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!

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.

How To Make School Fundraising More Fun For Parents

painted smiley on human fingers GJwoe9rdWhen it comes to running a school fundraising event, it is usually the parents and teachers who take charge of the preparation.

Planning for the event is the most exciting part of raising funds for the school, but executing the plan is the hardest if there is no fun in fundraising. Raising funds need not be boring especially if it will be held in your child's school. You just have to do away with complicated steps and embrace simple but fun fundraising ideas. There are 4 steps to kick school fundraising up a notch:

1. Focus on items that hold much value

Although many fundraising leaders would focus on items that are appealing to donors, it is also worth noting that items that parents also want to buy something they can use. This is where analysing needs and wants come into play. While everyone can get excited about the thought of raising funds for your child's school, this does not mean that every idea will work. Fundraising should be fun for both students and parents.

2. Partner with local businesses

If you know someone in your community who is also interested in the parent community, you can also coordinate with them so you can increase public attention and maximise support. These people can help you attract and even retain businesses and if you wish to attract parents, they can also help you invite moms to the business. You can hold a fundraising activity where a percentage of the proceeds with go to your school. It should be held in a location where parents are often seen such as a local restaurant.

3. Use social media

Everything you do in raising funds should be fun. There are many ways you can get parents participate in the event such as using social media. Use it to spread the word. Parents who are aware of your fundraising event will tell their friends about it. Provide as much information as possible so interested parents will know what to expect from the event.

4. Plan before you hold a fundraising event

While the response of parents to your fundraising event may be overwhelming, it is also important that you learn to pace yourself. Not everyone is open to the idea of attending a weekly fundraising event as it will leave an impression that everytime you approach parents, it would mean opening their wallets. School fundraising must be well-planned. If you want to cater to small groups, Scratch and Support Cards are the way to go.

How To Make A Cookie Dough Fundraiser Profitable

IMG 9958 4 4927Cookie dough is gaining popularity for organisations searching for unique and profitable fundraising. Not only does it please the tastebuds, but generate profit as well. Cookies are appealing to kids and adults alike.

Cookie dough fundraiser is easy to set up and can promote repeat customers. However, you cannot also deny the fact that the competition can be extreme and your fundraiser should stand out despite the immense popularity of cookie dough. You are six steps away from having a profitable cookie dough fundraiser.

1. Set sales goals

Set a goal for your sales force and structure a program that will enable you to determine results. Knowing which direction your efforts are going will enable you to realign your plans until you accomplishe your sales goals. Each and every member of your organisation should make an effort to meet the sales goals you set.

2. Ensure 100% commitment

Your sales force stays on the front line of your fundraising battle. Members must be comfortable interacting with people and they should know how to go about selling the product. It is important that your members believe in the product they sell so they can convey the right message. Commitment does not only mean devoting your time in selling the product, but also believing in its ability to transform lives.

3. Reward your sales people

One way to motivate your sales people to go the extra mile when it comes to selling your product is by rewarding them. Although it is their job to sell the product as a member of your organisation, they can do better and exceed expectations if recognised for the goals they have accomplished. An incentive program for your sales force can make a great difference.

4. Set a timeline

Fundraising does not happen in an instant as you have to create a strategy for promoting the sale. Set a timeline for selling and delivering the goods.

5. Be aware of your community

Avoid overlapping with your community's fundraising activity. If your activity occurs in conjunction with another fundraising campaign, be sure you are not selling the same product.

6. Place advertisements

Your fundraising campaign will remain anonymous if you do let the whole community know about it. Start an advertising campaign at least two weeks before the big event. Exhaust all advertising resources such as newspapers, Internet, email and flyers so you can get the message out to the wider public.

When choosing a cookie dough fundraiser, make sure it tastes good. Billy G's Gourmet Cookie Dough is an excellent choice and it is a great fundraising idea for all groups. You can even generate more sales and profits by setting up your very own online shop. Get additional details about Billy G's Gourmet Cookie Dough here.

How To Organise A School Fundraising Event

s3x 6094 1415 1517When organising an event to raise funds for the school, everyone plays a role in ensuring that the event will be a success. This means that parents, teachers and students should be involved in the decision-making and event-planning.

