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!

3 Essential Steps To Creating A Donor-Retention Strategy

3 Essential Steps To Creating A Donor-Retention Strategy

Fundraising groups come together to discuss ideas and formulate plans to ensure that the next fundraising event goes as planned. Goals are set and each task is assigned to the right people. Unfortunately, brainstorming about effective strategies is not enough because you should also care about donor retention. Most organisations resign to the fact that volunteers come and go. With that said, loyalty from the group should not be expected. However, fundraising is gaining traction and loyalty is key to a successful fundraising campaign. 

When it comes to school fundraising, you are opening your doors to numerous opportunities if plans are well executed. The school community is willing to help in many ways so long as the plan, goals and strategies are clear. Some organisations consider donor loyalty elusive. Sometimes, it is hard to convince a donor to donate again when you are in doubt of your organisation's ability to lead and make a difference. 

Donors are not supposed to be perceived as merely contributors, but pillars of your organisation. If you see them as someone who makes a donation, loyalty stops the moment you end your campaign. They will search for organisations that make them feel valued. Once you achieve your goals, donors should be updated of your future plans. 

Boost your donors' confidence as you boost your sales

In the game of fundraising, it is not just about raising money or getting more donors to support your organisation. It goes beyond the initial sale. Choose donors who is committed to supporting your organisation. You will know whether or not a donor is willing to provide long-term support if you talk to them. Talking to them will uncover their interest. Keep in mind that holding a fundraiser should be considered as your first step to establishing long-term relationship with your supporters. 

Ask for feedback

The number of supporters you have indicates your organisation's level of success. There are other ways you can determine the success of fundraising such as asking for feedback from donors. In your own perception, the event may have been successful considering the number of volunteers and the amount of cash donated. It is also worth knowing how your organisation is doing when it comes to cultivating loyalty among donors. This way, you will determine the direction you are taking. It is also a perfect way of improving your strategies. 

Value donors

Treating donors like people can make a huge difference. Consider them as your friend. If you value your friend, you talk to them regularly even when you do not need something. If donors feel undervalued, it will be easy for them to leave your organisation. Valuing your donors involves sending newsletters, updates and invitations. Even if you do not have any upcoming events, donors appreciate it if you continue to engage with them. 

5 Essential Rules Of Keeping And Thanking Donors

5 Essential Rules Of Keeping And Thanking Donors

Donors decide to stop supporting an organisation because of the way they were treated. Due to lack of recognition, trust and transparency, it is hard for donors to keep on supporting organisation that does not even acknowledge their efforts and impact on the campaign. Good manners are important in fundraising. Showing a sense of gratitude to donors will not only keep them happy, but also retain them. There are five vital rules to thanking and keeping your donors. 

1. Get to know your donors

Are you the type of leader who only knows your donors just because they make a donation? Have you asked them why they have decided to support your campaign? Making an extra effort to know your donor goes a long way. It helps you to find out how you can establish long-term relationships with them so they will continue to support your cause. Knowing the details of your donors means that you know more than just their names or the amount they donated. You are also interested in building positive relationship with them. 

2. Never get tired of thanking your donors

It is definitely challenging to retain donors when they are no longer happy with your organisation. If they feel unappreciated and neglected, there is no point in staying. Always make it a habit to thank your donors and there should be no exceptions. For every effort they give, you should be aware of it. You can send them 'thank you' letters so they will know you have acknowledged their support. When sending 'thank you' letters, be sure to check their names if they are spelled correctly. 

3. Give donors credit

Your annual report, events and even website can be a perfect avenue for recognising your donor's interest to reach out. Never miss out on mentioning them in every opportunity you can grab as this practice pleases them. 

4. Make everything personal

You may have numerous donors, but a canned response will create a negative impact on them. Whether you are sending letters or invitations, be sure to personalise it. Address them by their first name and not merely as 'donors'. Doing so will give them the impression that you do not really know them personally. 

5. Connect with donors' emotion

Every organisation has a great story to tell that create a powerful impact on donors. This is why stories are often used to capture donors' interest. When writing a fundraising story, make it inspiring by focusing on your donor's emotion. Take photos because even pictures are worth a thousand words. 

