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!

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.

The Significance Of Donor Personas

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

Where and how should you start?

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

The variables to consider:

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

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

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

Are You Completely Out Of Fresh and Innovative Fundraising Ideas?

head puzzle shows slipping ideas Mk1u4XvOThere are days when your creative juices just flow freely, but there are also days when creativity is a struggle. When you are stumped for creative ideas, it seems difficult to move forward as you do not know where to start. Being caught in a creative paralysis can be frustration especially when you want to create something fresh and appealing to your audience. Here are some techniques you can use for a spark of creativity to ignite your way.


While ideas come out of the blue, there are instances when creativity requires team effort. When you ask your volunteers, colleagues, friends, team and family members, you will be able to know there are still some great ideas you can consider if you allow them to wear their thinking cap on. The problem with doing it alone is that you will have the tendency to put pressure on yourself that you find it difficult to think straight. With a group of people sharing ideas, you will be able to know how you want your next event to happen.

Rest for a while

When there is so much going on in your head, coming up with creative ideas will always be difficult. If you have spent hours trying to put your creativity in proper perspective, you need to do something else for a minute. Walking away from your goal for a minute will help you come up with fresh ideas. When you take a breather, you will be able to take the pressure off your chest. You can consider engaging yourself in activities that will keep your brain active. When you are taking time to rest, you are also giving yourself some time to recharge your batteries.

Collect And Connect

Once you have collected ideas, the next step to take is to connect the dots. When you engage in stimulating conversation and allow your mind to extract some creative juices, it is time to get back to work. A combination of ideas and objects can defininitely do wonders as it gives you an ability to fuse various concepts into one. As you create your framework, you will also realised that you have come up with a new fundraising idea that looks and feels fresh.

Do not feel bad if you are out of fresh ideas. All you have to do is to take a break and engage yourself in a meaningful conversation with your colleagues, family members, volunteers and friends. Before you know it, you have already come up with a creative fundraising idea that will help you accomplish your monthly fundraising goals.

Going Mobile? Think About Your Donors

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

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

Donors who rarely click anything

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

Donors who have short attention span

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

Donors who easily get frustrated

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

Trust And Transparency: Why Are They Important In Fundraising

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

The importance of trust and transparency

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

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

Here's how you can build transparency and trust:

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

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

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

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

Are You Still Relevant To Your Audience?

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

1. Take time to read

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

2. Apply what you learned

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

3. Search for influencers

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

4. Use modern tools and technologies

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

The Psychology Of Fundraising And Winning Donations

JM Industrial DSC 9966The first step to being a great fundraiser is by understanding your donors and knowing what makes them tick. You can get donor insight from testing and data collection. It is also through this process that you will be able to know more about the psychological principles that will help you motivate and understand people. Understanding what leads people to extend help and offer resources will increase your opportunity to create a marketing strategy tailored to their needs.

1. Goal Proximity

There are donors that will highly appreciate it if their gifts make a difference because there are scenarios that can increase this feeling of impact. If you are closer to your fundraising goal, donors are more likely to donate. For instance, people are more inclined to give more credit to the game-winning touchdown than making the first goal. This provides donors a sense of satisfaction as their help was able to cross the finish line. This will result in attracting more donations.

Your fundraising goal can gain traction by splitting your campaign kickoff. You can have a soft launch and a hard launch. The soft launch can be focused on the most dedicated supporters such as social media evangelists, volunteers and fundraisers. Once your campaign is opens to the public, your prospects will be able to notice you are making initial progress.

2. Use Pain As Magnet For Raising Money

Have you ever heard of the martyrdom effect? This can be an effective way to win prospects as people are willing to give more when raising money involves enduring pain. More often than not, people find effort and pain meaning because it denotes that they are serious in promoting the cause. Once donations are received, the contributions also fee more meaningful.

When raising money, make sure you find ways to make it engaging and difficult for your volunteers. It is also helpful if individual fundraisers will committ to personal challenges because they excite donors and can even maximise contributions.

3. Focus on the plight of the individual

The victim effect also inspires more donations especially when you focus on individuals instead of larger groups. This is where storytelling comes in. Make sure you inspire donors by telling them about the plight of the person in need of donation.

