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!

4 Strategies To Cultivate Aging Donors

4 Strategies To Cultivate Aging Donors

Aside from inviting young supporters to join your fundraising organisation, aging donors must also be cultivated because good donor experience can come a long way. The most common mistake fundraisers make is building a relationship with a prospect because of thinking that existing donors will never leave as they have already made a commitment to support your organisation. However, focusing on new donors and ignoring old ones will only do more harm than good. Fundraisers must understand that the word of mouth is powerful and it can spread like wildfire. If donors are well cultivated, they will say nothing but good things about your organisation. 

Four Cultivation Strategies That Build Stronger Relationship With Donors

1. Have a plan in place

If you have decided to improve your relationship with your aging donors, you need to have a plan in place or you will not be able to move forward. A general cultivation plan will help you determine the adjustment you need to make in case previous cultivation strategies did not work. In your plan, you need to determine your relationship with your donor and the interactions you make. Your organisation should have the ability to adjust to each donor's personality. Since they are not created equal, you need to personalise every interaction you make. 

2. Ask what donors need

After a successful fundraising event, you might have suddenly fallen out of touch with your major donors. The next major event is a couple of months away. If you fail to communicate with your donors and only connect with them when you need help for a fundraising campaign will put your organisation in a bad light. Why would you wait for the next event when you can constantly communicate with existing donors? You might have thought that your donors are on hiatus, but they are only waiting for you to connect with them. If donors feel they are no longer needed, they will just leave.

3. Hold a regular meeting and get-togethers

Continue to develop your relationship with donors by holding get-togethers and meeting. Donors who are constantly recognised for their generosity and efforts will never grow tired of supporting you. They will even make it a point to share the good news with friends and family. If you have recently made some improvements to your office, give them a tour so they will know that they are part of your organisation's success. 

4. Keep records of your progress

Donors become tired of supporting your organisation when they feel that their money is going nowhere. Once you receive donations, you need to keep records so they will know how the organisation is doing. When you remove negative impressions from donors that you only get in touch with them because of their donation, you will not only earn their trust but also their commitment to supporting your organisation whatever it takes. 

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.

5 Tips To Prevent Donors From Leaving

blue broken link shows insecurity and disconnection fJVqr7PuDonors are your valuable assets.

While it takes time to get donors to sign up or donate, leaving your cause can happen in an instant. This is why, every organisation should nurture donors to prevent them from leaving. Once you have known reasons donors leave, take steps to prevent donor attrition rate from increasing.

1. Stay in touch with donors

Fundraising does not happen regularly and it is easy to forget about your donors once the event is over. However, retaining donors should involve staying in touch with them. It is one way to make them realise you have not forgotten about them. An autoresponder is not enough because you need to personalise your email so your donors will know that you acknowledge their contribution to the success of your cause. A canned response will leave an impression that you are only sending them emails for formality's sake.

2. Let donors know they matter

The donors' response to your cause can be quite overwhelming that you tend to forget their true impact on your organisation. Donors should not be deemed as people who are just giving money to support your cause. Tell them they matter. Send an email that outlines the impact they made to your organisation. Include a success story where they play an important role. It sends them a message that your organisation needs them.

3. Update donors how the money is used

Donors often leave if they are not given any update of how their money is used. Although donors do not necessarily require you to present a detailed balance sheet, transparency is important if you want to build trust. Telling donors how the money is used gives them an idea of the impact they seek. Publish regular project updates and stories on your blog. Send them email newsletter so they will have an idea of the project's progress.

4. Thank Donors

The donors' value does not end after the donation has been made. Keep in mind that without them, your cause would not have been successful. Saying thank you means you express your gratitude and you let them know every support they provide matters. Some donors decide to leave if organisations fail to thank them. It might be a simple gesture, but it matters a lot.

5. Create an unforgettable customer experience

Every donor is unique and poor service or communication can make donors leave. If you want solid donor retention, you need to start with providing great customer service. Be sensitive to their needs and reply to their messages promptly.

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.

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.

4 Golden Rules For Fundraising Success

JM 03292016 Healthy dsc 9489copyThe first thing an organisation needs to do to ensure fundraising success is to understand the golden rules. Regardless of your mission and vision, there are rules and principles you need to live by so you can keep your organisation on its feet even if you encounter challenges along the way.

