Pop Art Men in meeting e1510790639738
BenchmarkingMajor and Mid Value DonorsTrends

Where do BIG donors come from?

This might surprise you: Your next generation of mega-donors are not hiding out at the country club or in CEO suites at the tops of the tallest buildings in town.

They may or may not be at those places. But nearly all of those who will eventually be your top donors are already on your mailing list. They’re donating to your direct mail. They’re giving above-average amounts, but not so high that you’ve noticed them yet.

Here in Australia as well as in the USA (and pretty much the rest of the world), the percentage of major donors who started their relationship as regular direct mail donors ranges between 85% and 95%!

How do you find these hidden-treasure people?

The first step is wealth screening — where a company compares your donor list with wealthy people or known large givers.

Next step: Meet these potential large donors!

And it usually starts with a phone call. These are not sales pitch calls. They are question sessions: the goal is to get a meeting with the donor — but only if it is worthwhile. A visit is not worthwhile if you determine that the prospect is not a major gift prospect (maybe they tell you they are broke, just lost their house, gone bankrupt etc.).

Here’s how to start: Introduce yourself, thank for previous gifts and ask something like “I understand that you were recently at my hospital and I would be interested to hear about your experience there”.

Examples of questions assessing interest:

  • Tell me about your personal experience
  • How do you see your involvement
  • Would you be interested in learning more about our work?
  • What areas interest you most in our work?

Basically, ask why they believe in your cause.

Examples of questions to determine the next steps

  • I’m planning a trip to (your town) next week, would it be convenient to meet in person?
  • I would like to invite you to a unique tour of our facility
  • Would you like a tour of something else?

That should help you get appointments.  But remember: you won’t get through to everyone you want to. It’s a numbers game, and it takes methodical patience. But the payoff will be HUGE.

Want to know more about Mid-Value Donors? Sean covers this important topic in the Mid-Value Donor Super Course which is available for all members of The Fundraisingology Lab.

CFRE Points:
charity collector 13
Monthly GivingBenchmarkingTrends

Your Definitive Guide To Face-To-Face Fundraising

Please click here to get a PDF of Your Definitive Guide to Face-to-Face Fundraising sent to your inbox.

Face-to-face has been a great way to find new supporters and raise money. But is ‘face-to-face’ monthly giving acquisition a worthy strategy beyond 2017?

First, let’s get our definitions clear. I’m referring to the mass acquisition of monthly donors by canvassers approaching strangers in the streets, at events, or door to door.

Like these wonderful UNICEF fundraisers I met in Brazil…


These canvassers are NOT asking for cash or a one-off gift. They usually only accept ongoing, automatically debited donations. Nowadays, they are often using iPads or something to enter data straight away.

For a long-time, face-to-face has dominated monthly giving acquisition in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Ireland, and many more.

But things are changing…

New channels challenge face-to-face

For Pareto Fundraising – the full-service agency I co-founded in Australia – digital donor acquisition to monthly giving has been growing.

Sister agency, Pareto Phone, makes phone calls on behalf of charities to ask people to become monthly givers. A huge proportion of these calls are to people who responded online or through SMS to online and offline media advertising. This is growing in volume dramatically.

Thai charity Soi Dog Foundation has generated nearly all its thousands of monthly givers directly online (mostly through Facebook) or online, followed by a phone call.

In other countries, there is a new big thing. And this big thing is huge in the UK. Fundraisers are acquiring monthly donors in a two-step process. They use outdoor, digital, and TV advertising to drive people to send text messages (SMS). Then, they call these lovely people and ask them to start an automatic monthly donation.

Bad press for face-to-face

The media loves to spin a yarn about how bad face-to-face agencies are, with stories of inappropriate training, simplistic views of how much goes to the charity, and more. It’s mostly just yarn-spinning, exaggeration, and selective facts.

But there are some real issues. A couple of face-to-face vendors in Australia were caught by labour or tax laws. I know one made a genuine mistake and moved quickly to rectify. But this is not something charities want to associate themselves with.

Any charity thinking of hiring a face-to-face agency should check references and ensure the agency has been audited and complies with all laws.

But despite competition and the odd bit of bad press, face-to-face still provides the most monthly givers in Australia, NZ, and probably everywhere else it is practiced.