Get Creative With Raising Money In Three Ways

Get Creative With Raising Money In Three Ways

If you are new in the fundraising game, asking for donations may be the most challenging tasks you need to complete. The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to asking for donations is to send fundraising letters. However, with the advent of social media, fundraising organisations can now get more creative with asking for donations. Even if your fundraising organisation has been around for years, you can still employ new fundraising strategies and ideas that will help you raise money creatively. 

1. Raise money via text message

These days, using your mobile phone is the most convenient way to do your transactions. It is fast, easy and hassle-free. Online transactions are done within seconds. This is why asking for donations via text message is one way you can reach out to potential donors. Since most people cannot leave without their mobile phones,  raising money via text message enables your donors to make quick donations even using their computer. If you have regular fundraising efforts, you can also consider text-to-give fundraising campaigns as a supplement to your regular campaign. 

2. Raise money on social media

Social networking kids are used to be meant for people who want to connect with friends and loved ones. However, its versatility has proven that users of all ages can do more than just posting, liking or sharing pages and posts. Many organisations are now using social media channels such as Facebook to update and engage followers. When using social media channels for raising money, you should not only update your online donation page when you are asking money. It should also provide your followers updates on what your organisations have been doing. A donation page on your Facebook page is also one way you can encourage donations on social media. It is also one way to gain more followers and a way to give donors ways to share donation with their friends and relatives. 

3. Raise money at your fundraising events

You can also encourage your supporters to donate at your fundraising events. This is the great opportunity to interact with members of your organisation. It is also a great opportunity for everyone to get to know each other. It is also a perfect opportunity for you to raise extra money. You can also generate more funds if you are going to raise money at your fundraising events. There should be a designated table where people can make donations. You can do a little research on how you can get more creative on raising money.

4 Reasons You Are Not Getting Enough Donations

4 Reasons You Are Not Getting Enough Donations

The most exciting part about sending fundraising letters is discovering the number of willing donors who would like to support a good cause. Opening your e-mail brings excitement like a child to a new toy. However, an empty inbox can burst your bubble: what could have gone wrong? 

There are many reasons potential donors have doubts in your organisation. While they intend to support it, you are missing out on providing enough information that will help them get to know your mission and vision. If you are getting more rejections than acceptance from potential donors, there might be good reasons for it. 

1. You do not personalise your fundraising letter. 

You can call everyone friend, supporter or donor, but what prospects really need is a more personal approach. The first thing that comes to mind when donors receive canned fundraising letter is that you have randomly selected them to make a donation. You really do not know their giving personality and the reason they want to support a cause. Why would they give something when you will forget about them in the end? Personalising your fundraising letter creates an impact on your readers. It gives them an idea that you have done your research and you do not just know them by their names. 

2. You focus too much on your organisation. 

Your donors are supposed to be your fundraising letter's theme. It should not merely focus on your organisation because with the proliferation of social media, for sure, they already know about your organisation. The donors should be the hero of the story. They should know how their support can impact the success of your organisation. If donors know they matter, it will not take so much time for them to open the e-mail you sent. 

3. Your letter is not visually oriented. 

Pictures are worth a thousand words. Send meaningful pictures to potential donors and you will be surprised by the overwhelming response. Picture quality matters because blurry black and white photos make the story less striking to donors. Make sure you are not sending stock photos as this will defeat the purpose of touching the lives of your donors. 

4. You are sending multiple copies to the same address. 

Isn't it annoying when you are flooded with e-mails? Donors hate it when you send multiple copies of the same letter to them. You need to watch out for duplicate copies because it sends a message to donors that you do not know who they are and sending fundraising letters are based on random selection. 

3 Ways You Can Reinvent Your Fundraising Strategy

3 Ways You Can Reinvent Your Fundraising Strategy

How many great opportunities have you missed because of ineffective fundraising strategies? How many donors have turned you down because you failed to cultivate them? Fundraising may seem like a simple endeavor that involves accomplishing goals and raising money, but if the strategy is not suitable to your organisation,  you will find it difficult to retain donors and raise funds. If 2016 was not a great year for your fundraising campaign, now is the time to use a different approach. 

1. Give importance to impact

These days, it is not enough that you tell donors about your mission as they also want to know where their donation goes. Donors are hesitant to donate if they are unsure how the money is used. It is necessary for organisation to capture donors' attention. This is a great start for breaking barriers and establishing deeper connections with donors. When you are transparent to donors, they can easily put their trust in you. 

