Keep In Mind Your Gifts-in-Kind

Keep in Mind Your Gifts-in-Kind

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For many organisations Gifts-in-Kind (GIK) are a bit of a grey area. Common questions include: - Should we be recording them? - Should we assign a value to them? - Should we try to solicit more? It could be that for your office the answer to all of the above…

How To Say “Thank You”

How to say “Thank You”

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Earlier this year I decided to become a regular supporter of a local charity. Unfortunately, their donor acknowledgement process was so lacking that I cancelled my regular gift shortly after (they didn’t get in touch once, despite having my address, phone number and email details.)  I still wanted to help…

The Power Of People

The Power of People

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How many times have you heard the phrase: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know”? If you’re anything like me you’ve heard it more times than you can remember, and whilst I used to dismiss this simple statement out of hand, the further I get through life the…

Can You Afford Not To Invest In Training?

Can you afford not to invest in training?

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In many trades and professions we take for granted that skilled practitioner have invested intensive amounts of time and money in upskilling/training? We assume that the pilot captaining the plane we board has undergone years of vigorous training. From the master craftsmen sculpting your furniture to the chef who cooks…

Are Your People Keeping You Great?

Are your people keeping you great?

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One of the most renowned management books of our time is Good to Great by Jim Collins. I read this some time back and one of the best chapters was dedicated to getting the right people in the right seats on the bus before deciding where the bus is going.…

Alumni Relations As The Gateway To All And Sundry

Alumni relations as the gateway to all and sundry

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As part of a project to establish an online community for our Alumni, I devised a strategy to hide content and access to various Alumni benefits behind a login. It was in this way that I thought to incentivise Alumni to be engaged with us, register for access, and update…

Engagement, Acquisition, Retention

Engagement, Acquisition, Retention

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A marketing or fundraising strategy is crafted to achieve a desired business outcome. How that strategy is implemented and the business outcome achieved can come in a variety of ways, using an array of media channels. When interviewing experienced fundraisers for my book Attracting Donors Online – Digital Fundraising that…

5 Ways Technology Will Shape The Not For Profit Sector In 2014

5 Ways Technology Will Shape the Not for Profit Sector in 2014

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Blackbaud’s vice president of Product Development, Mary Beth Westmoreland, has just released a white paper (and video) commenting on how technology will shape the not for profit sector in 2014. She comments specifically on mobile, analytics, software, the cloud and social media, all technological innovations that we’ve also seen have…

4 Digital Fundraising Fundamentals

4 Digital Fundraising Fundamentals

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After eleven years of planning, implementing and analyzing the results of digital marketing and fundraising campaigns, I have learned that there are four fundamental elements that are essential for success online. I like to call these the 4 Digital Fundraising Fundamentals. An appeal or campaign may strike it lucky with…

If It’s Not In The Database, It Did Not Happen

If it’s not in the database, it did not happen

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As part of the planning for our upcoming The Raiser's Edge User Group meetings, we have found it useful to think about the popular topics from last year’s meetings. One in particular that presented as a common theme was the challenges around getting people to use the system - in…

Marketing Lessons To Apply In 2014

Marketing lessons to apply in 2014

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I can’t believe that another year has drawn to a close. I realise it sounds horribly clichéd, but it really does seem that each year gets faster than the last! Given how quickly 2013 came and went, I would like to share with you the marketing lessons I’ve learnt (or…

Planning For The Unplanned

Planning for the unplanned

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A charity I am currently working with in Asia recently launched a campaign to ‘buy a brick’ to repair some retaining walls in a sanctuary for rescued animals it runs that had been damaged by severe flooding. It was their most successful fundraising campaign to date. Having worked with international…

Alumni/Constituent Engagement – How Do You Measure It?

Alumni/Constituent Engagement – how do you measure it?

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Work for a university?  This applies to you!  Work for another type of organisation – this applies to you, too!  Please read on. I have spent the past two weeks consulting at two separate universities in Australia.  Each university has raised issues relating to creating metrics related to alumni engagement…

Converting One-off Donors To Regular Donors

Converting one-off donors to regular donors

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Regular giving programs are a proven method for charities to increase their revenue whilst reducing administration fees. The most commonly used acquisition methods for new regular donors are direct approach and purchasing cold lists for direct marketing (mail, telephone and email) efforts. These methods typically come with a hefty cost…

Nurturing Your Graduates

Nurturing Your Graduates

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For a long time I thought my University must not be soliciting their Alumni, because I never once had an appeal letter. I knew they had my details as I still received the newsletter and Alumni email, I was just never asked for money. And then I turned 25, and…

Mobile Sites Vs. Responsive Design

Mobile Sites vs. Responsive Design

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By now you hopefully already have a good idea of who is visiting your organisation’s website, what they’re looking at, and how they’re finding you.  You should also be aware of the portion of your site’s visitors who view your website on a mobile device.  No doubt you will be…

Getting A Handle On Your Online Donation Forms

Getting a Handle on Your Online Donation Forms

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All too often we see online donation forms that neglect to inform potential donors of any kind of tangible impact that their suggested giving amounts will have.  By neglecting to offer a clear and concise guide as to how much difference a donation of a certain amount is going to…

EOFY, LYBUNT & SYBUNT

EOFY, LYBUNT & SYBUNT

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With just one month until the End of Financial Year, there’s just enough time to make one last ask of your supporters. For registered Australian charities, donations over $2 are tax deductible, and for many maybe-donors this is an incentive to give! Here are three quick things you do to…

Is Your Website Mobile Friendly?

