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!

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.


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.


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.


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.

The Four Key Roles Of Board Members

can message giving encouragement or inspiration G1mt BwdThere are fundraisers who have the notion that board of directors are the organisation’s movers and shakers, but the wrong concept of how this board of directors work can bring frustration. When managers and fundraisers become frustrated and annoyed with their board members, nothing will ever work. The organisation will be the one to suffer because of wrong expectations. If these expectations are not properly managed, the board will eventually suffer from constant turnover. Your board is extremely helpful in more ways than one. However, this needs to be a team effort and by team effort means board members and other co-contributors must also do their part to ensure success in fundraising.

The Key Roles Your Board Members Play:

FUNDRAISING SUPPORT: Your board plays a supporting role to help you with your fundraising efforts. This is the role that board members enjoy the most because it provides them a chance to create a real impact on the organisation without necessarily being pressured to ask or make introductions. They can make some contributions without trying to meet expectations. There are various ways your members can act as a support and this role can be fulfilled in many ways including attending events, meetings and even making thank you calls to donors.

FUNDRAISING AMBASSADORS: Each of your board members must also serve as a fundraising ambassador for your organisation and this role can be fulfilled if they have the willingness to fundraise when asked to. To be an effective fundraising ambassador, it is important that your board members create connections with people you do not know. Your board members will be the one to introduce these people and your role is to cultivate and communicate with these people. Establish a relationship so they will feel connected with your organisation and decide to become a donor.

FUNDRAISING DONORS: Being a fundraising donor is also one of the major roles of board members. Although this is already a cliché, the primary goal of a fundraising organisation is 100% board giving. It is also the obligation of every board member to donate something to your organisation every year. When you make it a habit to encourage 100% board giving, you are also setting a good example and showing volunteers, staff and other donors of your commitment. Boards that are giving less than 100% will make donors wonder whether something is wrong with the organisation that they are not yet aware of.

FUNDRAISING VISIONARIES: board members must also act as visionaries of your organisation as they must provide leadership for your program and strategy. The board will also create a path and decide whether the organisation will be shrinking, growing or maintaining its current status in terms of services and programs. These are going to directly impact your fundraising goals. As visionaries, the board must also set fundraising goals for the organisation and make sure that firm deadlines are set. As fundraising visionaries, it is also important that the board ensures the fundraising program is equipped with budget, people and other essential resources it needs so revenue goals are met.

Fundraising Mistakes That Block Your Organisation’s Progress

pass fail shows exam or test results zklpsGwOAre there negative forces that prevent your organisation from reaching the peak of success? Do you dwell on pre-conceived notions about fundraising? There are fundraising mistakes that can cause a serious impact on every organisation. These are often considered recurring mistakes that when left unchecked, they will become one of the reasons for the downfall of an organisation. Oftentimes, these mistakes are very simple, but they can complicate your organisation.

Common Fundraising Misconceptions:

1.    Focusing on rich people to raise money – it is very common for most organisations to focus on potential donors who are wealthy for the belief that they are the only key to raising big money. For an organisation that does not know any rich people, it is easy to get discouraged because of this misconception. However, the success of an organisation in raising money does not depend on the number of rich people you know. You should also keep in mind that an organisation must also have a solid plan. For an organisation to succeed, they should not focus on the size alone because the organisation’s mission is also important. Wealthy people are not the bread and butter of an organisation because you should also focus on other aspects such as getting the message out. You should also have the ability to relate the impact of your objective and the needs of your community.

2.    Wealth is a strong determining factor of a person’s willingness to donate – there are three factors that come into play when a person donates and these are the concern for the cause, financial capacity and the connection of the donor to the organization. Even if donors have incalculable wealth, they are the less likely to donate if do not feel they are connected to your organisation. If donors do not place any value on donating, your organisation is less likely to get the support you are looking for. Even if you are going to spend months wooing the donor, you will not win their nods if they do not want to support your organisation. Your organisation may have the inclination to list the names of wealthy people in your community that can potentially donate, but you should consider listing people who share the values of your organisation. Your donors will be more responsive if they can relate to your organisation and you are also assured they care about your mission.