Donors often donate based on feelings. When your stories focus on the individual's plight, you will be able to create an emotional impact on your donor. Donors never forget fundraisers who are able to make an emotional connection. It is the most effective way to inspire them.

5 Ways A Fundraiser Can Remain Positive

s3x 5986 1378 1480Being a fundraiser is not an easy job because it requires patience, commitment, dedication and hard work. There are risks and rewards associated with fundraising but your job as a fundraiser is to fulfill your mission which goes beyond raising money. Despite the challenges that fundraising entails, you still need to stay positive. There are five ways to remain passionate about fundraising.

1. Know your purpose

Why did you join the organisation? Do you want to be part of a fulfilling mission? Do you want to help others? it is important to know your purpose for you to keep going. You may also need a quick reminder of the impact of your work. When you volunteer, ask yourself how it feels. You will need to give yourself a little reminder each day if you start to feel fundraising burn-out. It is only then that you will realise the real purpose of becoming a fundraiser.

2. Be grateful

You might feel discouraged because you are not measuring up to your goals, and it can great affect your mindset. You will feel inadequate or not good enough. When you mind is filled with negatives and doubts, your performance can also be affected. You can shake off negative thoughts by writing down the aspects of your job that you feel grateful for. Do this everyday as this practice will help you realise there are lots of good things happening at work. You will also have to improve your mindset at work because positive thinking can also have a good impact on yoiur overall well-being and mental health.

3. Have fun in fundraising

Not having fun at your job can also have a negative impact on your work. Perceiving your job to be less fulfilling can be the reason for you to lose your enthusiasm, passion and motivation. If prospects say 'no', you will never bother winning them because you have lost your momentum and interest in fundraising. When you are having fun, it is easy for you to help those around you. In turn, they will also have a more enjoyable experience. Make sure you create an interactive and engaging fundraising activity for your donors, volunteers and board members. Everyone in your organisation including donors will also have fun if you also like what you are doing.

4. Don't let "no" discourage you

Being an effective fundraiser means you are ready to accept rejections as they are part of the job. Never let a "no" discourage you or prevent yoiu from reaching out to as many donors as possible. If you let rejection discourage you, you will miss opportunities to raise money. While it can be quite difficult to face rejection, you need to understand that it is part of the process. Never take personally because the donors are no rejecting you and your work. There are many factors that may affect their decision.

5. Reward yourself

The hard work will pay off once you have accomplished your fundraising goals. This is the time when you need to reward yourself for a job well done. Treating yourself is a way of feeling good about the goals you have accomplished and a way to motivate yourself.

Reach More People With Social Fundraising

donate computer key in blue showing charity and fundraising fy0CF PuIf you want a faster way to reach more people, taking advantage of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter is the way to go. These platforms increase participation and help you raise money if you employ the right techniques. Social fundraising is full of potentials and perils depending on how the strategies are executed. Here are three approaches you can use to make the most use of social media for fundraising.

1. Pay attention to "direct ask"

One of the most common techniques fundraisers use to raise money is by sharing "direct ask" on the fundraising pages through social media accounts. While this may seem to be straightforward enough, most people will simply skim through the page without even reading your story. Some people tend to ignore the request because of the bystander effect. This means that even if people hear stories of individuals in need of medical attention, they seem not to care because of thinking that there are other people out there willing to help. Direct asks can have a powerful impact if it is integrated into other fundraising strategies. Problems arise with direct asks if you have reached out to 1000 friends and one person ignores your request thinking that others have already helped you out.

2. Using Tag and Thank approach

This approach lets you take advantage of social influence by letting everyone know that you have made an active participation in raising funds. When you present things in a more positive way, you are using social influence to your advantage. This will also push more people to get involved in your effort.

3.Use regular updates

You can also use your social media accounts to issue regular updates so your donors will know the progress of your campaign. You can improve your social fundraising results if you are going to couple regular fundraising updates with internal fundraising goals. People are most likely to follow your story to find out whether you have failed or succeeded.

4. Incorporate gifts into your approach

You can build a broader base of support if you try incorporating gifts into your approach. When giving gifts to donors, make sure that they demonstrate the donor's commitment to your campaign. You can inspire your donors to continue supporting your organisation if you show them you appreciate their efforts.

