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Are you really ready for TV fundraising?

This is just one of the questions I’ll be helping Master Class delegates to answer at the International Fundraising Congress.

If you’ve ever considered raising money through direct response television, you really need to make sure your organisation is ready for it. This was really brought home to me earlier this year, when Lucy Caldicott from CLIC Sargent explained to me the issues she’d had to think about before embarking on drtv fundraising with her cause.

So, with thanks to Lucy for the inspiration, here are some key issues for you to consider.

1. Are you televisual?

Sounds obvious really. But to work on TV you need to be able to tell your story in a way that is highly emotionally engaging. It’s not so much an appeal to the heart, head and spirit. It’s more an appeal that grabs you by the guts. Hmm, nice image.

Given the above, it’s no surprise that causes working with children and animals have a head start when it comes to drtv.

(more…)

Can Thank You Notes be BAD?

Just writing them is enough, right?

A few Sundays ago, I read an article in the Jobs section of my local newspaper, “The Journal News,”
“Don’t forget the ‘thank you.’”  The author, Susan Ricker of careerbuilder.com, was discussing the attributes of a good thank you note after a job interview and it got me thinking about our thank you notes, the ones we all write to donors, event attendees, volunteers, and colleagues inside and outside of our organizations.

Are we getting the job done? (more…)

BSC – the answer to the problem of integration

The International Fundraising Congress (IFC) is a great place to gain a whole host of ideas and inspiration. But the problem is how do you integrate these different ideas and create a joined up and understandable strategy?

For many organisations the answer is The Strategy Map and complementary Balanced Scorecard.  (We’ll call them BSC for short after this.) These are a set of contemporary planning tools created by US academics Norton and Kaplan as recently as 1992.

BSCs are now used by almost 50% of all large companies worldwide for strategy and are becoming increasingly popular among NGOs and INGOs for both service and fundraising strategy. Agencies using them for fundraising range from the giant International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to Terre des Hommes in Switzerland to a small Tanzanian health NGO, Maikanda. And this year at IFC there’s a specific session offering you an introduction to them. (more…)

Connecting with your most loyal and senior donors

“Father Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well; making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigour. With such people the grey head is but the impression of the old fellow’s hand in giving them his blessing, and every wrinkle but a notch in the quiet calendar of a well-spent life.”
Charles Dickens

Connecting with our most loyal and senior supporters can be the most inspirational thing we do in our career as a fundraisers. It is such a privilege to meet and learn from people whose bodies are aging, but who, as Charles Dickens says, have hearts and spirits that are young and full of vigour.

Today I am going to share with you a little bit about what we are doing in my organization to develop a robust Planned Giving program. (more…)

Rubbish In : Rubbish Out

Bad Donor Retention Begins With Bad Donor Recruitment (and what you can do about it) 

Why are so many of your donors rushing for the exit?

One of my favourite Internet campaigns of the past few years is The Story of Stuff, which uses a simple but engaging animation as a way to tell the ‘Story’. It makes the obvious point that we inhabit in the same ecosphere as our environment and that when toxics are involved in the production  of our consumer goods there is a consequent toxic output that is damaging to our health, our economy and our environment. The same elementary wisdom reaches us in other nuggets of ‘common’ sense: eat too much greasy food and you’ll get spots, smoke and your lungs will turn black. To put it simply: Rubbish In = Rubbish Out.

This same maxim applies for fundraising campaigns. And in this blog I’d like to especially apply it to Face-to-Face campaigns (though it can apply equally well to any channel where we have control over the prospects we approach). The simple fact remains that if we recruit the wrong sort of donor in the beginning we will not get the sort of results we need in the longer term to achieve our organisations goals.

Rubbish (Donors) In = Rubbish (Donor Loyalty) Out. (more…)

Employee Matching Gift Programs – An Untapped Source of Fundraising

Did you know that thousands of companies offer employee matching gift programs? In fact, over 65% of Fortune 500 companies offer matching gift programs to their employees!

What are employee matching gift programs?

Corporate matching gift programs are charitable giving programs created by corporations in which the company matches donations made by employees to eligible nonprofit organizations.