But is it still worth it?

Sean doing F2F

Me canvassing for Mind in the 90s. I was the marketing and fundraising director at Mind, a UK mental health charity. I thought I would go through the training and get out there myself. I was not very good. The guy I am chatting to was French, and we couldn’t get non-UK credit card holders to sign up. But we had a good chat.

A look at the data on face-to-face

Every year, loads of the largest fundraising charities in Australia (over 80 in 2017) get together to share information, so they can understand the market and maximise efficiency.

It’s an amazing collaboration. They do not share any data that could compromise an individual’s privacy, but they can look at millions of transactions.

Pareto Fundraising’s Benchmarking looks at a decade of data, which includes monthly givers acquired by all channels, and the volumes are huge.

This is truly how donors behave, not how they say they behave.

Slide016 Round 14 Scale

Nearly $1.4 billion of donations from individuals are included in the Pareto Benchmarking study. And you can see from the circle above, just under half comes from regular (that is, monthly) giving.

Face-to-face has achieved something no other fundraising channel has: getting younger people to donate in meaningful numbers. (And by younger, I mean under 60.) Before face-to-face, the average age of a donor was around 70.

Face-to-face brings in donors with an average age in the early to mid-40s. This is remarkable, and the volumes have been huge.

The cost of face-to-face

Most canvassers don’t work directly for the charity. They work for agencies that organise the mechanics of canvassing.

Many passionately believe in the cause and love that they can make a living and do good at the same time. Some canvassers may work for several charities, exposing them to different causes.

But face-to-face is expensive – travel, salaries, materials, databases, follow-up systems, SMSs, email, videos, welcome packs, welcome videos, admin processes and systems, stamps… none of these are free.

Like any marketing, expensive doesn’t mean bad. The question is whether it’s effective in achieving its purpose.

Is it working?

Let’s define ‘working’. For me, it means you make a net return in a reasonable time frame and not cause damage to the brand of the charity.

Net return is obvious, but damage to the brand is harder. Looking at a charity’s impact (the work it does) and its overall income – beyond face-to-face and over many years – is the best objective measure.

Also, ‘working’ would be influenced by how well it ‘works’ compared to other fundraising channels, such as digital, mail, phone, outdoor, TV, radio etc.

So, let’s start with volume. In 2016, around 380,000 regular givers were acquired by the charities in the study. And nearly 300,000 were through face-to-face.

Slide088 New RG recruits

These numbers are so massive, it’s clear that, if you are serious about growing regular giving, you must do face-to-face.

But do these donors stay with you?

When we look at 2010 to 2015, we see that about 52% of the donors acquired by face-to-face were still giving 12 months later.

Slide105 Year 1 RG Attrition from starters by channel

But how does retention of face-to-face compare to other methods? You can see in the chart above that face-to-face has the worst attrition.

It seems obvious – non-face-to-face methods are better than face-to-face!

But look at the volumes. Losing 48% of 300,000 leaves us with more than 155,000 people giving every month, twelve months later. All the other channels add up to about half that number, despite their low attrition.

Why does face-to-face have the worst attrition?

Age is key. I am sorry to tell you this, but generally, younger people don’t give as well as their older counterparts.

Face-to-face has younger people giving in strategic volumes. But when they give, they are less ‘loyal’ than older donors.

Because face-to-face gets younger donors, it has a worse attrition. However, although half of those younger than 60-year-olds are not giving a year later, half still are.

The chart below (from the 2016 benchmarking report) shows a massive difference in attrition by age. Older is better.

Slide126 RG attrition by age F2F BM13 2016

Okay, you believe me – face-to-face works in terms of the number of sign-ups. But we need money, not just sign-ups, and you probably still prefer those lower attrition non-face-to-face donors.

The chart below shows the rise in income for charities over the past ten years, driven mostly by face-to-face.

Slide086 RG Income by channel

Clearly, the big income driver is face-to-face.

Another way of looking at the quality of a relationship with donors is to look at the proportion of people who stick with their payments but increase their contributions.

The chart below shows face-to-face donors are about as likely to upgrade over the years as any other method.

The phone is better, but if you consider that upgrading is best done on the phone, you can imagine the contact rate of people acquired by the phone is much better too; we know they are phone responsive.

