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!

Volunteers Are An Extension Of Your Staff

Volunteers Are An Extension Of Your Staff

Volunteers may not always be in the limelight, but they are considered to be a vital part of your organisation. Aside from producing change, they are also doing the most challenging work. Organisations that have realised the benefits of recruiting a solid group of volunteers will make an effort to provide training so they become an asset. There are some simple ways to manage volunteers:

Create A Training Program

A training program is essential for organisations who rely heavily on volunteerism. This is even a need if you have a large group of volunteers. A training program requires a lot of time and energy because you need to coach volunteers and assign a specific task so you will know what they are good at. They may not get it right the first time around, but there will always be plenty of rooms for improvement. The most important thing is that they are learning from these mistakes. 

Manage Burnout 

There are times when stress cannot be avoided especially when there are tasks you need to fulfil. If you only have limited budget and volunteers, you will need to maximise your effort so you can accomplish your goals. However, working hard can also be tiring. 

When stress starts to kick in, leaders need to find ways to manage and prevent burnout. When it comes to scheduling teams for a meeting, setting realistic goals must be observed. This is because not everyone can commit to a full-time work as a volunteer. When they are not given appropriate breaks, it is easy for volunteers to become stressed. Check their availability to find out how you can work together. 

Screen Volunteers

Although it is good to have volunteers to help you lighten your load, it does not mean that you have to be obligated to accept them without knowing what they can do. It is important to accept volunteers who fit your culture and demonstrate the willingness to help. Some are eager to volunteer for no reason. Make sure you choose people who can handle a delicate and challenging situation. They should also be aware of the cause they want to support. Once you have accepted volunteers, bridge the gap by communicating with them regularly. It will also help if you touch base with them so you will know the progress of their work. If they need help with their task, get someone who can provide them help. 

5 Digital Fundraising Practices To Attract Supporters

5 Digital Fundraising Practices To Attract Supporters

Fundraising organisations turn to the Internet to maximise results. In the digital age, social media is king. If you have limited budgets, online fundraising can make a lot of difference. An effective fundraising strategy requires consistency. Just because you are using online fundraising does not necessarily mean that you are going to get immediate results. An efficient digital fundraising strategy requires providing relevant information to your target audience and establishing strong online presence. There are 5 best practices you can follow to ensure a successful online fundraising campaign. 

1. Improve your digital engagement

There are four ways you can improve your online and offline presence: newsletters, social media, media and advertisements. Marketing is not only meant for the business world as you can also raise awareness by capturing people's attention. The only reason it is difficult for your organisation to tap into your target audience is when audience is not fully aware of your mission and objective. 

2. Reach a broader audience using your mobile phone

Nowadays, it is more convenient for supporters to get updates using their mobile phones. Having a website that is mobile responsive can increase your audience. To maintain high search rankings, use Google+. To spread or raise awareness, use Facebook. You can also give people options to make donations using Apple pay and Google pay. This option is convenient for your supporters as they are no longer required to log into the computer. 

3. Add meaningful photos with the story

A compelling story will not be complete without photos. When potential donors do not have time to read your story, your photos will tell them who you are helping. High resolution photos are essential especially if you intend to upload them to your website. 

4. Refresh your website

It is not enough that you build a website and forget about it afterwards. You will only engage donors if you refresh your website by updating its visuals and over-all content. It is also an advantage if you always tell your story so donors will know what you have been up to. Even font and color choices matter. Make sure they are strong and cohesive. 

5. Jump on the social media bandwagon

Digital fundraising will not be complete without using social media sites. Since one of your objectives is to create stronger online presence, a digital platform such as the social media can boost your fundraising efforts. When using social media, it is important that you follow policy in engaging social media trends. Use social media in spreading awareness and establishing strong ties with other fundraising organisations. 

5 Signs Your Fundraising Campaign Fails

5 Signs Your Fundraising Campaign Fails

Is fundraising success really for seasoned leaders? Is there a chance for beginners to succeed in fundraising despite the lack of experience? You might have organised a fundraising event in the past and you found yourself scratching your head, wondering what could have gone wrong. These occasional setbacks do not seem to matter if you have encountered an A-HA moment wherein you have finally found the answers to your questions. However, if you are still in the same situation, completely clueless about the next steps to take, then your next fundraising event is doomed to fail. Fortunately, you can take full control of the event's outcome. The solution is simple: Avoid common fundraising mistakes. These five mistakes may be the reason for fundraising slip-ups. 

