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!

How To Maximise The Effectiveness Of Online Fundraising?

How To Maximise The Effectiveness Of Online Fundraising?

Although not everyone has the ability to take full advantage of digital technology, there are ways we can minimise its effectiveness by following some simple steps. Online fundraising is considered as an effective way of gaining more donors. All it takes is for everyone to know how to raise prospects' brand awareness using online fundraising. 

1. Create a donation page

Donors are more likely to give a second donation if you are using a branded page. A branded page serves as your online identity that lets your donors know what you do and how you are helping others through your fundraising campaign. The World Wide Web is full of complexities, but once you know how to take full advantage of it, you will not only improve your online presence but gain traction as well. 

2. Start an email fundraising campaign

Email marketing helps you gain additional donors. This becomes an effective marketing weapon if you take the time to gather your supporters' email addresses. Knowing that what you are doing is something they can all relate to will have a strong appeal and impact. Send emails to provide updates, tell your fundraising story or even give your audience an idea of your mission and vision. 

3. Convert social followers into donors

With the advent of social media, it seems easy to reach out to prospects especially when you know that your social followers are interested in what you do. Why not seize the opportunity to turn your followers into donors? This can be done in many ways such as sharing your donation link in social media posts or including a call to action in your posts. Not only do millennial donors prefer giving by social media but Gen Xers and Baby Boomers as well. 

4. Place a donate button on your website

Each visitor is a potential donor. Another way you can use online fundraising to gain donors is by placing a donate button on your website. It should be placed somewhere visible to your audience or prospects. You can also link the donate button to a donation page so it will be easier for them to donate on the spot. Give them an option to donate on mobile or desktop. You can also use a widget where donors can conveniently give directly without leaving your page. 

Online fundraising is an easier way to reach more donors. For every page visitor, there is a great possibility that you can convert them into long-term donors by giving them the information they need about your organisation. Once they are aware of your mission and vision, it will not be difficult for them to decide whether to give or leave. 

Rules For Succeeding As A Fundraiser

Rules For Succeeding As A Fundraiser

Being a leader of a fundraising organisation can be demanding as you have to make sure that your members are taught the golden rules for fundraising success. If volunteers or supporters are not 100% committed, it will be difficult for you to execute your plan. Fundraising success requires hardwork not only from members, but also from leaders. Here are 5 golden rules of fundraising success:

1. Build relationship with your donors: Donors should not be perceived as someone who makes a donation. They play an important role in making sure that fundraising goals will be accomplished at a given time. Once donors make a commitment to donate money, it is also your obligation to keep in touch with them so you will know how they are doing. They are not only the person who makes a donation as they also contribute to the success of the fundraising organisation. 

2. Educate donors about the cause they are supporting: Donors decide to leave if they do not know where their money is going. It is important to fundraising leaders to let donors knokw about the impact they make on your organisation. By showing the results, giving updates and sending stories provide donors an opportunity to know your organisations well. It only shows them that you are eager to give them results they are looking for. 

3. Allow donors to make a difference: Not everyone can give their loyalty to your organisation unless they know the role they play. Donors find it useless to support your organisation if they do not find personal fulfillment. It is important that you a creative way to keep donors interested. As you welcome them, you will also have to find other ways to make every moment as compelling as possible. 

4. Build trust: Donors feel they are deceived when they do not hear from you after you receive their donation. Dishonesty can lead to doubt and when donors find no reason to stay, it will not be difficult for them to decide to leave your organisation. Trust and transparency are two of the most important ingredients in building trust. 

5. Respect donors: Your organisation may say the right words or even tell donors about their importance, but this will not matter if you do not have not prepared any concrete steps to prove that you can walk the talk. Show donors that you truly care. Outline principles of your service and discuss them with members and donors. 

How To Prevent Donors From Leaving?

How To Prevent Donors From Leaving?

There is no guarantee that donors will remain loyal to our organisation because any misstep can cause them to leave. Even a successful event will not prevent them from leaving. We may tend to overlook simple things such as cultivating loyal donors. This is where the problem lies. Being complacent and not taking care of our donors can build more walls than bridges. Here are 5 strategies we can apply to keep donors engaged and interested throughout the year:

1. Stay in touch

According to a study conducted by Bloomerang, 9% of donors decide to leave because they could not remember giving in the first place. It is natural for donors to easily forget about our organisation unless we stay in touch. It is not enough that we set an auto responder that will send thank you messages to people who make a donation. We need to keep everything personal. This is where regular communication comes into play. We should make it a habit to ask how donors are doing. Staying in touch with them will also be a reminder of their good deed. 