Slide118 RG Upgrade rate by channel

So, face-to-face gets the volume. It has good (but not great) retention. It has good upgrade rates. And it provides lots of income.

What should you do?

The right plan is to acquire as many regular givers through non-face-to-face as you can. Then, top up your targets with face-to-face.

Just keep an eye on net revenue: Face-to-face donors are worth about $750 each over five years, but non-face-to-face donors vary between $600 and $1,750. Make sure your costs make sense against your estimated value.

But what about brand damage?

Seriously – Greenpeace, Heart Foundation, Amnesty, World Vision, WWF, Red Cross, UNHCR, Oxfam …  these are all major users of face-to-face. Damaged brands? No.

Most have been doing this for many years, with no negative impact on the brand, donor relationships, or their ability to do good.

Is face-to-face fundraising worth it for your charity? Yes, but only if you have good, tight automated admin, a need for money, good communication systems, and a great monthly proposition (offer).

Should you start face-to-face?

It depends. As you can see, face-to-face donors are the worst type of monthly donors. But they provide the largest volume.

For most charities starting monthly giving programs, you should have a balanced portfolio that starts by converting your current donors to monthly by mail, phone, and online.

Then you may want to look at online – if you have good enough content and stories.

Only then should you embark on face-to-face. But when you do, you will need a big budget!

I hope that this guide to face-to-face is useful. Please share your experience with face-to-face, or your question by leaving a reply below.

Please click here to get a PDF of Your Definitive Guide to Face-to-Face Fundraising sent to your inbox.
If you are in New Zealand, Netherlands, or Australia, Pareto Benchmarking is up and running! In all other countries, if you are an agency/vendor or a charity and you are interested in getting benchmarking going, please check out the Pareto Benchmarking website here
CFRE Points:
Beware Don’t Make These Mistakes When Measuring Success Colin Shaw Featured Image e1519875069306
BenchmarkingMaths of FundraisingTrends

How the Way You Measure Success Can Shape Your Organization’s Future

When corporations fail to invest in their future, we shake our heads and wonder why they’re so shortsighted.

Think of the once-important ice-delivery companies. They didn’t realize they were in the business of providing ice; they apparently thought they were in the business of finding and delivering ice. They might have used their expertise with ice to develop (or at least sell) those new-fangled home refrigerators. But they didn’t, so they were destroyed by the new technology. The minute there was a better way to have ice in the home, everybody shifted to the better way.

How could the ice companies have been so shortsighted? Well, it’s not hard to see why.  They had a great thing going, so they never thought ahead, paid little attention to changing technology.

We should look at nonprofits the same way.

Those that don’t pay attention to the changes around them and invest have a grim future ahead. Changing technology, demographics, media use, and competition will chip away at their fundraising revenue until the ground drops out from under them like a sinkhole.

The difference between an investment-oriented nonprofit and one that’s not paying attention can be hard to see. To show you that difference, I’m going to plunge deep into the weeds for a moment…

There are two key performance indicators in fundraising that measure exactly the same thing: return on investment (ROI) and cost per dollar raised (CPDR). Here’s how you calculate them:

  • ROI is revenue divided by cost: If you raised $600 from a campaign that cost $200, the ROI is 3. If you raised less than you spent, your ROI would be below 1. It is sometimes expressed as a ratio (3:1), a dollar amount ($3), or just as a number.
  • CPDR goes the other way: cost divided by revenue. The preceding scenario, where it cost $200 to raise $600, would give a CPDR of $0.33 — it cost 33¢ to raise each dollar. If you spent more than you raised, the CPDR would be above $1. CPDR is usually expressed as a dollar amount.

Both figures measure fundraising efficiency. They both answer, with some precision: Was that worth it? The actions for improving both ROI and CPDR are the same: you can lower costs and/or you can improve response. Responsible organizations pay attention to both.

