How to be a Fundraising Rockstar

Are you like me and wondering where the year is going? We’re fast approaching the mid-year mark and perhaps you’ve not yet been able to maximise on your fundraising in 2015 or, maybe you’re ramping up for events for the coming months? Whatever position you might be in, I thought I’d share a summary of some helpful tips and advice in one easy to reference article. Of course if you’d like more detail, do look out for how you can register for some of our free webinars being held this year.

Successful fundraising begins with a campaign, but what is a campaign and why do you need them?

A campaign is a series of activities or events that has a timeline and a goal. A campaign might be a number of planned emails; it might include an event to focus specifically on your top or most wealthy donors. It’s a clear pitch and proposition to your donors and supporters, the delivery vehicle for your persuasive message. It should share your gratitude for their past support, show them what’s been achieved with previous gifts and inspire them to give again. Campaigns can also be an excellent opportunity to find new donors.

The Basics and How to Get Started

Initial questions you should be asking:

  • What are you trying to accomplish?
  • How are you going to accomplish your goals?
  • Which communication channels will be used?
  • What resources are needed?
  • Who will execute each step?
  • How will you measure success?
  • What timeline and benchmarks to set for the life of the campaign?

Then…Equip yourself with Four Basic Tools of the Trade

Website – Where donors can go to read about your organisation in more detail, access up-to-date information and see how donations have been used over the past year to make a difference towards your mission. Did you know that more than half of donors get their information about their favourite charity via their website?

Donation Page – Aesthetics are important: do not underestimate the power of your organisation’s brand. Gifts are larger if given through a branded donation page rather than a third party provider. Think about the donor journey and making it easy for them to donate, and be clear about why their gift will really make a difference.

Reports – If you don’t have the luxury of a fundraising database then analysis of your data might be time consuming and not at all reliable, but make it simple. Where are you now and where do you want to be by the end of the campaign period? Analyse your average gifts and see if you can achieve a higher average by the end of your campaign. Report on hits to your website and the number of social media shares. Use what you can to measure where you are at the start and how successful your campaign has been at the end with points in-between.

Email – Target and optimise your communications. Did you know that over 60% of emails are now read on smartphones and tablets? Think about setting your emails up so that text is larger and links are clear in the text. Don’t make emails too large in size, so keep photos and graphics low resolution to avoid slow download of your email. Do segment and personalise your emails so that the right message gets to the right people.

Until next time…Happy fundraising!!

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