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!

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.

Has Your Organisation Already Joined The Digital Fundraising Bandwagon?

Fundraising with a technological twist is immensely popular these days, but not everyone can emerge victorious in the digital world. When prospects see the donate button, it seems difficult to support an organisation if donors are not yet completely informed about the organisation’s mission and vision. One thing that can keep an organisation on its feet in the digital world is a strong online presence. What are the elements that an organisation need to keep in mind for their online presence to soar high in the digital world?

•    Easy-to-use website that is well-branded;
•    A social media strategy;
•    A secure way to process donations;
•    Regular update on everyone’s efforts

The components are important because people take action online once they have decided to make a donation. When donors make an online donation, you must give them an engaging content so they will keep on coming back for more. More often than not, the Internet is where donors turn first during natural disasters. When prospects connect via social networks, you need to give them enough information so they will continue to support the fundraising event.

You may already have some donate pages and Facebook fan sites, but these won’t work if you do not have any compelling content and great messaging. Make sure your page is interesting for prospects to check it out. When your audience realises that what you are doing is relevant to them, they will feel connected with your organisation. You can also use images to tell stories and help your audience relate.

Donors are  also encouraged to donate if you provide answers to their questions. If you convince them that they are going to make a huge contribution to your organisation and they are aware of your organisation’s mission, there is no reason for them to be hesitant in making a donation. You will also have to work with your donors to help them realise their contribution to your organisation. Instead of primarily focusing on need, you should also explain the impact of their donation on your organisation.

There should also be trustworthy messengers that will help you send your message to the prospective donors. You can also get your friends and family to help you send the right message to your donors. Your family and friends are also influential and they can give you assistance in your effort raise awareness. Do not let technology do all the hard work because your organisation needs to make an effort to reach out to your donors. Technology is just a tool, but with team effort, your organisation will be able to make the most of technology.

Turn One-Time Donors Into Supporters

christmas smgl 372Fundraisers are faced with the biggest challenge in retaining donors because most donors only give once. Without a doubt, it is a struggle to find techniques that can covert one-time donors into repeat donors. While an organisation can be more focused on getting that second donation, it is also important that there is enough time dedicated to turning a donor into an all around supporter. Organisations need to invest more time in doing this so positive results can be obtained.

Thank Your Donors

Although this is a common gesture for every organisation, there are donors who choose to leave because they do not feel appreciated. Donors care about your organisation, but they will decide to support another fundraiser if they are not valued. It is a simple gesture, but it can turn donors around. When they are underappreciated, they will have an impression that you are only after their donations.

However, when their generosity is acknowledged, you will realise that there is a big difference. A personalised thank you letter can make a great difference. Appreciating your donors can turn them into engaged members. It can either be a quick phone call or a handwritten note. You will notice that you have more engaged supporters when you let your donors know you appreciate them.

Invite donors to your fundraising events

More often than not, a donor is only interested in making a monetary contribution to your organisation. This may not be true if you do not make an effort to invite them to do more than just donating to your organisation. When you reach out to your donors, you will be able to know if they want to take the opportunity to be more involved in your organisation’s mission.

When donors see their impact in action, you will not only retain a good relationship but open more doors so your donors can provide ample support to the organisation’s mission. When donors are given a change to give back, they will feel more involved. Donors will also realise that their donation has made a positive impact on the outcome of your fundraising event.

Welcome your donors

Welcome your donors with open arms so they will feel more comfortable and involved. When donors are comfortable with your organisation, they are more likely to feel involved. You will not only increase their engagement but also continue your relationship with them. A simple gesture such as remembering their name at your next event, can send a powerful message that you value them as a donor. Your donors are also important members of your organisation and when you make them realise their importance, it won’t be possible to turn one-time donors into supporters.

 

Is It Necessary To Monitor Donor Behaviour?

coins and heart background GJisKJtuDoes donor behaviour have significance in fundraising? Is there an assurance of loyalty in donors even if you organisation do not closely monitor their interest in supporting a fundraising campaign? It is every organisation’s dream to have a loyal donor, but this is not going to be an easy task if an organisation just settles with the number of followers and likes on various social channels. Conversion is also very important to determine fundraising success. There are donors that may be interested in your organisation because of the event you are organising, but the relationship should be deeper and it should not end as the event ends.

Fundraising is a continuous process. Having said that, organisations must see to it that they establish a good relationship with donors because this is a way of determining if a donor is going to switch or stay in your organisation. An organisation that sees to it that donors are well taken care of can definitely win the donors’ trust. Fundraising is not just about getting donations from donors but exchanging value between the recipient charity and the donor. Marketing is indeed a philanthropic process and its success depends on the efforts of both parties.

Before you think about reaching out to your donors, it is important that you know your market. It is also worth knowing how you reach the audiences. When an organisation knows what makes donors tick, the donors are served better. An organisation may be appealing to some but not to others. This is why an organisation must see to it that you know your market well. An organisation must not only focus on the fundraising events but on the mission of the organisation as well.

