Tag Archive | "campaign"

Increase the Appeal of Your Cause

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Increase the Appeal of Your Cause


Donors are trimming back their spending and choosing more carefully what they use their hard earned dollars for.  When the going gets tough, non-profits need to be focused more on the donor than normal and think about how their donors think.  Following these simple steps will have a big impact on your organization’s next appeal.

1.    Be transparent.

Donors are more conscientious of their spending.  In your communications, clearly explain how their money will be used, and how it will improve the organization and its community.

2.    Establish donor options.

It’s a common industry practice to base your donation amounts on past giving and add in increases.  In today’s economy, consider scaling back the percentage increase you build in to make your ask amount appeal to everyone—even if their personal circumstances may have changed.  Remember: the goal is to renew the donor as well as increase giving overall.

3.    Build community.
Instead of a gala or auction, find creative ways to integrate your community service events with fundraising.  Attending events that involve tickets or products may not necessarily be the best choice with the current economic climate.  Donors can see how their donations impact their community if you invite them to take part in a local-level event with a fundraising twist.  Make it possible and affordable for donors to join you in your community events; get them washing a car, or have a donor family build a gift basket and deliver it in person to a family they’ll support.

4.    Expand your business-side donor pool.
Socially-conscious businesses can a big part of any non-profit’s donor strategy—especially when impacted by a slowing economy.  However, not every industry is going to be affected, and it is worthwhile to start looking beyond your current contributors.  You may find untapped resources that are able to make a large gift.

5.    Use volunteers.

While a downside to a lagging economy is unemployment, this can be advantageous for your organization.  There are sure to be many who can no longer show their support financially; however, volunteering their time may be appealing.  Plan for an increase here, and think about community clean ups, craft fairs and other ways to embrace an increase in volunteers.

6.    Use social networking sites.

You can use Facebook as a tool to promote volunteer opportunities, online giving and more.  Understand how social media works, and embrace technology when it is going to work in your advantage.  You can also conduct a CRM data screening, and discover who is active on different social networking sites.  All of this information can be utilized to support and grow your own social networking program, such as creating a MySpace group for different areas of interest and participation.

7.    Give thanks.
No matter how small or large the donation, send a thank you letter or make a telephone call.  Donors will appreciate the outreach and are more likely to think of you during the next appeal cycle.

8.    Keep in touch.
Communicate with your donor pool beyond the appeal.  Send a monthly newsletter, birthday card or an update about how an event went.  This keeps the donor personally interested in the cause.

The economy will always change, and there will be good times and bad.  Now is an important time when non-profits have to think creatively and pay attention to details in order to continue serving the community with the same gusto of previous years.  These tips can help organizations connect with donors, build lasting relationships as well as reach appeal goals.

Posted in Fundraising, Marketing, Social MediaComments (2)

Three Keys to Successful Micro-Campaigns

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Three Keys to Successful Micro-Campaigns


With the advent of peer-to-peer fundraising, more charities are implementing micro-campaigns as an essential part of their fundraising strategy. A micro-campaign is any program conducted by an individual, over a short period of time, targeting a relatively small fundraising goal. As organizations realize the advantages peer-to-peer fundraising has over traditional charity-to-donor appeals, micro-campaigns are beginning to form an integral part of the “isosceles donor triangle.” Considering the nuances of this type of fundraising, there are three key elements to making sure your micro-campaign is as successful as it can possibly be.

Make it personal.
Micro-fundraising has one primary advantage over regular fundraising: you begin your campaign with existing relationships, to varying extents, with every donor. Whether or not they are passionate about contributing to a cause or an event, your donors are likely to have at least a passing interest in contributing to you. Therefore, a micro-campaign should begin and end with your story. Why do you care about this cause? What has been your experience with the organization you’re fundraising for? How has your participation in this organization or this campaign affected you? What are you going through to train for the race, compete in the dance-a-thon, or participate in the protest? A micro-campaign hinges on your relationships – you are the biggest draw for your donors at the outset, so make it personal.

Make it high-tech.
Perhaps as important as what you say, is how you say it… not to mention where and when! The Internet can be your best asset when it comes to engaging your donors. Peer-to-peer fundraising tools streamline your donation and appeal process, and using any of the wide variety of social media platforms can help make the appeal stronger, timelier, or more accessible. You can expand the reach and portability of your campaign by using an application on Facebook, posting notes, inviting friends to attend your event and keeping them updated on your progress through status updates. For more detailed progress reporting, you can keep a blog and allow donors to subscribe via RSS. An indirect but important way that social media can help your campaign is by connecting you with other micro-fundraisers and cause leaders to share inspiration, motivation, tools and tips for meeting your goals.