The first step in organising any fundraising event is to decide on the type of event that the school will run and the people that are likely to participate in the event.

The event must be well-planned so you can get more support and more funds.

Four Steps To Organising A School Fundraising Event

Work out a budget: Once you have thought about the fundraising event you are going to organise, you need to make sure that you are working out a budget for your fundraising event. Consider advertising, printing costs, entertainments, venue and catering as your guideline when estimating the cost.

Know your requirements: You will need to determine the requirements for the event. This step will require plenty of time because it will involve planning. You will also need more time to complete the required tasks including printing and delivery time.

Choose a date: The date of your fundraising event must work for everyone. If another local school is holding a similar event, it should not create conflict with the date of your event. You will need to check the calendar of school activities to find out about any major school events that may deter you from executing your fundraising plans.

Send out notices: Publicity is important when holding a major school fundraising event. Send out notices to parents or send out a press release if you aim to attract the wider public. Your press release should include the name of the event, its purpose, the activities, location and the contact information.

School Fundraising Ideas

Obstacle-a-thon Fundraiser: This fundraising idea is suitable for kindergartens, pre-schools and child care centres. This is easy to organise and parents will be very much involved in this event. With a cash profit of up to 70%, your school can definitely get overwhelming support from parents. You can get more details about obstacle-a-thon fundraiser here.

School Run 4 Fundraiser: If you are looking for a fundraising idea that is easy to set up and administer this fundraiser is a great option. Before your event date, you will receive promotional posters, sponsorship brochures, parent information letter templates and more. These will help you prepare for the fundraising event. You can get additional details about School Run 4 Fun Fundraiser here.

School-Spell-A-Thon Fundraiser: Spelling can be more fun if you incorporate it in your next fundraising event. There is no need to pay any money upfront to start your fundraiser. You can also choose from a vast selection of prizes for your students. Additional details about School-Spell-A-Thon can be found here.

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.

Fired-Up Fundraising:Steps To Creating A Strategic Plan

hand writing business success diagram fk0sJcBuIf you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

A strategic plan serves as your organisation's compass that ensures you get to the right direction. Imagine spearheading a fundraising event without a plan, in case things do not go as planned, you will no longer have an idea how you are going to resolve the issue that may arise.

Creating a plan defines your mission. It helps you to focus on the most important aspects of your campaign. It only takes a few steps to create a strategic plan for your fundraising campaign.

1. Prepare a case for support

A case for support is an essential component in creating a fundraising plan. Think of a case of support as the backbone of your campaign. It enables you to provide reasoning for support by giving your supporters, donors and board members an idea of how your campaign works. When creating a case for support, there is a series of questions you have to answer. One of which is how you are going to address the problem arising in your organisation.

2. Determine your key players

If your case for support is your compass, your supporters are your key players. You need to gather your most dedicated and passionate supporters to ensure campaign success. The reason for handpicking dedicated supporters is to ensure the people in your campaign are all committed to transforming your organisation for the better. You will be working closely with these people throughout the campaign. While it can be challenging to start a campaign, ensuring that the people involved in planning are dedicated will make the job less burdensome.

3. Know your prospects

Your strategic plan will not be complete without identifying your prospective donors. This is where profiling of donors comes in. You need to get really specific with your list because you will treat each approach as unique and personalised. With personalisation, you will be able to deliver engaging messages that will capture your potential supporters' interest.

4. Execute the plan

A strategic plan has several components, which are broken down into three categories: campaign setup, communications and preliminary work. Executing a plan should involve the active participation of your key players and potential donors. For the campaign setup, be sure to know your start and end date, fundraising goal and donor acquisition goal. With communications, you need to prepare emails for your soft launch, celebrations and even campaign milestones. Check your commuinication channels and determine how often you will send your emails. Your preliminary work should involve brainstorming with corporate partners and getting support from major donors, coporate partners and your board.

Now that you have a strategic plan in place, it is important that you develop the plan effectively because its success will still be dependent on the people behind it.

