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 Habits Of A Highly Effective Fundraiser

piggybanks on euro coins showing richness MJ3 Gmw While fundraisers are not created equal, all of them still share the same habits that enable them to reach their goals. These habits are simple but due to the consistency of fundraisers in developing them, these habits have played an important role in molding them to become highly effective fundraisers.

1. They consider their board as a major source of development

Your board is an important part of your fundraising team for without whome, you will not be able to accomplish your goals. A fundraiser that strengthens the board can succeed in fundraising. The board can be strengthened by providing support, training and encouragement.

2. They follow the 80/20 rule

If you have to be a highly effective fundraiser, you need to spend most of your time focusing on the activities that can offer the highest rewards for your organisation. This means you need to test new things by keeping the ones that work and cutting the ones that don't work. A highly effective fundraiser also know when there is already too much work on their plate by delegating what they can. They also focus on strategies that enable organisations to raise money over the long term.

3. They use the phone as a primary fundraising tool

While using the telephone may seem like an old technique especially in a digital world where everyone enjoys a dynamic landscape, a highly effective fundraiser never hesitates to get in touch with a donor before sending an email. More often than not, fundraisers send email and follow up on it with a phone call, but the rule of thumb is to directly get intouch with the donor so you can build the relationship and trust.

4. They constantly work to become better

Fundraisers who practice their craft strive hard to become better at what they do. This means that they make a conscious effort to read strategy guides to they can attract more donors and lead the team. When you are honing your skills, you make a huge difference between being a mediocre fundraiser.

5.They know how to diversify revenue streams

An effective fundraiser sees to it that their time and energy are spent diversifying revenue streams for their fundraising organisation. If your organisation only rely on events or grants, you can use this as an avenue for launching an annual giving campaign or a major gift program. Even if you are using a single tactic, diversification is key. Great fundraisers need to push to meet new donors or increase the revenue streams of major donor.

Early Fundraising Mistakes Can Have A Long Term Effect On Your Organisation

right or wrong directions on a signpost fyyNQHv The most exciting stage of a fundraising organisation is the initial funding stage because it requires a lot of hard work. However, early funding mistakes can have a long term effect on your organisation if you do not do something to correct them. In fact, what happens during the early stages of your fundraising journey can have a big impact on your organisation ability to secure additional funding and mature. Success needs to start early for your fundraising to go smoothly.

Raising a lot of money

For first-time entrepreneurs, it is easy to put more focus on getting money but this practice can have a negative effect on your organisation as this creates a difficult funding dynamic in the long run. Although raising a lot of money may seem like a good practice, but once it is spent, the amount you spent can raise questions about your leadership.

Setting high valuations

A high valuation may seem to provide a good headstart but this can be a problem later on because it can result in setting too high expectations, which your organisation cannot meet. This can make your board members feel frustrated especially when the outcomes are not the ones you have expected. It might be difficult for your organisation to top your initial valuation and this can really hurt your fundraising efforts.

Choosing the wrong route

You might be spending too much time on the wrong prospect that you miss out on recognising potential donors. It is necessary to know the route you are going to take if you want to make sure that you are going to reap the long term benefits of fundraising. When it comes to choosing your board members, it is a good idea to choose individuals who have experience so you will know how you are going to become a successful fundraising organisation.

Not establishing a relationship with your board members

You should not only invest in your donors but in your board members as well because they also play a critial role in ensuring that your organisation will have reach its fundraising goals. It seems too difficult to invest in your board members if you do not take the time to engage with them. Make sure you know your board members personally so you can connect with them. If there is anything they need to make every fundraising effort a success, you should be there to provide it to them. Your board members can reach their full potential if you guide them before your fundraising journey begins.

Is Your Organisation Ready For Modern Fundraising?

computer mouse M1UhAJ0 Getting overwhelmed with a plethora of strategies will surely influence you in making the sudden switch to modern approaches. These days, you have plenty of choices to consider including using social media to reach out to prospects, but does modern fundraising easily convert prospects to donors? There are some questions you need to ask yourself for you to find out if your organisation is ready to take fundraising to the next level.