Have a good knowledge of your donors

You will not be able to establish a positive relationship with your donor if you do not know them. If you know your donors, you will be able to persuade and convince them to donate money. You need to communicate regularly and scratch beneath the surface. Each donor has a different personality that you need to adjust to. Some prefer to get additional information before committing to your organisation while others want you to cut to the chase and reveal your intention.

Educate your supporters

Educating your donors will build trust and give your donors assurance that you are well-versed. You will also bring about a positive change because you know why you are dedicating your time and effort for a fundraising campaign. As you send testimonials and brochures to your donors, you have taken the first step to changing lives. It is also a way for you to keep the lines of communication open without necessarily asking for help, but showing the results of the donors' support. Staying in touch with donors show them of their true value in your organisation.

Respect your donors

It is easy to say you care about your donors, but it will be meaningless unless you prove it.  Saying all the right words will not gain the trust of your donors especially if other organisations have already attempted to approach them. You need to go the extra mile in showing donors you really care. Prepare a written document showing the principles of your service.

Make giving fun

Giving does not have to be boring as you can employ some techniques to make fundraising fun. You just have to do things differently so you can get the attention of your donors. This can be made possible if you have a little fun. Be creative with your fundraising ideas and make sure your donors are involved. Donor involvement can really make a great difference when it comes to adding spice and flavor to attracting donations.

These golden rules can motivate donors and build trust. Be sure to be consistent with your efforts because these rules will be useless without consistency.

Three Things Donors Expect From You

black question marks with red one fkqHZPsdDonors are essential to fundraising because they are the backbone of your organisation. It is not enough that you win a prospect because you also need to nurture them. The first step to nurturing your donors is setting their expectations. Donors often have some expectations once you knock on their door. As a fundraiser, you need to know what these expectations are as they can help you build trust and rapport. How can donors support your organisation if they do not see any connection? How can they trust you if they do not see any transparency? Here the three most important things every donor needs from you.

Stories to Tell

The most captivating fundraising has a story to tell. It is not just a fundraising campaign that asks people money. For instance, a fundraising campaign for typhoon victims has a very deep story to tell. It does not only tell you that you need to share with the less fortunate typhoon victims, but you will also realise that compassion, love and care are also important in life-changing situations. Donors can make a difference because they do not only give money, they touch lives. Since you are an instrument to make things happen, make the story memorable to your donors.

Problems to Solve

Why do you reach out to donors? If donors do not feel the value of making a donation, they will not see any reason to support your organisation. One way you can get people to donate is to involve them in a problem they can help solve. When a child is hungry, donors will play an important role in feeding them. If someone suffers from cancer, their donation can help heal a cancer patient. It can be challenging for organisations to convince donors to make a donation or to participate in your efforts to raise money if they are not part of the solution.

Evidence to Show

Fundraising is also about show and tell. It is a way to strengthen your connection with donors. If you have evidence of success, donors will soon put their trust in you as they no longer perceive your organisation as a scam. When you tell them where and how the money is used, it can definitely have a huge impact on them. Not only will they feel you have recognised their efforts, they will also feel valued. Be sure to provide donors a detailed account of the proceeds of their donation. Show them evidence that their donations have been received by the deserving beneficiaries.

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:

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.

Establishing Better Connections with Donors

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One of the most important aspects of fundraising is the establishment of a great relationship with the donors. No matter what kind of fundraising activity you are doing, it is essential that you are able to communicate with your donors effectively. This article gives some advice on how you can better connect with your donors.

1. Focus on the beneficiaries, not on your organization.
Whether you are a small group or part of a bigger organization, the focus of your fundraising efforts should be your beneficiaries. Although you might be tempted to emphasize how much your group is doing, donors are more interested to hear about the people that you are planning to help. Dwelling more on your organization may turn off interested donors. And so, remember that it is not about you; it is all about the beneficiaries of your cause.

2. Use familiar words when communicating.
Whenever you make an announcement, write a letter, or publish a news article about your fundraising activities, be sure to use words that would be familiar to your donors. Depending on your cause, there might be some terms that are familiar to you and your co-workers, but not to your donors. As much as possible, communicate in terms that they would understand. Avoid jargon! On the other hand, if you need to include them, provide clear definitions so that your donors will be able to grasp what you want to say.

3. Appeal to people’s emotions.
In fundraising, always keep in mind that you are working with people -- and people express and react through emotions. If your message comes across as too formal or technical, then it might be lacking in the emotional aspect. How can you do this? Simply by putting yourselves in your donor’s shoes. How would they react to an issue or a problem that you are trying to address? Why should they be concerned about your cause? How are they related to the people that you are planning to help? Think about such things as empathy, kindness, and compassion, and try to integrate them into your message.

