that will be responsible for getting in touch with potential donors, holding events, writing grants and sending out mail. The process needs to be scheduled based on your fundraising goals. The development person you should appoint needs to have the ability to dedicate his/ her time to make the fundraising event a success. For these goals to be achieved, your fundraising efforts must be scalable. You will also have to remember that you can only maximise your efforts if you have enough people in your team.

Everyone is responsible for the success of fundraising

Fundraising is important to the success of your organisation and all members of your organisation should be made aware of their responsibility. Everyone should assist with fundraising and this means they should be willing to help to make every fundraising event a success. Active participation means selling tickets to events, providing contacts and making personal asks. Although each board member may have a different task, your organisation should still be focused on one goal. For all members to participate in helping you fundraise, they need to understand that all of them are expected to actively participate.

You will also need to offer fundraising training regularly so the staff or board members will be able to know the fundraising strategy they should use for your efforts to succeed. It can just be a short session of not more than 2 hours. This way, they will have an idea of the approaches to use to maximise their efforts to fundraise.

7 Techniques To Keep Your Online Donations Rolling In

silver laptop isolated on white Mygv2Eo Aside from ensuring that your online donation page gets some traffic, you should also see to it that donations are consistent. Just because donors visit your donation page does not necessarily mean they are going to proceed with hitting the “donate” button. More often than not, prospects are inclined into ditching the donation page when they do not feel any connection to your fundraising organisation. You might have gone digital, but missing out on the essentials is also a perfect recipe for disaster.

Optimising your online donations is key:

1.    Think of retaining donors before you even get one. When you are focused on getting prospective donors to visit your online donation page, the first goal is to attract donors, but failing to retain donors is just as worse as not getting any. You many have an impressive amount of donations, but if it is just one-shot deal, the essence of getting donors is overlooked. Your confirmation page needs to be optimised so you can generate a second interaction.

2.    Remove distractions on your page. It is easy to get side tracked with other elements found in your donation page. The page may have outbound links that deter a prospective donor from focusing on the donation form. Strip away competing elements on your donation page. The prospective donors should only see a donation form where they can concentrate on making a donation.

3.    Create a branded giving page. This page refers to a page on your website where an online donation form can be found. There are good reasons branded giving pages are beneficial to your website: 1. it saves visitors from taking another step; 2. a branded giving page is more trustworthy.

4.    Make your website mobile-friendly. Donors who can conveniently make a donation on your website using their mobile device will find this option a huge advantage. As everyone goes digital, your online donation page should not be left behind.

5.    Avoid overloading the donor with too many requests. Donors do not have the time to comply with your requests for personal information so you need to collect the ones you will use immediately such as the name. You can ask for the donors’ email address or phone number later.

6.    Give options to donors. If you do not have any suggested gift amounts, donors are pressured to donate the amount that they think is acceptable to you. Due to this perception, they are less likely to make a donation. These choice barriers are eliminated if you include the suggested gift amounts. Make sure the amounts are researched so donors will know the purpose of each option.

7.    Get the donor’s communication channel preference. A donor can be retained if you know how they would like to be communicated especially when it comes to following the donation. This information must be collected as early as possible so you can establish a good relationship with the donor. Avoid sending generic emails and focus on personalised emails. These days, the most preferred communication channels are email, social media, phone and mail.

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.

3 Essential Fundraising Boosters When The Going Gets Tough

IMG 3890 974Every organisation goes the extra mile to maintain or improve fundraising techniques as a way of supercharging activities and ensure donor’s continued patronage. Any effective tactic that an organisation decides to include in the list of fundraising activities can increase engagement on donors and board members. Any fundraising activity can be enhanced with the use of boosters. They are important because they work wonders on your revenues. These boosters can have a positive impact on your events, letters and even online fundraising campaigns.

1.    Appoint a champion who will take full responsibility for that tactics you have created.

For an organisation to succeed, it needs a champion that can take responsibility in ensuring that the tactics are applied accordingly. These tactics will be useless if someone is not pushing them to succeed. Each person must be assigned to each of your tactics and they must be provided with resources so they can succeed in their mission.

When you are working on improving a specific campaign, it is best to appoint someone who is passionate about helping the campaign succeed. Truth be told, not everyone is willing to participate in running a fundraising campaign that can increase your organisation’s revenue. Some may have excuses while others simply do not like the idea. If you assume all of your members are going to help your organisation improve a new tactic, efforts and time are wasted. However, if you consider appointing one member who will take the lead, then you will be hitting two birds with one stone as you motivate team members and track progress at the same time.