Is your organisation ready for the move?

You may already be toying with the idea of moving to modern fundraising, but do you share the same decision with your board members and supporters? The drastic changes you are making may hurt your business especially when you have not introduced the benefits of modern fundraising. You need to schedule a meeting so you can discuss the possibilities of giving modern fundraising a try. However, you need to keep in mind that making the switch must not be done hastily as you need to test the waters to find out if the modern approach really works for you. Some donors and supporters are comfortable with traditional fundraising and may even consider it more effective than the modern approach. Knowing which technique works for you will surely make a difference.

Are you ready to face the challenges that modern fundraising entails?

Modernised techniques may seem very appealing, but these techniques may lose their glamor if they are not executed properly. You still need to be familiar with the technique before you dive into the modern fundraising pool because your board members will not appreciate the transformation if they lack knowledge and skills. They have to be aware of the challenges they may face for embracing modern fundraising so they will know what they are going to do next. Most board members would rather stay within their comfort zone if they feel that modern approaches take them to an unfamiliar territory.

Can you spend more time on devising a strategy to make modern fundraising effective?

There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all approach even when using modern fundraising techniques. The presentation may be great but if the execution falls short of your board member's expectations, the concept will still be rendered useless. When deciding on employing modern techniques, make sure you are committed to teaching your board members the techniques that will ease them into the transformation. Team work is important in fundraising as it is the key element to the success of your organisation. If they lack cooperation due to feeling alienated with your new techniques, something has to be done to create a friendlier fundraising

What Is Your Digital Fundraising Strategy?

touch screen mobile phone zJa045rOYou may have already embraced digital fundraising, but you still feel that something is not working. If you are not achieving any positive results, something might be wrong. The good news is, you are not alone. Convincing a donor to invest may take months even if you have read about digital storytelling. While it can be frustrating to not get any response from the donor or prospective donor, you will need to go the extra mile so you can achieve the result you want. When it comes to implementing a successful digital strategy, you do not have to stress yourself because the task does not have to be daunting. You just need to focus on three key areas so you can easily achieve the result you are looking for.

Three Steps To Formulating A Winning Digital Strategy

Technology:When it comes to moving into digital fundraising, you need to invest in technology that works. Your website has to be user-friendly and your database must have the ability to manage your everything that your fundraising journey encompasses. Without a doubt, your website is a good place to start if you have a small organisation.

Content: The main focus of digital fundraising is to create an engaging content that will help you form a connection with your prospect. To some who is new to digital fundraising, this can be a bit of a challenge as your content needs to provide prospects with new insights. The best thing about digital is that you have huge opportunities to find out the things that appeal to your target market. It only takes a few clicks for you to how to capture your audience's attention. Do not be afraid to experiment or run a simple test for you to know the kind of content that will poke your prospect's interest.

Traffic: Aside from technology and content, you should also ensure that you have a method of driving traffic to your website. You should keep in mind that just because you are publishing great content does not necessarily mean people will read it. You should also be visible for people to notice your great content.

Digital fundraising may seem tricky if you do not have the right formula for engaging prospects. Some may have invested in technology, but they do not have the right content. Others may have the right content but failed ot invest in the right technology. These three elements must be present so you can succeed in embracing digital fundraising.

What Should You Look For In A Mobile Giving App?

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

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

What do donors want for a mobile giving app?

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

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

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

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

Reasons You Do Not Succeed In Fundraising

Raising money seems easier said than done let alone getting loyal donors that will become your loyal supporters. You have already employed known techniques to succeed in fundraising, but something is still not right. Although your journey through fundraising may appear smooth and problem-free, there are can still be some roadblocks that will deter you from succeeding. If you want to get the most out of fundraising, you should know the strategy that will work for you. Analyse the areas you need to improve and be aware of these common roadblocks.

You reinvent even when it is not needed

These days, fundraising is taken to the next level with the emergence of intelligent technology. This is why some organisations are tempted to switch to modern fundraising techniques even when traditional techniques are still working. The problem with reinventing your approaches is that you need to make major adjustments so approaches will be more aligned to your new fundraising style. While there is completely nothing wrong with this, a dramatic change in strategy can do more harm than good as this means your board members, supporters and donors will be required to adjust to the new approach. Instead of choosing modern strategies, observe and try to combine both if both strategies work for your organisation.