4. Respond to your donors promptly.
There are few things that are more annoying than a late response, right? The same goes for your donors. One of the secrets to great communication is to address questions and inquiries as soon as possible. When you are prompt in responding to your donors, it shows that you are professional and truly concerned with what you are doing. Do not leave them hanging for long, otherwise they might turn their attention (and support) elsewhere.

5. Respect your donor’s boundaries.
While it is always a good idea to respond to your donors promptly, bombarding them with too many messages is a bad idea. Nobody likes a stalker, right? In this case, try to be sensitive to your donor’s need for personal space. The last thing they want is to see a message alert from you too many times! Each donor might be different, so be aware of individual preferences, including how and when they want to be contacted.

Having a good relationship with donors is crucial to any fundraising activity. You can improve your connections with them if you focus on your beneficiaries, use familiar terms, appeal to emotions, respond promptly to queries, and respect your donor’s boundaries.

Gain Donors Not Just Visitors

donate 654328 12801What makes a great donation page? For sure, you have already seen or come across websites that function like a converting machine, turning visitors into long-term donors. You may have also noticed that a successful donation page is clean and well-designed. This is one technique that can kick your donation page up a notch.

Here are six ways to convert visitors into donors.

1. Your donation page should look like the rest of your website. Your donation page should be more than just a form. It should resemble any offline marketing materials you have. Reinforcing your mission, vision and your need will also help donors know who you are and why you are a credible organisation. Even when prospects have landed on a donation page, it is does not necessarily mean you have sealed the deal. They have not committed to donating to your organisation unless they have clicked the button. 

2. Get rid of unnecessary fields on your donation form. If you are asking more information, this can result in lowering your conversion rate. When creating a donation form, try to put yourself in your donors' shoes. Does it take a minute to fill out the form? Do you have a hard time providing information? The process must be simplified so people will find it easier to give.

3. Directly ask people to donate. Shyness does not have a place in your donation page. If you intend to ask for money, you need to clearly ask people to donate. There are few things that should be visible on your page to increase the donation amounts. You need display buttons displaying the donation amounts, an 'other amount' option for people who want to give less or more and a recurring gift option.

4. Add call to action.
Your website should also encourage visitors to sign up to volunteer. There must be something that will enable them to get to know more about your organisation. Add a video or a mission statement so they will know your objective. They should be focused on the task at hand by having one single call to action.

5. Capture your donor's heart. An emotional appeal is an effective way to capture an undecided visitor. It should represent your cause and have emotional images. Pictures are worth more than a thousand words. Be sure to use them to create an emotional appeal.

6. Optimise your DONATE button. There are call to action buttons that easily captivate visitors and they outperform small and unappealing buttons. Optimising your DONATE button can really make a difference. You can use words like 'Donate Now' or 'Give Today'. The button must be displayed prominently on the page.

The Significance Of Donor Personas

carnival venetian mask f1qhRWjOWhat does it really take to attract potential donors? There are many visitors that may check out your website, but only a few of them are considered qualified or interested. What gives? Crafting valuable donor personas is going to give your organisation an insight. It lets you find out where you should focus your time, effort and marketing resources. There is a human element in your website if you know how to create donor personas. As a result, you will be able to come up with a more effective strategy that will improve donor engagement. Simply consider personas as your website's voice and personality. While they may appear to be semi-fictitious characters, they can be considered as your donor's avenue for supporting your organisation once they can relate to what your website tries to project.

Where and how should you start?

Personas are not something you create out of the blue. You need interviews, surveys and research for you to know more about your target individuals and supporters. This stage is going to help you identify the people you do and do not want to engage with. Aside from narrowing down the definition of your prospective supporters, you will also prevent engaging with uninterested prospects. You should also try taking a look outside so you will know more about your supporter base. This will enable you to get a complete idea how you should approach your target individuals.

The variables to consider:

  • civil status
  • gender
  • age
  • economic status
  • number of children

Getting to know your audience will give you a better idea how you should approach them. For instance, if you have an idea about their job or occupation, you will know who makes purchasing decisions. This is also a way to identify your prospect's income level. Knowing their income levels will help you come up with various giving levels tailored to your prospects. If there are many executives following your organisation, expanding your donor nurturing programs might be a great idea. If you have younger supporters, you need to use an aggressive social media strategy to engage with them.