It is also important that you give a clear message to your prospects so they will know your objective. You will not achieve the outcome you are looking for if the donors are not fully satisfied with the objective of your organisation. It is interesting to note that every donor is unique. If you want to get a more effective result, you need to focus on your market audiences. More often than not, donors continue to support an organisation if they can relate to its mission and vision.

While it is good to succeed on your first fundraising event, your donors need to feel that they are valued by the organisations. An organisation should make donors happy with or without the event. Evaluate your performance as a fundraiser. Were you able to address your donors’ needs? Have you properly present your objective in organising an event? If donors detect that you are sincere in your efforts and your events are aligned to your mission and vision, they will not hesitate to provide long-term support.

What Makes Fundraising A Rewarding Experience?

DSC 9480 1179Fundraising is both a demanding and rewarding job. A person involved in a fundraising organisation needs to be active in a community not only to reach out to potential donors, but also to keep the organisation on its feet. A donor is an essential component of a fundraising organisation. However, it is not enough that you have plenty of donors. It is also important that you retain donors so there is continuity in your fundraising efforts. One of the challenging aspects of being involved in a fundraising organisation is convincing donors to support an organisation.

Potential donors have many questions to ask and most of which are rigorous because they themselves are successful in their field. They have all the reasons to ask tough questions because they are about to put their trust in an organisation they have just known. When your mission and vision are not directly aligned with their expectations and values, it will be hard to win their nod.

When asking for support, you need to be familiar with how your organisation works because you will be introducing it to prospects. They have to know the how they can benefit from your organisation. If you have an impressive number of supporters, you will realise that they are indeed a great boost to your organisation. This is one reason fundraising is so rewarding in spite of the challenges along the way.

When it comes to fundraising, success does not necessarily have to be measurable. The mere fact that you are getting donors to support a good cause is enough to continuously exert extra effort. There are some roadblocks that may hamper the organisation’s growth, but if everyone is involved, there is no reason that the organisation will fail at achieving personal and team goals. Even as a leader, a person is not immune to committing mistakes. This is why it is important to take full responsibility for these mistakes. Failure does not limit your chances for success as it only hones your ability to fight back. In fundraising, everyone must be a co-contributor and no task is greater than the other.

Not everyone has the ability to run a fundraising organisation because it takes more than just leadership skills to lead a fundraising group. A fundraiser may consider running a fundraising organisation rewarding when many people can benefit from the efforts. Fundraising teaches valuable lessons that everyone can learn from including donors, board of directors and volunteers.

Does Charity Fundraising Need To Change Tactics?

support on sign showing customer help and advice G1iYTQP Although the attention that charity fundraising gets is overwhelming, thanks to the large amounts of direct mail, some activities have been found to be unacceptable. Is there a need for a change? Like all tactics or strategies being used by organisations, there are some limitations that must be kept in mind because not all strategies will work all the time. Due to the proliferation of strategies inspired by modern technology, charity fundraising must take tactics to the next level. Even when the strategies are very effective in getting donors to support an organisation’s cause, it does not necessarily mean that there is no need for modernisation. Donors may get bored if they find out that you are employing the same techniques for years.

When donors no longer feel the need to support an organisation, they just take a different direction. In the past, people rely on marketing materials and sales to obtain additional information about a particular aspect of life such as taking a holiday. However, companies need to keep up with the fast-paced digital technology.

What makes charity fundraising less appealing?

The digital age has so much to offer. It provides information that often serves as an interruption to a person’s daily activity. Aside from checking out your email, mailbox and answering machine, you will also have to deal with other interruptions such as social media channels. Where there are more interruptions than the donors can handle, information becomes less valuable. Does this mean, we should stop sending fundraising letters to prospects? This is not necessarily the case. Organisations just need to learn when and how to be in touch with prospects.

Due to information overload, donors become less tolerant of organisations that are offering the same. If these techniques used to provide valuable information to readers or audience, they become a form of interruption in the digital age. When these methods are predominantly used to raise funds, things become redundant and too common to be noticed. Charities need to keep in mind that a traditional marketing strategy that used to be a good form of interruption requiring a prospect to take action is now less valuable because everyone has a channel.

People do not want to be interrupted. Marketing should be about earning and retaining donors. When charities create a community, there is an opportunity to recreate the real power of digital technology. When donors are interrupted, charities become less and less attractive. Instead of donating, they will think of the organisation as a major blockage to fulfilling a particular task because they need to stop and check out their email.

Charities also need to recognise donor engagement. If the tactics used to work for them, it does not necessarily mean it will work forever. Always pay heed to what the donors need and respond to the requirements of various stakeholders. This way you will be able to meet the donors’ demands and take on the challenges that organising a charity fundraising entails. Although the technique is as simple as re-evaluating your fundraising techniques, the positive outcome you wish to happen will never take place unless the organisation starts to make a change.

Workplace Philanthrophy: Charity Begins At The Office

heart shaped symbol as medical technology concept GktZQ9H Charity at the office is considered a growing trend in spite of taking only baby steps. One thing good about workplace philanthrophy is willingness of employees to contribute to charitable causes by utilising their resources including their time and money. These days, workplace giving programs are easier to administer and set up because there are new technology platforms that maximise employees’ efforts. In the past, workplace giving programs were struggling because there are several factors that get in the way. Aside from lack of experience and awareness in delivering programs, the people behind the program also lack understanding of how corporate and charity sector works.