You target the wrong donor

When getting loyal donors, you need to start with building meaningful relationships. While the road to engaging with your prospective donor may not be easy, knowing your target market can help you make the task easier. There are uninformed prospects and there are uninterested prospects. You need to know which one you should choose. If you are after uninterested prospects, find out why they are not willing to commit to your organisation. A prospect may not be interested because you fail to communicate with them. Offer encouragement and keep lines of communication open so you can connect with your prospective donors.

You do not personalise your fundraising letter

When you are only aiming for getting more donors, you need to forget the most important aspect of fundraising, which is forming a connection. If you are sending a common and generic template out of habit, you should consider sending a personalised request. The letters should be engaging as this is a tool for establishing rapport with your prospective donor. When you always have a canned response and you do not connect with your donor, they will be under the impression that you only see them as a person giving money to your organisation.

The Old And New Fundraising Tactics

In this day and age, technology has made fundraising much easier as organisations can reach out to prospect through various methods such as using mobile device, social media and many others. While adopting modern tactics can help you gain a competitive advantage, it does not necessarily mean you should take old tactics for granted. Good fundraisers do not necessarily use new tactics rather they choose to listen to their audience and experiment with available tactics. Seasoned fundraisers also know that the luxury of experimentation may not always be possible. It is imperative that you start with the basics so you will know which strategy works for your prospects. Without a doubt rules have also changed in fundraising.

It is also necessary to evaluate both old and new tactics as this allows you to give fair consideration. Although it is tempting to use the latest and greatest technology, your organisation should not also lose sight of traditional but effective ways of attracting donors. It is still important that you evaluate both old and new approaches for you to find out which ones work for you.

Old Tactics

Events:Invite prospects to a fundraising event such as walks or galas. This approach has been an effective fundraising tool for many years. Fundraising events provide donors a venue to interact and learn about your organisation.

Direct Mail: Most organisations still consider direct mail an effective way to communicate with donors. Aside from the fact that it is a less expensive tactic, it is also considered effective. Older donors also prefer direct mail. When using direct mail as a tactic, make sure you compose a fundraising letter that creates a powerful impact on your prospects.

Door-to-door: While the use of door-to-door fundraising has diminished over the years, many organisations have still utilised this approach successfully.

New Tactics

Online Videos:These days online videos are an effective tool in educating prospects. Since it is easy to creat, any organisation can spark a viral campaign if proper techniques are employed.

Social Networking:Almost everyone turns to social media when it comes to finding out about the latest event because this is the venue that increases awareness. If you are going to use this as a medium for gathering supporters, you will be able to expand your geographical reach as your audience is most likely to recommend your product or brand.

Blogging:Another tactic that provides a way for organisations to communicate with existing donors and new prospects is through blogging. It has become an acceptable communication tool that allows donors to know more about the things your organisation can offer.

Fundraising Techniques To Engaging Millennial Generation

If you have a fundraising organisation that wants to connect with the millennial generation, going digital is important because traditional donation options and channels may not be able to help you achieve the kind of connection that will make this generation more involved in your fundraising efforts. In the past, boomers are the ones considered to make the most donations, but with proper technique, millennial is filling their shoes. If you are still stuck in the same old technique, it is time to adopt the latest trends and innovations.

The payment is one area of innovation you need to improve on. Millennials want the most convenient way to pay and be paid and this is the reason mobilisation wins their nods. If they can access your website and make payments anywhere and with any device, it will not be difficult to get their support. Your organisation should anticipate changing consumer choice and preference because prospects often choose the most convenient way of making transactions.

There Are Three Ways To Engage With Millennials:

Go Mobile: For fundraising to keep up with the changes in today’s technology, it is essential to go mobile because almost everyone relies on mobile devices for almost everything. Even with purchasing goods, many individuals find it convenient to transact from a mobile device. Your donations must be optimised for mobile so you do not end up missing out on millennials. In the era of smartphone, most millennials are more likely to use their mobile phone to donate.