3.    Your campaign will only be successful if you have a powerful board – perhaps you have a notion that only an organisation with powerful boards can have a successful campaign. If you are going to create a deep-dive analysis, you will realise that the success of a campaign is driven by how its people care about the mission. Many organisations will succeed if they put their heart in the organisation. If board members are involved and they do not set a time limit for participating in the organisation’s effort to raise money, the campaign will meet its needs and objective.  If you want to your organisation to have a powerful board, make sure you enlist people who believe in your cause and are willing to achieve the goal of your organisation.

Hype Up Your First Fundraising Event With These Techniques

school 1a 16 1460As you organise your very first fundraising event, you and your board members are filled with apprehensions and your head is in the clouds knowing you are completely clueless about the result of the upcoming event. While you are trying to shake off the negative thought, you just cannot help but entertain them as the event approaches. Yes, it is never easy to host a fundraising event because you need to meet if not exceed expectations. Regardless of your fundraising idea you can still get people to come to your event using marketing approaches. However, you need to take note that one size does not fit all. You still have to make sure that these approaches have a personal touch to call them your own.

Do Not Let Your First Fundraising Event Intimidate You

1.    Promote your event using all available online channels. It is time to take the pressure off your chest by promoting and managing your events. You can save time and money if you consider taking your invitations and marketing online. However, you should also keep in mind that you should not abandon offline communication. You can also spread the word using email marketing and share post about your fundraising event using various social media platforms. Online marketing can help you get valuable exposure, which can gain a myriad of supporters.

2.    Captivate your audience, ask for feedback. When organising an event, it is not just about getting more people to attend the event because you should also let the people know your cause. You need to engage with your potential donors and supporters for you to know how to capture their interest. For the event to be a success, you should have passionate supporters. You will never know who fits the bill if you do not gather feedback and testimonials.

3.    Ensure your event is relevant to your donors. An event that appeals to your donors can increase involvement. Your donors need to be tied to your event so there will be relevance. Donors may hesitate attending your fundraising event if they cannot relate to it. Once people are connected and engaged with you, they will develop passion for your cause.

4.    Set clear goals. Your first fundraising event may be overwhelming because of the expectations from donors and whether you are organising a fundraising event for raising money or awareness, your goals need to be reasonable and realistic.

5.    Prepare a follow up plan. When you prepare for a fundraising event, you need to have a follow up plan so you can clearly identify what else needs to be done. Sending thank-you notes, an email blast, posting event pictures and follow-up calls should be part of your follow-up plan. Do not forget to stay in touch with people you hosted so you continue to ignite a spark of interest and excitement.

Hosting your first fundraising event can be challenging especially when you are pressured to meet expectations. However, taking it one step at a time can lessen the pressure and regardless of the cause, it is important that you have fun.

Three Essential P’s For Fundraising

assortment of coloured pencils zyuAeAPdIf you consider yourself a modern fundraiser, you may have surely tried a plethora of new approaches and ideas that can help you with your fundraising strategies. However, not all of the strategies are designed to provide excellent results. They can be considered rehashed versions of the old approaches. They are old strategies hiding behind the façade of new techniques. You will know you are using the same approach because they yield the same result. It is easy to be deceived by new fundraising approaches especially if they come in shiny or flashy packages. You can easily get attracted to the idea of using app-based fundraising tools, but you are not sure if they are going to give you positive results.

Before you consider using new products and strategies for your fundraising organisation, try these 3 P’s:

•    Pause. If you find yourself trying every new fundraising technology and strategy, you may need to pause for a while and make an assessment. There is no need to implement new strategies because what may be effective for some may not be effective for others. Instead of chasing every new fundraising strategy, assess existing fundraising ideas and technologies so you will know which approaches are still effective. There is no use holding on to old strategies if they are no longer working. When assessing the strategies you have already used, start with the basics.

•    Plan. After assessing your strategies, you should also develop a plan. It is not enough that you formulate a plan because you should also inform your organisation about these plans and revise them if there are additional suggestions from your members. When planning your fundraising activities, focus on the basics and keep in mind that a large portion of your money comes from individual donors. These donors appreciate personal communication and missing out on covering the basics may deter you from expanding your horizons. If there is a need to use new ideas, choose two ideas at a time and stick with them. Test new tactics choose the most effective strategy.