I’ve encountered few organizations that use both ROI and CPDR. Anyone could use both, but hardly anyone does.  Because I think you’re either a CPDR organization or an ROI one. There’s a fundamental difference:

  • ROI organizations tend to focus on improving results — that is, making their ROI higher. They make bolder decisions, innovate more often, and generally have a mind-set that they can and should make their fundraising better all the time. They are more investment-minded.
  • CPDR organizations zero in on lowering their CPDR by cutting costs. This fosters a narrow approach and a fear of failure. Vision and innovation come hard and rarely for CPDR organizations. But hey, at least they keep costs down!

Which approach do you think is more likely to wow donors, win enthusiastic support, and uncover new ways to raise funds? Not the organization that’s always looking for ways to do less.

As the old cliché goes, You can’t cut your way to greatness.

Does measuring ROI instead of CPDR make you bolder? Or does having an investment mind-set lead you to prefer ROI? Chicken or egg?

The important thing is that you should focus your thinking and planning on investments, on opportunities, on improvement.

An organization with an investment approach is always asking these questions:

  • How will we reach donors we haven’t reached before?
  • How can we touch donors more deeply?
  • What do our donors really want from us, and how can we give it to them?

They ask these questions, and they seek the answers. They spend time and money seeking them. They find partners that help them invest and think about the future. Of course, you owe your donors and your cause prudent frugality. But be sure to spend your best time and energy investing in donors.

This post is excerpted from my book The Money-Raising Nonprofit Brand.

Thoughts on how what you measure shapes the way you think, and how you can be a more forward-looking and investment-oriented organization? Share your ideas in the comments!

CFRE Points:
Pop Art Woman Glasses OMG
Boards and FundraisingTrends

Shocker: The Biggest Problem in Fundraising

You spoke, I listened, and you freaked me out a little!

I’ve been in the fundraising space for a long time — approaching 30 years. That’s enough time to get married, have a couple of kids, and raise them into productive adulthood. Which is exactly what I’ve done during that time.

I thought 30 years would also be enough that I could legitimately say, I’ve seen everything.

Turns out I hadn’t seen everything.

They past couple of days, I’ve been reading survey responses from our recent Contest to give away some of my time to deserving organizations in the form of free 90-minute online Coaching+ sessions. To get a chance to win a session, we asked folks to fill out a quick survey about their organization, including a description of the main issues they struggle with — and most need help on. Nearly 300 people took the challenge.

Here’s where it got interesting. The most frequently cited area of trouble was this:

Bosses and/or boards who don’t get it and won’t allow us to do effective fundraising.

Whoa.  Think about that.  Our biggest perceived problem is the people who are supposed to be leading and empowering us!

I wasn’t born yesterday. I’ve been here long enough to know that bosses are often a problem.  I might have placed it in the top five problems.  Maybe as high as #2 or #3.

I know enough about surveys to know that lot of people saying something in answer to a question does not show us absolute Truth. The important thing as far as I’m concerned is that a lot of people perceive that their top problem is their boss.

So here’s my pledge to you:  I will help you overcome the “Boss Barrier.”  Either directly via our courses or Coaching+ at Moceanic … or indirectly because we’ll be talking up this issue and maybe get through to a few more people. Your own bosses, maybe!

Poor leadership is not unique to the nonprofit sector. (Oh boy is it ever not unique!)  But maybe we can tackle it here in our own backyard.  Let’s make it a priority.

Best wishes for non-interfered-with fundraising and we’ll be announcing the winners of the free 90-minute Coaching+ sessions later this week so stay tuned.

If you would care to share your experience with bosses and boards, please comment below!

Want some practical and experience-based help? Schedule a free 25-minute call  with one of our Moceanic Fundraisingologists. They will give you great free advice and help you identify which Coaching+ program might be right for you. Click here to book your call.
CFRE Points:
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TrendsMonthly Giving

What is Essential Data to Capture and Why?

It’s called “rage giving” — impulsive donations to organisations seen as resisting the agenda of US President Trump.

It has resulted in an astounding outpouring of philanthropy for some organisations:

The American Civil Liberties Union has raised more than $80 million. Planned Parenthood has gained more than 600,000 new donors. Many other organizations — environmental, poverty, educational, and more — have received influxes of rage donations.

A friend in New York asked me a simple question: What information do we need to capture to be able to build the best relationship with a “rage donor”?