1. Confusing Fundraising Story

A fundraising story has deep impact on people. However, it is also essential for these stories to connect with your audience emotionally. Ambiguous stories will only dissuade people. Make sure you are mindful of how you deliver your message. It helps when you ask yourself how you are going to attain your goal. Your message should be informative and focused. Avoid rushing into creating a story when you have not yet articulated your mission. Everything must be clear and detailed. 

2. Unclear Call to Action

A call to action compels people to take the next step. It signals audience to act now. A clear call to action means that people are completely aware of the steps to take. Missing a call to action or failing to push people in the right direction means that you are not doing well in promoting a campaign. Readers should be motivated to spread your campaign. If there is no sense of urgency established, it will be difficult to get a response from your target audience. 

3. Poor Visual Content

Why is putting high-resolution images and photos required to increase online fundraiser success? Quality visual content matters. Compelling images tell your fundraising story minus the words. While it only demands less effort, many organisations fail to get the right formula because of choosing the wrong images. Aside from fundraising stories, photos and videos also create a powerful impact. Make sure your visual content communicates to your readers. 

4. Lack of Social Media Strategy

The social media is one of the contributions of advanced technology that has the power to tap into your target audience. Many organisations have succeeded because of utilising social media well. This social platform can reach thousands and even millions of potential supporters and donors. One engaging content and you can win yourself multitudes of followers. Unfortunately, social media sites will not attract audience for you unless you have put strategies in place. For these social platforms to work perfectly, your social media site needs to keep your audience come back for more. 

5. No Updates

After an event participated by interested members of your community, everyone deserves to be updated to get ideas of what your future plans will look like. Not giving updates to your donors, volunteers and supporters will only send a signal that your future projects are hanging by a thread. Keeping people in the loop will let them know the status and milestones of your organisation. 

3 Tips To Turn Social Media Followers Into Regular Donors

3 Tips To Turn Social Media Followers Into Regular Donors

The social networking sites will be instrumental to the success of any fundraising organisation if opportunities to reach potential donors are utilised. Creating an engaging page can gain likes and followers. However, likes and followers can also be converted into regular donors when effective strategies are used. 

1. Build a connection to influential organisation

Social influencers can increase your engagement as you share strong and meaningful content. You can amp up your strategy by identifying social influencers. You can start by doing some research so you can determine the influential people who are connected to your organisation. If you have an interesting content, you will be able to generate hundreds of shares. 

2. Create a fun process

One way you can get more than just likers and followers is by consistently providing people with creative ideas that will keep them engaged. You can also create quizzes that capture information of users. Anything that increase brand awareness and engagement can improve your chances of converting followers into donors. 

3. Allow donors to give feedback

Knowing what donors have to say about your strategy in engaging them can help you make some improvements. Asking for feedback from donors can either be in the form of surveys, advice and many others. 

3 Steps To Building A Fundraising Community

3 Steps To Building A Fundraising Community

If there is one thing that is deterring organisations from succeeding, commitment will surely be at the top of your list. Commitment means that your members are willing to help you accomplish your goals not only for one event, but for future events to come. It is not easy to keep members motivated and passionate especially when there are challenges along the way. However, when you encourage them to continue despite the bumps and obstacles, you can build a community with genuine interest in supporting your cause. 

1. Provide resources

Your mission may empower your members to keep going, but without sufficient resources, they will not be able to materialise your plan. It is indeed an unpleasant surprise for most organisation to find some of their members leaving because they do not feel any sense of belonging. Not only are they lacking proper training but encouragement as well. There should be a holistic approach to nurturing members so they can stand firm and continue your cause whatever it takes. Teach them how to use your website and to reach out to prospects. This way, they will know what to do even if there are challenges along the way. 

2. Recognise efforts

A strong community is built by consistently recognising the efforts of your members. Even their successes must be acknowledged so they will know you are aware of the efforts they put in to ensure the organisation accomplishes its goals. Giving support to your members means you are going the extra mile in molding them so they become a key contributor to the success of your campaign. 

3. Make a report

Members will never be aware of the impact of their participation unless you let them know about it. Reports that are visual, shareable and clear will help your community spread the word and let others know why your organisation is worth supporting. Some members may not be fully aware of their importance if they do not know how they are helping others. Constantly communicating with your members and letting them know that they are instrumental to the success of your organisation. 