Make it matter.
By running a micro-campaign, you have the unique opportunity to cultivate not only donors, but fellow cause champions. Use your appeals to educate friends and family about the cause or the organization you’re supporting. When doing this online, you equip them with the resources they need to engage as deeply as you have. While the primary purpose of a micro-campaign is to generate funds, one of the largest influences you can have on your cause is to generate the type of passion that spurs others into action, allowing your micro-campaign to multiply organically and at no further cost to you. One evangelist is worth much more than one donation.

Though micro-fundraising takes place on a small scale, the difference between a good micro-campaign and a great one can become exponential when applied across a dedicated base of cause champions. Fundraisers need to recognize the tools at their disposal and work to make their communication with donors as personal as possible. Organizations should always be on the lookout for ways to give their volunteers technology that will increase the reach and convenience of their fundraising efforts. Ultimately, fundraisers should strive to create fellow fundraisers in parallel to creating donors. When participants craft their appeals with these principles in mind, micro-campaigns can have enormous impact on a nonprofit’s total fundraising strategy.

Posted in Awareness, Marketing, Social MediaComments (1)

Will Facebook save an Old Oak Tree?

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Will Facebook save an Old Oak Tree?


I am lucky to be part of the alumni of the University of Bath’s School of Management programme ‘Responsibility and Business Practice’. We have a simple, effective and early incarnation of social media that serves us well…

We share an email list for all alumni and it creates a live and dynamic forum between us that reaches a Global and very powerful business and personal community that together tackles challenges both great and small. This time, the communication was about just one tree and it read:

Dear RBPers

A beautiful and ancient tree in my local town is going to be cut down -
the council claim it is a threat although it shows no signs of disease
or instability – in reality we believe it is for convenience and
parking. If you are on Facebook (anywhere in the world) please join the
group ‘Save the Crewkerne Luccombe Oak’ so that we can show that people
everywhere care about ancient trees more than extra parking spaces. If
you live near enough go and see the tree in Crewkerne and add a message
of your own.

Many thanks


One of the response, less than 2 hours later, is below…

Hi L

Here are some ideas:
1) Try to get a TPO on it – Here is a link about how to get a Tree Protection Order granted (although if you are up against the council, not likely):http://www.naturenet.net/trees/tpo.htm

2) Use the planning system against them – Find out the name of the case officer in the planning office, make a formal request for information from the planning department to see the planning consent documentation for the tree removal – stipulate that you want this information IN ADVANCE of the tree removal and that you are taking legal advice on the status of the removal as this is an ancient Oak and their activity could be illegal (this is of course to put the wind up them). cc. the leader or mayor to all correspondence as well as the environment dept, communications dept and all local councillors – public servants and politicians get spooked when they see other people have been copied in, especially their bosses. Liberally use words and phrases like ILLEGAL, AGAINST GOVERNMENT POLICY, ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESMENT, PLANNING AND COMPULSORY PURCHASE ACT 2005, etc.

3) Ask what status the land around the tree has on the Local Development Framework (formerly Unitary Development Plan), if it is earmarked as green space, then there will be little cause for removal, and the council are possibly acting illegally, if it has been earmarked as development land, I would investigate this further to see if there is a developer interested

4) The environmental case for saving this tree includes this key point a mature oak helps mitigate against flood risk as it will draw up over 50 gallons of water a day – in an age of flooding and climate change, the council are taking an environmentally irresponsible decision which could harm the long term future of the area

5) Write to all local councillors to request their official view, request the attendance list at planning committee that decreed this
6) Write to the leader of the council and if you have an elected mayor
7) Obviously write to the local papers
8) Look for a famous champion – any local celebs? Try Felix Dennis – he loves trees. Make a film with them – post it on Youtube
9) In all your correspondence let councillors, planners, environment officers know that they could be cutting down over £500,000 worth of council owned amenity – see proof that Surrey valued its ancient oaks at that price http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3347278/Ancient-oak-in-Surrey-tree-valued-at-500000.html
10) Get my mum involved – she scares the beJaysus out of all who try and fell trees and will gladly tie herself to it – I have copied her in, expect a call!
Good luck!


A great deal of information and support duly disseminated in the press of a button, one mother ready to tie herself to the Oak and a Facebook group that widens the reach beyond Bath Alumni and into the wider tree-caring community of the Uk and beyond. The power of social media garnered to save the mighty oak and battle a system at odds with its own interests perhaps? I will update you with the results…

Posted in Communications, Social MediaComments (6)