3 Ways You Can Use Emails To Attract And Retain Donors

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

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

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

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

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

These emails will keep new donors interested:

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

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

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

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

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

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

These emails bring in donations without being pushy

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

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

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

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

Maintaining Donors

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

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

Developing Fundraising Soft Skills

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

Soft skills every fundraiser should master:

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Using Imagery In Fundraising Campaign

portrait of poverty little poor dirty boy closeup rFbJ7OaHiImages are very powerful when it comes to getting people to engage with your fundraising campaign. There is more to images than just capturing the interest of people. The first thing you need to keep in mind is that you should choose the right type of image for your organisation.

Choose Stock Imagery Wisely

You can find a wealth of images on the Internet, and it is easy to tell whether or not an image is authentic or stock. If you decide to choose stock images, make sure that it is compelling and relatable. The image should represent the goals of your fundraising campaign.

Avoid Using Negative Image

You can decrease engagement if you play into stereotypes. Make sure you focus on the goals of your campaigns and avoid images that only reinforce harmful stereotypes. If prospect leave an impression of indifference, this will not result in donations.

Use Images With High Quality

Using poor quality images send the wrong message to your prospects. Authenticity is important in fundraising. However, authenticiy doe snot mean you should snap a photo without taken the quality into consideration. Whether you are overusing filters or slapping a poor quality image on your Facebook feed, it can still have a negative connotation that you are covering something up.

Never Misuse Negative Imagery

When it comes to gaining an emotional appeal, negative imagery is often used. Negative imagery is very powerful especially when used in fundraising campaigns but they can be misused. As a result, the wrong message is sent to your audience. For instance, using an image of the victims of domestic violence to raise money can be powerful, but it shows how the victims suffer. Even if you are trying to raise money for the victims of domestic violence, it is important to use a positive image because this is more powerful than using negative imagery.

When you are choosing an image for your fundraising campaign, think about the images that you really stood out for you. Even if you have spearheaded a campaign years ago, it will continue to resonate if you are using the most powerful image. It should tell the same story that you want to get across.

You should know when to use images because they can either make or break your goals. Images are worth a thousand words, but you have to carefully choose the ones that tell your story.

All You Need To Know About The Fundamentals Of Fundraising Success

d3x 9451 333What does it take to experience fundraising success? Perhaps, you are aspiring to be part of the fundraising dream team, but before you join the bandwagon, you need to make sure that you are aware of the basic fundamentals of fundraising success. When you romanticize about the sweet success of fundraising, you fail to realise that there is more to fundraising than just raising money. It is necessary that your organisation has leaders capable of leading you to the road of success.

1. Success in fundraising should be a long-term process.

Success requires an investment of time and effort. Just because you have generated revenues for this month does not mean you can guarantee success. It is important to have a long-term plan as your pool of donors also grows. It is important that you give your donors something to work with and build upon.

2. The result of your fundraising effort will depend on your strategy.

As they say, high risks have high rewards. The more you devote your time in devising a plan that can help you attract additional donors, the more you are going to reap its rewards. You will need to have a group of people that can help you materialise your plans.

3. Fundraising success requires team effort.

The organisation may have the best and the brightest leaders, but they do not guarantee fundraising success unless all board members participate in the process of formulating more effective plans. If the organisation does not embrace fundraising, you can expect results to suffer. On the other hand, if everyone in the organisation takes part in making fundraising more effective, the results will also be excellent.

4. Retention is more important than finding new donors.

On average, 50 to 60% of donors may choose to not renew their membership because of they do not feel any connection with your organisation. You may be bringing in new donors, but it will be useless if you are also losing donors. You need to retain your current donors as you find news ones.

5. Communications are important in cultivating donors.

When you communicate with your donors on a regular basis and inform them how the money you raised will be used, you are only being transparent, but you are also earning their trust.

Fundraising is not just about raising money as it also involves devoting your time in ensuring that everyone in your organisation can reap the rewards of helping.

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.

Fundraising Advice for Beginners

Fundraising Advice for Beginners

If you are just a beginner in the field of fundraising, then it is a wise idea to learn about what others have done before you. This article presents some practical advice for those who are just starting out in the fundraising world:

1. Consider tried and tested methods.
Are you one of those people who are not interested in doing things that have been done in the past? If so, then you might be missing out on something good. Just because something has been done before, it does not necessarily mean that it would not work any more. Sending out letters through snail mail might sound old-fashioned, but there are many people who would actually appreciate receiving a printed letter instead of an email. They would be excited to see what you have to stay, and who knows? They just might respond to your request.