2. Retain donors by exceeding expectations

Your retention rate says a lot about how you take care of your donors. There are many ways a donor is cultivated and one of which is communicating with them so you will know their concerns. When these concerns are properly addressed, it will be easier to devise strategies tailored to your donors' need. Your relationship with your donor do not end after making a donation. In fact, this step is merely a gateway to establishing more meaningful relationships with donors. One-time donors can turn into a long-term volunteer or supporter. 

3. Make websites more responsive

It can be challenging for most donors to visit a website that do not provide regular updates and has low level of security. Donors also feel frustrated when websites are not mobile-friendly. In the age of rapidly changing technology, it is necessary to pay close attention to digital transformation. Responsive donation forms and websites have a significant impact on your conversion rate. Your organisation should find innovative ways to keep up with technology so you can serve your donors better as they are one of the valuable assets of your organisation. 

Fundraising success does not happen overnight. You need to take baby steps until you climb the ladder of success. Many people will play an important role in your goal of soaring high. When an approach does not work, it is essential to find other means to improve strategies. Listen to donors as they are considered to be the lifeblood of your organisation. 

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. 

3 Qualities A Team Member Of A Fundraising Organisation Should Possess

3 Qualities A Team Member Of A Fundraising Organisation Should Possess

Behind the success of every fundraising event is a reliable team member who gets things done. There may be challenges that test your patience and determination, great team members can help you accomplish your goals. Many would have attempted to embrace the role, but without essential personality traits, the change you want will never happen. If you are a fundraising leader, your team members should have these following qualities:

1. Creativity

It is common for organisations to stick with what they believe to be tried and true. Sometimes, organisations feel comfortable relying on one sources instead of attempting to branch out. However, this practice can be a risky decision especially if that source fails. Creativity is important for organisations to survive. Sticking with what you perceive to be a proven technique can cause boredom and the lack of originality can be bad for your organisation. You need fresh ideas to thrive. This is why team members who are able to pitch in some creative ideas are going to be a great asset to your team. 

When team members share fundraising ideas, it can be a start of fresh fundraising initiatives. As you discuss creative ideas, you will be able to decide which ones are considered effective. 

2. Sense of Responsibility

Team members should also be responsible enough to take ownership of their work. When team members involve themselves in setting goals for your organisation by being more engaged, they too can have a significant impact on your organisation. As a result, your organisation will be able to improve job loyalty, job satisfaction, competency and creativity. 

It is inevitable to set high expectations and when things do not go as planned, many would usually pin the blame on directors. Taking ownership enables your organisation to correct mistakes and accomplish objectives. 

3. Willingness to Learn New Things

Despite the years of experience in fundraising, it is still essential to stay curious if you want to advance your career. Team members who love to learn by seeking opportunities for personal development and education, asking for performance feedback, working on a difficult task and reaching out to other fundraising professionals can win the nod of development directors. Team members should acquire new skills to keep up with change. 

There are other personality traits that development directors expect in a team member, but these three are most essential. If you do not possess these traits yet, consider this as an opportunity to develop and grow. 

Three Fundraising Challenges Small Groups Face

Three Fundraising Challenges Small Groups Face

Smaller groups have their share of struggles in the fundraising sector. Some find it difficult to reach the wider public while others lack ample support. Groups face bigger challenges when the organisation decide to go digital. Find out about the biggest issues that small groups need to tackle and their solutions.

1. Donor Retention

Donors are essential to every fundraising organisation regardless of their mission, size and objective. When you raise money, it is not something you forget after donors commit to making a donation. You need to culvitate your donors as they are the integral part of your organisation. For small groups, they need to double the effort in retaining donors. This means you need to invest your time to stay connected with your donors. Aside from inviting new donors, retaining donors is also necessary. Donors want to feel included in your fundraising efforts. Afterall, your fundraising campaign will not succeed without them. Keeping them in the loop by informing them how the money was used the first time and saying thanks will ensure you stay on their radar.

2. Sustainability

Even if you have a great mission, it does not guarantee that you will be able to sustain your organisation's mission for years. You will also have to think about the future of your organisation because raising money is not a once-in-a-lifetime endeavor. When you take an action, you need to start with creating a sustainable business model. It is important for small groups to have the right resources. With the right resources at the right time, your organisation will be able to reduce cost and offer more resources.