Is your Website Mobile Friendly?

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Being a young person, and constantly on the move with work, I find that I am using my smartphone and tablet more and more, and using my computer less. In fact, I don’t think I’ve turned my personal computer on once this year, possibly because I got a shiny new…

Getting The Most Out Of Your EOFY Tax Receipts

Getting the most out of your EOFY Tax Receipts

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If your organisation has a regular giving program, or prefers to send out consolidated annual receipts to your one-off donors, you are probably already in the midst of preparing these documents for the end of the 2011/12 financial year. In addition to providing your donors with information to help them…

Decoding Your Database

Decoding Your Database

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A good fundraising database will contain not only biographical and gift information about your supporters, but should also contain other pertinent information that can help you tailor communications to make them more personal. This information might include volunteer contributions, events they’ve attended, areas of interest and mailing preferences. A lot…

How Kind Are You To In-kind Donors?

How kind are you to in-kind donors?

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Most organisations will receive gifts-in-kind of one type or another. These can include, for example, donations of items to help you achieve your mission or for use at fundraising auctions, free or deeply discounted printing costs or donations of old computers for your staff to use. It is important to…

Acknowledging And Receipting Gifts

Acknowledging and Receipting Gifts

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Do you send out a one page receipt/acknowledgement letter for donations to your organisation, or do you send receipts and acknowledgements separately? If the latter, do you send out the receipts one at a time or do you prefer to send out a consolidated receipt for all donations at the…

Upgrading And Reactivating Regular Donors

Upgrading and Reactivating Regular Donors

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Regular donors are one of an organisation’s most loyal groups of donors. Their frequent and reliable financial contributions can help your organisation plan ahead and grow. Whilst most organisations focus on converting cash donors to regular donors or acquiring new donors to their regular giving program, it is important to…

Market Research For Your Organisation In 8 Simple Steps

Market Research for your Organisation in 8 Simple Steps

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I’m a big fan of market research as someone who comes from a marketing background. I strongly believe in the power of the customer experience, and in providing what your market is asking for, you develop a stronger bond between your customers and your brand. So if you’re thinking “I’m…

Fundraising From Your Desk

Fundraising from your desk

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In both fundraising and awareness-raising, we need to offer our supporters a range of options to suit their capacities and interests. When I was a university student, I was a really engaged fundraiser and campaigner. I was marching in rallies, dancing in public, hosting events, chairing committees and speaking at…

Blackbaud Pacific Conference – Live Blog Day 2

Blackbaud Pacific Conference – Live Blog Day 2

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4:20pm We are very sad to start packing up the conference now. It's been a lot of fun and a real delight to see so many Blackbaud customers together, and so many new connections made. Thanks to all our fantastic presenters for generously letting us in on their secrets to…

Blackbaud Pacific Conference – Live Blog

Blackbaud Pacific Conference – Live Blog

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5:23pm Where did the day go? It's gone far too quickly. We hope all our delegates have had a fun, informative and productive day, and are ready to do it all again tomorrow. eTapestry users, we'll reconvene tomorrow for the user group. There was just too much to discuss in…

The Do’s And Do’s Of Community Fundraising

The Do’s and Do’s of Community Fundraising

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Community fundraising is a great way for your organisation to raise additional funds and to connect to new audiences of potential supporters and donors. If it is done right, it’s a great way for your loyal supporters to feel more engaged with your work and contribute to it. However, often…

How To Start A Regular Giving Program Today

How to Start a Regular Giving Program Today

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Having a regular monthly giving program is a cost-effective way for your organisation to raise money. These programs help to lower administration costs, provide donors with an easy opportunity to support your mission and allow for better planning because you can easily forecast expected revenue. The ability to make smaller,…

6 Tips For Acquiring, Managing And Keeping Volunteers

6 Tips for Acquiring, Managing and Keeping Volunteers

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Volunteers are an important resource for your organisation and help you complete your mission. The value of these contributions, from stuffing envelopes to spending months volunteering overseas, should not be overlooked. Here are a few tips to help you help your organisation find, acknowledge and manage these volunteers.  Be Strategic…

How Well Do You Know Your Donors?

How well do you know your donors?

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Do you take every opportunity to gather AND record valuable information about your donors? Whilst not every organisation has the resources to send out and administer comprehensive donor surveys, every organisation should be ensuring that it is capturing relevant information about its supporters as it is acquired. An important part…

9 Simple Tips To Improve Your Email Marketing

9 Simple Tips to Improve your Email Marketing

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1.    Use email marketing software that allows you to track your results Good email marketing software will track the people who opened your email, as well as who they were. It will also track the clicks on the links in your email, and the email addresses that bounced during your…