Top Tips For A Leading Reputation

2015 wasn’t easy for charities, but 2016 is a new year, and we’re determined to recover the reputation of our sector. We know that so many fantastic charities do incredible work, but now need to work a lot harder to convince the public that their cause is worthy. So, Fundraiser Telecom have put together some top tips for cultivating a sector-leading reputation, which in turn will help boost your donations.

Foster a “100% engagement” culture: Above all else, charities are high-engagement and emotional brands. Therefore, you need to communicate to your donors that you, as an entire organisation, are committed to and believe in your cause. This is essential in maintaining a reputable public image, and can be achieved through incentivising your team.

Show your public you listen: Pay attention to what the public say to you, but also respond in ways which counteract any imputations. As a charity, it’s fundamental that you have a trustworthy reputation and by acting on advice, you demonstrate good intention and ownership. Be honest about the challenges you face and your reputation will go from strength to strength.

Don’t restrict yourself to one audience: Research suggests that fundraisers have typically pursued regular givers. However, this is a restricted audience and today, people are far more socially conscious and routinely give to good causes on a one-off basis.Prioritise a one-off donation strategy alongside traditional regular giving and you will see your reputation evolve from being a pursuer to an encourager.

Break free from the crowd: Sadly, recent criticism has tarnished all charities with the same brush – but we know you’re different! Charities are well-known for sticking together, but if you want to boost your reputation – and your donations – now is the time to differentiate. Be a trailblazer in terms of communications, marketing and fundraising and you’ll be sure to cement an unparalleled reputation.

At Fundraiser Telecom, we believe in rewarding individuals who donate to charities by sharing low-cost telecom and energy services. For Charities, Fundraiser Telecom offers an effective way to help organisations raise money for their charitable causes whilst also helping donors cut their mobile and broadband phone bill and energy costs. If you’d like to support a charity you feel passionate about in a different way, get in touch with Fundraiser Telecom today!

 

Get Back In Touch This New Year

Following “Closing The Loop”, a report into fundraising and the importance of communications in creating engaged supporters, we’ve been thinking about the benefits of keeping in touch. The report revealed that despite a rise in event fundraising income, the majority of participants did not feel acknowledged. Considering how much non-profit organisations rely upon fundraisers, we believe it’s only right that we discuss how to work a little harder to show your supporters some appreciation in 2016!

Pursue supporter passion - Research suggests that over 90% of charity supporters would consider fundraising again, albeit it in other ways. This means that non-profit organisations have a hugely willing existing supporter base, so you needn’t spend resources on additional campaigning. Just prioritise an engaging contact strategy to make the most out of your supporters. This consistent communication not only acknowledges, but serves as a simple method for generating funds.

Understand participant preference – So, how do you approach your supporters? Donors want to be acknowledged, but they definitely don’t want to be hassled! Recent criticism of non-profit organisation contact strategy means that it’s more important than ever to take into consideration the preferences of your fundraisers, since they’ve been so kind to support you. “Closing The Loop” suggests that the majority of participants prefer to be contacted either by email or direct mail, so incorporate these insights into your own contact strategy to see loyalty and funds rise.

Captivate with conversation staters -  When tying to engage with existing supporters through a contact strategy, it’s important to get your message right. Research has revealed a preference for communication centred on fundraising outcomes, such as total money raised and how funds will be used. Write some good copy on one of these topics and share it with your supporters via a preferable medium. You’ll be sure to  please your contact base and encourage further support.

Keep up the good work – Many non-profits send out a generic “thank-you” email following on from events or fundraising activities, which is great. But, in one study, just under a quarter of participants reported no further contact, making them feel under-appreciated. It’s imperative that communications are meaningful and consistent in order to retain engaged donors, so make it your non-profit’s resolution to keep in touch and remind those who support you just how much you appreciate them.

At Fundraiser Telecom, we believe in rewarding individuals who donate to charities by sharing low-cost telecom and energy services. For Charities, Fundraiser Telecom offers an effective way to help organisations raise money for their charitable causes whilst also helping donors cut their mobile and broadband phone bill and energy costs. If you’d like to support a charity you feel passionate about in a different way, get in touch with Fundraiser Telecom today!

 

Get Off To A Great Start: Optimise Your Email Subject Line

Email is a fantastic way of communicating and connecting with your donors. Favoured by many for generating funds, emails are quick, reliable, measurable and easy to both modify and test. But what about your open rates, are you generating the desired result?