With workplace giving that encourages employees to develop a habit to donate to their chosen charity, a fundraising event will not be difficult to organise. It is evident that workplace philanthrophy is making big waves. Based on Australian Charities Fund, approximately 250 million dollars was raised in January 2016 alone. These funds were joined by 3,100 employers and benefitted by 300 charities. Without a doubt, these figures are impressive and they are making a difference in terms of the income and service delivery of charities, which are connected with good programs.

With these figures, organisations will be more inspired to improve the techniques and take workplace giving to the next level. Corporate social responsibility is considered a key driver of workplace philanthrophy because employers will get to decide on the part their business is going to play in contributing to the social good. Employers will also encourage employees to contribute and participate in peer to peer fundraising.

Progressive companies that have plans will take corporate social responsibility seriously. An employer needs to be committed so employees are motivated to make a profit from their own contribution. With the help of social media, inspiring fundraising stories will be shared with the prospective donors and the action plan will be in effect.

Peer-to-peer fundraising also involves sacrifice and when everyone in your business is involved, you know that the vital component of corporate social responsibility is obtained. Not only does it create a huge impact on your campaign but on your fundraising efforts as well. With the use of innovative online platforms, you can be sure the employees will create and track giving campaigns. Employees are also given the opportunity to stay flexible and transparent. As a result, employees will have the opportunity to connect the donor with the mission of the organisation. Efforts must be continuous so retention and long-term engagement are achieved.

Email Fundraising Myths An Organisation Might Still Be Embracing

email button for sending message over internet fkrygHvdAlthough most fundraising efforts are done online, it does not necessarily mean that digital fundraising yield positive results. There are donors who may come across your organisation, but this does not mean they are going to donate. Email fundraising is one of the popular tools to reach out to potential donors. It has unlimited potential of ensuring that all potential donors are aware of your organisation’s mission and vision.

Email has already replaced print

Although most people communicate digitally, this does not necessarily mean that email has replaced print. Digital communication has some limitations and more often than not, it is used for membership renewals. If donors are not used to receiving membership renewals through email, they are most likely to delete the emails instead of keeping them. It is also too late to go back if the donors have already deleted the emails. You need to redo the process so you will get the response you are looking for.

Email is free

When crafting emails that can help you establish relationships with donors, it is important that you dedicate your time and effort to write. Once your fundraising letter is ready, you should also take some time to test the email. Email is not free because it will cost you your precious time. You will also have to monitor your emails after you sent it. Monitoring your emails is important because it ensures that unsubscribes are being honoured. You will also know the number of people who are reporting your email as spam.

Everyone has email address

There might be a lot of potential donors and supporters out there but not all of them have an email address. Some may have email, but not everyone is reading their email. These people use their social accounts to communicate and this lets email take a backseat. There are also email programs that categorise email appeals into a ‘promotions’ tab. As a result, your email is less likely to be noticed.

Fundraising emails must be brief and concise because potential donors do not have all the time in the world to read everything in your email. Key points must be presented in such a way that will capture the reader’s interest. It is not about sending the longest email so you can impress potential donors, but conveying the message so donors will understand the objective that your organisation wishes to achieve. Once you keep donors away from distractions, they are going to be more focused on reading your email.

 

Is Donor Fatigue A Myth?

hand picking puzzle to piggy bank as concept zkF15qruThe prompt response and donations you get from donors are just overwhelming that you want to go the extra mile so you can continuously get more donors to support your fundraising organisation. So you prepare your fundraising letter and since you have attracted donors using the same letter, you did not bother to make it more personalised. However, instead of attracting more donors, you are not getting any. Worse, your existing donors have suddenly stopped getting in touch with your organisations. Should you blame the lack of donations on donor fatigue? Is this a natural thing that happens to existing donors?

Does the interest of donors have limitations?

It might be easy to think that the donor’s interest is only short-lived, but if you are going to analyse it, donors can stay if organisations know how to take good care of them. Is there a secret to ensuring that you retain donors? Even when you are already becoming repetitive, you can still ensure that every interaction you may with donors are unique.
Fundraising is not about your enjoyment it is about connecting donors with your organisation’s impact. Although you are saying the same thing over and over, it does not necessarily mean that you are becoming repetitive. You can still make each interaction unique to every donor. Once you start reconnecting with your passion to ask donors, you will be able to see the connection.

It is not an easy job to retain your donors especially the ones that have been very passionate from the start. However, if you start to take your fundraising to the next level, you will be able to realize that your donors can be deemed to be more than just a donation. If donors are no longer connecting the way they used to, then you know that something is wrong.

Donor fatigue is not a myth because donors can also grow tired of donating in your organisation if they do not see any results. While it takes time before you earn a donor’s trust, investing your time and effort can really make a difference. The effort you put into the organisation and donors will pay off once you notice the donor’s growing interest. You should also keep in mind that retaining donors is no walk in the park as it involves establishing a good relationship with them. If you value them as a person instead of just a donor, you will be able to realise the importance of making a connection.