Building a strong community does happen in an instant. Leading a pack takes commitment and patience because you will not only be sharing successes but problems as well. If you have no idea how you are going to handle challenges, members will also give up easily. While it takes time to build a strong fundraising community, the idea is not impossible when you encourage and empower members. 

How To Use Social Media To Thank Your Donors?

How To Use Social Media To Thank Your Donors?

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

1. Tag Donors

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

2. Post a Shoutout

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

3. Organise an event dedicated to donors

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

4. Send a private message

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

Top 5 Qualities Every Fundraiser Should Possess

Top 5 Qualities Every Fundraiser Should Possess

When you enter the profession as a fundraiser for the first time, almost everyone is not quite certain about the qualities to look for in a fundraising professional. These special qualities cannot be bought off the shelf as they are natural qualities. Here are five qualities every fundraiser should have to become successful:

1. Perseverance

Perseverance is perceived by most professionals as a highly needed quality. This is because there are instances when you will be rejected by prospects and giving up is not an option. Perseverance helps you strive for success even if the process becomes tedious and frustrating.

Perseverance can be cultivated by setting goals to measure success. In case the going gets tough, the measurable success of your organisation will prevent you from throwing in the towel. It is also necessary to set some reasonable timelines through strategic planning. It will also be helpful if you are going to work on long term goals for a specific period of time each day.

2. Concern for People

Raising money is not just intended for accomplishing the goals of your organisation, but also to help those in need. To be an effective fundraising leader and board member, you need to have genuine concern for people. It is necessary that you talk to people who use your organisation's services and know their stories. Talk to them about their desires and hopes for the future as well.

3. Passionate

You cannot be a successful fundraiser if you do not love your work. If you want to enter the profession, you need to love what you are doing. You can also start by volunteering to work especially on a special fundraising event. When you are knowledgeable in an area, you will be able to enjoy fulfilling the responsibilities it entails. Try to learn as much as you can so you will prevent frustration and boredom.

4. Ability to Motivate

Motivation is another critical key for success. If you are the first one to give up when you do not get enough donors to support your cause, the rest of your members will also do the same thing. Your donors need motivation so they will continue to do their duties even when they experience rejection from time to time.

It is also necessary to understand the concept of motivating your donors as this can create an impact on retaining donors. Have time to talk to your donors and board members so you will know what their primary concerns are. 

5. Integrity

Morality and ethics are important in fundraising. Trust is built when donors know you give assurance to donors that the money will be used for the goals you want to accomplish. When it comes to prioritising one's interest, the donors' should come first.

5 Techniques To Improve Your Fundraising Website's Call To Action

now or later signpost showing delay deadlines and urgency MJ9TWQvuCall to action's primary purpose is to ask website visitors to do something and if you are running a fundraising website, you will consider it an essential feature. Aside from creating awareness, you should also take additional steps so people will take the necessary steps. If your call to action does not seem to serve its purpose, here are some techniques you can use to improve it.

1. Know your audience

Before you think of yourself, it is important to think of your audience. When people visit your website, it is important that they immediately realise why they should commit to your organisation. People have numerous options to spend their money and time. If your website does not provide something for them to stop, read and commit, your website will be easy to forget. Your audience likes it when you get straight to the point, making it easy for them to identify what you really care about.

2. Market a particular action

People do not have time to guess what your organisation has been up to. You need to provide them a direction you want them to take. Mission statements, larger goals or any vague objectives will only confuse them. People need something specific which they can act on.

3. Create a highly specific call to action

People easily get discouraged if they do not know what they are going to do to help you in your mission. You may already have a call to action, but if it still appears confusing to visitors, it still will not matter. A good call to action should be free of barriers.

4. Provide call to action that answers questions

A call to action must be framed in such a way that it answers these four questions.

Why: Your audience should know what you are doing and why they should care about it. Connection on a human level is important. This can be established through images, stories or anything relatable. You will also have to create a sense of urgency so they will know why they should act now.

What:It is also important that your audience knows you are promoting a good cause. People commit to supporting your organisation because they want to do good and your role is to give them assurances that their donations will be a huge help.

Who: Trustworthy messengers are also important in sending the message. Use people who have been influential in your organisation or choose people who have been a recipient of your organisation.

5. Be sure to communicate your call to action

There are many ways you can communicate your call to action such as through your website, email, social networks, online communities and blogs. Keep your message short and sweet. Many people often consider scanning instead of reading the entire message so change the words so they connect with your audience.

