Friendraising, what’s in it for you?

IFC series“Everybody who donates to our organization is a friend to us. We make no difference in how we treat our donors.” It’s about a year ago when Eveline Aendekerk, executive director of dance4life, said this to me. At first I thought she shared this as her ‘vision on fundraising’ to me, as a lot of fundraisers do. But she went on and told me about the friends4life concept. And I learned that when Eveline talks about her donors as her friends, she means it literally. (more…)

You like me

What’s not to like about our donors?

Sally Field is almost as famous for her 1985 Academy Award-acceptance speech for Places in the Heart as she is for her entire acting career: “I can’t deny the fact that you like me,” she gushed. “Right now, you like me.”

Flash forward to 2013 and thanks to Facebook, we all get a chance to be Sally Field on our very own stage nearly every day. (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…)

Fundraising Insights from India

Bollywood actress Mukerji with India's national flag is seen on set of her new movie in AmritsarToday is the 67th Independence Day of India. Such milestones are good time to reflect on the past and forecast the way forward. Hence I will focus on fundraising insights from India, one of the countries that are generating tremendous fundraising interest globally. These reflections are based on my ‘on-the-ground’ experiences working with non-profit leaders, fundraisers, corporate decision makers as well as donors and philanthropist in India and across Asia. (more…)

If you would like to be sent a thank you, please tick this box

When did thank you become so difficult?

For years, the top 250 charities in the UK have been receiving over 90% of donations made, and yet donor attrition rates are holding steady between 15 and 35 per cent annually.

thankyouTo combat this, they have developed more and more ways to say thank you, to create ‘touch points’ with their donors, to explain what £3 a month could do — but they should take the lead from some of their small charity cousins who, instead of a donor development strategy and a ‘contact chart’ simply respond back with a simple but heartfelt “THANK YOU so much for your donation, with it we can keep doing good work on your behalf.” (more…)

How to Make Your Story Stand Out

Everyone in the sector is trying to tell their story. The power of storytelling was showcased earlier this month when 20 well known fundraisers shared tales that had inspired them at SOFII’s ‘I Wish I’d Thought of That’ (or, in my case, ‘I Wish I’d Gone to That’!)

But if everyone does it how’s yours going to stand out? (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…)

So you want to grow your income? Use the C word…

GrowthAt =mc we’ve been working a lot recently on fundraising and income growth strategies with a range of agencies- from global ones like UNICEF to national ones like AIDS Fonds/Stop Aids Now! in Holland. We’re also helping a number of local museums in the UK cope with local government cutbacks.

The strategies we were discussing for these agencies were obviously very different and were designed to deliver very different outcomes. (more…)

The ask that got the fundraiser

Last week was one of the UK’s largest small donation programme spectacles… Comic Relief. This annual campaign, now in its twenty fifth year has raised over £800m for use in the UK and abroad tackling social injustice and improving the lives of millions. Capturing the heart and imagination of the UK, it has grown from a single day event into a sustained build-up of programming, activity and fundraising that culminates in over seven hours of televised entertainment and fundraising pleas. (more…)