 

3 Simple Principles That Make A Fundraising Organisation Succeed

jigsaw puzzle G16cZPOOEvery organisation formulates a strategy to keep up with the tough competition among fundraising organisations. Even if you have previously succeeded in your fundraising efforts, there are times when you have suddenly lost your passion for helping others or making a difference. The first thing you need to remember is that ideas you use for your organisation need to be re-energised. For an organisation to be successful, you need to be consistently passionate about your job.

Building strong relationships is essential to fundraising success

You may have the money and machinery to reach out to donors by sending out a fundraising appeal, but the positive response will only be temporary if you do not do something to take care of your donors. Establishing strong relationships may seem like a basic principle, but it creates a powerful impact on donors. Even if your donor has supported your fundraising organisation, it does not guarantee you of long-term support. You need to take care of your donors so you can develop relationships and gain additional support.

Once you have identified the people who might want to support your organisation, the next step to take is to develop a relationship through cultivation activities. Ask should only be made after the relationship has been built. The organisation needs to work hard to maintain a positive relationship with the donors so follow up donations will be received.

Scalable fundraising efforts are the best

It may take time before you cultivate a prospect and make an ask. In order to maximize your effort, you need to have a development person that will be responsible for getting in touch with potential donors, holding events, writing grants and sending out mail. The process needs to be scheduled based on your fundraising goals. The development person you should appoint needs to have the ability to dedicate his/ her time to make the fundraising event a success. For these goals to be achieved, your fundraising efforts must be scalable. You will also have to remember that you can only maximise your efforts if you have enough people in your team.

Everyone is responsible for the success of fundraising

Fundraising is important to the success of your organisation and all members of your organisation should be made aware of their responsibility. Everyone should assist with fundraising and this means they should be willing to help to make every fundraising event a success. Active participation means selling tickets to events, providing contacts and making personal asks. Although each board member may have a different task, your organisation should still be focused on one goal. For all members to participate in helping you fundraise, they need to understand that all of them are expected to actively participate.

You will also need to offer fundraising training regularly so the staff or board members will be able to know the fundraising strategy they should use for your efforts to succeed. It can just be a short session of not more than 2 hours. This way, they will have an idea of the approaches to use to maximise their efforts to fundraise.

7 Techniques To Keep Your Online Donations Rolling In

silver laptop isolated on white Mygv2Eo Aside from ensuring that your online donation page gets some traffic, you should also see to it that donations are consistent. Just because donors visit your donation page does not necessarily mean they are going to proceed with hitting the “donate” button. More often than not, prospects are inclined into ditching the donation page when they do not feel any connection to your fundraising organisation. You might have gone digital, but missing out on the essentials is also a perfect recipe for disaster.

Optimising your online donations is key:

1.    Think of retaining donors before you even get one. When you are focused on getting prospective donors to visit your online donation page, the first goal is to attract donors, but failing to retain donors is just as worse as not getting any. You many have an impressive amount of donations, but if it is just one-shot deal, the essence of getting donors is overlooked. Your confirmation page needs to be optimised so you can generate a second interaction.

2.    Remove distractions on your page. It is easy to get side tracked with other elements found in your donation page. The page may have outbound links that deter a prospective donor from focusing on the donation form. Strip away competing elements on your donation page. The prospective donors should only see a donation form where they can concentrate on making a donation.

3.    Create a branded giving page. This page refers to a page on your website where an online donation form can be found. There are good reasons branded giving pages are beneficial to your website: 1. it saves visitors from taking another step; 2. a branded giving page is more trustworthy.

4.    Make your website mobile-friendly. Donors who can conveniently make a donation on your website using their mobile device will find this option a huge advantage. As everyone goes digital, your online donation page should not be left behind.

5.    Avoid overloading the donor with too many requests. Donors do not have the time to comply with your requests for personal information so you need to collect the ones you will use immediately such as the name. You can ask for the donors’ email address or phone number later.

6.    Give options to donors. If you do not have any suggested gift amounts, donors are pressured to donate the amount that they think is acceptable to you. Due to this perception, they are less likely to make a donation. These choice barriers are eliminated if you include the suggested gift amounts. Make sure the amounts are researched so donors will know the purpose of each option.

7.    Get the donor’s communication channel preference. A donor can be retained if you know how they would like to be communicated especially when it comes to following the donation. This information must be collected as early as possible so you can establish a good relationship with the donor. Avoid sending generic emails and focus on personalised emails. These days, the most preferred communication channels are email, social media, phone and mail.

How To Hold A Successful Fundraising Event

business strategy pyramid showing teamwork and plan fJ6lLMwdA fundraising event cuts both ways: the negative and the positive. It is great way raise money, but it is also expensive and time consuming. Before you focus on the strategies to use for your fundraising event, you need to keep in mind that careful planning is also required so you can be sure that your will hosting a winning event. Planning is the first step to winning the race to raising money.