2. Show donors they matter

When donors do not feel that their support makes a difference, being loyal to our organisation will not make any sense to them. We can tell donors they matter by telling them of the impact they made for making a donation. However, we must also take good timing into consideration. After a donation is made, do not wait a week to send a letter. Sending an email immediately matters especially when it comes to reminding donors that our organisation needs and values them. 

3. Be transparent to donors

Donors also want to know how we are going to use the money they share. Although they are not demanding for a detailed balance sheet, they want to hae an idea how the funds will impact our efforts. We can provide updates by publishing our project updates and stories on our blog. We can also send email newsletter containing the things we have accomplished from their donation. 

4. Never forget to stay thank you

It may be a very simple gesture, but it is the most forgotten expression that causes donors to leave. Saying thank you reminds us that we are human and that we are interconnected with others. It is our simple way of expressing our gratitude to donors who unfailingly share their money so we can make our goals happen. We should say thank you in a way that donors will notice. 

5. Keep donors happy

Providing excellent customer service is important in donor retention. We should promptly answer questions and extend a helping hand to donors who need assistance especially if they are new to our organisation. Donors will not hesitate to leave due to poor communication and service. 

Donors are vital to the success of our organisation. Without them, we will not be able to accomplish our goals or meet our primary objectives. Donor investment starts with making sure we nurture a positive relationship. 

Avoid These Mistakes When Creating A Fundraising Website

Avoid These Mistakes When Creating A Fundraising Website

Our website represents our fundraising organisation. It shares our mission, vision and core values with our audience. The first few seconds are essential to capturing our potential donors' interest. However, launching a website does not always yield positive results. Sure we have spent many sleepless nights ensuring we get our web design right, but there are other elements that we tend to miss out. We wonder why we do not have enough sales and inquiries. 

Another bad news that we need to face is the high bounce rate. Despite the fact that we have spent a lot of money trying to make the website look absolutely stunning, we are not getting the results we have worked hard to achieve. 

Surprisingly, the mistakes we commit are not too technical. We often miss out on the basics of web development. These are three possible website mistakes we commit:

1.Too much/Lack of information

As a fundraising organisation, isn't it imperative that we tell people what we really do? We may offer our products and services, but our audience do not have the slightest idea about our cause. There are also instances when we give too much information that our audience becomes lost. 

The way to convey the message to our audience is to keep everything simple and clear. We need to start describing our business by cutting out too much detail. We know it may take a while to find the exact words to describe our organisation, but the first 5 to 10 seconds are precious. Choosing the right words will give our audience an idea who we are and what we do. 

2. Not connecting with the audience

Why is it easy for our audience to choose our competitor? Our potential donors commit to us when they feel connected with our cause. Do we tell a touching story? Are the images compelling? 

Are we engaging our audience? It is difficult for our audience to stay when they do not feel connected with the goals we want to accomplish. If we want our potential donors to stay committed, we need to explore their pain points, tell their story and make them feel that we are supporting the same cause. 

3. Providing boring and unengaging content

Going into too many details can bore customers and it will not take a minute for them to decide if they should stay or choose a competitor over our website. Prospective donors will appreciate it if we get straight to the point. They do not want a detailed account of how the organisation was formed. 

A few sentences about the background of our organisation will suffice. Keep in mind that the prospects do not have time at their disposal. They want straightforward content that will help them decide whether to stay or leave. 

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. 

4 Things Donors Expect From Fundraisers

4 Things Donors Expect From Fundraisers

Long-term donors are hard to find as the competition is getting heavier and heavier. Some organisations are good at cultivating donors and that is the main reason they choose to stay. However, the secret recipe to keeping and winning donors is not easy to make. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Donors will not be convinced to support your organisation unless you have proven that you are deserving of their trust and commitment. 

Their giving experience needs to be a rewarding one. Unfortunately, providing an unforgettable experience to donors is easier said than done. The first thing to know before you approach donors is their expectation. While you expect donors to give you their long-term commitment, donors also have their own expectations. 