2.    Add time and resources to increase donor engagement.

Adding a personal contact component is beneficial to any fundraising tactic. With additional time and resources, you will be able to allow your team to make personal phone calls or do personal meetings with existing or prospective donors. When you add a personal touch to your strategies, there is a guarantee that your revenues or income will increase.

You can use this booster when sending out an annual appeal letter. For instance, if 10% of your donors have the potential to support your cause, you can make follow ups to ensure that they got the letter or if they have any questions on the fundraising activities and events. When you personalise every contact, you will be able to identify if the areas that your organisation needs to improve on.

3.    Work hard to maintain great relationships with your supporters.

When you have already established a good relationship with your supporters, you need to leverage your relationships so your donors or supporters will continue to provide ample support to your organisation. Reaching out to your current donors is a good move, but you need to be consistent in your efforts. Send out emails and ask for their feedback about the campaign so you will know the areas you need to work on.

The goal of ensuring that your fundraising efforts pay off will be achieved if you include these boosters in every strategy that you make. Not only will you retain current donors, but will win the trust of potential donors as well.

Fundraising Mistakes That Block Your Organisation’s Progress

pass fail shows exam or test results zklpsGwOAre there negative forces that prevent your organisation from reaching the peak of success? Do you dwell on pre-conceived notions about fundraising? There are fundraising mistakes that can cause a serious impact on every organisation. These are often considered recurring mistakes that when left unchecked, they will become one of the reasons for the downfall of an organisation. Oftentimes, these mistakes are very simple, but they can complicate your organisation.

Common Fundraising Misconceptions:

1.    Focusing on rich people to raise money – it is very common for most organisations to focus on potential donors who are wealthy for the belief that they are the only key to raising big money. For an organisation that does not know any rich people, it is easy to get discouraged because of this misconception. However, the success of an organisation in raising money does not depend on the number of rich people you know. You should also keep in mind that an organisation must also have a solid plan. For an organisation to succeed, they should not focus on the size alone because the organisation’s mission is also important. Wealthy people are not the bread and butter of an organisation because you should also focus on other aspects such as getting the message out. You should also have the ability to relate the impact of your objective and the needs of your community.

2.    Wealth is a strong determining factor of a person’s willingness to donate – there are three factors that come into play when a person donates and these are the concern for the cause, financial capacity and the connection of the donor to the organization. Even if donors have incalculable wealth, they are the less likely to donate if do not feel they are connected to your organisation. If donors do not place any value on donating, your organisation is less likely to get the support you are looking for. Even if you are going to spend months wooing the donor, you will not win their nods if they do not want to support your organisation. Your organisation may have the inclination to list the names of wealthy people in your community that can potentially donate, but you should consider listing people who share the values of your organisation. Your donors will be more responsive if they can relate to your organisation and you are also assured they care about your mission.

3.    Your campaign will only be successful if you have a powerful board – perhaps you have a notion that only an organisation with powerful boards can have a successful campaign. If you are going to create a deep-dive analysis, you will realise that the success of a campaign is driven by how its people care about the mission. Many organisations will succeed if they put their heart in the organisation. If board members are involved and they do not set a time limit for participating in the organisation’s effort to raise money, the campaign will meet its needs and objective.  If you want to your organisation to have a powerful board, make sure you enlist people who believe in your cause and are willing to achieve the goal of your organisation.

Three Essential P’s For Fundraising

assortment of coloured pencils zyuAeAPdIf you consider yourself a modern fundraiser, you may have surely tried a plethora of new approaches and ideas that can help you with your fundraising strategies. However, not all of the strategies are designed to provide excellent results. They can be considered rehashed versions of the old approaches. They are old strategies hiding behind the façade of new techniques. You will know you are using the same approach because they yield the same result. It is easy to be deceived by new fundraising approaches especially if they come in shiny or flashy packages. You can easily get attracted to the idea of using app-based fundraising tools, but you are not sure if they are going to give you positive results.

Before you consider using new products and strategies for your fundraising organisation, try these 3 P’s:


•    Pause. If you find yourself trying every new fundraising technology and strategy, you may need to pause for a while and make an assessment. There is no need to implement new strategies because what may be effective for some may not be effective for others. Instead of chasing every new fundraising strategy, assess existing fundraising ideas and technologies so you will know which approaches are still effective. There is no use holding on to old strategies if they are no longer working. When assessing the strategies you have already used, start with the basics.

•    Plan. After assessing your strategies, you should also develop a plan. It is not enough that you formulate a plan because you should also inform your organisation about these plans and revise them if there are additional suggestions from your members. When planning your fundraising activities, focus on the basics and keep in mind that a large portion of your money comes from individual donors. These donors appreciate personal communication and missing out on covering the basics may deter you from expanding your horizons. If there is a need to use new ideas, choose two ideas at a time and stick with them. Test new tactics choose the most effective strategy.