Ten components of a fundraising event plan:

1.    Create a Purpose. You cannot proceed with other steps unless you know the purpose of the event. Do you intend to raise money or gain publicity? Knowing the purpose of the event will help you determine the goals you wish to achieve.

2.    Know your Goals. Aside from creating a purpose, you must also decide what amount of money you wish to raise at the event. If it is a fundraising event, it is important that your event plant is geared towards the specific amount of money. You should also see to it that the amount you choose will appear as a net after all of the expenses have been deducted.

3.    Analyse your budget. A complete budget listing is necessary when holding the fundraising event. The budget should cover invitations, staff, space rental, catering, transportation, security, utilities and many others. One thing that you should take into account when creating a budget is your fundraising goal. Make sure you leave extra room in your budget as there might be some unforeseen costs you need take care.

4.    Appoint Leaders. Ideas from trusted fundraising leaders are also necessary to the success of the event. Substantial leaders who can provide insightful ideas can make wonders in ensuring that the event goes as planned.
5.    Identify your audience. Your fundraising event will not come to existence if you do not know your target audience. Do you want your event geared towards parents or young professionals? You must decide whom you want to invite to your fundraising event.

6.    Plan the event set-up. Plan your event set-up in advance and it should include all of the particulars of the actual fundraising event. The set-up includes the food that will be served the entertainment, the kind of dress required and the itinerary for the event.

7.    Draw up a marketing plan. Convincing your supporters that your event is worthy of their time and money should be included in your marketing plan.

8.    Decide who will sell the tickets. Whether you are accepting donations or selling the tickets, you need to decide whether you are going to assign someone to take care of different contribution levels for the event.

9.    Practice. A practice ensures that your operation runs smoothly especially if it is a large event. The key event staff should have a practice run to identify if there are some areas that still need some improvement.

10.    Thank volunteers, staff, vendors and contributors. Keeping donors and other people who have contributed to the success of the event can be as simple as saying thank you. Anyone involved in the event will be happy if you take the time to thank them.

Use Internet On Fundraising

internet vector abstract f1WyybDu LOrganisations that heavily rely on the power of internet to create bigger and better fundraising goals have been disappointed because things did not go as planned. While there are no standardised rules when it comes to fundraising on the Internet, there are organisations that still set unrealistic expectations when it comes to using the Internet for raising money. Fundraising on the Internet should not be the only tool to use for getting more donations. It is just a part of your fundraising mix. It is not a dominant form of raising money and even making the ‘donate now’ button bigger, it does not make any difference in achieving your fundraising goals. In your development efforts, these ways can help you maximize Internet’s effectiveness in raising money:

Build a List

Building a fundraising base can be done with the use of the Internet. It can complement your development efforts by means of building an e-mail update list. While this is a great strategy, which is common among online businesses, fundraising organisations have not completely latched on to this strategy.  Have you ever wondered why there is a sign up form on every website? This is to encourage visitors to sign up for your e-mail newsletter. Once people come to your website, they can stay in the loop by signing up. You can also stay in touch with people who signed up by providing them interesting news about your organisation. This way, they will have an idea about your mission, vision and work.

Use the Internet in Raising Money Directly

Although using the internet is just a way of complement your current fundraising activity, building a list can also help you raise money directly through your website. This is where ‘donate now’ button comes in. There are web-only campaigns that have celebrated huge success and this all boils down to using an effective strategy that is unique to your organisation. More often than not, an effective campaign does not require big donations. They often start with small donations and when donors believe in the purpose of fundraising, they are more likely to contribute consistently.

Optimise your Site

These strategies will be useless if you do not market your site. It is also important that your website is visible on search engines so Internet users will know your cause. How can prospective donors support your organisation if they do not know anything about it? Submit your website to main search engines and make an effort to optimise it so you can benefit from using the Internet for your fundraising campaign. It will be impossible to receive donations through the web without website visitors.

The Internet is an effective fundraising tool when used properly. Build your list, complement your activities using the internet and do not forget to market your website. As you follow these fundraising best practices, you will be able to reap the benefits of using the Internet for raising money and reaching out to donors and supporters.

Turning Supporters Into Donors: Is It Possible?

group of people with like symbol social network concept f184OtROIs there such a thing as fundraising in a bottle? Can the biggest riddle in fundraising have a definite answer? Social media is one way of gaining supporter, but what good is a supporter if they cannot be converted into real donors? While social media is a very useful tool for keeping supporters in the loop, the effort may not be enough if your supporters are not turned into long-term donors. When you think of using social media for fundraising, the first thing that comes to mind is viral fundraising. Yes, they can be very successful if the right materials are used, but these are one-time fundraising efforts. If you want to raise money consistently, viral fundraising is not the answer because it does not offer long-term solution.

If one of your primary goals is to turn social media supporters into donors, an actual system must be created. These systems may not be perfect, but once you have experimented on different strategies, you will be able to find the most effective method you should use.

Step One: Get Access To Supporters’ E-Mail Addresses.

