Are you adapting ?

Often seeing organisations doing the same thing day in day out to gain funding can be frustrating. especially when you know they could do better and more if they adapted their fundraising activities.

For instance; if you used to only communicate with donors through mail and change to email, have you taken into consideration how you will communicate with those who do not have, or don’t want to be contacted through, email?

Will you be prepared to split your database so those without email are updated on your activities, achievements through information supplied with receipts? Or, do you, will you be like others and “forget” about this group and suffer through a drop in donations?

It used to be that organizations would only be known by those it supports and, by those who supported it. Simply due to lack of resources, skills and money; now though any organization, no matter its size can with the right skills can communicate with anyone, anywhere and virtually at anytime.

If your organization hasn’t or isn’t looking to adapt you can’t expect to keep growing. It’s that simple.

There’s more “competition” for the charity dollar than there was 10, 5, even two years ago.

No that organizations and, individuals have the ability to set up online fundraising campaigns, those not doing so need to at the very least look at how these platforms can work for them. If they don’t they will run the serious risk of being left behind.

Online fundraising will only continue to grow, either through organizations making use of the various tools, or by individuals doing it themselves.

Can your organisation afford to be left behind?

If you don’t want to be left behind, what will you do to change?

Have you changed the way you give charitable donations, are you giving more directly, or are you giving to organizations who have a higher presence in your social channels?

See also:

Online Fundraising, Impact on Traditional Fundraising

Does Profile Matter?

What’s Happening – are You Watching?

Who holds the keys to change?

The physical and psychological benefits of generosity

Have had several discussions with people over the years about how giving, either time or money can make you feel good; now it seems that there is some truth to the thought.

This article which appeared on recently shows that there is some correlation between giving and feeling good.

The physical and psychological benefits of generosity


“If there’s a magic pill for happiness and longevity, we may have found it.

Countless studies have found that generosity, both volunteering and charitable donations, benefits young and old physically and psychologically.

The benefits of giving are significant, according to those studies: lower blood pressure, lower risk of dementia, less anxiety and depression, reduced cardiovascular risk and overall greater happiness.

“Volunteering moves people into the present and distracts the mind from the stresses and problems of the self,” said Stephen G. Post, from the Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York. “Many studies show that one of the best ways to deal with the hardships in life is not to just centre on yourself but to take the opportunity to engage in simple acts of kindness.”

Studies show that when people think about helping others, they activate a part of the brain called the mesolimbic pathway, which is responsible for feelings of gratification. Helping others doles out happiness chemicals, including dopamine, endorphins that block pain signals and oxytocin, known as the tranquillity hormone.

Even just the thought of giving money to a specific charity has this effect on the brain, research shows.

Intuition tells us that giving more to oneself is the best way to be happy. But that’s not the case, according to Dan Ariely, professor of behavioral economics and psychology at Duke University.

“If you are a recipient of a good deed, you may have momentary happiness, but your long-term happiness is higher if you are the giver,” Ariely said. For example, if you give people a gift card for a Starbucks cappuccino and call them that evening and ask how happy they are, people say they are not happier than if you hadn’t given it to them. If you give another group a gift card and ask them to give it to a random person, when you call them at night, those people are happier.

“People are happier when they give, even if they’re just following instructions,” Ariely said. “They take credit for the giving and therefore are happier at the end of the day.”

Read full article here

What Constitutes a “No” and when does “No” mean “Never”?

Great article well worth reading …

“I Won’t Give You Anything – Ever!” by Brian Saber on Asking Matters

What constitutes a “no” and when does “no” mean “never”?

After the great enigma of determining what to ask for, figuring out when to stop asking must be the next greatest enigma. Do we stop if our donors don’t call us back? If they tell us they won’t give this year? If they say they are supporting other causes? What constitutes a flat-out, permanent “no”?!

My golden rule is to never assume I know what the donor is thinking. We know the old adage about assuming, and while it won’t necessarily make us asses in this case, it will keep us from getting at the truth and maximizing giving.

