September 2013

Published on September 30, 2013 by

The difference between fundraising and begging

    “I’m not going to beg!”

Frustrated fundraisers (and in some cases CEOs) have told me this is the response they get when trying to involve board members in fundraising.

This is a great shame as it’s costing many charities thousands of dollars each year. Possibly even tens or hundreds of thousands. Money that could be used to help more people, more animals or whatever your cause is.

So I decided to write something to show the difference between fundraising and begging.

Characteristics of beggars

When you’re begging, you have no relationship with the prospect. You develop no right to ...

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Published on September 18, 2013 by

Digital storytelling for charities is about shareable content

No point in getting fabulous raw, real-time beneficiary-generated content if nobody sees it. Or cares about it. That’s why your digital storytelling content must be highly shareable.

The success of the GHNI and WaterAid projects outlined in my previous posts were dependent on supporters spreading the word online.

So what made the content highly shareable in these cases?

Close enough real time. People, including your donors, are used to instant status sharing, retweeting or 30-second posting online of what they’re thinking, doing, or looking at right now. ...

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Published on September 16, 2013 by

Digital storytelling ideas for your charity

I’m going to say upfront, this is an ideas post. It’s based on AJ Leon’s digital storytelling case studies as told to the F&P Forum last week.

It’s about changing the traditional model of storytelling from polished, charity-generated print stories to raw, real-time beneficiary-generated digital content.

Because I think it’s easy to dismiss AJ Leon’s digital storytelling model, I wanted to offer some ideas on how it could be adapted to your non-profit.

I’m not making any guarantees on whether these ideas will work. I just want to get ...

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Published on September 11, 2013 by

Digital storytelling for charities – in the hands of beneficiaries

At last week’s F&P Forum, I heard two case studies from self-proclaimed professional troublemaker AJ Leon about digital storytelling.

One featured a tiny, tiny non-profit called Global Hope Network International. Using digital storytelling, a mobile phone and a $250 budget, they managed to raise $72,000 in three hours to fund community development work in the village of Ola Nagale in Kenya.

The other campaign was The Big Dig for WaterAid in the UK. It saw £2.2 million pouring in for water projects in Malawi.

I don’t want to describe the projects in great detail here. Suffice ...

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Published on September 5, 2013 by

Thoughts about retention

Some fantastic speakers after the first day at the Fundraising & Philanthropy Forum.

First up I wanted to share with you some thoughts from Martin Paul (from More Strategic) about retention.

Here's what he said:

1. Take retention seriously. Charities are obsessed with getting more donors and spend a fortune acquiring them. But what we spend on retention - keeping the relationship alive - is miniscule.

2. Acquisition is expensive and unpredictable... And the real measure of successful acquisition is how many donors you keep after 5 years.

Well, that blows away short-term thinking on ROI.

3. Donor engagement is ...

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