The first step to take so social media fans and followers can become long-term donors is gathering your followers’ e-mail addresses. When you have the ability to communicate with your supporters personally, you will be able to provide them additional information about what your organisation can do. It is not just enough that you have thousands of supporters on social media because it is also your goal to build a true relationship with your supporters so they can eventually become donors. There are a number of ways to collect your followers’ email addresses such as directly asking them to sign up for your e-mail newsletter or giving them an option to sign up for e-mail newsletter.

Step Two: Establish A Good Relationship Through Email

Once their e-mail address is collected, send e-newsletter regularly. The newsletter needs to be mission-based and easy to read. The e-newsletter should be the basis of your online cultivation efforts. Sending e-mails should also have a system and make sure you talk to everyone who has signed up for your e-mail newsletter. Although you can use a template for sending e-mails, make sure these are also personalised by changing a sentence or two.

Step Three: Ask Supporters To Donate Through E-mail Fundraising Appeal

If you want to start with raising small or mid-level donations, e-mail fundraising letters are going to be an effective tool. Your supporters will feel connected if you are consistently provided with useful information about your fundraising campaign. Your supporters should also receive occasional personalised e-mail form your campaign. E-mails must be sent to your supporters at least once a week.

When  social media’s effectiveness in raising supporters is maximized, soon enough, your supporters can turn into donors. The gesture becomes effortless when it is consistently done. The only way supporters detach from your organisation is when they no longer feel connected to it. However, when you make a conscious effort to connect with them and make every connection more personalised, it will not be possible for your followers to become your long-term donors.

3 Essential Fundraising Boosters When The Going Gets Tough

IMG 3890 974Every organisation goes the extra mile to maintain or improve fundraising techniques as a way of supercharging activities and ensure donor’s continued patronage. Any effective tactic that an organisation decides to include in the list of fundraising activities can increase engagement on donors and board members. Any fundraising activity can be enhanced with the use of boosters. They are important because they work wonders on your revenues. These boosters can have a positive impact on your events, letters and even online fundraising campaigns.

1.    Appoint a champion who will take full responsibility for that tactics you have created.

For an organisation to succeed, it needs a champion that can take responsibility in ensuring that the tactics are applied accordingly. These tactics will be useless if someone is not pushing them to succeed. Each person must be assigned to each of your tactics and they must be provided with resources so they can succeed in their mission.

When you are working on improving a specific campaign, it is best to appoint someone who is passionate about helping the campaign succeed. Truth be told, not everyone is willing to participate in running a fundraising campaign that can increase your organisation’s revenue. Some may have excuses while others simply do not like the idea. If you assume all of your members are going to help your organisation improve a new tactic, efforts and time are wasted. However, if you consider appointing one member who will take the lead, then you will be hitting two birds with one stone as you motivate team members and track progress at the same time.

2.    Add time and resources to increase donor engagement.

Adding a personal contact component is beneficial to any fundraising tactic. With additional time and resources, you will be able to allow your team to make personal phone calls or do personal meetings with existing or prospective donors. When you add a personal touch to your strategies, there is a guarantee that your revenues or income will increase.

You can use this booster when sending out an annual appeal letter. For instance, if 10% of your donors have the potential to support your cause, you can make follow ups to ensure that they got the letter or if they have any questions on the fundraising activities and events. When you personalise every contact, you will be able to identify if the areas that your organisation needs to improve on.

3.    Work hard to maintain great relationships with your supporters.

When you have already established a good relationship with your supporters, you need to leverage your relationships so your donors or supporters will continue to provide ample support to your organisation. Reaching out to your current donors is a good move, but you need to be consistent in your efforts. Send out emails and ask for their feedback about the campaign so you will know the areas you need to work on.

The goal of ensuring that your fundraising efforts pay off will be achieved if you include these boosters in every strategy that you make. Not only will you retain current donors, but will win the trust of potential donors as well.

What Does Your Board Of Directors Need To Succeed In Fundraising?

push pin on idea GkmcZuvdAny organisation would like to have a board of directors that is motivated and enthusiastic. However, many organisations are filled with disappointment because the efforts shown by their board members are not enough to succeed with fundraising. There are reasons board members do not have the motivation to do everything for fundraising. There are three key things that an organisation needs to consider so the board will excel at fundraising.

Motivate Your Board

It is difficult to motivate board members if they do not know the reason they are raising money. They should understand the impact of fundraising on the organisation’s facilities and program for them to appreciate the need to exert additional efforts. Board members may have heard the same old story that they feel they are doing a routine instead of fulfilling a mission. If your board members have unpleasant experiences with fundraising in the past, now is the time for you to do things differently and positively.

Board members also need to understand why you need to raise money now. It is easy to accomplish a goal when you show your board members that your needs really exist. Board members should not only focus on raising money as you should also help them find a job that they can sustain and be comfortable with.

Educate Your Board Members

If board members have preconceived notions about your organisation, they will be hesitant to give 100% of their commitment. Educating your board members with how your organisation works will get rid of grey areas and provide them a deeper understanding of the tasks they need to fulfil. When board members have uneasy feelings, it will be difficult to earn their trust. Even if you have the purest of intentions, you will not get your board members to support you if something is not clear to them.