How To Inspire Millennial Donors

computer 823613 1920If you are going to attempt to inspire millennial donors, it is important to start engaging with them using technology, hyperconnectivity and transparency. This generation of donors can become your loyal supporters once they are inspired. Although they do not have as much giving powers as the older generations, they still have the capability ot donating to various organisations. However, it may take a lot of convincing for you to win a millennial donor. How do you inspire millennials?

Clearly Communicate Your Mission

There can be many ways you can communicate your mission to millennial supporters, but not all of them will work. Instead of rallying around institutions, it would be best if give young supporters a chance to take action for causes you are passionate about. You can get their support if they are properly educated about your cause and the reasons it is important. You should make them realise their impact on supporting your organisation. They may visit your site and come across a big donate button. There is a big chance that this donate button will be ignored if you do not clearly explain the type of support you need.

Show Them Where The Money Goes

Your mission in engaging millennial donors does not end once they make a donation. You should also see to it that they are made aware of the purpose of the money they have donated. Explain how you are using their donation and how it moves your organisation forward. There should be a tangible impact that creates concrete results. Young supporters may also look for evidence of their donation in action. Win their trust by offering evidence.

Make A Permanent Difference

Young supporters cannot be easily convinced that you are genuinely helping the people you wish to serve unless you make  a permanent difference. This can be challenging, but if your solution is sustainable, you are sending a great message to millennial supporters that you are not just helping but empowering the people you support as well.

Stay Grounded

Millennial donors can sense if you are just putting up a facade to win their trust. Your organisation can still stay positive without leaving an impression that you exactly know what to do. Your supporters need to feel that you are sincere in your plans of making a difference. You need to be straightforward without being lofty. You should send a message that you want to create a lasting change.

Create A Visually Appealing Web Design

It only takes a few seconds for a prospect donor to form an opinion when hitting your website. Make sure you have clean and intuitive design that will not only draw site visitors but real donors as well. There is no way you can attract donors if you have poor design even if you have a great mission. Keep in mind that when it comes to online fundraising, your website is going to be on the front lines.

The Impact Of StoryTelling In Fundraising

IMG 2003 605With the proliferation of technology, people get easily distracted and for fundraisers, crafting a compelling story to connect with donors is an important ingredient of fundraising success. In the past, the most efficient way to connect is through direct mail campaigns and phone calls. However, things have evolved and digital communications are now the way to spread the word. Just because you are taking advantage of digitisation you will earn a spot in every donor. You have to use storytelling as a way of giving fundraising a creative twist.

Storytelling as a fundraising strategy

Well-crafted narratives are appealing to the donors' intellectual and emotional sides. In fact, storytelling is considered the hottest trend in the industry. Just imagine humanising your communications instead of just delivering the information to your intended recipient. Narratives are more personalised and you also give prospects a chance to connect. There are three ways you can create a compelling story that will become an effective tool for capturing your prospects' interest.

1. Encourage people to tell their own stories:One good reason people give money is to help less fortunate people. While the intention is good, donors also have to see the situations of people they are giving donations to. The desired impact is achieved when you communicate your appeal to donors instead of just relying on written appeal. If you want to help homeless people, post videos of people on the streets so donors will know the effect of their financial assistance.

2. Inspire others: While your existing donors already know their role in your organisation, there are still a large number of people that still need some encouragement. When a group needs help, it is important to highlight the situation so donors are more compelled to give. When you share stories about the power of giving through social media, donors and prospects will be more inspired to give.

3. Improve stewardship through storytelling: Once a donor gives money, the next thing that an organisation does is to send a thank you letter as a way of appreciating the kind act. Donors who are appeciated are more likely to give more next time. Giving will be done more consistently than ever before. However, sending thank you letters are not enough to retain donors. You should also use stories to create stewardship. You can use materials containing narratives that allow you to highlight the positive impact of giving. This technique appeals to people emotionally and will encourage them to support your campaign.

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.

Fundraising In A Virtual World

These days, meeting with your board members is easy through a virtual meeting platform online. Collaborating with all the members of your fundraising organisation is no longer difficult because everything is done virtually. However, virtual meetings also have their own challenges especially when there are some technical issues that an organisation needs to deal with. There are some best practices that an organisation needs to follow to ensure that all members think more creatively and expansively.