Social fundraising may be the easiest way to gain more donors, but if it is not done properly it can also be perilous to your organisation. Make sure you combine social fundraising with other approaches to reap its benefits.

Raise Money Without Being Too Pushy

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

1. Don't Pressure Yourself

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

2. Be systematic

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

3. Allow Prospects To Talk

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

4. Make Prospects Comfortable

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

The Impact Of StoryTelling In Fundraising

IMG 2003 605With the proliferation of technology, people get easily distracted and for fundraisers, crafting a compelling story to connect with donors is an important ingredient of fundraising success. In the past, the most efficient way to connect is through direct mail campaigns and phone calls. However, things have evolved and digital communications are now the way to spread the word. Just because you are taking advantage of digitisation you will earn a spot in every donor. You have to use storytelling as a way of giving fundraising a creative twist.

Storytelling as a fundraising strategy

Well-crafted narratives are appealing to the donors' intellectual and emotional sides. In fact, storytelling is considered the hottest trend in the industry. Just imagine humanising your communications instead of just delivering the information to your intended recipient. Narratives are more personalised and you also give prospects a chance to connect. There are three ways you can create a compelling story that will become an effective tool for capturing your prospects' interest.

1. Encourage people to tell their own stories:One good reason people give money is to help less fortunate people. While the intention is good, donors also have to see the situations of people they are giving donations to. The desired impact is achieved when you communicate your appeal to donors instead of just relying on written appeal. If you want to help homeless people, post videos of people on the streets so donors will know the effect of their financial assistance.

2. Inspire others: While your existing donors already know their role in your organisation, there are still a large number of people that still need some encouragement. When a group needs help, it is important to highlight the situation so donors are more compelled to give. When you share stories about the power of giving through social media, donors and prospects will be more inspired to give.

3. Improve stewardship through storytelling: Once a donor gives money, the next thing that an organisation does is to send a thank you letter as a way of appreciating the kind act. Donors who are appeciated are more likely to give more next time. Giving will be done more consistently than ever before. However, sending thank you letters are not enough to retain donors. You should also use stories to create stewardship. You can use materials containing narratives that allow you to highlight the positive impact of giving. This technique appeals to people emotionally and will encourage them to support your campaign.

Fundraising Amidst Economic Doom And Gloom

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

Recession causes organisation to spend less on fundraising

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

Recession breeds pessimism

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

Recession makes fundraisers hesitant about asking for donations

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

Technology Traps You Need To Avoid To Succeed In Fundraising

robot sign hello technology concept zkm2mnCuTechnology plays a vital role in fundraising in this day and age. There are many fundraising success stories associated with using technology as a primary tool. However, there are times when technology is carried to extremes. Instead of reaping its benefits, it becomes a burden to fundraisers. When implementing technology, make sure you avoid these traps:

Choosing Free Technology

Fundraising organisations do have budget limitations. This is one reason they become price-conscious. While there is completely nothing wrong with choosing free technology, not all of them can give you the right tool you need to succeed in fundraising. There are instances when the new technology does not meet your organisation's needs. You can be wasting your precious time when you try to make the technology work. Before you fall prey to what new technnology offers, make sure you make an assessment of available technology products. Put together a plan so you can raise funds to pay for the technology you are using. If you want to produce greater results, you should understand the importance of choosing and investing in the right technologies.

Falling Prey To Fundraising Hype

When you are presented with a new technology, the idea of choosing can be overwhelming. However, not all technologies offer the same benefits. You should not choose the new system but the best system for your fundraising needs. Trying out a new technology that you are not completely familiar with can only do more harm then good. You might have heard of a new fundraising buzzword that promises to transform your organisation, but make sure you assess things.

Going Digital Without Thinking Digital

It is easy to get swept away by the modern advances of technology. However, going digital without assigning someone to create a strategy or counter the challenges that it entails can still have a negative effect on your organisation. The system will not run or fix itself. Despite the amazing things an intelligent technology can do, it still requires someone to run it. You can benefit from digitisation if it is not used properly.

You can be an effective fundraiser if you choose the right technology for your organisation. Just because you come across a new technology does not necessarily mean it is suitable to your organisation. As technology begins to play a larger role in your organisation, make sure you implement the best technology that can help you succeed in fundraising. This technology will require significant investment, but once done correctly, you get an exceptional value from it in the long run.