In my experience, the key information (here in order of importance, but not in order of how you gather it) is this:

  1. Full name.
  2. Their transactional information with you. That is, what did they do? Take part in x event, sign y petition, volunteer, collect or donate.
  3. Phone number. Using the phone is usually the second most effective way of converting single donors, petition signers, event goers, and others to monthly giving or larger gifts.
  4. Postal address. About 50% of the value of gifts comes from just 5% of donors. If someone gives higher than average then address (and therefore location) is very important.
  5. Age. After the actual amount someone has given, this is the best indicator of the capacity to give. It also allows you to predict lifetime value, including monthly giving retention, much better.
  6. Email. Of all digital channels, most one-off donors or people who sign petitions or surveys and then choose to become monthly givers will come from email. It is also the channel most likely to generate second gifts from one-off donors.
  7. Facebook. This social channel accounts for more than 80% of leads generated by proactive campaigns, and two-thirds of donations. Non-Facebook social accounts for less than 10%, with search and display ads less than 10% too.

That’s the basics.

I also believe we should build relationships with donors, so going beyond these basics will be very useful in the future. To gather more data — your supporter preferences, etc, we need to use the Supporter Connection Survey. Get instant access when you join The Fundraisingology Lab.

CFRE Points:
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TrendsBenchmarkingMaths of FundraisingMonthly Giving

Should My Pareto Score Worry Me?

Should you be concerned about your Pareto ‘score’?

Following a post on Moceanic Facebook about the Pareto Principle, Daniel Peyton from Habitat for Humanity asked me if there was a Pareto split that a charity fundraiser should be concerned about.

For example, if you look at your data and find out that 20% of donors DON’T give 80% of revenue: should you be worried!?

Well, it depends.

Very few charities have a true 80/20 split – a ‘perfect’ Pareto score. But when you combine the data of a number of charities, they usually come close. The diagram below shows the Pareto Principle across all of Pareto Fundraising clients – representing about $1.4 billion.

It turns out that of all donations, 20% of donors give 73% of donations, and four percent of donors give 46% of donations. A little ‘flatter’ than the ‘perfect’ Pareto score.

Take monthly giving out, and only look at one off donations, and those ratios come much closer to the true Pareto principle at 78% of donations from 20% of donors, and 56% of donations from just four percent of donors.

So the lessons from Pareto – put your effort into the top 20% – still apply!

Pareto Principle

But what about monthly giving? Here the numbers are much flatter, with just 45% of revenue come from the top 20% and 16% of revenue from the top four percent. Concentrating efforts on the top donors is likely still worth it, but not to the same degree as with one-off donors.

So what should concern you?

Let’s look at some scenarios:

‘Extreme’ Pareto

My Pareto split turns out to be 95% of income from 20% of donors. Is this a concern? Possibly. If I raised $1 million from 10,000 donors that means $950,000 was coming from 400 donors (average $2,375) and just $50,000 from 1,600 people (average $31).

Let’s say it was just one donor who gave me $750,000.

Take that out, and I am raising $250,000 from 9,999 donors.

I still raised $50,000 from 1,600 (average $31) lovely people and $200,000 from the top 399 donors (average $501). My Pareto split is now 80/20!

So is it bad that I got that huge donation? Probably not. BUT it is risky if such a high proportion of my income is from just one donor. Perhaps a government grant?
If I were head of fundraising I would want to diversify, probably with a monthly giving campaign.

‘Flat’ Pareto

My Pareto split turns out to be 30% of income from 20% of donors. Is this a concern? Probably.

If I raised $1 million from 10,000 donors, that means $300,000 was coming from 400 donors (average $750) and just $700,000 from 1,600 people (average $437).

This looks like a monthly giving program to me. And it looks like we are doing well on initial retention (otherwise I would have more people giving very little) and are not doing great at upgrades (otherwise I would have more people giving much more).

It also tells me I am likely not doing well with major donors or bequests. So in this case, if I were head of fundraising I would want to diversify, probably increasing investment my major donor and bequest marketing.

If you do look at your data, you will likely see you are actually closer to a Pareto split unless you have one or two massive donors, or the lion’s share of your income is from monthly giving.

Thanks Daniel for this great question!


CFRE Points:
Pop Art Money grows on trees 123rf e1526372270378
Boards and FundraisingDonor PsychologyTrends

Which Pile of Money Would You Rather Have?