•    Pursue.  Developing a plan is not enough without pursuing it. Do not allow yourself to get side tracked by new techniques. If you have already chosen two new ideas, there is no need to confuse yourself by adding more. Focus on how you can make these ideas more effective. Towards the end of the year, review the ideas you have chosen for you to find out how well they worked for your organisation. If your organisation has succeeded because of these strategies, then keep them. Discard them if you they have made any contribution to the success of your organisation.

Why Is It Important For Members To Understand The Big Picture?

education 548105 640In fundraising, missing the big picture because of focusing only on a single part can create a ripple effect on the success of the campaign. This is why it is required for board members to participate in fundraising to understand the big picture. As they effectively participate in meetings and other activities, they will be able to understand how your organisation is funded. Fundraising is a combination of contributed and earned revenue, which finance your services and programs. The revenue also provides every member of the organisation an ability to make financial decisions that reflect on the vision of the organisation.

Before You Present Your Funding Mix To Your Board Members, Make Sure These Steps Are Not Missed:

•    Make mission a motivating factor to take action. Most likely than not, your conversation with your board will focus on funding, but money should not be the only factor that will fuel your board to run the programs and services. When you focus on the organisation’s mission, you are also creating a bridge between action around fundraising and passion for programs. There is a sense of balance and variation when you take this into consideration.

•    Give board members a deeper understanding of how contributions and earned income fund the organisation. If a board member misses the big picture, they may think that collecting fees for services denotes that the organisation’s fundraising needs are not really that great. They need to obtain thorough explanation of the percentage of total revenue that each of your sources provides. They should also be aware of the type of funding that these sources represent.

•    Help boards realise the importance of investment of human and other resources. Your fundraising program does not solely focus on funds but on other resources as well. Board members often misconstrue fundraising as asking money and meeting budget goals. When they are not made aware of other tasks they should fulfil, they will only focus on raising money without realising the value of team work. Now, this is completely missing the big picture. It is essential you have a comprehensive dialogue with your board so you can help them understand the goals of your organisation. Do not simply emphasize the need to accomplish goals because if your board members are completely clueless where and how to start, nothing will be accomplished. People need to understand how something works. Otherwise, they will end up doing something for nothing. They are going to carry out the task without realising its value to the organisation and to their personal experience.

When you start a dialogue, you will also have the opportunity to find your board champions you can use for your fundraising campaign. Keep in mind that board members’ support is critical to the success of your organisation. Make sure you are aware of their potential and you should always remember that no ideas are better than the other. Every creative input is important. The idea may be brilliant, but if you are missing the big picture, you and the rest of the group will not share the same goals.

Reaching The Boiling Point And Changing Fundraising Strategies

construction worker with colorful signpost G1yzmYC An organisation needs to reach their boiling point before it realises that it is time to make some changes to their strategies. However, changes usually happen for the wrong reasons. For instance, if you require a change in your strategies because its response rates are falling or there is an increase in the acquisition costs, the positive change you wish to achieve is far from becoming a reality. It is important you understand the reason a change is necessary for your organisation. The reasons should not be superficial for the changes to yield long-term result.

The equation is really simple and since your donors are already connected, you can consider them as your channels because they have influence. With that being said, the issue is not really about the percentage of people who respond because you also have to consider analysing the reasons people do not respond and even those who had a bad experience also matter. Note that whether people have good or bad experience joining or supporting your organisation, they will share that experience and this can have a serious impact on your organisation and it all boils to the word of mouth.

A great example would be making a purchase of a mobile phone. What is the first thing you do to determine the manufacturer that suits your needs and preference? Most people turn to customer reviews to find out whether or not they are making the right choice. This is why customer reviews and recommendations have a strong impact on the success of your organisation. Your donors serve as your channels and they are considered your social capital. When they have a good experience, there is no doubt they will recommend your organisation to potential donors. There is no need to make drastic changes to your existing strategies, but you need to make sure they are at the top of your priority lists.

Here is how you can make a difference:

1.    The story you tell matters. There are stories that can potentially reach an impressive number of donors and there are stories that are less appealing to your prospects. It is important you develop the passion for telling touching stories that donors can relate to. These stories should have already touched lives of other people.

2.    Take time to map out all your supporters. Do not just focus on your donors because you should also think of your staff, supporters, suppliers, service providers, partners and beneficiaries. All of them are going to be a powerful channel.