Non-profit organisations put a lot of hard work into writing email copy, hyperlinking and devising the perfect call-to-action, so it’s imperative to ensure that your message is reaching your intended audience. Here, we share our tips to increase your email open rates and get your voice heard!

Be clever with copy – Research suggests that one third of email recipients choose to open correspondence based on their reading of the subject line alone. Using 30 characters or less is associated with a higher open rate, whilst personalised subject lines – such as using a first name or referencing a recent donation – are similarly effective. Using the words “video”, “daily” and “weekly” also appears to correlate with higher open rates, whereas “monthly” is actually damaging. This suggests that recipients prefer shorter, more concise correspondence – so tailor your copy accordingly!

Take an objective angle – As insightful as statistics may be, don’t allow yourself to get bogged down in facts and figures as this detracts from your client. Keywords are indeed valuable but the aim of your email is to incite a sense of urgency and exclusivity, thus encouraging donor action. Be sure to examine how your language choices are working together and think of your subject line as a formula, all the parts must work in harmony to produce a successful outcome. And remember, don’t lose sight of your audience.

Test, test test – A major benefit of email is its ability to be tested. In order to determine your most effective subject line, test with variations using a handy email marketing tool such as Sidekick or MailChimp, which are good for small groups. For larger numbers you’ll need a professional paid-for-service. Create groups for your recipients and send relevant correspondence according to their preferences with varying subject lines and then assess donor activity in relation to the specific subject lines. If your donations go up, you’re onto a winner! Remember to test on mobiles too, as these smaller screens only allow four to seven words per line. Make your subject line fit for all devices.

At Fundraiser Telecom, we believe in rewarding individuals who donate to charities by sharing low-cost telecom and energy services. For Charities, Fundraiser Telecom offers an effective way to help organisations raise money for their charitable causes whilst also helping donors cut their mobile and broadband phone bill and energy costs. If you’d like to support a charity you feel passionate about in a different way, get in touch with Fundraiser Telecom today!

How to run a great promoted Twitter campaign

With a modest budget and a little time, your non-profit organisation can achieve a lot through a promoted Twitter campaign. Promoted Tweets are simply regular Tweets which are purchased by organisations who want to reach a wider group of users or encourage greater engagement from current followers. You should use promoted Tweets to position your most compelling content in front of the audience that matters to you, and therefore generate funds. This type of advertising can be quite daunting, so we’ve compiled some simple steps to help get you started with your promoted Tweet campaign.

Create an objective strategy: Determine what your organisation wants to achieve from a promoted Tweet campaign and formulate a clear call to action in line with your objectives. For example, your campaign will vary depending on whether you are seeking greater donations or to simply increase your follower base. Start by reviewing your current Twitter activity, identify what is working (or not) and from here, formulate a well-informed strategy with relevant objectives.

Employ online tools and analytics: There are some great tools out there now, which can really help you target your desired audience. You can target interests using Twitter’s own analytics, or users who follow similar organisations using Follower Wonk (a great free tool). You can also target users through optimising keywords, linking your desired keyword with users whose accounts feature this specific keyword in their bio. This is a fantastic approach as it means less competition for impressions than targeting general interests, and again, can be mobilised using Twitter Wonk.

Write compatible content: To start, check out your social media channels and assess the type of content that your audience responds to best. You can do this by reviewing your most shared posts, such as real-life stories or industry news. When you’ve identified the content with the greatest potential, design a promoted Tweet campaign with high emphasis on this type – and remember to include an image! Whatever your follower’s preferred content type, research suggests tweets using pictures are 94% more likely to be retweeted.

Focus on optimisation: In basic terms, optimisation is the monitoring of which @handles receive the best impressions and engagement rates, along with their cost per engagement. If a certain @handle is underperforming or has an inflated cost, you can swap that account out of the targeting (remember to test before going live!). Once launched, you’ll need to spend around ten to twenty minutes each day monitoring your performance, which isn’t a lot considering the huge benefits that can accompany a promoted Tweet campaign! With a little time and effort, you’re sure to see the donations rolling in.

At Fundraiser Telecom, we believe in rewarding individuals who donate to charities by sharing low-cost telecom and energy services. For Charities, Fundraiser Telecom offers an effective way to help organisations raise money for their charitable causes whilst also helping donors cut their mobile and broadband phone bill and energy costs. If you’d like to support a charity you feel passionate about in a different way, get in touch with Fundraiser Telecom today!