1. Donors want to make a big difference. 

Regardless of the donation they make, donors want to feel they are important. Acknowledging donors and letting them know that their donation matters can go a long way. They are not merely donors, but people who are helping you accomplish your goals. Thanking them for their generosity will not hurt. 

2. Donors want get the result. 

It is normal for donors to be curious about the outcome of your program. They have the right to know what happened to your campaign. If you are going to leave your donors hanging after they make a donation, it will leave an impression that they mean nothing to your organisation and you are only after their money. Giving donors the outcome of your program will make them feel accomplished as well. 

3. Donors want to be assured that your organisation is trustworthy.

Keeping donors is not easy because trust is going to be difficult to establish when you are dealing with first-time donors. Organisations have to show they are worthy of the donor's trust. When you make promises, you need to keep them. If they make a donation, you will also have to prove that you have the ability to handle money wisely. 

4. Donors want to be appreciated. 

You may not see in donors how much they want to be thanked and appreciated, but recognising their generosity has a powerful impact when it comes to retaining them. If you need to go out of your way to thank them do so because it will make them feel more inspired to donate again. 

Donors will not hesitate to support your organisation if you share heart-warming stories, sincere gratitude, clear explanation and excellent customer service. These practical things will not only help you build trust, but also deepen relationships. 

4 Steps To Creating Engaging Fundraising Content

4 Steps To Creating Engaging Fundraising Content

When you are appealing to potential donors, it is important to personalise every interaction to create a social impact. When donors' judgement is clouded with doubts, it is difficult to win their approval. You need to make sure that you know how to connect with donors in such a way that will touch their hearts. 

If you have been observing how successful fundraising organisations do it, you will realise that all of them have one thing in common: the genuine interest to make a difference. Regardless of your objectives, you need to go the extra mile so you can reach out to as many donors as you like. It all starts with creating engaging content. 

1. Do it now

They say that you have to strike while the iron is hot if you want to make the most out of fundraising. Creativity has no limit. This is why you need to find time to make use of it while you can. Before you start writing your content, think about how you can connect with donors. This is where formulating creative content comes into play. If you are going to take advantage of the opportunity to connect with donors by exhausting networks and connections, accomplishing your goals will never be as challenging as you think. 

2. Make it personal

Narratives are supposed to be unique and personalised. Generic fundraising letters and stories will never have an impact on your readers. In fact, it will only bore them especially when you are not conveying your message. Use social media platforms to inspire other people. Powerful images have a strong impact on donors. Connect with people from your email list. Give them a phone call and provide them updates. 

3. Ask directly

Before posting on social media, it is essential to have some momentum. Although your family and closest friends will be your direct supporter, you also need to go beyond approaching them. Your friends can provide you support whenever you need it, but you also need to approach others to get on board. Find out how you can make a connection. Start establishing rapport and make it an effort to learn about the things that will poke their interest. 

4. Send handwritten thank you note

Aside from updating your donors on your organisation's progress, sending a handwritten thank you note can go a long way. It tells donors that you are making an effort to connect and appreciate them. A handwritten note is indeed personal. Thanking your donors can also increase your retention rate because it shows that you acknowledge them.

Retain Donors By Building Trust And Transparency

Retain Donors By Building Trust And Transparency

For an organisation to survive, keeping donations flowing is essential. Unfortunately, organisations are struggling to retain donors and cultivate relationships with new supporters because of one problem:Trust. It takes efforts to earn your donors' trust. How do you become transparent to your donors to earn their trust? By employing 4 techniques, you will be able to be on your way to building trust and transparency. 

1. Inform donors where the money goes. 

Sending a thank-you note once you receive donations is not enough because donors must also know where their hard-earned money went. When donors feel as though their money was not spent properly, it will not take long for them to feel cheated. Being honest with your donors can go a long way. It will not only remove their doubts but also increase the likelihood of donating again. 

2. Be more specific.

Generalising the information you provide to donors will not do any good. Being specific will help them figure out about the progress of your fundraising campaign. You can do this by creating pie charts, providing facts and figures and showing real change. Going into details will provide donors an idea about your organisation and why they should support it. 