Embrace Social Media: Using social channels can amplify your campaign and a perfect example of an effective social media strategy is the ALS Ice Bucket challenge. This campaign went viral and raised millions of dollars for the ALS Association. However, it is also important to keep in mind that not every campaign will become viral but you can improve engagement by expanding your geographical reach. With social media, you can increase your volunteer efforts and donation by encouraging participation.

Be Accountable: Millennial donors have the desire for accountability by knowing how your organisation is planning. In the era of modern technology, it is easier to reach out to donors than before. At present, all you need to do is to let donors know via social media or email. You can gather ideas this way and provide fundraising updates. There are various ways you can show that their donation matters such as using visuals, real case studies and anecdotes. Millennials also like to be recognised for doing what is right and when you acknowledge their efforts, they will feel good about and will not hesitate to become a regular donor.

Three Things That Hinder Group Fundraising From Succeeding

Every fundraising group has sales goals that need to be accomplished and it takes a team effort to succeed in these goals. One of the discouraging moments of being in a fundraising group is not raising enough money to cover group expenses. All members may have dedicated their time and effort to organise and run the campaign, but not getting any positive result can have a negative impact on the group. If you have worked hard to achieve sales goals and you are still not getting any result, you have to do things differently so your goals become a reality. Aside from making a few changes to your approach, you will also need to have commitment to achieve your goal. You will need to start with identifying the factors that make fundraising ineffective.

No Fundraising Goal

In fundraising, every member needs to set individual and team goals as this can serve as motivation to work harder and dedicate more time. When groups are only told they should go out and do their best, they will not have any sense of purpose. As a result, they will not take you seriously and raising money or accomplishing their mission will no longer be a big deal. As a leader, members must be provided with some directions by giving them a minimum item goal to achieve. These can be broken down into smaller daily goals. This can be done by finding out the amount of money you need to raise. The amount can be divided by the number of sellers in your group.

No Purpose

How can achieve anything without a purpose? While raising money is considered by some organisations as the main purpose of a fundraising campaign, there has to be a much deeper reason you are trying to raise money. More often than not, fundraising is done backwards. People raise money and then decide what to do with it. If you and your members are not sharing the same objective and they are working without a purpose, it is difficult to convince them that you are raising money for a good cause.

No Accountability

Your fundraising campaign is not going to achieve a fundraising goal you set if they do not have group selling accountability. Members will not automatically start selling without once they are provided with sales materials. You need to track their progress for you to find out if they are carrying out the task you assigned them. As their leader, you should also help them keep up with their selling. You can also incorporate additional incentives to make selling fun.

Three Valuable Lessons That Kids Learn From Fundraising

School fundraising does not only benefit teachers and parents but kids as well. Kids who start to involve themselves in various fundraising activities become more aware of the values that the activities provide. As they work as a team, they will come to realise that it really feels good to do good for others.  Value formation is not only limited within the portals of your home, as these values can also be harnessed by helping kids become more involved in school fundraising. While it instils a lot of good values, there are three lessons that kids learn from joining a fundraising campaign.

Patience is key to accomplishing your goals

Success does not happen overnight because it is a step by step process. The same is true with fundraising. Before you raise enough money for your organisation and its beneficiary, you need to reach out to your donors and cultivate them so you can establish good donor relation. It does not happen instantly and it is inevitable to get rejected at some point. However, if you are eager to accomplish your goals, it will not matter how long it takes for you to master the art of donor relation. Kids who participate in fundraising campaigns learn the virtue of patience especially when adults lead by example.

You gain from sharing

What is going on inside a donor’s head when they are giving? Why do donors give when they know they are not going to receive something in return? Philanthropy is indeed profound and only those who have genuine interest in giving will be able to understand the fact that giving is also gaining. Observe kids who are sharing their time, efforts or money with the organisation and they will surely tell you that they have a rewarding experience. Without a doubt, giving something wholeheartedly is a great experience as you gain happiness because of contributing to the success of the organisation in helping others.