Dan Pallotta couldn’t have been more right with his TED talk ‘The Way We Think About Charity is Dead Wrong.’

But he wasn’t just trying to explain the importance and good that ‘overhead’ does for charities to the public and media.

It’s also the charity staff who really need to stick up for themselves and not be ashamed about their non-program costs. We shouldn’t excuse, apologise for, or try to be creative with our numbers.

If a charity claims that 90 percent (or occasionally 100 percent!) of my donation will go straight to ’programs I can think of only four scenarios:

  1. They are a group of volunteers with no staff costs, no accounting or legal costs, no building, no compliance costs and no training costs. This could be a group of wonderful people donating their time and successfully be talking others into doing the same. They are almost certainly small in terms of their public fundraising income.
  2. They are stretching the truth. Perhaps a donor is donating the costs of administration and fundraising. Technically, this should be reported as income and the costs are still costs.
  3. They have a big endowment or fund that covers the cost of administration and fundraising. Same thing as if a donor is covering the cost, there should be income and expenditure reported for this.
  4. They have no desire for growth, and don’t want to raise more money– maybe they don’t need more. Nearly all organisations can grow their income by spending more on fundraising.

In fact, when you look at growth in net income – that is, the money you can spend on your programs – the number one indicator of growth is always the amount spent on fundraising.

Spending more on fundraising is often a good thing!

Efficiency is important. Waste is always bad. But net income – the amount to spend on beneficiaries – is the most important outcome.

Here is a simple example.

If you were a charity fundraising in South Africa, which of the two piles would you prefer to spend on your beneficiaries?

RandRand e1526372218307
The left-hand pile has 3,000 Rand, the right-hand pile has 150 Rand.

Easy isn’t it?

The left pile will help more people.

But what about when you realise that the left pile was the ‘profit’ of a fundraising activity that raised R5,000, and the right pile raised R150?

That means the left pile comes with a cost of fundraising of 40 percent (since the event raised R5,000 and R3,000 went to projects, the cost must have been R2,000, and R2,000 divided by R5,000 = 40 percent).

The right-hand pile has a cost of R0. So therefore zero percent cost of fundraising.

In this case, the pile on the left after a cost of fundraising of 40 percent will do more good than the pile on the right after a zero percent cost of fundraising.

So where is the limit?  For example, 80 percent costs from £10,000,000 (£2,000,000) leaves more to spend on your cause (£2,000,000) than if costs were more than 30 percent of £1,000,000 (leaving me £700,000). But the first ‘pile’ can do nearly three times more ‘good’.

If I had a business turning over £10,000,000 with a 20 percent profit margin, it would be a more valuable, likely more secure and generally a ‘better’ financial model than a business turning over £1,000,000 with a 70 percent margin!

Dan talks a lot about why it is unfair that we in the charity sector have to behave differently to businesses, and whilst it ‘feels’ wrong to generate huge amounts of revenue at a high cost, surely the point is always ‘what is the net good?’

I don’t like the idea of 80 percent fundraising costs either. We should never waste money, or undertake ineffective fundraising activities. But a high cost of fundraising can be perfectly justifiable, particularly during a charity growth phase or an event where only a part of the cost of the event is actually expected to go to charity.

The problem with explaining the cost of fundraising is not usually donors or even the media, but often internal perceptions of what donors may think.

One charity I know grew from $500,000 income to $8,000,000 per annum in about six years. In the first year of a strategic fundraising growth plan they had about $400,000 to spend on their cause. By the sixth year of that growth strategy, they had about $5,000,000. Their cost of fundraising went from 20 percent to 37 percent. Fine by me.

However, in the second and third year of their growth plan, their cost of fundraising was around 80 percent. This was because of the cost of acquiring new donors. And it is those people now contributing to their annual income of $8,000,000.

That charity even got hammered in the press for a short time. Despite fears internally, donors were not put off by the media and continued to give, and the charity grew significantly. By being brave and sticking to their plan they transformed their entire organisation and had a much, much greater impact on their beneficiaries.

Ask most donors if the cost of fundraising is important, they say yes. Ask the same people what the cost of fundraising of the charity they donate most to is, they generally don’t know. They think and believe it is important – but in the end, they are just lovely people who want to help a cause they care about.