You should also find out where they go for information. Check if they are using social media, doing their research online or consume information through newsletters. Knowing how your prospects get information will help you determine the techniques to use for engaging with your potential donors. Crafting valuable donor personas also include knowing some of the common objections they may have. Most common objections include communication channels, giving levels and the things about the organisation that bother donors.

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.

Trust And Transparency: Why Are They Important In Fundraising

IMG 1128 954Before donors can commit to supporting an organisation, they need to make sure that the fundraiser is trustworthy. Donors are now becoming more sophisticated than before. These days, donors are not only interested in making a donation but also in knowing where the money goes. This is where trust and transparency become essential factors in winning donors. Many may have attempted to gain donors, but only a few were able to succeed because of these two missing pieces of the puzzle. Why should organisations be more focused on building trust and transparency?

The importance of trust and transparency

Giving is a personal decision. A person gives when the organisation reflects his or her ideals and values. You might have already encountered donors who are uncertain about giving. Although they have made a donation, donors also want to know that their money will be put to good use. If the organisation does not operate ethically, donors will sure include it in their list of fundraisers to avoid.

Organisations have already realised the importance of building trust with donors. Aside from communicating practices, accomplishments and goals, donors also deserve to know how organisations are going to use the money they donated.

Here's how you can build transparency and trust:

1. Be passionate. There is a big difference between fulfilling your obligations and going the extra mile to help. Donors can easily sense your authenticity if you show your accomplishments. These accomplishments should not only be limited to numbers. They should also be stories that show the importance of donors in your organisation.

2. Let donors know where the money goes. Aside from sending a thank-you note, you should also include information about where the donations were used. Your donors or supporters may not ask you about it, but nobody wants to feel that their money did not reach the intended recipient.

3. Be specific. Aside from letting donors know where the money went, you should also be specific with the information you provide. See to it that you indicate the number of people that will benefit from the donation. Specify the beneficiaries and how the money will be used. When donors are just guessing how you utilised the money or resources, they will be in doubt of supporting your organisation the next time you ask for help.

Trust through transparency is not built overnight. You need to work hard for it and prove your authenticity to donors. More than anything else, make sure you win your donor's trust by letting them feel that they also deserve to know how and where you use the money they donated.

Are You Still Relevant To Your Audience?

laptop fykR2OrdHave you ever felt that you are already affected by fundraising Darwinism? Do you feel the pressure that you need to adopt inorder to survive? With the proliferation of technology, it is indeed very challenging to connect with prospect using fresh approach. There are instances that no matter the efforts you put into your organisation, your potential investors and supporters are still not convinced to connect with you. You will need to learn and adapt a strategy that can keep up with the changes taking place. When it comes to fundraising you either go change or go home. If you want to stay relevant, make sure you create an action plan that can help you hit the mark.

1. Take time to read

Learning is a continuous process and reading is its fundamental. You can never expand your horizons if you get stuck in the same fundraising routine. You need to discover some possibilities that will educate you and your staff. Do a thorough research so you will know the aspects of operations that need to stay relevant to your prospects. For instance, engage prospects by regularly providing compelling content that will enable them to get to know your organisations. You will also need to compile articles that will poke your prospects' interest.

2. Apply what you learned

Reading is not enough if you consume information passively. You still need hands-on experience so you can get a better idea how techniques really work. Make sure you apply what you have learned and find out about its impacton your organisation. Once you get firsthand experience, you will be able to know which techniques will and will not work.

3. Search for influencers

Another way you can stay relevant is when you follow thought leaders and influencers on social media. Instead of merely following or liking their social profiles, take time to create a list of influencers. This way, you will be able to view tweets from the users on your list. You can also reach out in a professional way as a way of stirking up a conversation with people you admire. Let them know how they are able to influence you.

4. Use modern tools and technologies

When it comes to staying relevant to your supporters, you need to continue to bring innovation into your organisation. This way, you will be able to connect with them especially in this day and age where millenials grew up with social media and smartphones. Make sure you give your millenial supporters an option to use their mobile deviseto take action or share the cause.

Raise Money Without Being Too Pushy

IMG 7360 169Fundraising can be both stressful and fun. It is fun when you connect with existing donors who already know your mission and it is stressful when you are trying to raise money. In a bid to stay ahead of the game, a fundraiser cannot help being pushy when they are far from their target. It is important to have a balance between getting the point across and pushing yourself to reach your goal. Unfortunately, you can end up blurring the lines between motivation and obnoxiousness when you do not know the purpose of the action in the first place.