Fundraising is not just about the money

It is true that there is fun in fundraising and it is not just about raising money. Once kids grow up and they plan to pursue a career, they will realise that having a fulfilling career is not just about money but helping other individuals have engaged their service. They raise funds to help another person accomplish a goal and this valuable lesson teaches them to be selfless. While it is a good thing to be competitive, the non-monetary reward they earn from fundraising is also worth-knowing.

Mastering The Art Of Donor Relation

Have you found time to check your donor retention rate? If only 3 out of 10 donors came back to give again, you know that something is not right. A low retention rate is just as bad as donors saying ‘no’. What do these two have in common? If you are having difficulties retaining first-time donors or getting a prospect to say yes, you need to ask if you have been carefully cultivating your donor relationships as this is important. Building long-term relationships with your donors is also part of your fundraising goal and it is the art that you should master for donors to stay.

Acknowledgement

Letting your donors know you received their donations and thanking them encompass acknowledgment. The only way your donors will feel valued is when assure them that their money is on its way to its primary purpose. This might seem like a simple gesture but it creates a great impact on your donor. Acknowledgement is one way to make donors feel that you know them personally. It is the first step to building strong relationships because you are no longer treating them as donors but as friends.

Impact reporting

Aside from acknowledging your donors, you should also tell them what you did with their money. Informing them of the purpose and impact of their donation will encourage continuous support. You can create a stronger bond when they feel involved in your fundraising campaign. Another reason first-timers become repeat donors is when they are aware that donations have served its intended purpose.

Recognition

Celebrating their giving is one way of recognising donors. Recognition comes in after you have welcomed your donor. It is not enough that you welcome them as you should also need to get them to stay. Thank them for their efforts by hosting an annual donor appreciation party. Letting your donors feel they are not forgotten does not only increase retention rate but also builds stronger relationships.

Engagement

Since it is essential to involve people with their philanthropy, find time to connect them with people who benefit from their donations. A personal thank-you letter from a beneficiary or a day at a camp can work wonders. If donors are updated of the development, they will feel good about giving.
Donor relation is a serious art that fundraisers need to master to fully appreciate fundraising. While it takes time to earn donor’s trust, it does not necessarily mean you will stop cultivating them once they make a donation. Donor relation is a process that requires long-term commitment.

When Donors Say ‘No’

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

Was your ask properly crafted?

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

Have you taken the time to cultivate the prospect?

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

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

Why did your prospects say no?

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

How To Turn Fundraising Fear Into Enthusiasm?

What does it take to get board members to become fully active in fundraising? While you have already employed proven techniques to encourage enthusiasm and cooperation, it seems that something is still lacking. Changing the mind-set of your board members is important because it is only then that you will see their involvement in your organisation.

•    Help them deal with the challenges of fundraising

When it comes to dealing with fundraising’s dark side, it is important that you are honest with your board members. Setting the wrong expectations will only breed frustration that is more likely to discourage them once they attempt to raise money. The feelings of anxiety and nervousness may arise when asking strangers for money. While everyone is willing to do their part to contribute to the success of the fundraising campaign, things are often easier said than done. One way to overcome the fear is to deal with it directly. An honest and open discussion will help them overcome fundraising fears. Encourage them to speak freely so you will know how they really feel.

•    Remove the notion that fundraising is all about money

Money is the first thing that comes to mind when talking about fundraising, but it should be about changing the world. While it involves giving money, the donors’ emotions are all that really matters.  When donors are giving their money, they are also enhancing their legacy and life as they are taking part in solving problems. There is a huge difference when people take part in something with meaning. When board members realise that donors are happy with contributing to the organisation, it will be easy for board members to shift their perspective.

•    Don’t just seek donors, seek friends

Turn one-time donors into regular donors by establishing a good relationship. When you see donors as friends, you are not only breaking the wall that deters you from connecting with them, but you are also giving them the opportunity to feel involved. Your fundraising campaign will be more successful if you treat your donors as part of your fundraising circle.