•    Pursue.  Developing a plan is not enough without pursuing it. Do not allow yourself to get side tracked by new techniques. If you have already chosen two new ideas, there is no need to confuse yourself by adding more. Focus on how you can make these ideas more effective. Towards the end of the year, review the ideas you have chosen for you to find out how well they worked for your organisation. If your organisation has succeeded because of these strategies, then keep them. Discard them if you they have made any contribution to the success of your organisation.

What Is Thoughtful Rebranding?

When it comes to thoughtful rebranding, it is important that you have a good organisational development process, which includes strategic planning. With this, an organisation will be able to see much better results than the organisations that fail to follow development processes. If you have all the resources needed for rebranding, a three-year rebranding will be a fast process.

Check if you still have clear vision and mission.

If you have not yet scheduled a meeting with your members to discuss your plan, it is best that you start now so you will be able to know if you still have a clear vision and mission. Make sure your staff and board are aligned around your work and they are not only the ones who are involved in your strategic-planning session, but the donors, volunteers and clients as well.

Make sure you maintain regular communication.

You may want to consider field testing your communications for you to find out whether or not they are still effective. If the feedback you receive reflects your organisation’s vision and mission, there is no need to make some changes to the existing communications. However, if you are not happy about the feedback, it is about time you set a new communications strategy. When implementing new communications strategies, make sure you have realigned essential elements. In line with testing your communication strategies, you should also overhaul your website and other online properties that you consider necessary for interacting with people. Your staff must also be trained so they can familiarise themselves with the next brand. Make sure this is integrated into the practices in human resources so your staff stays updated.

Your organisation should have one voice.

Campaigns must be developed and should represent your brand. It is important you are consistent with your efforts in ensuring that your campaign is aligned to your organisation’s vision and mission. Take a look at every aspect of your branding and determine if your social media is also on brand. If you are planning to get an executive director for the speech, make sure they are also aware of the message you wish to convey to your audience. In order to make sure that your team knows about your organisation’s vision and mission, see to it you appoint someone on your team to coach others. You can ensure consistency this way. It is also necessary you review your communications informally so you will know how you are doing. While thoughtful rebranding may be a long process, surviving the rebranding process is worth your effort.

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.

The Fundraising Truths Volunteers May Not Be Aware Of

give word on balloons showing charity donations and generous assistance M18F fPuThere are fundraising truths that only apply to a cause or community but there are others considered absolute. Wherever you are and whatever you do, these fundraising truths are going to play a relevant role and this is the reason they are worth knowing.

People give because your organisation meets needs.

Once you get this fundraising truth right, the rest will be easier to realise. More likely than not, volunteers think that people give because it has needs, but this is not the case. People give to your organisation because they believe it meets needs. A fundraising organisation should be more than just presenting itself as a needy campaign that badly requires the help of donors. Your organisation should meet needs and not just present itself as needy. It should showcase success to prospective donors for the organisation to create a significant impact.

A person’s willingness to give is determined through his values.

The most common scenario that can leave you empty handed is setting some criteria, which you think can help you get donors. As you build your list of prospective donors, you consider wealth as one of your criteria for adding names. Unfortunately, this is not just the only criterion that your donor should possess because if you only base a person’s willingness to give on his wealth, then you fail to recognise the obvious.

Your prospective donor may have all the money, but if they are not sharing your organisation’s values or vision, giving modestly will never ever cross his mind. However, if you choose people who share the same values, you won’t have difficulties raising funds. Make sure you do not use wealth as one of your criteria. Pay more attention to donors at all levels so you can achieve your fundraising goals.

Your choice of words does not necessarily matter when asking.

Formulating a winning fundraising letter is such a tedious job because you need to capture your prospective donors’ interest one way or another. There are phrases that have a positive impact on prospective donors especially if they clearly send the message across. However, you can set phrases aside if you have a better way of saying the same thing. You can still get the right result if you focus on your objective instead of merely choosing the right words.
You don’t have to be too technical with your fundraising proposal because there really is no such thing as right words. You just need to make sure that your proposals reflect you and your organisation. If the donors can feel your sincerity, they will not hesitate to give. When it comes to writing fundraising proposals and letters, you just need to be yourself. Take time to remember what you have learned from your training and coaching sessions. Avoid using phrases that you are not comfortable using. You should also accept that words may not flow perfectly. Avoid being too formal or scripted because it cannot give you the kind of result you are looking for when asking. You just need to know your purpose of asking and your efforts will yield results.