3. Tell an inspiring story. 

Donors who know how important their support has been can make a great difference. Telling the whole story will inspiring them to extend their help. Instead of giving them tidbits of what is happening in your organisation, they will also appreciate it if you are going to paint the whole picture. It gives them an idea about the difference they made. 

4. Be authentic.

Everyone can pretend to be passionate about helping the community but only those with genuine interest to help can accomplish their goals. Being genuine means showing your sincerity and willingness to help people in your own unique way. When it comes to being authentic, you need to ask yourself about the things that will make you accomplish your fundraising goals. 

Trust and transparency go hand in hand. You cannot establish trust without being transparent. When you keep donors involved in your plans, it will be easy for them to connect with you. If they donate and you acknowledge them, they will never have second thoughts about donating again. When there is trust, it will not be difficult for existing donors to invite their friends and family to support your organisation. Donors are not only making a donation but also providing long-term support so your organisation can accomplish its mission and meet its objective. 

What Does It Take To Retain Donors?

What Does It Take To Retain Donors?

Donor retention is harder than acquiring a new donor. Many organisations struggle with retaining donors because previous donors no longer see a good reason to stay. Is your organisation also struggling with donor retention?

Donor retention starts with establishing a relationship. However, the idea of establishing a relationship with donors is easier said than done. There are a few things you need to keep in mind. 

What is donor retention?

Donor retention has to do with relationship building between your organisation and donors. It is not an easy endeavor as there are some factors you have to take into consideration as to why donors leave while others stay. First impression really lasts. Making a good impression involves having creative communication. 

When it comes to communicating effectively, organisation should go beyond raising money. Donors do not appreciate if they receive a generic note. The way you communicate with someone will depend upon the information you are going to share. Is it something relevant? Fundraising letters should be personalised and should reflect the objective of your organisation. 

How to improve donor retention?

Establishing relationship with donors is not easy if you are not learning about your donors. It is important that you know your donor's interest so you will have an idea how you can motivate them. It takes more than just a generic "thank you" for you to establish a positive relationship and retain donors. There is a dramatic difference when you personalise every donor encounter. 

When donors have the freedom to express themselves and connect with your organisation emotionally, it will not be impossible to retain them. Allow donors to select their interests by creating separate messages that focus on your organisation's objective and goals. Seeing your donors as more than just a transaction can create a great difference. It is also important to engage donors based on their interests. You will keep them motivated this way. 

Techniques To Connect With Your Donors Emotionally

Techniques To Connect With Your Donors Emotionally

Communicating to your audience is important in holding a fundraiser. Since your primary goal is to raise money, you need to win your prospects' trust. A solid plan is important so you can get a good number of donors. When you share an inspiring story that touches the heart of prospective donors, getting their commitment will not be a problem. Eliciting a strong reaction from your audience is one way to encourage donors to give. 

Create a compelling story

Avoid canned responses as your audience appreciate a more personalised letter. Prospects need to know why you are holding a fundraiser and how their support can impact the campaign. If it is just another fundraising campaign, donors will never feel emotionally connected. 

Does this mean you need to fabricate a touching story to reach the heart of millions?

No. 

You just need to show genuine interest in helping your community reach a specific goal. For instance, if you are holding a school fundraiser to purchase additional computers for students, it is essential to keep beneficiaries involved. What was it like to study without the help of technology? What are the effects of helping students? 

Compelling images instantly connect with your audience if emotion is not forged. Being realistic allows you to express what you really feel. 

Choose powerful and encouraging words

A great intention is not enough to connect with donors because you also need to be creative when it comes to choosing your statement. If donors feel good about giving, it means that your message has touched them. Put yourself in your audience's shoes. How would you feel if you receive an e-mail with personalised message? 

Donors can sense if you sound robotic or scripted. When you put more effort into writing your fundraising story, it will not be difficult to reach out to your audience. Your commitment can also bring positive change not only to your organisation but also to your donors.

Pay attention to your donor's reaction

Since fundraising is very personal, you need to interact with your donors personally. This way, you will know the person who are interested in supporting your organisation. Their facial expressions will help you whether or not you can connect with them. 

It is also worth noting that there are donors who simply make a donation out of a sense of obligation. In this case, you need to take note of the donor's emotional reaction. Your emotional appeal should be clear and honest. A fundraiser that relies on emotional appeal will help you convince donors to support your organisation.