•    Focus on friend raising instead of fundraising

In the fundraising process, teach board members to focus on friend raising because telling them they do not have to solicit can help in developing friendlier relationships with the donors and all over the community. Since there are many activities associated with fundraising, this can be used as a starting point. As donors begin to reach out, do not forget to thank them as a way of showing your appreciation.

How To Ask Donors For Donations?

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

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

Research your donors

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

Set your expectations

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

Show people how they can make a difference

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

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

Fundraising Narcissism: It’s Not About You, It’s About Your Donors

Donations are deemed by donors as investments. They do not just donate for the sake of helping a fundraising organisation to raise money. Donors have a personal connection with their chosen organisation. However, fundraisers are struggling with connecting with donors due to their perception. Put yourself in your donor’s shoes so you will know the things they expect from you.

A continuing relationship with your donors can create a positive effect on your organisation. You need to believe in your mission if you want to be an effective fundraiser. You may have a different approach but you cannot deny the fact that you are in sales, but you are not putting a product in exchange for the money they gave you. Instead, you offer experiences and commitment to accomplish goals.

In order to succeed in fundraising, organisations need to focus on donor experience:

Think like your donor. The most important question to ask yourself when attempting to connect with your donor: Am I giving my donors much-needed importance? If you were to take a look at your website, do you see it as a brochure or a community that people can reach out to? These are simple questions that will lead you to the right answers. You may consider your approaches ineffective but if you go down to the donor’s level, you will be able to understand what really is missing.

Make online and offline donations. Find out what happens after you make a donation. It is important to know the effect of your donation as this is a way for you to gauge how donors would like to be thanked. You can obtain information by calling a toll-free number associated with the organisation or sign up for a newsletter so you can keep track of things after a donation has been made.

Uncover donor behaviour. You will never know what really needs to be improved in your organisation if you do not attempt to think like your donors. This strategy allows you to uncover the mystery wrapped around your donors. Find out why some donors have an amazing experience and others don’t.
Never ignore your online tools. Your website is a powerful tool that makes or breaks prospective donors. Does your online tool require enhancement? Do you need to fix or stop using them? You need to make your own assessment for you to know if your online tools need attention.

You will not earn your donor’s trust unless you start restructuring and rethinking your relationships with them. When you see your donors as merely people that make a donation, you are not building a community. Donor involvement is important in fundraising success.

Five Bad Habits That Impede Fundraising Success

Have you ever wondered why you are not raising enough money despite of formulating brilliant strategies? Bad habits can impede growth and success of your organisation. It may seem like a minor flaw but not paying attention to your fundraisers’ habits can take a toll on your fundraising campaign.

1.    Not establishing rapport with your donors.

Your donors are one of the primary components of your organisation because without them, you will not accomplish goals and move forward. Fundraisers often focus on raising money without giving importance to establishing good relationships with donors. As a result, potential or even existing donors shy away from making a donation because they do not feel any connection to your organisation. Fundraisers make donors feel welcomed and it is a continuous and consistent effort. One-time donation does not guarantee success. Devote your effort in understanding your donors and thanking them for their commitment.

2.    Making hasty decisions without checking the facts.

More often than not, people use their instinct to make important decisions in life, but in crucial situations, it is also important to rely on solid facts so you do not end up embracing regrets at the end of the day. Instincts may not give you the results you have hoped for and when things go wrong, you cannot present facts to support your claims. Making the right decisions is important in fundraising. Never let instinct get in the way or you may end up missing an important fact. Use your instinct as a starting point but never let it influence your final decision.

3.    Being ashamed of raising money.

Professional fundraisers are ashamed of asking money from people because they consider themselves treading upon a confusing territory. Donors are vital to your fundraising programs and you need to connect with them so you can win their commitment and trust. Donors want to feel valued and when dealing with them, you need to let them know your purpose of reaching out to them. They also deserve to know the stakes and urgency. Asking from them is just a prelude to establishing a better relationship with donors. It all starts with translating values into action.

4.    Making decisions out of fear.

Problems exist in fundraising organisations and you need to anticipate them if you want to succeed at fundraising. When you base your decisions on fear, you are doing more harm than good. You will have trouble coping and you will not be able to know the true value of fundraising.

