Are you visible?

Some organisations are screaming out for support to enable them to do their work however, some of these have no visibility – could this be holding them back?

Organisations that have a high profile, have easy recall with the public are more likely to gain sustained, ongoing support; whereas those who for whatever reason don’t shout out about what they’re doing miss out.

People will generally support organisations they have an affinity with or those that have a high profile, if you are not in either camp you’re going to miss out.

Communicating with supporters, current and lapsed is only part of it, organisations need to be keeping their message in front of people, not only at appeal time, but whenever possible.

If your supporters are seeing you and only see other organisations their allegiance can and will change.

But, importantly too, is that your visibility will help grow your supporter base.

Any organisation that doesn’t raise it’s head, wave it’s arms around and shout “here we and this is what we’ve done” will be left behind, growing a supporter base will be more difficult and people will bypass it for others that are readily identifiable.

Do you want to be left behind?

Are you sharing your stories, the good, the bad; how is this working for you?

Why aren’t you sharing your story, what impact are you noticing?

Does “brand recognition” make it easier for you to select what organisation you will support?

See also:




School’s Out

It’s the school holidays, what impact does school holidays have on charitable giving.

I’m not aware of any research into this, but from anecdotal evidence, and some informal discussions with some in the charity sector it would appear that they do impact on charitable giving.

Parents only have so much money, and when it comes to charity, they’re likely to hold off giving when school is out. It’s really a no brainer, they need that extra for holidays, treats or any number of other things.

It would appear that regular giving, monthly giving doesn’t get impacted on as much as other giving methods, appeal envelopes/letters or tele-fundraising.

Some have suggested that street appeals do suffer but not to the same degree as other methods as often kids on break with their parents will ask if they can give. Again, this is only from informal chats, as to whether this is the case only those holding street appeals during holidays will really know the answer.

If you’re in the charity sector, what is your take on this, do holidays impact on revenue?

Out on holiday with your kids, do you still have the ability to give?

See also





Managing an every growing workload

Please Sir, I want some more … that’s a line from Oliver Twist. But in the non-profit sector it’s nothing for a staff member, no matter the role to be loaded with more and more work.

“Overloaded” appears to be a common response when asking people in the non-profit sector how their day, work or job is going.

Not only are people struggling to juggle their normal workload but also, it seems they are being loaded with more and more tasks to accomplish, often with unrealistic time-frames.

What’s more, often some of the task people are asked to carryout haven’t been fully thought out, vague instructions are given along with unrealistic time-frames.

No one likes additional tasks dumped on them, least of all those that haven’t been thought out. Yet, it seems some in managerial roles feel it’s acceptable to load more and more on staff.

Most people feel they can’t say or do anything about added workloads, but, they can.

How to deal with increased loads:

If there’s too much to handle – acknowledge it. Many people who have increased workloads will try and shoulder it all and attempt to get through everything loaded on them. Sure, it may happen, but only with careful juggling of the tasks assigned to be done.

Are there some tasks you’ve been assigned that don’t need to be done, what would happen if something wasn’t completed right now?

If you aren’t already prioritising your work, now is the time to start.

Simply stick with the simple method of prioritising workload – A, B, C, D etc.

A—urgent and important

B—important but not urgent

C—urgent but not important

D—not urgent or important

There’s only to categories that need attention right now … those items listed as A’s and B’s. The C’s and D’s are the least important, they can wait.

If you’re assigned something new, first ask – is this urgent or important, then add it to the appropriate category. Just because it’s the CEO who gave you something to do doesn’t mean it’s mission critical – the only way of knowing is to ask when first assigned the task.

Now you have your prioritised list, work through them, category by category, don’t try and do two or more things at once, it seldom works out well. Do one thing at a time and do it well.

How are you coping with an increased workload?

What tips or tricks do you use to manager a high number of tasks?

Recognise Regular Donors

Your regular donors generate your regular passive income, don’t ignore them and the contribution they are making to the success of your organisation.

Praise, praise, praise … it may sound trite but it is the best thing you can do to help retrain and recognise the importance of donors in your regular giving programme.

That’s not to say that they are better or more important the your one-off donors, it’s simply to recognise the importance they have in allowing your to manage the work you do, knowing that there is regular income that allows you to do what you do.

