18 ingredients for successful fundraising

I’m celebrating my 15 year anniversary as a fundraiser!

In a blog post 5 years ago I wrote about the best strategic ingredients for a successful fundraising program. Let’s try that again and see if I want to change my perspective now I’ve grown older…

  1. Fundraisers are gold. Quality fundraising staff makes all the difference. Without the right staff you can forget the rest of this post. And your fundraising results. Hire great professional fundraisers. Now.

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It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark

Recently I had some fundraisers over to catch up on fundraising developments. They wanted to pick my brain on what I think is “good fundraising” and “where things are going”. These conversations are always interesting, because it helps me shape my own thinking on what is really important.

A diversity of topics surfaced the table in approximately 90 minutes: acquisition channels, retention programs, engagement opportunities, stricter privacy laws, reporting environments, team structure, etc.

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Social Network Fundraising: The Beginners Guide

Peer-to-peer Fundraising, or as I like to call it Social Network Fundraising, works because of two reasons: (1) you are asking your own network, and (2) the fundraising is being done publicly. This combined provides a healthy and effective social peer pressure.

When you were young you probably had to do a sponsor run at school. You had to get pledges from your neighbours and family for a certain amount per lap. Remember that your neighbour always said: “So, what is the rest giving?” This is the best way to describe social network fundraising, she didn’t even hesitated. Straight away she went into the “how much” discussion…

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Testing is not for the faint-hearted

It’s not fun being a fundraiser nowadays: depressing trends like declining responses, high-cost-acquisition in combination with through-the-roof-attrition, rock-bottom-retention and charity-bashing-media… pfff, mission impossible?!

Or, is there still a bright light in the fundraising sky? Sure there is, plenty!

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FREE: 10 years of fundraising experience!

Exactly 10 years ago, I started my first job as a fundraiser! And from the beginning I was hooked. I love fundraising, because it enables change. Vision and passion combined with great fundraising enables important change. And as a fundraiser you play an important part in that change.

So, looking back over those 10 years, what did I learn? I’ve listed the most important strategic ingredients for a successful fundraising program.

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