24 Feb Ask the Fundraising Fox Panel of Experts
Fundraising Fox has lots of partners that are the experts in their respective fields. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers.
Have a fundraising question you want answered? Email us at TheFox@FundraisingFox.com
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Getting Organized Online
Marketing the Fundraiser & Cause
Live silent or online auction fundraiser? How do we choose?
The overall routine is similar: donations are requested, donor and donor information is recorded, then promote the auction to bidders and let the fun begin. Live and Silent are auction require physical participation with bidders at a physical location, usually 3-4 hours. The online auction is conducted online, with little or no ‘barriers-to-entry’. Online auctions can span hours or days with an infinite number of bidders pushing bids and donations higher and higher.
To choose between live, silent or online auction fundraiser comes down to participation and costs:
- Will people show up to an auction event?
- If yes- then live and silent is preferred
- If no- then online auction is preferred
2. Will the the income for the event be profitable to meet the goals?
- If yes- then live and silent is preferred
- If no- then online is preferred
How do we find auction item donations?
General Goods and services can be requested with a simple procuremenet letter in-person or online. High profile donations may require a specialist.
- Write an effective procurement letter
- Ask everyone in and around your group for donations
- Go online to find donation requests for major and minor goods, services & entertainment
- Consider no-risk or consignment auction items
For authentic memorabilia and sports autographed items use a professional and well regarded no-risk item vendor. Be sure All items are signed under the direct supervision of authorized agents and include a letter of authenticity. Matching, tamper-proof holograms are affixed to the letter and directly to the item. Many items may also include a photo of the signing.
CAUTION: Companies that sell fake items have great looking letters of authenticity and holograms so it’s important to do your research about any company you are considering working with. Ask for references and call a few in person, read online reviews so you are completely confident in their decision to include our items in their auction.
What is donation matching? How do we access these additional donations?
Many corporations match donations made by employees to a wide range of nonprofits, to support employee charitable giving, and to extend corporate philanthropy.
Simply ask your donors of they work for an employer that matches, then provide receipt or documentation to submit for the donation match. OR
Use a donation matching service can yield multiple times the donation. Matching donations, or matching gifts, are free money that nonprofits often miss out on because of limited information on donors’ employers, complex corporate giving programs, and because the corporate matching process is usually unknown for employees.
Professional Fundraising Consultancy
What does a professional fundraising consultant do? Is it worth the investment?
Investing in the time and money with experts can optimize fundraising campaigns. Expert advisors offer 1:1 coaching, webinars, team meetings, board brainstorming and get results.
The most common professionals hired to help with events are event planners, auctioneers and auction companies. These consultants have spent years learning their crafts, so there won’t be any painful mistakes born from inexperience. A really great consultant should help the organization make far more money than the cost of their consulting fee.
Answered by A.J. Steinberg, Queen Bee Fundraising
Getting Organized Online
How do we stay organized online and connected with supporters & volunteers?
Your first step is to GET ORGANIZED. Your website should be a single place to store all flyers and documents year after year, communicate with donors/volunteers, schedule volunteers, track inventory, advertise upcoming events, post volunteer opportunities, and collect volunteer hours. The website builder should be easy to maintain. ELIMINATE BUSY WORK and free up some time so you can concentrate on more important tasks. Look for specialists in this area and find one that already has features that your group needs.
Marketing the Fundraiser & the Cause
How do we reach and engage more people to support the cause?
Networking should be the most active part of your business. Social media makes it easy to connect with lots of people that live just about anywhere. But by far the best ways to expand and engage more people, is to turn to your customers. They are your best advocates for the products and services their buying from you now. Asking them to share their experiences with their networks will reach well beyond the network you’ve already established. Ask them to review you online and then share it on their Facebook page. Ask them to include hashtags in their posts.
Another way to engage more people is to join on discussion groups like this one. Share your knowledge. If you can help people solve their business challenges, they may ask help in other areas.
How do we market ourselves online, offline and manage branding?
Branding is talked about a lot in business. Why? Because creating a consistent message, tied to an identifiable image will help associate your business with the products and services you offer. Consistently using that branding whenever you market your business is what branding is all about. Most business don’t have the budgets of a the big guys… but think about what makes your business unique and then build a brand around that. Remember what makes you unique can’t be as generic as “Best Customer Service”, “#1 in the industry”… Everyone says that… and expects it. Why would some choose you over your competition? Then build a message and brand around that.
Social Media & Connections
What social media platform should we be on??
I get this question a lot, and my first response is… “What are the social platforms that your best customers use?” People usually socialize in person and online with like-minded people. It’s the best place to look for new business. You should constantly be asking your customers about their interests through surveys and online discussion groups. Join in on their conversations and answer questions… Share your knowledge.
Boost Online Donations
What is the best way to increase donations online?
One of the best ways to boost donations online is to share an emotional story about someone your organization has impacted. I’ve seen small nonprofits draw big donations donations by doing this. In fact, many studies have proven that people give more generously to a single victim they know the name and details of rather than a generic call to donate — this is called the Identifiable Victim Effect.
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