4 Personal Fundraising Problems And Their Solutions

4 Personal Fundraising Problems And Their Solutions

Are your supporters hesitant to start fundraising? Do you know what holds them back? Regardless of how good you present your campaign, supporters who have self-doubt cannot provide their full commitment. The success of your campaign requires hard work and commitment. Without these, it will be difficult for your supporters or donors to participate. 

1. Not sure how to fundraise.

There are supporters who are willing to participate in fundraising, but the common problem that organisations face is that there are inexperienced supporters who do not know how to start the task. Everyone has the potential to fundraise so long as there is sufficient support from the organisation. Leaders should equip supporters with all the training tools so they will be confident in facing people. You can empower supporters by assisting them in communicating the vision of your organisation and teaching them the proper way to fundraise. 

2. No time to fundraise.

Another reason supporters are hesitant to make a commitment is when they do not have the luxury of time to attend meetings and events. Leaders must show to supporters how easy it is to fundraise. Walking fundraisers through the process of creating a campaign page can make a great difference. You can also detail each step to ensure you will not be missing out any opportunities. 

During the first few weeks, you will need to hand hold your supporters by prompting them to share your fundraising page. You may also provide a sample of your emails and social media posts so they will know how write a personalised message to donors. 

3. Not having enough friends. 

It is true that fundraising is also tantamount to friendraising. Being an effective supporter does not necessarily mean you need many friends. Just the mere fact that supporters are participating is already the first step gaining more friends. Fundraisers or supporters must be given the opportunity to make a difference so they will also realise their impact on the organisation's mission. 

4. Not tech savvy

With the advent of technology, many organisations are now turning to social media to communicate their mission. However, technology is perceived as a threat by fledgling supporters that they find it difficult to fundraise. Organisations must make supporters realise that technology makes fundraising easy and convenient. With its wider reach, many potential donors will be able to support the cause. Dedicating your time to provide assistance to supporters in creating email templates, sharing social media post and setting up a fundraising page will help them feel comfortable with technology.

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. 

What Motivates A Donor To Give?

What Motivates A Donor To Give?

Every seasoned fundraising leader knows that attracting donors is not an easy job. It involves a lot of hard work and dedication so you will be able to win a potential donor. However, the idea of attracting donors is easier said than done because each donor has different personality. One would certainly agree that you will need to optimise your strategies so you can get more donors to support your cause. It is important to identify the motivating factors that drive donors to donate. 

Donors make a donation if there is emotional connection

Fundraising stories have an impact on potential donors. Poignant stories influence donors so they will be inspired to donate especially when stories are weaved in such a way that will connect to donors emotionally. It is not easy to create an interesting story that donors can identify themselves with. If you are on a mission to present your organisation in such a way that will poke your donor's interest, make sure you create a compelling story. You can also share someone else's inspiring story so long as you ask for their permission. 

Donors commit when they know about your cause

Using social media to increase awareness is an effective strategy because most people have now turned to the internet for information. Use technology to your advantage by reaching out to your prospective donors with the use of Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. Ask for your donor's time so you can educate them about your organisation and your campaign. 

Donors who feel sympathy are more likely to donate

You can get your audience to donate if they feel more sympathy. When a donor finds similarity in others, positive feelings increase. One of the reasons people donate is when their contribution makes a huge difference. If their donation does not create an impact on the situation they will never feel that they have an important role to play. 

Donors choose to donate when you are closer to your fundraising goal

Donors also want to be part of a winning team. This is why if you are closer to your goal and donors see that you are likely to reach it, people are willing to go the extra mile to help you accomplish the goal. Let your donors know how closer you are to your goal so you will gain momentum and inspire others to participate. When donors realise that they are a valuable part of helping you cross the finish line, it will not be long before you inspire others. 

3 Steps To Ensuring Commitment From Your Board

3 Steps To Ensuring Commitment From Your Board

A board member plays an important role in your organisation as they are responsible for proposing an event that will be crucial to the success of your campaign. Ample preparation must be kept in mind to ensure that the event will go as planned. However, if your board lacks commitment, there is a slim chance that you will get the result you are looking for. Special fundraising events are not only intended to raise money as it is also a chance for you to get clients, thank your current donors, build membership and even introduce prospective donors to your campaign. There are three ways you can get your board to commit to your fundraising event. 