They started in 1954 when the GE Foundation created the Corporate Alumni Program, the first corporate gift-matching program. (more…)

Give the donor what he needs …

… not what you want to sell him.

Sounds so easy, you wouldn´t think twice about it. Yet the opposite happens all of the time. Just count the number of  times you´re watching the tele at home, nice and cosy with the kids. And these adverts come on, telling your offspring they should collect these Bagukan action figures of those brand new BeyBlades. And there you find yourself again in the Toys`r´us wondering how the hell you got yourself talked into this, shopping for stuff you don´t want, your kids don´t need, but some marketeer who knows all about ´share of wallet` needs to sell.

And it´s about that feeling “how the hell?” that I want to talk to you, in relation to fundraising of course. Recently I spoke to a guy I know quite well, who has done a lot in fundraising, especially telemarketing. He gave me his opinion on this and I must admit he hit a nerve. (more…)

Think face-to-face: think mobile

It really does make sense when you think about it. Using mobile as the key device to keep in touch with donors recruited on the street.

Think about it.

The average age of F2F recruits around the world is usually late 20’s, early to mid 30’s.

Almost 60% of Aussies own a smartphone, and around 18% a tablet device. These figures replicated in most developed fundraising nations. Overlay this with age and our key F2F recruits one of the most smartphone/tablet active groups, around 80% of them actively using a mobile device.

Most F2F donors are on the phone (or pretending they are) prior to being approached. Which means they’re “on the go”, as in mobile. Not sitting still.

And let’s face it: a mobile device makes it really easy these days to share content. Great content. At your fingertips.

So why therefore are we stuck in the mid 90’s when it comes to our attitude toward caring for donors recruited on the street? (more…)

Is there room for experience fundraising?

Fundraisers should improve their storytelling skills so they can take donors effectively to where the action is.

‘Experience’ marketing is the fashionable new thing for today’s marketer. Apparently you don’t just sell your product, you live it. The aim is to immerse your prospect in a lifestyle that simultaneously stimulates all their senses.

An example of experience marketing is currently practiced by the manufacturers of those cunning designer ‘alco-pop’ drinks – Breezer, Schnapps and the like. Experience marketing for these products involves recruiting attractive, young, out-of-work male models – this is true – who are briefed to sit hour after hour in the most fashionable watering-holes with their Nokia mobile phone and Palm Pilot prominently in view, with the Gucci shoes, the Armani threads, the Rado wrist wear and the Trevor Sorbie hairdo – everything that successful youth might aspire to – and, of course, all the while knocking back bottle after bottle of Zippo, or Heave-up or whatever is being promoted to you, the unsuspecting punter. Just think, that stunningly attractive bloke at the bar who you thought had been stood up and were just about to move in on, may in fact just be coming to the end of his shift.

Silly, isn’t it?

Then I thought about it. Maybe ‘experience marketing’ does have some application for fundraisers… (more…)

It’s Personal!

This is my third blog for 101fundraising and while other may prefer to write about theories of giving. I like to write more about technical things that, hopefully, can immediately help you.

In my previous blogs, I talked about “drip-drip” marketing for legacy fundraising and about organising a legacy event.  Now, I want to discuss how using a “personal touch” can help legacy fundraising

In Indonesia we have a phrase ‘Tak kenal maka tak sayang’— which means “if you don’t get to know people, it’s impossible for you to care for them.”  And with legacy fundraising, personalisation can be a VERY  important factor.

In the WWF Network, globally, we have 24 national offices that have a legacy program. (more…)

What’s All This Noise about Not Giving “Thank You” Gifts?

Recently, a small raft of articles have appeared about a new study, published in the Journal of Economic Psychology, apparently showing that offering a gift as a “thank you”  (what we in the industry would call a “premium” offer) can reduce the amount of money people will donate to your charity.

I found this to be old news.  But the press (and some marketing gurus) didn’t.   The top GOOGLE search on this was entitled “Charities: Don’t Thank Donors With a Gift! – Forbes”.Well, that’s the private sector for you:  making studies to “discover” what fundraisers already know. (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…)