Storing Data In The Future

Storing Data in the Future

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The future of technology is cloud-based. The future is now. Just as we’ve moved away from the days of floppy disks and CD-ROMs, the way we store data is once again completely changing. By 2016, one quarter of all applications will be on the cloud. For not for profits, this…

Is Your Database Saving You Time?

Is your database saving you time?

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In my opinion there’s nothing more frustrating than poorly designed software, where you spend more time doing workarounds than actually using the standard functionality. In this technological age, software companies are racing to create the most user friendly,  intuitive, and helpful software they can; software which requires little or no…

5 Reasons Your Not For Profit Needs A Virtual Store

5 Reasons Your Not for Profit Needs a Virtual Store

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Virtual stores aka eStores are everywhere and there’s a reason – people like the convenience of shopping online. Here are 5 reasons your not for profit should consider adding on an eStore: It’s virtual – You don’t need prime real estate to get your products noticed. This lower overhead cost…

3 Tips For Converting Volunteers To Donors

3 Tips for Converting Volunteers to Donors

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Your volunteers are some of your most committed advocates. Day in and day out, volunteers contribute over $28 per hour (AUD) in donated time to your organisation. While you are certainly grateful for this contribution of time, wouldn’t it be nice if you could also convert some (or all) of…

7 Steps To Increasing Online Donations

7 Steps to Increasing Online Donations

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How many people do you know that don’t have access to the internet? I’m willing to bet the number is fairly low. Your organisation should be making your online presence a top priority for raising awareness and, of course – fundraising. Below are some top tips on improving the online experience…

The Trends In Giving

The trends in giving

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On May 26, NAB hosted a breakfast to share insights from the annual NAB Charitable Giving Index report. Panellists from NAB, Australian Red Cross and Everyday Hero discussed the impact of the economy on giving, giving trends, and how charities are leveraging data and digital channels. Impact of the economic…

User Rights – How You Can Enhance Your Data Security

User Rights – How You Can Enhance Your Data Security

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No matter how your organisation stores their data, whether it is on a simple spreadsheet or a complex database, one of the most important things to consider is who has the rights to view, add, update and delete information. Not-for-Profit organisations regularly have an array of different users logging into…

8 Email Marketing Tips To Nail Your Tax Appeal

8 Email Marketing Tips to Nail Your Tax Appeal

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Most say the definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over whilst expecting different results. So if you're expecting this year's tax appeal to be better than last, what do you plan to change? One area to consider is email marketing. After all, online giving is the…

6 Ways To Get The Most Out Of Your Fundraising Database

6 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Fundraising Database

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Without good data your whole fundraising strategy falls down. How can you report on your fundraising success if you can’t figure out which gifts have been paid? How can you accurately segment your donors if everyone on the team records information differently?  Without good data it is impossible for you…

Simplifying Your Database

Simplifying your database

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I am constantly thinking of ways to store information in my databases and I need to be reminded time and again to not over-engineer my solution. Data needs to be simple to implement and maintain, as well as to report on. Why? I see organisations struggling with being able to…

Fresh Ideas For The New Year

Fresh Ideas for the New Year

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It's a new year and a great time for fresh ideas. If you're having a hard time revving the mental engine back up after a long holiday then have a look below. 7 Steps to More Creative Thinking Forget the Past - a common killer of creativity is the "been…

New Year’s Resolutions For Your Database

New Year’s Resolutions for your database

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As you take the first steps into a brand new year it’s important to consider what you would like to achieve by the end of it.  Many people like to create goals under the banner of ‘New Year’s Resolutions’, so why not make a few resolutions for your database as…

Raiser’s Edge 7.94 Blog Series – Post 2 Of 2

Raiser’s Edge 7.94 Blog Series – Post 2 of 2

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Dashboards and Pivot Reports changes Have you ever clicked on the Dashboards module and received the error, "Before you can use the Dashboard feature, you need to install Microsoft Office Web Components software."? Great news! We have updated the Dashboard technology from Office Web Components, so the installation of Office…

Raiser’s Edge 7.94 Blog Series – Post 1 Of 2

Raiser’s Edge 7.94 Blog Series – Post 1 of 2

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Constituent level contact information - emails/phones/links off address In the next two weeks our blog series will cover more of what will be included in 7.94. January 25th, 2015 we will release The Raiser’s Edge 7.94 which includes the most anticipated update to RE based on customer feedback: the move…

Make The Most Of Your Bbcon Experience

Make the most of your bbcon experience

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It’s only 2 weeks since bbcon came to a close for another year and for most of us it already seems a distant, happy memory. With everyone going back to their busy jobs, and most likely having to catch up on at least 2 days of work that was missed…

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…