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 Create An Effective Digital Fundraising Strategy?

How To Create An Effective Digital Fundraising Strategy?

Whether you are a seasoned fundraiser or just starting out, the digital age has offered a better way to raise funds and to reach out to potential donors-digital fundraising. While it offers an interesting way to run a successful fundraising program, success will still be elusive if fundraisers do not know how it will be executed. Like other forms of the campaign, digital fundraising requires a solid fundraising strategy. Just because you are going mobile or using social media to connect with potential donors does not mean that you are doing good at fundraising. It is also important to understand the types of online fundraising and the importance of creating a long-term strategy. 

 Types of Online Fundraising:

1. Online Shops

2. Regular Donations

3. Sponsorships

4. One-off donations

Running a successful fundraiser requires an efficient digital fundraising strategy. You need to focus on several areas such as making a donation, setting up the process and providing relevant information. Although your organisation is mostly focused on online fundraising, it is still essential to provide offline options so you can build relationships with the community and promote your cause. With online fundraising, one thing you need to keep in mind is that you will need to establish a strong online presence. You will also have to utilise various forms of new media and digital communication. 

 1. Raise awareness

Digital fundraising must attract followers to boost your online presence. Marketing and advertising involve sending email newsletters, talking to the media, running advertisements and interacting with social media. 

 2. Use mobile phones

Have you ever noticed how websites evolve these days? In the age of computers and Internet, there is no doubt that most transactions can now be done in just a few clicks. Digital fundraising will not be complete without tapping into the potential of mobile devices in bringing better and faster services. If you have a website, be sure that it is mobile-responsive. You can also place adds on social media to raise awareness and spread the cause. 

 3. Include a compelling story

A memorable story has an impact on your followers. It should have a photo and memorable campaign name. You will also need to include a thank you for each person that shares or donates. When creating a story, make sure that you stay reasons you are doing it. It must also be clear to prospective volunteers how they can go about joining your organisation. 

 4. Update your website

Regularly maintaining and updating your websites keep people visiting. Everything on the website must circle back to the fundraising efforts you are trying to promote. The website must engage potential donors and readers so they will know how passionate you are about promoting a good cause. Aside from updating your website, the content must also be user-friendly. A fundraising website also tells your story. Even color choices matter. This is why you need to make sure that they remain strong and cohesive. 

5 Ways To Improve Your Fundraising Event Strategies

5 Ways To Improve Your Fundraising Event Strategies

Fundraising events provide a great way to engage with your supporters and bring in donations. Organisations make sure that supporters are going to an event with a fun and energetic environment. There are lots of ways to organise a fundraising event such as planning a large gala, community-based school auction and many more. However, planning a fundraising event must be done carefully to maximise donor engagement. Aside from modernised fundraising techniques, organisers must also mobilise the supporter networks. 

1. Create an online campaign

A really effective fundraising campaign can raise vast amounts of cash each year. Crowdfunding is probably one of the revolutionised fundraising campaigns with a simple concept. If your fundraising story is impactful, you will surely win the hearts of supporters. This fundraising method considers online networks to be a useful tool to spread the message. The success of this method depends on the effectiveness of spreading the word. When pairing your fundraiser with an online campaign, be sure to stay active online, be visual and tell your story. 

2. Create a mobile-friendly website 

In the age of smartphones, supporters are more likely to support your campaign if you have your own portable fundraising tools. These days, donors are more comfortable using their smartphones for making a donation than other payment modes. You can take this as an opportunity to connect with your donors or supporters. Mobile giving technology is simple, speedy and hassle-free. 

3. Promote your campaign

Donors are essential to holding a successful fundraising campaign. You will need to advertise your campaigns so you can increase brand awareness. For your campaign to thrive in online environments, you need to fully brand your event, work closely with supporters and use traditional methods alongside digital campaign techniques. 

4. Engage with donors

Although everyone considers donor acquisition as a vital component of fundraising, the relationship does not end after your donor confirms donation. In order to secure recurring donations, donor engagement should be given importance. If you want to keep your donors commitment for the long haul, thanking them and providing updates are a great practice. You can also connect with your donors by calling or sending them email. As much as possible, you should not include a donation request in every communication. 

