April 17, 2019

10 fundraising tips from the professionals

The Kids’ Cancer Project and Pirate Ship Foundation are so grateful when ordinary people in the community hear the urgent plea and act by stepping up to help raise money for childhood brain cancer research. It can be a daunting task, but with guidance from the professionals at The Kids’ Cancer Project, you’ll be collecting some serious cash for the kids in no time at all. 

  1. Create an online fundraising page

When you fundraise for Pirate Day in May, you’ll be given a link to create your very own fundraising web page.

“This is an easy way to start fundraising right away,” said Kimberley, Campaigns Marketing Executive. “Personalise your page with photos and a short blurb, and then you can send the link out to your friends and family asking them to donate!”

Need help setting up your Pirate Day in May fundraising page? Call 1800 651 158 or email ahoy@piratedayinmay.com.au.

  1. Tell your story

For most, when it comes to creating a personalised fundraising page, it’s the thought of writing something warm from the heart that can stop a lot of people cold. Jennie, Content Manager shares how to rid yourself of writers’ block.

“Just imagine you’re telling a friend over the phone about what you’re doing and why it means so much to you,” Jennie said. “That’s the story you write.”

“One or two paragraphs is about the length you need, so if you’ve written too much, see where you might have repeated yourself and shorten,” she said.

“If you haven’t written enough, add more details, colours, emotion. Using imagery in words can be very powerful tool; for instance, instead of ‘drop’ use words like plunge, sink, crash.”

“Whatever you write, make sure the message is clear and that you tell people what you want them to do.”

  1. Ask, ask, ask

Don’t be afraid to ask your network of friends and family three to seven times for donations is the advice of Melanie, Community Fundraising Executive.

“You will need to remind your friends and family to donate,” she said. “Especially those who have said they’ll donate, or ‘liked’ your posts about the event.”

For most of us, asking for money doesn’t come naturally which is why it’s easy to mistakenly believe that a few gentle reminders might be perceived as harassment.

“People often just genuinely forget,” said Melanie. “And if you remind them on payday they’ll probably come through.”

  1. Say thank you

Regular Giving Executive, Dane, knows the power of thank you and has this advice.

“If you want to raise funds, it’s important to send proper thank you letters,” he said. “A personal note of thanks to let each donor know how much it means to you that they’ve donated is golden.”

You might also mention where you are up to with your fundraising goal, who knows, they may have a friend who will support you too. Or maybe they’ll be prompted to give another donation to help you meet your target.

  1. All about YOU

Whether you’re writing your story or updating social media, even if a donor is passionate about your cause, he or she will stop giving if your messages focus only on what you and the charity you’re fundraising for needs.

Linda, Head of Marketing and Fundraising, suggests turning the tables.

“Use ‘you’ instead of ‘I’ in your fundraising asks,” she said. “Make the donation appeal about the donors and their merits.”

“It can be as simple as saying, ‘by donating you will help future generations of children diagnosed with cancer’,” said Linda.

  1. Just do it

National Engagement Executive, Kate, advocates the motto of a famous sports brand; doing something is better than nothing at all.

“It’s easy to get caught up in your head and want to make everything perfect before you start fundraising,” she said. “My advice is stop postponing your plans just because they’re not flawless and start doing something now.”

  1. Pictures tell many words

“Are you baking? Setting up a pirate picnic? Whatever you are doing to fundraise, capture the journey in photos.”

That’s the advice of Graphic Designer, Nicole, who knows first-hand that pictures speak for themselves.

“It’s not so hard to keep your social media and your fundraising page updated with the little things you’re doing to prepare,” she said. “And it builds anticipation for the big day when you finally get there.”

  1. Don’t just post, interact

Vicky, Digital Marketing Manager is a huge advocate for all the social mediums we have at our fingertips.

“Email and social media are great platforms to deliver your ask,” she said. “When people respond, be sure to interact with them – keep the chat going.”

“’Like’ their comments, thank them for their support,” she said. “You can even tag and shout out to the followers who are helping you reach your goal.”

“Another hint is to ask people who are supporting you to share your posts. If 950 children are diagnosed with cancer every year, it’s likely that a friend of a friend of a friend has been affected and will be enthusiastic about what you’re doing.”

  1. Make a match

Natalie, Partnerships Executive recommends asking the boss for support.

“Some organisations have philanthropic programs where they dollar match money raised by employees for charity,” said Natalie. “If your organisation doesn’t have a dollar matching program, still ask! All charitable donations over $2 are tax-deductable so they may still help you reach your fundraising goal.”

Pluck up the courage to seek out other businesses in your neighbourhood who will get behind your fundraising. Your local café might be interested in helping you raffle off a meal voucher or be willing to put a fundraising tin near their cash register for loose change.

  1. Bright ideas

“Over the years’ we’ve had fundraisers who have come up with some of the most creative ideas to generate extra dollars for medical research,” said Kathryn, Community & Campaigns Manager.

“One fellow held a lavish dinner party for his friends and charged them each $150 to enjoy fine food and wine at his home. A couple liaised with their local cinema and sold special tickets for a fun family movie night.”

“But often it’s the simple ideas that are the most effective,” Kathryn said.

“Challenge your friends to go without coffee for a week and donate the money they save to your campaign,” she said. “That will be around $20 if they work in the city!”

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