Board members should also have fundraising knowledge so tasks are done correctly. Board members should introduce your work and organisation in the community as fundraising ambassadors, but how can this be done if you do not know the roles they are going to play? Board members must be taught to tell great stories about your organisation so they can report results back and determine your team’s development. Your board members will not hesitate to help you achieve your goals if they know the task they are going to carry out.

Provide Tools For Fundraising Success

For your board members to do the job properly and successfully, it is important they are provided with the tools for success. If you are going to ask them to do some tasks for your organisation, there are certain tools for the job that must be available for your board members. These tools include brochures, annual reports, fliers, scripts and stories.
When these tools for success are ready, it will be easier for your board members to execute your plan and make every fundraising event a success. Your board members can contribute to the success of your organisation once the tools they need are available. Make it a point to assess their development and ask them if they need anything to improve their task.

Words And Phrases Every Donor Should Hear


thank you computer key as online thanks message zkKRfzPdIn getting donors to support a fundraising organisation, a person has to make an effort to reach out to prospects through letters, social media, phone, emails and newsletters. When there is great communication, an organisation can get an assurance of great fundraising. However, not all organisations can win donor’s nod because of fundraising letters that send the wrong signal. Some may take time to write an almost perfect fundraising letter paying more attention to grammar and punctuation. Sadly, the best fundraising letter is not just about grammar and punctuation because it also has something to do with how you connect with donors. As a fundraiser, you need to make sure that donors feel appreciated and recognised.

Phrases And Words That You Should Include In Your Fundraising Letter:

Thank You

Although donors give without expecting something in return, they will appreciate it if your organisation recognises their kindness. Sending a thank you note should not be done after you receive a check from a donor because it should be a regular habit. Thank them for their support so they will not feel you are just reaching out to them because of the donation you will receive. Donors will not hesitate to give again if you make them feel appreciated.

You

How would you feel if the person you are having a conversation with always talks about themselves? Would you still be interested in hearing what they have to say? Donors will also feel bored if all they can see in your letter is about your organisation. They also want to know how they are going to impact your organisation. Donors are turned off if you make them feel excluded. “You” is an important word in your fundraising letter because donors will feel loved, appreciated and important.

Our

You might get confused as to why “our” is also important in writing a fundraising letter when talking about the organisation most of the time can turn donors off. However, there are some exceptions to the rule. When “our” is used properly and sparingly, it can have a positive impact on donors. “Our” will make your donors feel they are part of your organisation. You must also keep in mind that it takes hard work for you to get your donors to be involved in your organisation.

Legacy

When a donor is part of your organisation’s mission and vision, they will not hesitate to give their support.  A fundraising letter should leave a lasting legacy so donors will feel invited. Your fundraising letter can be a big game-changer if you used the right words. This is why a fundraising letter that uses the right words and phrases is very instrumental to getting a donor to support your organisation.

Your organisation may have the purest of intentions to reach out to donors, but if you do not bring up the topic to your donors, they will not know your objective. To ensure growth and sustainability of your organisation, make sure you take some time to invest in a fundraising letter that creates a powerful impact on your donors.

Know These Three Audiences Before Writing A Fundraising Letter

mail on mailbox showing sending letters fJfLJEvdFundraising letters are very powerful when it comes to connecting with prospective donors. It is often used by organisations because it provides a way to communicate a fundraiser’s cause. Some fundraising letters are effective while others are not. Before you start writing a fundraising letter to your donors, you need to keep in mind that you have big shoes to fill. Have you ever wondered why some fundraising letters do not get any positive response? Donors are not created equal. Some of them have the luxury of time to read what your organisation has to say, while others will just look through your mail. Profiling your audiences is important if you do not want to find your letter in the trash can.

Three types of audiences

The Readers: These are the audiences that take the time to read your letter. They are willing to dedicate 1 to 2 minutes of their time, to read your headlines and to know more about your fundraising campaign. When an audience is interested in your fundraising mail, it only means they want to get additional information that will help them decide if they are going to support you. Avoid lengthy mails and focus on designing a direct mail that can create a lasting impact on your audience.

The Skimmers: While others take the time to read, some readers are skimmers. They will either read headlines or just look at pictures. For these audiences, you need to create a fundraising letter that catches their eye or your mail will be on its way to trash can. These people may be inclined to checking your organisation’s mission, but this will only be possible if your objective is aligned to what your organisation believes in.  Never miss the opportunity to convince these audiences to support your organisations because for skimmers your letter will either draw or withdraw support.

The 10 Second Reader: Most readers fall into this category and this type of audience simply look at your piece and forget about it. You are lucky if you are going to see your piece in their hands for 10 seconds.