Plan a good meeting

Even when you are meeting on a conference or Skype call, it is important that you know the essential ingredients of a good meeting. Before you start, make sure you have prepared a list of topics, which you are going to discuss. An agenda is important because it is only then that you will be able to know more about the concerns of your board members. You will also have to think through the purpose of the meeting, the process and even the outcome. It is also necessary to limit the meeting time to no more than 90 minutes and see to it that you start on time. If possible, you can also end a few minutes early.

Appoint a facilitator

A virtual meeting may seem to be in chaos if the people involved do not know if it is already their turn to speak. As a result, they speak at the same time causing barriers in the process of communicating. If you have a facilitator, everyone gets a chance to speak and there will be someone to speak out the rules of engagement. A facilitator will be able to play a strong role in ensuring that the people in a virtual meeting will not talk over one another.

Confirm attendance and participation

Another reason virtual meetings become unsuccessful is due to the lack of commitment of some participants. A facilitator must be able to confirm attendance by getting everyone to discuss how they will participate. Make sure they are aware of the effects of background noise. They should also be informed they will be called on to participate.

Utilise technology but be prepared for problems

Virtual meetings provide convenience to all members of the fundraising organisation who cannot be physically present in a meeting. However, there are also some problems that you need to be prepared for if you want the meeting to be a success. Some of the common problems that you may encounter during a meeting include connectivity issues, audio crackles, unreadable documents and many others.
While these problems cannot be avoided, it is necessary that you are aware of the resolutions to these problems. Since you are going to conduct a virtual meeting, it is important that you have a good audio. Have the technician check your connection 30 minutes before the meeting. You will also have to set your expectations that people have different internet speeds. If it is not required, do not ask everyone to be on video. Encourage real-time note taking so they will know the issues that have been discussed during a meeting.

Fundraising In A Virtual World

These days, meeting with your board members is easy through a virtual meeting platform online. Collaborating with all the members of your fundraising organisation is no longer difficult because everything is done virtually. However, virtual meetings also have their own challenges especially when there are some technical issues that an organisation needs to deal with. There are some best practices that an organisation needs to follow to ensure that all members think more creatively and expansively.

Plan a good meeting

Even when you are meeting on a conference or Skype call, it is important that you know the essential ingredients of a good meeting. Before you start, make sure you have prepared a list of topics, which you are going to discuss. An agenda is important because it is only then that you will be able to know more about the concerns of your board members. You will also have to think through the purpose of the meeting, the process and even the outcome. It is also necessary to limit the meeting time to no more than 90 minutes and see to it that you start on time. If possible, you can also end a few minutes early.

Appoint a facilitator

A virtual meeting may seem to be in chaos if the people involved do not know if it is already their turn to speak. As a result, they speak at the same time causing barriers in the process of communicating. If you have a facilitator, everyone gets a chance to speak and there will be someone to speak out the rules of engagement. A facilitator will be able to play a strong role in ensuring that the people in a virtual meeting will not talk over one another.

Confirm attendance and participation

Another reason virtual meetings become unsuccessful is due to the lack of commitment of some participants. A facilitator must be able to confirm attendance by getting everyone to discuss how they will participate. Make sure they are aware of the effects of background noise. They should also be informed they will be called on to participate.

Utilise technology but be prepared for problems

Virtual meetings provide convenience to all members of the fundraising organisation who cannot be physically present in a meeting. However, there are also some problems that you need to be prepared for if you want the meeting to be a success. Some of the common problems that you may encounter during a meeting include connectivity issues, audio crackles, unreadable documents and many others.
While these problems cannot be avoided, it is necessary that you are aware of the resolutions to these problems. Since you are going to conduct a virtual meeting, it is important that you have a good audio. Have the technician check your connection 30 minutes before the meeting. You will also have to set your expectations that people have different internet speeds. If it is not required, do not ask everyone to be on video. Encourage real-time note taking so they will know the issues that have been discussed during a meeting.

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.

 

Turning Supporters Into Donors: Is It Possible?

group of people with like symbol social network concept f184OtROIs there such a thing as fundraising in a bottle? Can the biggest riddle in fundraising have a definite answer? Social media is one way of gaining supporter, but what good is a supporter if they cannot be converted into real donors? While social media is a very useful tool for keeping supporters in the loop, the effort may not be enough if your supporters are not turned into long-term donors. When you think of using social media for fundraising, the first thing that comes to mind is viral fundraising. Yes, they can be very successful if the right materials are used, but these are one-time fundraising efforts. If you want to raise money consistently, viral fundraising is not the answer because it does not offer long-term solution.