1. Ask each board member of their commitment

It is easy for board members to say they are fully committed, but after the meeting, most of them become uncertain. Instead of assigning everyone to sell tickets or fundraising items, ask each of them for a specific commitment. Ask them what they can contribute to the organisation to ensure its success. There are board members who are good at process management and there are those who have a knack organising the event. It is important to know what your board members are good at so you get them involved in a task they want to participate in.

2. Debrief

Preparation does not only start from the beginning of the event, but also towards the end. Ask your members how much time it took them to accomplish their goals. Get to know the things they could have improved and find out if there are things that might have been done differently. Their expectations must also be set that fundraising is not just about raising money but also raising friends.This way, you will have a list of notable names who can be your likely candidate for next year's fundraising event. 

3. Set expectations

Your staff must also know what to expect from the event. Since they are going to be an important part of it, their expectations regarding participation must be properly set. They should also be made aware that participation is still part of their work as a board member.  

It is also worth-noting that special fundraising events are time consuming. They require sufficient preparation so things go as planned. If you cannot get board members to commit to the event, the idea of organising an event can be exhausting and frustration. Be sure to have enough donors and volunteers for the event. People must also be close to your mission to ensure commitment.

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. 

5 Steps To Taking Good Care Of Your Donors

5 Steps To Taking Good Care Of Your Donors

Donors are one of the key people of fundraising organisations. They are not just meant to donate but also to provide other support such as volunteering in fundraising jobs. There are five steps to nurturing your donors: 

1. Build rapport

It is not enough that you know your donor's name as you also need to establish a good relationship with them by ensuring you know about their personality and contributing habits. You need to communicate with your donors so you will be fully aware of their concerns. You cannot build a lasting relationship with your donors if you refuse to know them. 

2. Educate

First-time donors need to learn the ropes of raising funds. Donors have misconceptions that you need to clarify so there will no gray areas as you work together. One common misconception they have is that they are only needed when there is a need to raise funds. Donors are not only intended to donate money, but also to do volunteer works. 

3. Help

People who want to support your organisation are also looking for personal fulfillment. As a leader, you need to help these people ignite their passion by helping your cause and providing more creative ways to support a community. 

4. Be Transparent

Honesty in marketing may seem impossible, but trust and transparency go hand in hand. Donors will find it difficult to trust you if you are not transparent. For instance, donors must be informed about the donations they made. Your donors should not feel deceived even if you have been honest most of the time. Examine every aspect of your marketing strategy to find out if there is anything that might jeopardise your integrity. 

5. Respect

Show genuine care and interest to donors. Thank them when they do a great job especially in doing volunteer work. The steps you take should be beyond the words spoken. 

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 Fundraising Blunders You Should Avoid

5 Fundraising Blunders You Should Avoid

Fundraising may be a challenging work, but when hard work pays off, it becomes a rewarding experience. There are fundraisers who have already discovered the recipe for success, but there are still organisations who are embracing wrong practices. Whether you are a seasoned or amateur fundraiser, you need to put an effective strategy in place. If you don't, you are more likely to commit these 5 mistakes. 

1. Choosing the easiest way

If you always prefer the easiest way, you will end up selling your mission short. This is because you are doing the same thing over and over again. The lack of variations will deter you from utilising your creativity so you can come up with an original idea. If supporters always expect the same events, they will get bored and look for a more interesting fundraising campaign where they can dedicate their time, money and effort. Be bold and never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. 

2. Not taking fundraising seriously

Fundraising is a serious endeavor. It can make plenty of room to many possibilities if it is well thought of. However, some organisations tend to think small. Organisations that are afraid to think big will end up failing. If you want to accomplish your goals, you need to do your best to make things happen. Thinking small will never make these things possible. 

3. Not prioritising fundraising

Successful organisations prioritise fundraising. They never let fundraising take a backseat because they are passionate about accomplishing a common goal. If you truly care about fundraising, you should formulate development strategies that will be able to improve the overall approach of your organisation. When you neglect your fundraising, you are automatically neglecting your mission. 