3. Lack of Resources

Fundraising organisations are not only working for money but also toward fulfilling a mission. Resources include supporters and when organisations have not pooled their resources any mission will not be accomplished causing the group to discontinue. You need to ask yourself who youc an team up to make things happen. If you have put up your organisations for the right reasons, you will be able to seek help from organisations with the same goals and mission.

The success of a fundraising organisation does not depend on the size of the group, but effort of each member in making the campaign successful. Small groups can consider scratch and support card fundraiser as it is easy to set up and organise. 

5 Ways To Give Your Fundraising Organisation A Boost

5 Ways To Give Your Fundraising Organisation A Boost

Every organisation has special sauce to becoming successful, but all organisations are following some best practices to grow their opportunities. If you want to give your donation efforts a big boost, here are five ways you can consider.

1. Calls to action matter

Getting potential donors who will support your fundraising campaign starts with having strong calls to action. Eye-catching buttons and campaign-specific messaging can encourage support from visitors. It sends a message that you want them to take an action.

2. Use social channels

When it comes to decision-making, social proof is going to be a powerful tool because it allows you to reach wider public by adding social sharing buttons, creating a hashtag or showing your stats.

Adding social sharing buttons will enable supporters to share your updates. It will also make your campaign and website content easy to share.

You can also help your donors stay engaged and spread the word at the same by creating a hashtag. Hashtag raises brand recognition and awareness.

When it comes to quantifying your social proof, you need to make sure that you show your stats as it can be used as a selling point. Showing the success of your campaign and displaying the number of followers you have and the visitors you have signed will have an impact on your organisation.

3. Create mobile-friendly website

In this day and age, your organisation needs to go digital as most online searches are done on a smartphone. Your website has a good chance of attracting more visitors if it is mobile-friendly. Your website should be easy to navigate for your visitors to have a great mobile experience. It is also essential that your website makes the donation process easy for your donors. This means that the process must be stripped down to only the essentials.

4. Suggest donation

A first-tome donor finds it hard to know the amount that will make an impact on your organisation. However, it will be much easier for them to make a donation if you suggest donation amounts.

5. Connect with donors

Once donors make a donation, they also want to hear about your organisation. This is why you need to keep in touch with them to keep them updated with news about their contributions. It can really make a great difference especially when it comes to growing your subscriber list.

You can connect with your donors by using marketing tools so you can collect email addresses and by creating a pledge. Even if someone does not donate, you can still target a message to them by encouraging them to sign up.

Create Custom Forms That Increase Donor Conversion Rates

Create Custom Forms That Increase Donor Conversion Rates

A donor has to complete the form on your donation page and make a donation to convert leads to sales. Even if you apply small positive changes to your forms, it can still go a long way when it comes to increasing your conversion rate. There are many ways you can optmise your custom forms.

1. Remove extra navigational steps

More often than not, donors who are willing to make a donation shy away from your donation page if they find it difficult to complete a donation process. If it will take five different screens for your donors to hit the finish button, they may find the process time consuming.

It is important for every donation page to be simple and straightforward. As much as possible, donors should be able to complete the form in a single page. If you still have external links that add a few steps to filling out the custom form, remove them. It is important for every custom form to help donors to complete what they have started.

2. Personalise main donation form

The form should match the rest of your site design. You will be able to receive larger contributions of you have branded donation forms. Not only will you encourage donors to come back, but you will also leave a positive donor experience.

Avoid making donors feel disoriented with distracting forms. People do not have a lot of time to spend on filling out your form so it better be simple.

3. Include special appeals to custom forms

Whether your special appeal is about a holiday campaign or a school event, it is essential to include branding, messaging and images. Redirecting your supporters from the email appeal page back to your donation page will remove the emotional momentum. Matching the donation page with the style of your actual appeal is one of the best practices to apply.

This technique enables you to connect with your donors emotionally. Anything that moves your supporters will surely win their nods.

4. Have a separate form for monthly donors

Aside from customising your form, you can also increase conversion rates by creating a separate form intended for monthly donors. Having a separate form will preserve your messaging and branding and also ensure that your program is centered around monthly giving.

You will also have the ability to default the selection to monthly donations. It will also be a good idea to handle the selection in advance as this spares your donors from taking additional steps. When your forms are easy to complete, it is more likely for your donors to complete them.

