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Top Tips for Fundraising in a Digital World


Thursday, 28th May 2015 at 10:14 am
Lina Caneva, Editor
Raising more money, both online and offline, is a key topic at the Connecting Up Conference in South Australia this week with US Not for Profit management expert, Darian Rodriguez Heyman offering his top tips for better fundraising.

Thursday, 28th May 2015
at 10:14 am
Lina Caneva, Editor


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Top Tips for Fundraising in a Digital World
Thursday, 28th May 2015 at 10:14 am

Raising more money, both online and offline, is a key topic at the Connecting Up Conference in South Australia this week with US Not for Profit management expert, Darian Rodriguez Heyman offering his top tips for better fundraising.

Heyman is the former Executive Director of the Craigslist Foundation, the author of Nonprofit Management 101, and is a co-founder of BetterWorld Wireless, which serves US Not for Profits with mobile phone plans and donates a free phone or tablet to people in need for every customer.

Here are his top ten tips for engagement:

1.       Stage a Thank-a-Thon

Fundraising is not just about the ask, it is a process. Organise a thank-a-thon for your current pool of donors, just to say thank you. Get the board together and call donors just to say thanks. Then hang up. No ask, no invitation, no sell – just thanks!

2.       Never submit a cold grant

Warm it Up:

– Secure an Invitation: "Never show up to a party you aren't invited to." Find the key program person looking after funding and wait for them to ask you to apply.

– The Pasta Test: See what sticks. Before you go to the meeting prepare a short elevator pitch for each fundable part of your organisation, and see what sticks according to the feedback they give you.

– Jedi Mind Trick: "Would you mind reviewing a draft of the proposal before we submit it". You are looking for the program officer to champion your grant internally.

3.       Make specific direct asks

4.       Map Donations to Impact

Think incrementally – “People Don’t Give To You, They Give Through You”

5.       Make Your Donation Button Shine

3-Click Rule: can you make a donation on your own site within 3 clicks?

Make 3 Tweaks :

– Donate – percentage of visitors clicking on button according to display options for button (i.e. Colour/size).

– Default donation levels on the page.

– Impact: what are the stories of impact that match the donation levels.

Get out of your own way: when they click donate, get out the donor’s way.

6.       Create and Tap Your Social Network

Peer-encouraged giving is important and very successful

7.       Corporate Partnerships

The best way to do this is by building relationships. Start by consuming their product/service and building the relationships.

  • It's easier to get corporates to donate 'stuff'.
  • Consider media sponsorships

8.       Apply for a Google Grant

  • $10K/Month of Free Google AdWords
  • $2/Click Limit
  • Embrace “Long Tail” Keywords
  • Increase Website Traffic

9.       Use the 2:1 Ratio for Fundraising Events

Run a budget and if you aren’t raising more than twice what you are spending on the event, it’s not worth the effort.

10.   Understand the Social Capital Market

  • Stay on Target
  • Impact Investing is Different
  • 20-50 per cent vs. 3-5 per cent Raising $$$

The Connecting Up Conference theme is Empowering Communities in the Information Age.

The Australian organisation is a local partner of the US-based TechSoup Global network in 40 countries and manages the technology donation programs of companies such as Microsoft, Cisco, Adobe, Symantec, SAP and many more to NFP organisations in Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia.


Lina Caneva  |  Editor |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years, and Editor of Pro Bono Australia News since it was founded in 2000.

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