1. Don't Pressure Yourself

When you are trying to reach your fundraising goal, it is difficult to take the pressure off your especially when trying to convince a prospect to support your organisation. When you feel pressured, it is easy to make mistakes. The first thing an individual would do when raising money is rushing straight into the sales pitch. This is a big mistake because asking money without profiling your donor is a recipe for disaster. You can become too pushy because of pressure. Instead of winning, you can end up losing more prospects. Take it slow and change your mindset. Remove the pressure so you can concentrate on your goals.

2. Be systematic

You cannot win by doing things as quick as possible. You need to take your time so you can succeed in fundraising. Your prospects have to be comfortable with you. There will not chance for you to raise money if there is no connection between you and the donors. Make sure you address the concerns of your donors and objection are handled professionally.

3. Allow Prospects To Talk

The problem with being too focused on raising money is that you will have the tendency to miss out on other essential things that contribute to winning a prospect. If you always do the talking, you will never know the concerns of your prospect. Allow them to talk so you can understand the things that bother them. Ask open-ended questions so prospects will be encouraged to open up to you.

4. Make Prospects Comfortable

Some fundraisers use narratives while others use humor to connect with prospects. When you are aggressive, your prospects will feel tense and nervous and this is an ineffective strategy. Smile and relax when you are interacting with your prospects. They will feel comfortable if you show them that you are relaxed and comfortable. Your customers have to be at ease so you can successfully connect without being pushy.

Fundraising Amidst Economic Doom And Gloom

0o1a3787 1217Nothing can be more depressing than watching the news about economic recession because as a fundraiser, you know for a fact that this can dampen your spirit. However, your fundraising effort will not go to waste just because of weak economies. In fact, recession can still be helpful for your organisation if you know how to use it to your advantage. More often than not, organisations are affected by recession when it comes to fulfilling their mission. This often leads to spending less on fundraising, entertaining thoughts about raising money and apologising when asking money from prospects. Your team needs to be in high spirits because recession should not be considered a hindrance to your success as a fundraiser. If you are going to look at the bigger picture, recession should be a test of a fundraiser's true character.

Recession causes organisation to spend less on fundraising

No matter how you look at it, asking for money will definitely cost money. While it may be a sound decision to trim budgets, you should still exercise extreme caution. It is true that you can always changed your fundraising efforts based on the economic climate, but when reducing the fundraising cost, you must also increase the money you raise. Eliminating mailings and focusing exclusively on people who are most likely to donate will not guarantee success. When you have less investment by cutting the fundraising essentials such as sending letters to your prospects, you are just causing more trouble because of not getting the kind of result you should be looking for. Be sure to tighten budgets where necessary and avoid making cuts to your fundraising programs, which can only affect the overall result of your effort.

Recession breeds pessimism

Fundraising professionals who succeed in fundraising are very optimistic no matter the challenges. Even if you are affected by recession, you should still continue to inspire people by inviting them to invest in your mission. It is the fundraiser's duty to help people see the good things regardless of the economy.

Recession makes fundraisers hesitant about asking for donations

Even if you keep on hearing bad things about the economy, you should be the last person to give up by inviting donors to give. You should also keep in mind that your donors give at different levels. This is the moment where you should be more understanding and compassionate. Not apologising when asking for donations does not mean you should be arrogant. You just need to have a relaxed understanding of financial realities each individual is facing. Let them realise that despite the challenges in the economy, they are still considered as strong propoents of your organisation.

What Should You Look For In A Mobile Giving App?

In the digital era, more donors are on the move as the options of giving are getting simpler and more intuitive. One of the intelligent technologies that make giving much easier is the mobile giving app. With plenty of options to choose from, how do you know mobile giving app you are going to use for your organisation? If you are searching for the best mobile app, you need to look within your organisation.

If you are going to look at the bigger picture, you will realise that there are many choices for you to choose from. You organisation will also help you to find out about the type of app you want to obtain. If you are a large organisation, you might want to offer a giving option to your existing donors. If you are a smaller donor, you will also need to consider the app that can help you reach donors on the go. While there is no such thing as a perfect mobile giving app, assessing your organisation will help you find the mobile giving app that suits you best.

What do donors want for a mobile giving app?