I start from the premise we’re all adults here, and we understand the rules of engagement; open communication, honesty, and mutual respect. Within that context, I believe donors have a moral obligation to respond openly and honestly. And we have to take what they say at face value.

Read full article here

Online Fundraising, Impact on Traditional Fundraising

Has, and can, online fundraising have impact on other, more traditional fundraising?

From my perspective, yes it can have an impact; I’ve seen first-hand organisations who have had to change their fundraising methods, dates and more because people are giving in other ways to different causes.

It’s interesting that I started thinking about this late last night and, this morning I wake to see this subject in an article in the NZHeraldIs it safe to give a little?

“Kiwis give millions of dollars to causes on the fundraising website Givealittle. But money handed back by the charity platform from one controversial appeal has raised concerns over whether the online model is open to abuse. Phil Taylor reports ..

Some areas Phil has touched on are the same as I had started penning, so instead of rehashing what he’s said, here’s some excerpts from his article.

“Internet crowdsourcing is changing the face of philanthropy. Platforms such as US-based GoFundMe and New Zealand’s Givealittle super-charge the amount that can be raised, no more so than for causes that pull heartstrings. If mainstream media picks up a cause, a zero or so might be added.”

“Causes that top the lists for dollars donated and number of donors are all from the past 12 months and reflect the sector’s exponential growth worldwide. More than half of the $32 million given to Givealittle causes in its lifetime was donated in the past year. When teleco giant Spark bought it in late 2012, it was doing about $55,000 a month. Last month it did $2 million.”

Read Phil’s full article here

See also 6 Fundraising Platforms That Have Disrupted Charitable Giving Forever

See also Digging deep for Kiwi generosity

Charities Ignore Donor Preferences – Study Says

An interesting read in this article from The Chronicle of Philanthropy

Charities Ignore Donor Preferences, Study Says

Donors and the nonprofit organizations they support financially have different views on optimum fundraising and communication practices, and that disconnect results in lost donations, a new study has found.

Nonprofits were 10 times more likely than donors to say that their organizations are not communicating enough with supporters, while donors regard the information they receive from charities as adequate or, in many cases, far too frequent.

The study, which also examined differences among four generations of donors, found that most charities use only one piece of information — how much each person contributes — to shape the communications their supporters receive while ignoring other important factors.

About 55 percent of millennial donors, ages 18 to 34, said that text messages from charities were desirable or acceptable once in a while. That percentage declined with age. Forty-two percent of Generation X donors, ages 35 to 50; 24 percent of baby boomers, ages 51 to 69; and 9 percent of seniors, 70 and older, approve of text messages.

And while nearly 80 percent of millennials said they would welcome or accept occasional thank-you gifts from charities they support, fewer donors in each successive generation said so, with only 48 percent of seniors open to getting thank-you gifts from the charities they support.

Continue Reading here

When Something goes Wrong

Negative feedback about staff interaction with donors can impact on the reputation of your organisation, how do you deal with it?

Every now and then someone doing work for your organisation may say or do something that causes donors to be left with a sour taste in their mouth.

How this is dealt with by you is important, you need to retain supporters and the best way to do this when someone upsets them, is to let the supporter know that you hear what they are saying, that you will talk to the staff member about their actions and that you will let the supporter know what action you have taken.

It doesn’t matter how long or the value of support you receive from a supporter, they are all equal and should be treated as such, respect is universal.

It’s important to remember that any sour taste left in the mouth of a supporter will soon spread, they will talk with family, friends and colleagues about the treatment they received. This could put others off supporting your cause.

It’s hard enough as it is gaining and maintaining support, you can’t afford to lose supporters.

Perhaps the errant staff member needs some time out, retraining in communicating with supporters, whatever cause of action you take ensure it is followed up on, that the staff member is monitored.

Have you had a bad experience where a staff member has caused issues for your organisation – how did you handle it?

If you’ve had a bad experience with someone from an organisation you support, did you tell the organisation about it, or did you walk away from the organisation?