When communicating with regular donors; ask for feedback, feedback about who, why and how they give through the regular giving.  These can be used to help entice others to your programme.

Regular givers should be segmented in your database to allow for specific updates to be sent to this group.

Some organisations develop donor reports specifically for regular donors, and hold events for regular givers to give them the opportunity to invite others who may be interested in joining your regular giving programme (think Tupperware without the commission).

Remember that you should also bear in mind that, although any donor can be converted to a regular giving programme, you should never stop asking anyone for a one-off donations. Even though you’re receiving a regular contribution from your regular donors, this group are known to give more when asked for a one-off contribution to something specific.

Regular giving programmes can help with increasing donor contributions and can help to reactivate delinquent donors.

When talking with regular givers, make it personal, using this style of communication can help not only retain donors, but can also help reactivate those who have stopped giving.

Often the simple messages of how important regular giving is to help maintain the work carried out, who is benefiting from regular giving, and that regular giving allows work to be carried out with reduced administration and fundraising costs can too help regain donors.

Some organisations make a point of restating regular giving levels to help retain and regain donors, perhaps a donor who offered $50 per month has had a change in their personal circumstances, but by suggesting a lower level they will come back on board, what have you got to lose by asking for less when they’ve stopped giving altogether.

All donor communications are important, just because someone has said they will give on a basis doesn’t mean they don’t want to hear from you – perhaps they may even need to hear from you more often.  But, don’t make your communications too frequently – this could be a turn off.

How are you communicating with your regular donors?

Could you be communicating with regular donors more frequently or change your message?

Are you a regular giver through a regular giving programme – if so, what is your experience?

Regular Giving

Shops, restaurants, cafes all have customer loyalty programmes – why, because they (loyalty programmes) encourage regular patronage.

Charities should be embracing regular giving, why, because it cost effective, easy to manage for donor and charity, help with financial forecasting.

More typically, people have recall of larger organisation who have regular giving programmes, think World Vision, UNICEF, Save the Children; but in reality any organisation no matter its size can run a regular giving programme.

Don’t just set up a regular giving programme, you still need to plan how you will run it, the communications that will tie into it, how you will allow giving to be made; it’s no different to planning anything else.

Some thing to consider:

1.     Who will you invite

Not everyone in your database is suited to regular giving, some organisation prefer to use regular giving to reignite ‘dormant’, ‘delinquent’ donors.

However, it is a lot easier and gain regular giving pledges from supporters who give regularly.

Look at your donors who make their donation by credit card first, they’re more likely to take it up. But, don’t forget those who give by cheque, they can still be enticed to join your regular giving programm

2.    Make it easy

Promote your regular giving programme at every opportunity.

Have a prominent link on your website, talk about your regular giving programme in donor updates, invite donors to join your programme through messages on receipts and in annual updates.

3.    Have a clear message

Why would people want to sign up to your regular giving programme?

Give a clear message as to the benefits of regular giving, the donors and your organisation.

The simple message to donors is that it makes it easier for them to give.

Be upfront and let donors know that regular giving makes for easier financial management and that it helps reduce administration and fundraising costs.

Don’t forget to make sure your regular donors are being giving regular updates as to how they are helping.

4.    Points to consider

  • When will be the best time to receive regular giving pledges?
  • How can regular giving pledges be made?
  • Communicating, how will you communicate with those in your regular giving programme?
  • Receipts; will these be sent for each donation or will you have the ability to send an annual receipt?


Do you have a regular giving programme, what are the benefits you are seeing from it?

Is regular giving helping with donor retention?

Are you part of a regular giving programme with the organisations you support?


General Elections, Impact on Charitable Donations

Have been searching for information that shows that charitable donations can take a hit in the lead up to General Elections; alas I haven’t found anything that really says it does or doesn’t.

However, in talking with a few charities they have indicated that they do see a change in the way people give in the lead up to elections.

A quick chat also with a number of people (10) who give on a regular basis, and the majority all said they hold off on all giving until after the election.

No one actually said why this could be the case, is it similar to the old days when people held off making purchases prior to budget announcements? Who knows.

Do you notice a change in charitable giving to your organisation prior to elections?

Do you hold off on some giving until after elections?