Leading the way on individual fundraising

Lightbulb moment

Kylie Kitchen | 22 November 2017

Experts at the IoF Individual Giving Conference have shared their formulas for campaigns that have dramatically increased donations.

At the conference on November 13, leaders in the sector detailed charities’ multifaceted journeys to great campaigns, taking delegates through regulatory compliance, trends, and inspiring messages.

Speakers agreed that individual giving had gone through a cultural and individual change, with a strong shift towards skills learning.

In order to best look after their donors, charities presented case studies to show how they evaluated the effectiveness of fundraising methods – traditional such as door-drops and direct mail, and alternative campaigns such as the Muddy Dog Challenge (the obstacle course event for you and your dog in support of Battersea Cats and Dogs) and Oxfam sending their festival stewards a thank you mug (a surprise gift that helped with volunteer retention).

Jenny Crabtree, Head of Public Fundraising, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, told delegates that she expects her strategy to look very different in five years’ time and fundraisers should be open to change.

With the charity having grown its individual fundraising from £1m to £19m in six years, Crabtree’s advice to diversify audiences and to diversify products got attendees thinking.

Richard Moody, Head of Supporter Engagement, Crisis, said engaging storytelling, together with skills and experience, was crucial to fundraising success.

The Crisis’ Christmas campaign increased the charity’s database from 150,000 supporters to 400,000 in five years.

Attendees were keen to learn about growing a successful direct marketing campaign, particularly one that would work once GDPR is in place.

Tim Hunter, Director of Fundraising, Oxfam, talked about engagement and the launch of the app-based Stand As One campaign in which users can send a digital postcard to MPs to endorse a cause. He said embracing digital technology to engage with millennial donors was a must for digital fundraisers.

“The digital revolution has happened and if we don’t embrace it, we will be left behind on a burning platform,” Hunter said.

While sector leaders inspired delegates to think critically about their own strategies for individual giving, real donors concluded the event with a session on what inspires them to give and continue to give.

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