It is important to look at your typical donors so you will know what they really want for a mobile giving app. It is best to survey your donors in order to find out about the kind of app that may be appealing to them. If you have a younger donor, you may want to consider text-to-give as this will be enticing to them. Make sure that your mobile giving app is also easy to use so donors will utilise it well.

If you are thinking of giving your donors multiple giving options to give make sure that your platforms offer options that can cater a diverse donor base. Some options they are more likely to consider are text-to-give, email donation buttons and mobile and online donation pages. Make sure that your organisation has the option to customise these approaches.

You should keep in mind that mobile giving apps are not one hundred percent perfect. This means it can have some technical glitches that may bring inconvenience to the donor. This is why it is essential to have customer support ready as part of their monthly subscription. Your customer support must also have a members who can speak other languages so they can provide bilingual support.

Aside from taking on a mobile giving app, you should also look into adopting new means of fundraising especially if it requires expanding your team. You should also remember that having a mobile giving app does not necessarily mean you should change your organisational structure.

When Donors Say ‘No’

Everything was perfect until your donor said ‘no’. Nothing can be more depressing than being rejected by a donor especially if you have dedicated your time and effort to win their nods. When donors decline, take the time to analyse the real root cause of the rejection. Instead of focusing on the failure, use this as an opportunity to analyse the factors that made your donors say ‘no’.  Start by thinking through the following questions:

Was your ask properly crafted?

Before you proceed with making an ask, you need to build a positive relationship with your prospect. This way, you will feel more comfortable knowing that you have cultivated the prospect. It is also important to focus on the prospect who has already indicated an interest in your organisation. When asking, make sure you ask for a specific amount and explain the purpose of asking.

Have you taken the time to cultivate the prospect?

Your donors are more likely to say no if they have not been properly cultivated. You need to make an effort to have a meaningful conversation with your prospect so you will know the things they are interested in. Being a complete stranger to your organisation will make your prospects feel left out. Make sure your prospects have taken at least one step to become part of your team.

Asking them to attend a fundraising event or volunteer at your organisation can make them feel involved. As you make an ask, see to it that you are familiar with your project or program. When it comes to making an ask, you will also have to take your donor’s financial capacity into great consideration. Make sure they have the capacity to give at the level you are expecting. Another reason donors say no is when you are expecting too much from them. The cultivation process is an essential part of getting to know your prospect because it allows you to find out if they are really interested in your organisation.

Why did your prospects say no?

It is still possible for your prospect to say no even if they have been properly cultivated and the ask has been properly crafted. This only means that one of your assumptions might be incorrect. You may have already thought that they have the financial capacity to give, but this might be wrong. Perhaps they may have the willingness to give but not at the amount you have suggested. Your donors may have said no but this does not necessarily mean that the meeting is over. You just need to continue to cultivate your prospect to get to know them on a more personal level.

How To Ask Donors For Donations?

Although asking for donations may seem like a simple step, only a few managed to succeed. Having your own website does not necessarily guarantee results. When prospects come across your fundraising website, they need to feel connected to it. When it comes to asking for donations, there is only one rule you need to follow: make the process easy. There is no need to resort to complicated steps that will only bring confusion to your donors. Be straightforward and let your donors know about the mission of your organisation.

While you may have already set your goals, there are still some several steps you need to take into consideration such as establishing a relationship with your donors. When you have built deeper relationships with your donors, you will not only gain the trust of your prospective donor but also get other people to be involved in your organisation. When building relationships with your donors, you do not just remember them when you are asking for donations. Establishing relationships with donors involve inviting them to volunteer at your office, sign up for your newsletter or come to a free event.

Research your donors

While asking for donations can be intimidating, you can still attract more donors if you get to know them on a more personal level. Do not just see your donors as people who give donations to your organisations. Think of asking as a way to establish a positive relationship with your donors. Even after asking for money, you should also invite them to come to a fundraising event so they will feel valued.

Set your expectations

Not all donors will give you what you asked for so prepare yourself for rejection. However, instead of being discouraged, you should still take no as a challenge. They may not give immediately but once they realise the potential of your organisation in helping others, they will sure change their mind.

Show people how they can make a difference

People appreciate it when they are aware of the effect that their donations are making. Aside from asking for donations, you may also ask people to get involved in other activities that your organisation has prepared. When you consistently get your donors involved in reaching your personal fundraising goal, they will not only feel valued but also help you raise money.

Listening to your donors is part of establishing a lasting and positive relationship with them. Although some will feel intimidated by the thought of asking from a stranger, building rapport will break the ice and help you get to know your donors.