4. Not adapting to change

Organisations come and go. If you do not embrace change, you will never move forward. It is essential to fundraisers to innovate with your tactics because modern approaches can render your traditional strategy ineffective. The ability to adapt to changes will help you survive the stiff competition in fundraising. 

5. Not cultivating donors

Even if you have an impressive donor base, you still need to ask yourself whether or not they are going to be the mainstay of your organisation. One-time donor should be converted into a regular donor if you really want to build a strong relationship with them. Make an effort to communicate with them regularly by updating them with your events. In fundraising, you do not just invite new donors, but you also ensure you retain old ones.  

Re-Engagement: When Holidays Placed Donors On Hiatus

Re-Engagement: When Holidays Placed Donors On Hiatus

Organisations become much busier towards the end of the year as most of them are focused on achieving goals before bidding goodbye to 2016. With so little time and so many things to do, engaging donors may not be your priority. The distraction that holidays bring can steal your attention away from social media. This is why updates on your organisation no longer stays on your donors' radar. 

As another chapter unfolds, re-engaging donors should be the first task on your to-do list this 2017. Organisations should start the year strong to reap endless rewards. The memories of 2016 are still fresh, but this does not mean you should be complacent for what the future holds. Remember that the success of your organisation will depend on your efforts. 

1. Organise an event

After a series of events you have participated in last year, organising another event may not be an appealing idea to you. However, this is essential in re-engaging donors because it is also an opportunity for you to let your donors know you have not forgotten them despite the long inactivity. Spearheading a 'Thank You' event also allows you to provide updates of the results of raising money. 

2. Give them a sneak peek of what is in store for them in 2017

There should be something for donors to be excited about as you welcome them to another year full of high hopes and big dreams. Be sure they are involved in your activities and let them know the importance of their involvement in advancing to the next step. Aside from giving them an overview of future fundraising activities, it is also necessary to educate them. 

3. Provide an opportunity for potential donors to volunteer

Relationships with donors are built by providing volunteer opportunities. Organisations that do not make an effort to ask donors to volunteer are clearly missing out. A volunteer opportunity can also help you build your donor base. Donors like it when they stay involved. 

4. Stay connected via social media 

Do not forget the social media as it also has a great impact on keeping your donors in the loop. The social media helps you communicate your progress, plans, community issues and more. Donors who stay updated can also make a contribution on how to improve your fundraising approaches. The social networks can also be used as a way of targeting millennial donors who are also passionate about supporting organisations that promote a good cause.

4 Fundraising Reality Checks You Should Do

4 Fundraising Reality Checks You Should Do

This is the season for giving and those who are planning to embark on a fundraising plan must perform a reality check to find out if everyone in the organisation is ready for taking the big step. People get fascinated by the idea of raising money without looking at some factors that will contribute to the success or failure of fundraising. Answer these questions for you to find out if you are indeed ready to take a huge step to ensure fundraising success. 

1. Do I have a support group?

You cannot sustain your organisation if you do not have enough support from donors and members. There are many ways you can gain support from your donors such as establishing a good relationship so you can retain them and also attract new ones. Analyse your strategies and if something does not work, you can always move to plan B. You can set regular meeting so you will be able to find out about the concerns of your members and donors. Give them updates and let them know about the progress of your organisation. 

2. What are my goals?

You should also know what your fundraising goals are so you can devise a plan that will be able to work. It might be challenging to raise money if you do not know the direction you are going to take. Do you want to help your community? Do you want to instill good values to children through school fundraising? Knowing what you want will enable you to get the result you are looking for. You should also keep in mind that in order for you to succeed in fundraising, you should also keep your donors and members involved.  

3. Do I set realistic expectations?

Once you have set your goals, you should also ask yourself if your goals are realistic. If you only have a week to raise money to build additional schools, do you think you can raise enough money? Know your limitations and find out how you can effectively address them. It is also important to note that your team's contributions also matter. They too need to know how you are going to execute their plans and how they can help. 

4. Have I chosen the right people?

Another thing you need to keep in mind are the people you have chosen to help you materialise your plans. Are they competent enough to deliver tasks and take your organisation to the right direction? Do they have creative minds that can help you formulate long term plans? You need to check your member's qualifications and ensure that they are committed to helping you achieve the goals you have set. You may encounter some bumps, having qualified and competent members can give you some ideas how to resolve them.