2. Do not be afraid to take risks.
There is no such thing as “guaranteed success” in fundraising. There will always be risks, and that is okay. Remember that behind every big success is a small, risky idea. In other words, do not be afraid to innovate and to take the plunge. Go out ont that limb! If you are not willing to be risky once in a while, then that only narrows down your opportunities for growth and success. And that would put you in a bigger risk than you started out with in the first place.

3. Be aware of jumping on the bandwagon.
This is a tricky one. What worked for others may not necessarily work out in the same way for you. Take the case of the Haiti earthquake a few years back, for example. After the quake, Red Cross was able to raise millions of dollars through text messaging. All of a sudden, hundreds of other organizations were eager to try the text donation method. The same goes for the “yellow wristband” phenomenon. When they became popular, almost everybody wanted to print out their own wristbands in different colors. In both cases, the trend quickly became old and outdated. That is what happens when everybody seems to be doing the same thing.

So now, which path should you take -- the old-fashioned way or the latest big thing? The secret lies in being able to strike a balance between the two paths. On one hand, an old-fashioned method (e.g. snail mail) does not necessarily mean it is outdated and wouldn’t work. On the other hand, the latest fad -- as popular as it might be today -- might just as quickly be gone tomorrow. Whichever way you go, there will always be risks. Still, you should not let those risks hinder you from trying. The bottom line is to be aware of the best practices (both old and new); nevertheless, do not be afraid to carry out some new fundraising methods of your own.

Fundraising Ideas With Bonus Prizes: Billy G's Gourmet Cookie & Biscuit Dough

child 221046 1920As the holiday season approaches, what better way to kickstart your fundraising event than to choose fundraising ideas that are not only easy to set up but highly profitable as well. Whether you are a seasoned fundraiser or new to this endeavor, these fundraising ideas will surely give you maximum results.

Billy G's Gourmet Cookie & Biscuit Dough

Who says fundraising can never give you a happy tummy? The cookie is only available through fundraising which makes it one of the most sought after fundraising ideas. There are 10 gourmet cookie and biscuits to choose from which come with FREE cookie cutters.

Billy G's Gourmet Cookie & Biscuit Dough  is highly profitable with the lower suggested selling prices combined with a high profit of $3.50 to $4.00 per tub. You can maximise your sales if you provide a free incentive prize program. This is suitable for your families and students. If you have an online shop, you can also consider setting  up this fundraising idea.

You do not have to worry about your budget because this fundraising idea is affordable and economical. You can bake 40 large 24g cookies from each 1 kg tub. With a low suggested selling price of $13.00-$15.00 per tub, you can maximise your profit as each cookie only costs $0.33-$0.38.

When it comes to choosing cookies as a fundraising idea, everyone will surely be worried about the taste. After all, cookies will not be saleable if they do not please the tastebud and stomach. The good news is that the cookies are packed with quality ingredients so the taste is exceptionally pleasing. Kids and adults alike will love it.

Here is how it works:

1. Once you have selected a start date, the fundraising materials you need to assist you in running a successful fundraiser will be provided;

2. For maximum results, setting up online fundraising is highly-recommended;

3. Hand out the order forms and run the fundraiser over a period of 3 weeks;

4. Bank the monies into your account;

5. You can easily record orders and prizes through Australian Fundraising's online accounting program;

6. Invoice, orders and deliveries will be made within a period of 14 days;

7. Hand out your cookie dough and prizes to your sellers.

For your convenience, orders of Billy G's Cookie Dough can now be placed online. This new feature enables customers to experience higher sales and profits. You will also find it easier to manage your cash and have peace of mind as the method is also safe and secure. The best thing about free online fundraising is that you will have a Facebook group dedicated to your organisation. This is a great avenue for you to promote the fundraiser.

Donation Page Best Practices To Follow

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

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

1. Keep it simple

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

2. Limit navigation

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

3. Create a compelling headline

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

4. Improve the form's submit button text

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

How To Inspire Millennial Donors

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

Clearly Communicate Your Mission

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

Show Them Where The Money Goes

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

Make A Permanent Difference

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

Stay Grounded

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

Create A Visually Appealing Web Design

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

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.