The impact of your fundraising letter

When writing your letter, you need to remember that not everyone will read through the entire letter. Focus on 10-second window because this is the most crucial moment that can either capture or reduce your audience’s interest. An amazing copy is essential to get audiences to read your letter. Before you write a letter, always remember the factors that can draw enough people in to read and understand your letter. However, this does not necessarily mean that you should only concentrate on strong headlines because the content of your letter also matters.
If you have an interesting headline, readers will take the time to take a look at the other components of your letter such as the sub-headlines, pull-quotes, pictures and picture captions. These items must be included in your and consider your readers as your priority so you will be able to formulate the kind of letters that suit a reader’s profile.

How Do Positive Communications Impact Your Donors?

look forward letter GJrbtUvuAs a fundraiser, try putting yourself in the donor’s shoe. How would you feel if an organisation is putting pressure on you just so you would make a gift or donate regularly? While you have already committed into giving, the pressure can be unbearable and may even be one of the reasons donors leave. Some organisations can become aggressive when it comes to asking for support or donations. It is understandable that they have goals to achieve and time can really get in the way especially when they have not collected much over a limited period of time. However, putting pressure on donors will never do the trick. Before you send your letters to your donors, ponder on this question:

Would you still read your letters if the organisation makes you feel bad?

Organisations often use fundraising letters as a tool to get the donors’ nod, but they can go overboard when the letters only make them feel bad or guilty. These organisations might think that negative feelings can be translated into revenue, but this might not be the case. As a fundraising organisation, your donors must feel inspired. Donors like to see an organisation create a positive and powerful impact in the world. The purpose is defeated if all they see is badly written fundraising letter. Although your letters need to evoke strong emotions, these emotions do not have to be tantamount to making your donors feel guilty if they do not make a gift or donations. These are two different things.

Your letter should outline the problems that your organisation wants to eradicate. Once donors have an idea about your objective and purpose, they will try to know more about your mission and vision. The role of your donors is to help your organisation make a difference by means of donating to your cause.

The Long Term Effect Of Positive Communication

If you want lifetime donor value, you should create development programs that are sustainable. These programs will only be executed properly if you find donors who can give to your organisation consistently. When donors are satisfied with what they are getting from your organisation, they will also refer the organisation to their family, colleagues and friends. Even if donors who feel a sense of guilt are most likely to donate, your organisation will not leave any positive impact. They will not even look forward to receive your letters because they know for a fact that you will only make them feel guilty if they do not make a gift. It is less likely for these donors to upgrade or continue donating if they felt they were berated and humiliated.

Donors are one of your key contributors to the success of your organisation. Think of them as people that can give your organisation a chance to make a difference. You need to make use of powerful fundraising techniques to connect with your donors. They are going to donate over and over again if they feel they have a connection with your organisation. Avoid making them feel guilty because even if they donate, the possibility of upgrade or referrals will be far from happening.

Signs Of Donor Withdrawal You Should Not Ignore

no word showing denial panic and negativity MkrnONPdIt is indeed great news to capture a donor’s interest in your organisation and its cause. They are the biggest boosters of your organisation because the donors can also invite families and friends to fundraising events and make a major gift commitment. However, there are instances when things do not go the organisation’s way and you may wonder why you have not received any gift from the donor in almost a year. You try to find out what went wrong and you start to look on social media. You discover that the donor is no longer communicating with your organisation. This is the sad truth about donors that organisations sometimes fail to recognise. Once the excitement wears off, the donor’s involvement also starts to get weaker. Inspite of calling them, you hardly get a call back from them.

Early Signs Of Donor Withdrawal

•    Donors no longer replies or reposts. A donor who is interested in your organisation’s events will make an effort to repost, forward or reply. There might be a problem with your organisation if a supporter suddenly stops replying. Aside from not receiving any reply from them, it is also a warning sign if a donor stops forwarding your email newsletters or following your social media activity. It is either they are disinterested or bored in your work or communications.

•    Meetings are getting shorter. Another warning sign that your donor is withdrawing its support is when you have shorter meetings and calls. This only means your donor loses its excitement in supporting your organisation. If meetings that used to go on for an hour are getting shorter, your donor may no longer feel connected with your organisation.

•    The donor fails to show up in your organisation’s fundraising event. If your donor used to attend your fundraising events regularly but you are presently having difficulties convincing them to show up in your event, this can be a cause for alarm. The motivation to attend is no longer present and one thing is for sure, your organisation no longer captures your donor’s interest.

•    The donor misses regular gift. When a donor misses a regular gift, this sign already sets off the alarms. It is necessary to take action if your donor constantly misses a regular gift. You might risk losing your donor permanently if you do not take drastic action.

How To Bring Your Donor Back?

Just because donors have lost interest in your organisation does not mean you cannot bring them back. They just need to be re-engaged with your organisation with these simple ways:

1.    Reconnect with your donors by making an effort to recognize the support they have given in the past. Think about the factor that made your donors stay connected with the organisation’s mission and vision.

2.    Establish the relationship outside of the organisation. Building relationships with your donor does not always have to revolve around fundraising. You can also invite them in an event that can capture their interest. This way, your donors will realise they are more than just a donation.

3.    Speak with your withdrawing donors. An honest conversation with your withdrawing donors will help you determine how you can reengage with your work. Inform them that they are less involved with your organisation and get reasons so you will know how you can poke their interest.