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What you must know (and a few things you probably don’t) as an international fundraiser

Philanthropy as we have known it is changing. And while donors continue to focus their time and money on the causes to which they have the most personal connection, our understanding of ‘community’ has evolved so fundamentally in the wake of globalisation that one may have just as much tangible experience of a starving child a hemisphere away as of the patrons of a breadline around the corner. And yet, despite the increasing sophistication of our donor communications and marketing strategies, the security of our success as Western fundraisers is irrevocable gone. (more…)

The hype over ‘donor journeys’

‘Donor (or supporter) journeys’ is all the buzz in the nonprofit world, with prominent thinkers peddling the virtues of mapping out the donor experience. But as a fundraiser actually working on the front-line of income generation in a difficult financial climate, I’d like to add a critical voice to the discussion. (more…)

A DIY workshop for lead conversion: Do try this at home!

In February I met with fundraisers in Amsterdam to brainstorm how we could engage our various supporter relationships (‘leads’ or prospects) to move them to become donors to our organizations.

And while I suspect that most came to the session “Turning Likes into Cash” to hear the closely held secret to raising donors via social media (spoiler: there isn’t one), I would like to think that most participants left with at least one practical idea that they didn’t have before the session. (more…)

The last word

This is the very last 101fundraising blog post of 2012 and incidentally also our 200th. It therefore seems doubly appropriate to round out the year with a retrospective look at the year (almost) gone by. Read more…

Live from IFC!

 

This year a number of 101fundraising crowdbloggers are in attendance at IFC, and at this hour we are precisely halfway through the conference. Some of us have given workshops and the rest of us have followed them. We’ve laughed at the good humor of some of the excellent presenters, cried at moving examples of the best DRTV spots from around the world (the award for the best spot went to Action Against Hunger for The Share Experiment), shared a few drinks, and mostly just enjoyed the rare chance to take a break from the “to do” list and share inspiration and ideas with some of the best in our business from around the world. (more…)

A checklist for your acquisition program

Last week Reinier wrote about a really important topic – planning for the future of your acquisition program. I’d like to expand on his post by sharing an additional tool, and offering a simple checklist to use in your donor recruitment planning.

In the last blog you read about the Hype cycle (and if you haven’t, please read it here.) A second tool to consider in your planning is one that you have probably seen before: the BCG matrix. This tool divides your offerings into four groups, depending on their market growth and market share. But here’s a retooled version for an acquisition program. (more…)

7 tips for welcoming new donors

If your organisation has no difficulty finding and keeping new donors, you are either a very lucky or extremely talented fundraiser, and either way one of few. For the rest of us, it seems a constant challenge to find new and better ways to attract high-quality recruits.

So here’s a few tips to help you keep them, once you do find them:

1.    Tell donors both who you are and what you do

welcome!My partner and I (he is also a fundraiser) both love our jobs. But someone recently asked us both why we chose our respective organisations, and we realized that we had very different answers. He immediately began talking about the projects and the people being helped. But not about the Christian motivations, the long and prestigious Catholic history or the unique and important role of both ordinants and lay-people in the work. (Which are all true, but just wasn’t part of his spontaneous answer.) For him, the passion is for what they do.

I immediately began over the values and the vision of my organisation – what we believe in and stand for. And I realized that this is fundamentally more important to me than whatever work we are doing at any given moment. For me it’s first and foremost about who we are. (more…)

Read this only if you want to change the world!

When Reinier called for someone to write a last-minute blog yesterday, I had coincidentally just purchased a book on social marketing. I have been interested in the subject for some time, but the discussion on the recent 101fundraising blog about donor centered fundraising and public perception really made me think more about how social change organisations leverage donors.

Think about it – our donors are so much more than financial benefactors. They are consumers. And they are, above all else, consumers who feel strongly enough about the work we are doing to actually fund it. In fact, their financial behaviour proves again and again that they share our vision so strongly to actually invest in it. So how many organisations are actually utilizing donors to affect social change?

As fundraisers we have a tendency to keep using the same topics that score the best in terms of response and income. And besides occasional tests, we shy away from talking about the more difficult, longer-term or more complex areas of our work – either because we think we will fail to properly tell the story and convey the urgency; or because assume that in a saturated charity market, donors will perceive another “simpler” issue as having greater priority. (more…)