How To Promote Volunteerism In The Classroom

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

How to find class room volunteers?

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

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

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

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

The benefits of classroom volunteerism

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

How to keep volunteers involved?

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

Provide incentives to kids who volunteered

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

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

How To Get Parents More Involved In School Fundraising

IMG 9769 1017The success of school fundraising does not only depend on teachers and students but on parents as well. While there are parents who already find themselves comfortable in volunteering for various school activities, there are some who are still reluctant or may need a little guidance. The only reason a parent may hesitate to get themselves involved in a fundraising campaign is when they do not know what it is all about. The first thing that comes to mind when talking about fundraising is money, but there is more to it than just raising money. Parents should know how they can contribute to the success of the campaign. They will never know the difference they will make unless you show it to them.

1. Ask parents to participate

It is expected from students to participate in school fundraising event even when you don't ask them to. With parents, you need to set clear expectations and emphasise the value of achieving your goals. Remember that you will be working as a team and the contribution of each member will be counted. Since it is a collective effort, parents should know their role in the organisation. They are not just mere spectators but supporters of your organisation.

2. Provide more options

It is also necessary for parents to have as many opportunities as possible. Parents do not have time to focus on volunteering alone as they also have other jobs to do. It might be beneficial to them if you provide more flexible options they can explore.

3. Make it easy for parents to volunteer

For first-time volunteers, there will always be some intimidation factors that tend to hold them back. However, you can make it easy for them to volunteer if you brief them of what they should expect from the campaign. Signing up should not be a hassle for parents. Be sure to offer free online sign up sheets. This way, they will have an option to sign up using their smartphone or computer. Reminders are also automated to reduce cases of no-shows.

4. Engage working parents

For working parents, find creative ways to engage them or capture their interest. One idea is to use social media or video calling platforms to get in touch with them. With this approach, you are giving parents options to contribute even from the comfort of their home. It encourages them to update the class website or manage online volunteers without necessarily being physically present.

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

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

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

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

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

The implication of sad faces

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

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

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

How do happy images send the wrong message?

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

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

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

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

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

3 Ways You Can Use Emails To Attract And Retain Donors

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

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

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

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

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

These emails will keep new donors interested:

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

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

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

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

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

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

These emails bring in donations without being pushy

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

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

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

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

Maintaining Donors

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

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

Developing Fundraising Soft Skills

0o1a3476 1056In developing your ability to raise money, soft skills are going to play an important role. Since your job requires interacting with people, you need to be gracious and to represent your organisation in such a way that will raise brand awareness and money. Once you reach out to people, the mission of your organisation is also at stake. Even the amount of money you are going to raise will also be at stake.

Soft skills every fundraiser should master:

1. The ability to establish a trusting relationship
You build relationship with your donors by doing the things you promised you would do. If you have discussed some plans with your donors, it is important that you follow up when you said you would. If donors asked you something, be sure to get back to them promptly. Being on time means you are also respecting your donors' time. Donors will lose their trust in you if you always keep them waiting.

2. A good radar
As a fundraiser, you should also have social awareness. You should pay attention to essential things that your donors need. You can miss the cues from your donor if you are always nervous. The first thing you need to watch out for when interacting with your donors is their body language. Non-verbal cues will help you identify the direction you are going to take. You will also be able to identify if the donor is interested in your organisation.

3. Social skills
Aside from social awareness, it is also necessary to master social skills. You need to be likable and should know how to make people feel good and comfortable. Small talk can really make wonders when it comes to establishing relationship with donors. This starts with having polite conversations with adults. The good news is the skill of making pleasant conversation can be learned.

4. Etiquette
If you want to succeed in establishing rapport with your donors, you should also know the basic rules of etiquette. This should start with learning how to introduce yourself to the prospective donor. You should show courtesy and pay more attention to your appearance. You should keep in mind that first impression often lasts. Before you open your mouth, the donors will judge you based on your appearance or personal presentation.

5. Good manners
Good manners are also important especially if you are into sticky situations. In fact, you can help dig yourself out of a hole if you have good manners. Even the smallest misstep such as misspelling their name can offend your donors, but if you know how to get out of the situation scot-free, you can still win their long-term support. Good manners mean you should be kind and considerate. You should also put other people at ease and keep your cool.