Please, don’t let an obsession with the cost of fundraising hold you back from helping more people, animals or the environment.

What is your biggest challenge with the cost of fundraising within your organisation? Please share in the comments, I’d love to hear your experience.

CFRE Points:
OnlineGIving e1518671229440
Digital FundraisingTrends

Digital Fundraising Beyond Doggies and Dolphins

The Soi Dog Foundation and Australia for Dolphins have had enormous success in global fundraising using the digital ‘multi-step’ approach.

Although based in Thailand and Australia respectively, the two charities fundraised globally with shocking images, which helped them get traction.

soi dog foundation

But what about the rest of us charities? Well, we can learn from these superstars – they have both been very generous in sharing what they’ve learned.

In terms of ‘shareability’ mental health may at first feel like it sits at the other extreme – but Australian mental health agency Lifeline doesn’t hold back.

With the help of Pareto Fundraising they launched a campaign asking people to sign a petition, make a donation and become a monthly giver. I became a supporter too – they do a fantastic job and I used to work at a mental health charity.

Julie Kirby from Lifeline told me:

“The campaign has really resonated with the Australian public, and using Facebook and email to supporters has helped make two big achievements possible (our new phone support service Text4Good and new suicide prevention trial sites).

Working with Pareto Fundraising and Pareto Phone we were able to secure 1083 wonderful new regular givers and 827 new cash donors as well!”

Their latest great stewardship email is below.

email lifeline

A multi-step digital approach is a great option for many charities that need to find new monthly givers – with the added benefit of engaging lots of people beyond donations too.

If you are interested and needing a digital approach to find new donors and engaging lots of people beyond donations, then you need to watch this 9 min 30 sec video on Fast Tips for Fundraising on Facebook.

CFRE Points:
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TrendsBoards and Fundraising

Don’t Send Your Board Dan Pallotta’s Brilliant Video

Please DON’T email Dan Pallotta’s brilliant TED talk to your board.

Recently I posted a Seven-Point Guide for Ensuring Respect of Fundraising and quite a few people got in touch to talk about their frustrations in this area.

I had suggested that fundraisers ask their board to watch the video of Dan Pallotta presenting Why the Way We Think About Charities is Dead Wrong’ at a TED Conference.

Ted Dan Pallotta

It is a cracking – and necessary – view for anyone who:

  • Is a fundraiser
  • Wants to be a fundraiser
  • Wants to hire a fundraiser
  • Has any authority over a fundraiser
  • Works closely with a fundraiser
  • Is involved in legislation about charities in any way whatsoever
  • Is a board member of a charity that is thinking about fundraising

My previous article suggested that you email the video to your board. (By extension, email it to the list above too.)

It turns out a few fundraisers contacted me to say they did send it to their board, but hardly any of the recipients watched it.


How else do we get Dan’s big picture messages – which are absolutely crucial if we are to truly grow our sector – across to board members?

My suggested solution:

Present directly to your board (and senior management). Having you introduce the video, playing it and then discussing the points could have massive positive repercussions for your cause. Much bigger than most other thirty-minute board or team agenda items.  It also gives you a rock to refer back to.

Dan did the sector a huge service by recording one of the most important and profound twenty minutes in the history of fundraising.

Oh, if you haven’t yet watched the video, please do! It helps you get a realistic budget and maybe even a pay rise.

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Thank You For ‘Hanging Out’ With Me

By reading my articles, I guess you care about making the world a better place and raising more money for the causes you care about.

I am chuffed by the feedback I get from my updates (please send more – just nice ones before Christmas) and I hope they are directly useful.  Thank you for reading.

I subscribe to dozens of such updates, and it is hard to decide which ones to allow into your inbox.

Maybe it will help you if I share some of the fundraising updates I find most useful, and why.

Today, I’ll start with the one I read the most.  Partly because it is the most frequent, partly because the updates are short, but mainly because each update cuts to the chase and is based on real data and evidence.


Jeff Brooks www.futurefundraisingnow.com

Subscribe to that, and you have a decent Christmas present from me. And if you already subscribe, you know you’re getting a gift from Jeff in your email inbox almost every day.


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