3.    Be ready. Once people become inspired of your story, they will contact you with an offer so you need to be ready to response to them. You need to know how to handle responses and make sure you leave a positive experience to them. These prospects should know you are willing to go the extra mile to raise more money for the mission.

When it comes to changing your strategies, it does not have to take place instantly. Make sure you have properly determined the areas for improvement so you will know how to approach the problem effectively.

What Is Thoughtful Rebranding?

When it comes to thoughtful rebranding, it is important that you have a good organisational development process, which includes strategic planning. With this, an organisation will be able to see much better results than the organisations that fail to follow development processes. If you have all the resources needed for rebranding, a three-year rebranding will be a fast process.

Check if you still have clear vision and mission.

If you have not yet scheduled a meeting with your members to discuss your plan, it is best that you start now so you will be able to know if you still have a clear vision and mission. Make sure your staff and board are aligned around your work and they are not only the ones who are involved in your strategic-planning session, but the donors, volunteers and clients as well.

Make sure you maintain regular communication.

You may want to consider field testing your communications for you to find out whether or not they are still effective. If the feedback you receive reflects your organisation’s vision and mission, there is no need to make some changes to the existing communications. However, if you are not happy about the feedback, it is about time you set a new communications strategy. When implementing new communications strategies, make sure you have realigned essential elements. In line with testing your communication strategies, you should also overhaul your website and other online properties that you consider necessary for interacting with people. Your staff must also be trained so they can familiarise themselves with the next brand. Make sure this is integrated into the practices in human resources so your staff stays updated.

Your organisation should have one voice.

Campaigns must be developed and should represent your brand. It is important you are consistent with your efforts in ensuring that your campaign is aligned to your organisation’s vision and mission. Take a look at every aspect of your branding and determine if your social media is also on brand. If you are planning to get an executive director for the speech, make sure they are also aware of the message you wish to convey to your audience. In order to make sure that your team knows about your organisation’s vision and mission, see to it you appoint someone on your team to coach others. You can ensure consistency this way. It is also necessary you review your communications informally so you will know how you are doing. While thoughtful rebranding may be a long process, surviving the rebranding process is worth your effort.

What Is Your Fundraising Resolution?

IMG 5325 1765If there is one principle that fundraising organisations want to live by as the New Year approaches, it is “Out with the old, in with the new.” If you were to go back to the previous year where you have exerted your fundraising efforts to promote a good cause, it is time to kick those strategies up a notch. It might be tempting to change your strategies immediately, but it is practical to take it slow.

You can still get the ball rolling with these simple techniques:

1.    Revise your fundraising plan
Have you ever thought about getting some fresh ideas for your existing fundraising plan? Sure those plans have already made waves in the previous year, but you can still enhance them in such a way that will benefit more people. Simply integrate new ideas with old ones so you will be able to present a new approach to your members and donors.

2.    Enhance your website
If you have a website, make sure that it is updated so your potential donors and supporters are regularly posted with updates related to your organisation. You should also post the latest announcements, campaign news and success stories to your website so everyone can see it. Make sure everyone does not miss out on getting the regular updates of your plans for the New Year.

3.    Reassess your marketing strategies
Aside from revising your fundraising plan and updating your website, you should also take this opportunity to reassess your marketing strategies. Are there some techniques you have been using that have attracted heaps of donors? Do you need to change an aspect of your campaign to achieve goals? Make sure you know your areas for improvement and the approach to use so you can reach your target.

4.    Use social media to convey your message
Your organisation should also keep up with the latest advancements in technology and what better way to do it than to engage with social media. Make use of various social networks so you can keep your donors updated so you will have an idea about organisation and its cause. You can also inspire and motivate your supporters with the use of social networks.  These tools are very effective in spreading the good news to your supporters.

5.    Step out of your comfort zone
If 2015 has been a fruitful year for you and your organisation, all you need to do is to follow that trail and never close your doors for more opportunities. However, if 2015 had not been successful for you, it is time to try new things out. Find out how you can make things more successful for your organisation. If your website does not have donate button, it is about time you add one so you can generate donations. If you have been less active in 2015, you need to be more productive in the year to come. For your organisation to prosper, you need to be more daring. If you are used to the same tactic, supporters may get bored or you may not get the results you are looking for.