Lessons Learned From Elderly Village Paleta Vendor Fundraising Story

gfmIt only took seconds for a poignant photo to capture my attention. I am not usually the type of individual who would take some time to read a blog post on my newsfeed, but this one had that certain something that made me feel connected. The picture is worth a thousand words. At first glance, you will see an old man pushing his paletas cart. It is indeed true that you will never know what it feels like to have an emotional connection with someone or something until you experience it yourself. Aside from the fact that the elderly vendor reminded me so much of my father (he died two years ago of lung cancer), he represents a face of poverty.

The old man in the picture is 89-year old Fedencio Sanchez. He was spotted by Joel Cervantes Macias in Little Village, Chicago. It was also Macias who spearheaded the online fundraising for Sanchez. Macias, through GoFundMe, set up the fundraising process. It may seem like another random act of kindness, but there are more important lessons we can learn from this fundraising story.

The Power of Social Media

As of September 15, $352,485 has already been raised for Sanchez by 16,073 donors from 52 countries all over the world. It only took a photo for the campaign to go viral on social media. The story has 109K shares on GoFundMe. The goal was to raise $3,000 but Sanchez received an overwhelming response. Here's how the campaign started:

"As I was driving down 26th st in the Little Village area in Chicago where I was born and raised. I saw this elderly man struggling to push is paleta cart (Popsicle cart). It broke my heart seeing this man that should be enjoying retirement still working at this age. I had to pull over and took this picture. I then bought 20 paletas and gave him a $50 and said may God bless him and drove away. I posted this picture on Fb and since then, I've gotten a huge response. That's when Joe Loera came up with a great idea to start this campaign. Mr. Fedencio Sanchez and his wife recently lost their only daughter and are still heartbroken about the situation. His elderly wife was selling paletas also to help pay bills, but she fell ill and can't work anymore. We're trying to raise money to help him with whatever we can. Anything helps. Let's all pitch in and help make life a little easier and brighten both of their day." (source:https://www.gofundme.com/2am4q7kk?ssid=738031601&pos=1)

There can be hundreds or even thousands of people who have similar stories, and are just waiting for another stranger to extend help. Fedencio Sanchez represents them. In this fundraising story, the power of sharing can make a great difference. Macias went out of his way to get all the help that Sanchez needs and until now, donations just keep pouring in.

Thank Donors In Creative Ways

retro thank you graphic text banner X1FnGz LThanking donors is not just about expressing gratitude but also a way of connecting with them. When you thank donors, you can also encourage future donations and continued involvement. Aside from sending "thank you" letters to your donors, there are others ways you can be more creative in giving thanks.

1. Video

If you have a year-end campaign, you can reserve a good thank you video as a way of giving thanks to your donors. The video should be 2 to 5 minutes long. Aside from engaging your donors, you can also give your organisation a way of being publicly recognised by other potential supporters. A video should be quick but meaningful.

2. Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool for thank yous and shout-outs. Why not use these tools to your advantage? Your donors appreciate the fact that you were able to remember their simple gesture of supporting your organisation. It lets them know that you are grateful for their donation. It also tells others of their commitment to your organisation. Add a field so you can collect their Twitter handles when they are filling out a donation form.

3. Phone Calls

Donors would also like to hear from you. Make your expression of gratitude more personal by giving your donors a phone call. When donors hear a voice on the other end of the line, you are building trust and authenticity. Scheduling times to thank your donors each month is a good way to connect with donors. Calling your donors should be a commitment so you will be able to know them.

4. Tour

When your donor feels involved in your organisation, they will not hesitate to give their regular support. This will only happen if they can connect physically with your organisation to find out about the work behind the cause. You can do this by giving your donors sensory experience. These experiences can either be a tour of your facility, small group meetings, volunteer opportunities and many more. When you keep your donors excited about the things going on in your organisation, they will realise that they have made the right decision of supporting your organisation.

5. Website Appreciation

Your website is also a perfect tool for showing public appreciation of your donors. There should be a section dedicated to one-time and recurring donors. You can post a message on your website to let your donors know how much you appreciate their time and efforts. Once you let them know of their impact they have made on your organisation, they will have a sense of satisfaction. As a result, you will boost loyalty and engagement.

