How I Succeeded Wildly at My First Ever Fundraising Campaign

How I Succeeded Wildly at My First-Ever Fundraising Campaign

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Your organization has never done a fundraising appeal before.

You have a core of supporters who follow and love your work, but you’ve never actually asked them for money.

Now you need to ask.


Just ask Patricia Mackenzie, Development & Philanthropy Manager at Antarctic Heritage Trust in Christchurch, New Zealand. That’s exactly the situation she faced last year.

Patricia was a member of The Fundraisingology Lab by Moceanic, and she was getting the new skills she needed to make that first fundraising appeal work.

“There were a lot of hurdles to overcome,” she says. “Mostly the internal mindsets around what fundraising is and how it differs from marketing related communication. We spent a lot of time ‘thinking like the donor’ and trying to add more emotion, storytelling, and donor-centric language in our offer and related communications.”

Patricia went to work using what she calls “Moceanic best practices,” including:

  • Using “you” more than “we”
  • Telling a story
  • Sharing exactly what donors’ gifts would do
  • Using a match offer
  • Making it easy to give
  • Including lifts in the pack
  • Keeping it personal (handwritten envelopes, etc.)

On top of that, she found The Fundraisingology Lab members-only Facebook group “invaluable,” saying, “I found myself searching through past posts to see examples of how other people wrote their direct mail, thank you letters, and website content. Just knowing that the group was there is helpful. I even found a fellow member who lives near me and we were able to meet up to have a chat about our experiences.”

The results?

Patricia is happy: “This campaign has really set us up for success. Not only did we reach our goal, but we have also set the tone for what kind of charity we want to be for our donors. This mailing showed our staff and Board that these donor-centric methods really do work. We will definitely continue to roll out Moceanic best practice strategies in the future. 

“I’m so proud of how far we have come. It is very fulfilling to design an appeal that is so donor-centric.”

Patricia would recommend The Fundraisingology Lab to any fundraiser who wants to succeed: “I recommend it to every fundraiser I talk to,” she says. “I even requested a membership as part of my hiring agreement! I really love how practical their learning materials are. They allow you to go as high level or detailed as you want with some fantastic real-life examples.”

We’re all so delighted with Patricia’s success. Join Patricia over at The Fundraisingology Lab by Moceanic. You’ll get practical support that will help you go to new places in your fundraising career. Make your reservation now and you’ll be the first to hear when the doors open again. (Doors are opening very soon!)

Please share your experience by leaving your reply below. We’d love to learn from your experience. 

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  • Jeff Brooks

    Jeff Brooks is a Fundraisingologist at Moceanic. He has more than 30 years of experience in fundraising, and has worked as a writer and creative director on behalf of top nonprofits around the world, including CARE, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Feeding America, and many others.

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