5.    Not welcoming change.

Change is inevitable and instead of being allergic to it, fundraisers need to embrace it to foster growth and development. If an approach does not work, do not be afraid to make a change. There are techniques you can use so you can acquire much-needed convincing power to interact with donors and connect with them.

Bad habits can deter you from succeeding in fundraising. While there can be some occasional doubts running through your head, you need motivation to keep going and to remove self-doubt. The good news is these bad habits are merely mental and can be changed.

Creating A Compelling Mission For Your Organisation

One good reason a donor commits to an organisation is its relatable mission. Although creating a mission can be a challenging task, focusing on what your organisation really does will help you capture donors’ interest. Regardless of your issue area, it only takes three steps for you to create a mission that is both compelling and clear.

Talk about outcomes instead of process.

Think about your donors when presenting your mission. Most fundraising letters focus on the organisation’s process and philosophy instead of the outcomes. As a result, donors become bored with the same old fundraising story. Donors often want to know the outcome of making a donation. Nobody wants to give to an organisation if they are unsure of the benefits they can reap from it. Donors want to make sure that they are donating for a good cause. They already know your philosophy and they are more interested in the result. They want to see your organisation extend its helping hand to deserving recipients of their donation.

Give your mission a heartbeat

Your mission should have a positive effect on people. A message that only talks about your organisation’s purpose of asking will not create any impact on donors. Put yourself in the donor’s shoes so you will know the impact of a mission with a pulse. Your donors will find it difficult to relate with your organisation’s mission if they do not feel any sincerity. Although you may feel you have done enough, your donors will still feel you are still missing another ingredient to success. If your organisation focuses on helping children, make sure you talk about kids. Set aside advocacy techniques because donors are more interested in your beneficiary. You will be able to succeed if donors feel that your organisation does more than just asking money from them.

Tell a story

Do not be afraid to tell a story to your donors that will help them get to know your organisation and its mission. Compelling stories that involve past successes will sure win your donor’s nod. A story of success that captures their heart can definitely encourage them to donate because they know for a fact that they are going to be instrumental to the success of the organisation. There is indeed a positive result you are going to reap once you take the time to create  a mission that will not only capture your donor’s attention, but also give them more reasons to commit to your organisation.

How Do You Encourage Monthly Giving?

Organisations are less likely to settle with one-time donors. This is why they take the time to cultivate a positive relationship with donors so they can be converted into monthly donors. However, things are often easier said than done as there are many challenges along the way such as projecting the kind of mission and vision that donors expect from the organisation. Before thinking about the benefits of steady stream of contributions, it is necessary to formulate a strategy that will encourage donor consistency and loyalty.

Create an appealing package

How do you win your donors’ support if they are completely clueless about the mission of your organisation? It is difficult to achieve the result you want when your donors are still doubtful about the main objective of your organisation. Donors are more likely to stick to your organisation if it has a powerful impact on their lives. It should have a meaningful and touching message that will encourage them to give more than just one-time donation. An organisation will find it difficult to attract monthly donors if they are also doubtful about their purpose and objectives. Be clear with your message and create an appealing package that represents your organisation.

Make the process easy and convenient

When donors consider the process of donating convenient and hassle-free, they will give monthly donation a second thought. When consider online donation, provide a form that is easy to fill out and will not eat a large chunk of the donor’s time. Give them an option to sign up and send newsletters that will give them an idea about the advocacies of your organisation. Once you keep your donors updated, they will not forget about organisation and its mission. It will also be convenient to provide an option to donors to select the donation amount they can automatically give throughout the year.

Phrase your question

Asking money from donors requires good timing. It is also essential that you frame your ask so donors will be more convinced of donating to your organisation on a monthly basis. When you ask has a positive impact on your donors, you are more likely to get monthly donations.

Monthly giving requires continuous effort so you can win your donor’s trust. While one-time donation may be a good thing, it will be more advantageous if you get donors to give on a monthly basis. However, winning your donor’s loyalty may take some time and effort. Your organisation needs to show that you are indeed deserving of their support.

eFundraising: A Brave Move?