If one of your primary goals is to turn social media supporters into donors, an actual system must be created. These systems may not be perfect, but once you have experimented on different strategies, you will be able to find the most effective method you should use.

Step One: Get Access To Supporters’ E-Mail Addresses.

The first step to take so social media fans and followers can become long-term donors is gathering your followers’ e-mail addresses. When you have the ability to communicate with your supporters personally, you will be able to provide them additional information about what your organisation can do. It is not just enough that you have thousands of supporters on social media because it is also your goal to build a true relationship with your supporters so they can eventually become donors. There are a number of ways to collect your followers’ email addresses such as directly asking them to sign up for your e-mail newsletter or giving them an option to sign up for e-mail newsletter.

Step Two: Establish A Good Relationship Through Email

Once their e-mail address is collected, send e-newsletter regularly. The newsletter needs to be mission-based and easy to read. The e-newsletter should be the basis of your online cultivation efforts. Sending e-mails should also have a system and make sure you talk to everyone who has signed up for your e-mail newsletter. Although you can use a template for sending e-mails, make sure these are also personalised by changing a sentence or two.

Step Three: Ask Supporters To Donate Through E-mail Fundraising Appeal

If you want to start with raising small or mid-level donations, e-mail fundraising letters are going to be an effective tool. Your supporters will feel connected if you are consistently provided with useful information about your fundraising campaign. Your supporters should also receive occasional personalised e-mail form your campaign. E-mails must be sent to your supporters at least once a week.

When  social media’s effectiveness in raising supporters is maximized, soon enough, your supporters can turn into donors. The gesture becomes effortless when it is consistently done. The only way supporters detach from your organisation is when they no longer feel connected to it. However, when you make a conscious effort to connect with them and make every connection more personalised, it will not be possible for your followers to become your long-term donors.

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.

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.

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.

What Is Fundraising Without A Goal?


goal 20121 1280Anyone who wants to reap success from their fundraising efforts needs to set a goal. If you have received an advice that goal setting is no longer necessary in a fundraising program, your organisation might be headed in the wrong direction. This is one of the most common misconceptions of people who want to venture in fundraising. If your organisation does not have any goals to accomplish, you will be confused about the purpose of your efforts. For instance, you are running too many campaigns, but it seems they are not getting anywhere. Something is missing and it can be due to the absence of proper goal setting. Establishing a fundraising program can be a tedious process as it involves group effort. If you are not sure where your fundraising campaign is going, your organisation will most likely become unsuccessful. Even if you have a goal, your fundraising campaign may also stand a little chance of accomplishing them if:

• The goals you set are unrealistic.

Everyone aspires to embrace overnight success, but this is not feasible. Instead of aiming for instant success, work on a slow and steady pace, making sure that all group members have contributed to the campaign. No ideas are too little or too big if all of the members of your team make an effort to accomplish the goal. If you want volunteers to stay motivated, you need to start with yourself by focusing on your goal.

• The goals are not supported by group members.

Proper goal setting involves all group members. You cannot simply come up with a goal and expect your group to support it without consulting them. When setting goals for the campaign, you need to gather your volunteers or team members so you can discuss options. You should share the same goals with your volunteers so you can explore options and accomplish the goal together.

• The goals do not have any action plan.

You may have too many goals in mind, but the problem arises when you discovered that you do not have enough tools and resources to accomplish such goals. This is going to be an issue because it is like trying to reach an unknown destination without a road map. Everything becomes blurry and unclear. Before you set goals, make sure you have enough resources and tools to ensure your goals are going to be accomplished.

• The goals do not reflect the campaign’s primary objective.

If your goals do not coincide with your campaign’s objective, it can also be a complete disaster. Make sure you are familiar with your organisation’s main objective because from there, you will be able to set a realistic goal that will work for the rest of your team members and organisation.

Your fundraising campaign can become very successful if your goals are properly set and accomplished. It does not have to involve any complicated tasks so long as you know where your organisation is heading. Discuss options with your team members and settle differences during meeting. Get the right tools and resources and make sure that you get all of your team members’ ideas.

Conquer Your Fundraising Fears

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

Strategies That Can Help You Conquer Your Fundraising Fears

Support Your Cause And Be Positive.

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

Be Clear With Your Purpose And Goal.

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

Get Ample Support.

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

Believe In Your Cause.

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

Don’t Forget To Thank Donors And Supporters

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

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