Why Wait?

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After 15 years I got my first donation ask from my favourite charity!

Scary but very true. I have been involved with this charity from, almost, the very start and I absolutely adore it. I think its one of the best organisations I know. Most of my work was not fundraising related but I did do a little bit of fundraising for them once.

I was always amazed that they never asked me to donate. You don’t get warmer than me. Well eventually I was asked and yes I will donate.

I know the thinking in the organisation was (or at least I think it was) that we cant ask those who support us in other ways to give mpney too. Of course you can. Here’s the thing if I didnt want to give, I just wouldnt. If I was offended by the ask, I would probably have let you know. So don’t pigeon hole supporters into categories.

Most importantly dont look at your supporters and think they wouldn’t like to give. Let them make that choice.

So don’t wait and ask today.

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You Tube Launches clickable ads for non-profits

Last week YouTube launched a new feature called ‘Call to Action’ for Non-profit Partners, allowing them to place overlay ads linking direct to their own website on their YouTube videos – for free. The clickable ads can direct viewers to any webpage, such as a secure donation page – essentially making YouTube videos into online DRTV ads.

To test the new feature, last Sunday YouTube placed a video for charity:water on its homepage, complete with a clickable overlay encouraging viewers to donate to fund water wells – and generated a very impressive $10,000 in donations in one day. So it certainly seems to work!

The test video was on the YouTube homepage so that may have something to do with the results, however we all embed these videos from You Tube onto our websites so its another way to have that donate button appear, especially after a compelling story. If you’re a UK or US non-profit click here to register as a Non-profit Partner

Came across this on Bryan Millers page on UK Fundraising and the original source is  Giving in a Digital World

Deep Authenticity

This is what I think we need to be or the point we need to get to in our fundraising. We need to be deeply authentic in our presentations and communications to our donors. We need to step back from our own understanding of our cause and the organisation speak. We need to reach deep and open up to our donors.

By being deeply authentic we will connect with our donors on a new level and they will connect with us. They will see a new side to you and new side to what it is you do.

If your donors make a connection with you at that level you will see the long term benefits

Improve your Direct Marketing

I wasnt able to make the Fundraising Ireland seminar yesterday, but reports are it went great.

Over 200 people attended and the overall tone was positive, with many reporting record years for the year just gone. There was a consensus that fundraisers would have to adapt and sharpen practices but that there was still potential to weather the storm.

One of the presentations was on DM. Click here to check out  Damian O’Broin’s (AskDirect) presentation on Improving your direct marketing.  Unlike a lot of presentations we sometimes get its full of some great tips Damian hasnt just danced around the topic in the hope you will send business his way, he has gone into some detail and Im sure everyone who attended took some great advice away.

My favourite slide….It’s a Recession…Spend More Money!

52% US donors plan no decrease in donations

Most of us have seen the Headline Article in Third Sector about the research by RapiData that the Number of donors cancelling their direct debits has ‘skyrocketed’ since start of credit crunch. It is an interesting piece and yes we should pay attention to it. I had hoped to post about it but with my travel schedule this last week I wasnt able to and I’ve missed the boat!

Here is another article that we should also pay attention to though. It is by Caroline Preston and is in the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Here is the full text….

Their investment portfolios may be slumping and their jobs less secure, but a majority of Americans who give to charity still plan to donate as much this year as they have in the past, according to a new survey.

More than 52 percent of donors said their gifts would be on par with 2008, while just 17.5 percent planned to give less.

But many Americans are still undecided about their plans for giving this year: Thirty percent of respondents said it was too soon for them to know how much they would give.

That leaves a great deal of room for the economic climate, as well as the effectiveness of fund raisers, to shape donors’ giving patterns this year.

Conducted in January by Cygnus Applied Research, the survey polled 17,365 people who had given in the past to charity. The respondents donated an average of $11,490 last year.

Most people in the survey said they had been touched in some way by the recession. More than 40 percent had lost their jobs or taken a hit in their income, while nearly 60 percent had seen their investments decrease in value.

On the whole, they were relatively pessimistic about the economy’s outlook. The largest share of respondents (39 percent) said they thought it would be at least three years before the economy recovered, while 23.4 percent felt the economy would rebound in less than two years.

But the respondents were prepared to make sacrifices to sustain their philanthropy. Of those who planned to give at least as much in 2009, 50 percent said they were willing to make compromises in other areas of their life to do so.

Most people said the recession would not affect their previous charitable commitments. Of those who were committed to a multi-year gift, 87 percent said they would pay the donations on time.

Meanwhile, donors who were forced to make cuts preferred to give smaller donations, rather than halting their support altogether.

Giving to New Groups

While a recession may not seem like the ideal time to seek out new donors, many people in the survey (42.5 percent) said they would give to a charity they had not supported in the past if someone they knew was seeking the gift. Many donors (40.3 percent) said they were also willing to give for the first time if the charity was working directly to help people hurt by the recession.

Sixteen percent said they would not consider supporting a new organization.
The study also explored whether donors would give again to nonprofit groups that were suffering significant fund-raising woes. People were more likely to make another donation for charities that were alleviating needs aggravated by the recession than they were to other kinds of charities.

Nearly 8 percent of respondents said they would not support a social-service organization if it cut services because of budget problems, while nearly 15 percent said they would stop giving to other types of charities.

Donors in the study said that, even before the recession, they were beginning to make some changes to how they gave.

For many, frequent solicitations were a big turnoff. Forty-one percent said they had stopped donating to at least one nonprofit group in the past five years because they felt overwhelmed by appeal letters, while more than a third said they were concerned organizations spent too much on fund raising.

Donors also said they were giving more to fewer causes (28.6 percent), being more thoughtful about their donations (29.4 percent), and donating more to local charities rather than national or umbrella organizations.

Among the study’s other findings:

  • During the recession, online gifts and product donations are expected to become more popular, while telemarketing, door-to-door canvassing, and direct-mail appeals may be less successful.
  • Starting a new capital campaign during the recession may be a challenge, as just 2.7 percent of respondents said they would give more for this type of project, while 14.6 percent said they would give less.
  • Donors cited matching gifts as a big motivator to give, more so than the opportunity to participate in a monthly giving program or the chance to avoid taxes on the value of a gift by donating through an IRA.

Copies of the study, “Philanthropy in a Turbulent Economy,” will be available soon and can be ordered from http://www.cygresearch.com, e-mailing cygnus@cygresearch.com, or calling Patricia Sinka at

IFC Online Conference goes live

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IFC Online – ­the world’s first international fundraising e-conference ­ went live yesterday, check it out here