The Internet, with its wide geographical reach, has promised new fundraising opportunities to organisations that are struggling with increasing the number of donors. It might be true that the Internet provides every organisation with an ability to explore prospective donors by means of using various social channels. However, there is more than just taking a look at what the internet can do when it comes to getting more donors to sign up.

Just like other strategies, online fundraising may not work for everyone. It does not offer one-size-fits-all formula that addresses concerns in raising money. It is also interesting to note that the forms of solicitation to use must be taken into consideration. While the Internet offers a new way to communicate, it does not necessarily mean that all fundraising techniques that involve using the Internet are effective. There are some forms of online fundraising that donors find appealing, but there are also those they do not like.

When you deal with various forms of solicitation, it is important to check which forms have the highest percentage of commitment. If you are already using a proven method and add internet solicitation to the mix, you will be able to have a killer fundraising campaign. You just have to know how you are going to go about making such an addition to your existing program.

Although it may go unnoticed, but there is a constant change on the number of websites which are offering to receive and process contributions. When raising money using the Internet, building your own website is very important. Due to the fact that fundraising and websites go hand in hand, it is important that people have enough information so they will be able to decide if there is something that needs to be changed.

Although eFundraising is a powerful tool to reach the number of audiences that can help an organisation accomplish goals, it does not necessarily mean that overstating your case is acceptable. It is still important for you to make sure that you are focused on your primary goals. It is also fine to use traditional methods because not all techniques you come across will be able to help you make your techniques more effective.

The Internet allows you to go global, but it will involve a series of experimentation so you will be able to get the right formula for a successful eFundraising. Do not be enamored with the Internet because it also has its own drawbacks. The main purpose of the Internet is to extend more opportunities so people will be more aware of the kind of program you wish to promote.  Traditional fundraising combined with eFundraising can create a great difference to your organisation.

Fundraising In A Virtual World

These days, meeting with your board members is easy through a virtual meeting platform online. Collaborating with all the members of your fundraising organisation is no longer difficult because everything is done virtually. However, virtual meetings also have their own challenges especially when there are some technical issues that an organisation needs to deal with. There are some best practices that an organisation needs to follow to ensure that all members think more creatively and expansively.

Plan a good meeting

Even when you are meeting on a conference or Skype call, it is important that you know the essential ingredients of a good meeting. Before you start, make sure you have prepared a list of topics, which you are going to discuss. An agenda is important because it is only then that you will be able to know more about the concerns of your board members. You will also have to think through the purpose of the meeting, the process and even the outcome. It is also necessary to limit the meeting time to no more than 90 minutes and see to it that you start on time. If possible, you can also end a few minutes early.

Appoint a facilitator

A virtual meeting may seem to be in chaos if the people involved do not know if it is already their turn to speak. As a result, they speak at the same time causing barriers in the process of communicating. If you have a facilitator, everyone gets a chance to speak and there will be someone to speak out the rules of engagement. A facilitator will be able to play a strong role in ensuring that the people in a virtual meeting will not talk over one another.

Confirm attendance and participation

Another reason virtual meetings become unsuccessful is due to the lack of commitment of some participants. A facilitator must be able to confirm attendance by getting everyone to discuss how they will participate. Make sure they are aware of the effects of background noise. They should also be informed they will be called on to participate.

Utilise technology but be prepared for problems

Virtual meetings provide convenience to all members of the fundraising organisation who cannot be physically present in a meeting. However, there are also some problems that you need to be prepared for if you want the meeting to be a success. Some of the common problems that you may encounter during a meeting include connectivity issues, audio crackles, unreadable documents and many others.
While these problems cannot be avoided, it is necessary that you are aware of the resolutions to these problems. Since you are going to conduct a virtual meeting, it is important that you have a good audio. Have the technician check your connection 30 minutes before the meeting. You will also have to set your expectations that people have different internet speeds. If it is not required, do not ask everyone to be on video. Encourage real-time note taking so they will know the issues that have been discussed during a meeting.