5. Invest in good software

It is not easy to manage a fundraising campaign. In fact, the tasks involved will surely have your hands full. Even planning can be made easier if you take advantage of software. It reduces manual tasks so you can execute your event successfully. The planning process will be smooth sailing because the software takes care of everything else. It allows you to focus on engaging your donors or supporters. 

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. 

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. 

Volunteers Are An Extension Of Your Staff

Volunteers Are An Extension Of Your Staff

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

Create A Training Program

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

Manage Burnout 

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

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

Screen Volunteers

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

The Responsibilities Of Board Members In Meeting Fundraising Objectives

The Responsibilities Of Board Members In Meeting Fundraising Objectives

Many perceive fundraising as merely asking money from donors while board members sit back and wait for the result. Each and every member of the organisation has to exert effort to meet objectives and achieve goals. If you are a board member, here are fundraising responsibilities that you need to fulfil. 

Donate Regularly

The organisation needs regular financial support to function. As a board member, making regular donations is expected. This gives other members an idea that you are leading by example. If your organisation is selling chocolate bars, scratch cards and other fundraisers, you need to make yourself available to purchase these products. When other people see that board members provide financial support to their own organisation, it will not be difficult for them to do the same. 

Understand How The Fundraising Program Works

Many organisations consider generating contributions a daunting task. The culprit? Board members do not fully understand how the program and its strategies work. As a result, board members are not sure how and when to start. Fundraising programs must be explained so everyone in the organisation is aware of the goal of raising money. Breaking down a profile which includes the amount required for the program can provide a better idea of the direction the organisation is taking. 

Communicate With Donors About The Organisation

Communication is important in every organisation. Discussing the fundraising program and the challenges it entails will help members to understand how they should advocate for it. Even when it is not yet fundraising season, members will be ready to encourage a donation because challenges, updates and some interesting stories are properly discussed. 

Know Prospective Donors

Members will not always get a "yes" when asking for donation, but this does not mean that members should stop trying. Once they are trained to talk about the organisation, identifying prospective donors will not be a challenging task. Social gatherings and parties are some of the best avenues for meeting donors and discussing the possibilities. 

Thank Donors

Although thanking donors is the easiest task, it is often forgotten. This is why some donors are no longer inspired to make another donation. Thanking donors can come in many forms such as sending thank you notes, thanking them personally and many others. Board members should make it a point to encourage others to brainstorm for fun ways to thank donors. 

Fundraising events and activities do not have to be stressful. It is important that board members are taking an active role to ensure success. Being supportive to your organisation will definitely have a positive effect. 

The Challenges You May Face With Fundraising

The Challenges You May Face With Fundraising

Many organisations are eager to start a fundraising campaign, but because of economic uncertainty, the dream never becomes a reality. It is not easy to reach out to a community. You will face all sorts of challenges because not everyone is willing to participate.  If you are one of those who is struggling with succeeding with your fundraising plan, may as well start with identifying the road blocks to your success:

1. Members are not committed. 

Once a campaign or event does not succeed, people will pin the blame on the fundraiser especially if it has to do with financial shortfalls. For first-time fundraisers, success is not guaranteed. Some things may not work as planned. Since you are investing time and money, making a major mistake can be an end for your organisation. Hiring a professional consultant from outside your organisation will help you to focus on your members' lack of commitment. Consultants will also give you an insight on what you should do next. 

2. Depending too much on funds. 

Depending on one source of funding is a monumental problem for most organisation. When your organisation has not yet established a fundraising function, it is expected to be in crisis once the funding is gone. A comprehensive fundraising program is important because it provides you a bigger picture of your finances. It will also give you an idea if you still have enough funds to support the next event. It is easy to say you have enough money for a campaign, but reality hits hard. The funds you thought were still enough to support your fundraising event has gone down the toilet. 

3. Unwillingness to seek donors. 

Do you believe that donors are the ones who should make the running in making a donation to your organisation? This is a dangerous assumption and a sign of passivity in seeking donors. Having a proactive attitude is essential to engage donors. If potential donors are demonstrating a strong interest in your program, staff members must be alerted to these opportunities. 

4. Missing the bigger picture. 

Fundraising is a rewarding experience, but many are still missing the bigger picture. Staff members appear to be clueless about the mission and vision of your organisation. If their tasks are not properly aligned with your organisation's objective, you will not be meeting half way. Everyone must be able to relate to the goal you want to achieve. Discover opportunities to tap into your members' potential. Give each member their time to show their talent and potential to contribute to the success of your organisation by explaining their role. 