Donation Page Best Practices To Follow

piggy bank 968302 1920Nobody wants a donation page that is difficult to navigate . Even if you have a compelling mission and vision, your donation page can turn your prospects off. Conversion rates are very important. It is not enough that you have thousands of web visitors as you need to make a difference.

Every fundraising organisation wants a steady stream of donations, but it remains a dream if you fail at making it easy for your prospects to donate. There are best practices you can follow that can transform your donation form into something prospects will surely like.

1. Keep it simple

Prospective donors do not have have a lot of time to spare for filling out a donation form. They can get bored in merely 30 seconds if you stuff too much information. Be sure to keep everything short and sweet. Share enough information to persuade prospects without being too pushy. Get straight to the point and let them know your cause. You have to clearly show what the page is all about. Have a comprehensive call to action so your prospects know what they are going to do. Your content needs to be logical because it only takes a few seconds for you to repel or attract prospects.

2. Limit navigation

Many websites these days are more inclined into minimalism simply because it is straightforward and less distracting. If your goal is to get more donors to sign up, you need to either hide or limit navigation. You can also share additional information on your thank you page. When it comes to creating a donation page, you should only have one purpose and that is to encourage your visitors to make a donation.

3. Create a compelling headline

Before completing a donation form, your headline should entice people to do something. Your copy should be action-oriented and not just something people will read and forget afterwards. A great headline should have a powerful message that enables you to communicate the importance of donation. When you have a clear value proposition, your donors are more likely to follow through. Avoid vague headlines that will make prospects wonder whether they are going to make a donation or simply ignore your call to action. To succeed in creating an attention-grabbing headline, always put yourself in your customer's shoes. How would you feel after reading a boring headline? Would you still be motivated to make a donation?

4. Improve the form's submit button text

As you may have noticed, the submit button is just a small part of your donation page. However, this does not necessarily mean that it is not a powerful element of a donation page. Conversion rates are greatly affected by how submit button text is presented. Instead of the usual submit button text, you can try to be more creative. Experiment with various button texts: MAKE A DIFFERENCE, SEND YOUR GIFT, DONATE NOW AND SAVE LIVES.

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.

Going Mobile? Think About Your Donors

female hand hold mobile phone touch screen fkIFD9ruIt is good news to every fundraising that another potential donor opts in to receive email updates from your organisation. While add another subscriber to your list, if the donor still has not clicked through a single email, the subscription will still be useless. What could have gone wrong? In the digital age, getting donors to sign up for newsletters is not enough. People these days read e-mails on a tablet or smartphone. If your e-mail does not look good on a mobile device, the donor will either delete the email or unsubscribe from the list. You can also leave a negative perception of your brand if a donor is unable to view your e-mail on a smartphone or tablet.

There are instances when the donor is interested in reading your e-mail, but due to the fact that it is not mobile-friendly, the donor chooses to read your email once he or she gets home. The problem lies in the fact that only a few would bother to read an e-mail again. When donors get home, they can be easily distracted by a a myriad of obligations that opening an e-mail has to take a backseat. This only goes to show that a mobile strategy is important in keeping donors engaged even while they are on the go. When going mobile, knowing your donors is a good place to start.

Donors who rarely click anything

These days, people find using mobile devices interactive and responsive than computers. Instead of clicking, donors simply swipe, scroll or touch around the Internet to check out some updates on the page they follow. Before you go mobile, find out how your donors are using their phones. Are they still comfortable in clicking on things or are they more inclined into using their smartphones for gaining access to newsletters and updates? When it comes to going mobile, you need to provide a seamless experience that enables users to transition from a desktop ot a mobile interface.

Donors who have short attention span

The new age of mobile also affects people's commitment and attention span to things. It is not because they do not have the luxury of time on their hands but because of the flexibility of smartphones. If you spend your online time at a desktop, you need to be chained to your desk or sit at a fixed spot so you can browse aroun. With a smartphone or tablet, you can juggle two things at the same time. Everything moves faster on mobile and with that said, every second is critical when connecting with your donor. Do not waste time and grab your donor's attention swiftly with an eye-catching and compelling story. Be direct and captivating at the same time.

Donors who easily get frustrated

The last thing a donor would want to encounter in visiting the donation page is having to click multiple times to complete the transaction. This process can be frustration on their part. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly so it will be easy for your donors to navigate your website on a smartphone or tablet.