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. 

3 Essential Steps To Creating A Donor-Retention Strategy

3 Essential Steps To Creating A Donor-Retention Strategy

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

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

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

Boost your donors' confidence as you boost your sales

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

Ask for feedback

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

Value donors

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

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.

7 Common School Fundraising Challenges: What To Do With Them?

7 Common School Fundraising Challenges: What To Do With Them?

Fundraising is a rewarding experience because of the benefits that you obtain from helping people and getting support from your cause. However, there are organisations who end up doing everything themselves and the lack of support group breeds frustration. Simply forgetting to thank your volunteers can also hurt your fundraising organisation as this will result in losing them. Before you run a fundraiser, keep these 7 common fundraising problems in mind. 

1. Setting unrealistic goals

What is the first thing that comes to mind when running a fundraiser? Is it about making a fortune or is it about gaining thousands of supporters? Whatever the reason for your decision to run a fundraiser, make sure it benefits your members, volunteers and donor as well. Setting goals does not equate to working 24/7. It means delegating tasks and setting realistic dates that members can follow. 

2. Running the same fundraiser

You may be tempted to repeat the same fundraiser due to its success, but being repetitive can have a negative effect on your organisation. Changing fundraisers is a good idea because it provides additional choices and variation to donors who are exploring options. Keep in mind that you are not the only school that is thinking of running a fundraiser. 

3. Underestimating kid's role 

School fundraising becomes more meaningful when kids are involved. Teaching the value of taking responsibility to kids will open opportunities to make a difference in ways they know. Fundraisers that allow children to play a role are a great idea. 

4. Not sharing the tasks

Doing all the work yourself is not a good idea because it increases the risk of not accomplishing the goal. Let kids, parents, teachers and school staff participate to make the job easier. 

5. Not being transparent

Trust and transparency are important in ensuring fundraising success. If you are unsure where the funds are going, then it will be difficult for you to earn your supporters' trust. It is important that the public knows how you are using the money. Once prospective donors know about your plans, it will not be difficult to win them over. 

6. Forgetting to thank your volunteers

Fundraising is a serious business and it requires a strong support group to accomplish long term goals. It is imperative that you thank donors as way of letting them know you appreciate the efforts they put in to ensure fundraising success. Volunteers will not hesitate to offer their help when fundraising time comes around again. 

3 Techniques That Guarantee A Successful Fundraising Event

3 Techniques That Guarantee A Successful Fundraising Event

A fundraising event provides a perfect opportunity for supporters to connect and establish a much deeper connection by sharing experiences and stories. The event does not only build an opportunity to create rewarding and positive experience but also strengthen existing relationship with your fundraising organisation. However, there are many aspects of organising a fundraising event that may deem by most supporters to be less appealing. This is where the challenges become a deterrent to obtaining long term success. It takes years of expertise and experience for every fundraiser to ensure the success of an event. With an effective strategy and a team of hardworking individuals will make any goals possible. Here are ways you can make every event worth-remembering. 

1. Be creative

To some, fundraising is fun, but to others it is boring and unexciting. While it is true that you cannot please everybody, there are still ways you can come up with a more create concept of fundraising so it will be more appealing to all of your audiences. You may not win all of your prospects' nods, but poking their interest can make a difference. For instance, if you are aiming to support a community, you need to know how you can reach out to them. Do they love sports? Do they have a penchant for art? Being creative is one way to engage your prospects. 

2. Obtain new information

Technology is constantly changing and your organisation should keep up with the trends to avoid the risk of falling behind. In the digital age, social media has made it easier for many people to communicate. Many businesses find it convenient to connect with prospects.  One way you can have a wider reach is by creating a page. Be sure to regularly update your page so supporters will be aware of your organisation's upcoming events. Using social media will also help you spread the word to as many people as possible. Having a multi-channel social sharing strategy will also enable you to engage multiple groups. Members and supporters will also stay updated of your events and other fundraising plans. 

3. Have fun

Fundraising is not supposed to be an obligation for your participants. It should be a fun activity that supporters must look forward to. There should be a sense of healthy competition and camaraderie. Think of a way you can incorporate fun activities that will develop your members' creativity and skills.  

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.