How To Enhance Your Supporter Journey Online

As a non-profit organisation, the key aims of your website should be to foster donor-charity relationships, engage new donors and make is simple for supporters to donate. Consider why visitors to your website should give up their valuable time and money if their supporter journey doesn’t deliver a full engaging, memorable experience. Here at Fundraiser Telecom we’ve put together a quick guide on how you can enhance your supporter journey, preventing you from falling at the first hurdle.

Have clear calls to action: You need to make it as seamless as possible for visitors to your website to understand and respond to your calls to action. A mistake many non-profits make is to assume that their entire audience is internet-savvy, but in reality, your audience has large potential scope. It would be wrong to overcomplicate your site as this can be alienating to less-able internet users, so keep simple – disaffected supporters means less donations.

Make targets achievable: Smaller goals have been found to be more attractive because they’re more achievable. Exploit this psychology by launching micro-campaigns or a donation “thermometer”, which not only shows supporters where their money is going, but also presents the direct impact of a donation. This sort of fundraising strategy is a fantastic all-rounder – it engages your supporters and therefore optimises their customer journey, generating donations.

Be responsive: Statistics now demonstrate that mobile internet usage overtook PC internet usage. This means that more of us than ever are using our smartphones or tablets to navigate the web than the traditional desktop. To ensure that you’re making the most out of supporter potential, your website needs to be responsive across all platforms. Consult a web developer and run some tests from a supporter perspective. Complete a donor journey across all platforms and devices and resolve any response- issues that may arise with your technical team.

Take a step back: When you’re so close to something, you often lose sight of how it may appear to others. As a non-profit organisation, you have a responsibility to cater for real people and to action impactful solutions. So, to ensure that you’re prioritising human interest, view your online processes as a supporter and ask yourself 1) are you convinced by your charity’s importance, 2) do you feel compelled to donate and 3) does your website make it easy to donate? If you can’t answer “yes” to these questions, assess the content and navigation of your site and alter as appropriate.

At Fundraiser Telecom, we believe in rewarding individuals who donate to charities by sharing low-cost telecom and energy services. For Charities, Fundraiser Telecom offers an effective way to help organisations raise money for their charitable causes whilst also helping donors cut their mobile and broadband phone bill and energy costs. If you’d like to support a charity you feel passionate about in a different way, get in touch with Fundraiser Telecom today!

How Sharing Great Stories Can Strengthen Your Charity

The art of storytelling can help strengthen your organisation by attracting supporters to your campaign. This is because simple stories with people at their heart paint vivid and emotive pictures which have a real impact on those who read them, distancing charities from clinical statements of policy and values. So what makes a good story, and how can your organisation employ storytelling as part of its fundraising strategy?

Your story should: 

Be short and simple: Your story shouldn’t take more than a minute to read or watch and shouldn’t try to cover too many bases.

Be active: Your story should tell of something happening or discuss doing things. You need to be able to communicate that by taking action, things can change.

Have a strong central character: The person at the centre of your story must be someone your audience will care about. They must be memorable, with admirable qualities.

Have a turning point: The outcome of your story must show change or a resolution. Let your audience know what is achievable as a result of getting involved.

How to tell your story: 

You should provide ample opportunity for your audience to make personal connections so as to encourage future donations or involvement. Position your audience at the centre of your story by constantly asking yourself why they should be interested in the story you’re telling, and what action you’d like them to take as a result of hearing it. Tell your story in a straightforward and candid manner, placing emphasis on what people can achieve by uniting with your charity.

Make your narrative relevant to wider society. You can achieve this through storytelling which implies that your audience is as much an individual as they are a member of a unified group, for example by including “you” and “others”. The phenomena of “social proof” dictates that by essentially pitting your audience’s behaviour against others, for example through testimonials, they will suddenly be more inclined to engage in this behaviour too – such as donating!

Where to tell your story

Charities with strong donor engagement often feature an entire section on their website dedicated to “stories”. You should publish your stories on your website and categorise them as appropriate, for example, you can classify examples as “stories”, “testimonials” or “case studies” depending on the source. You can also cleverly incorporate storytelling into your social media, either as links to blogs or as short, arresting posts with an accompanying image for extra impact.  Depending on your budget, larger scale marketing can be utilised, such as online ads or radio airtime.

At Fundraiser Telecom, we believe in rewarding individuals who donate to charities by sharing low-cost telecom and energy services. For Charities, Fundraiser Telecom offers an effective way to help organisations raise money for their charitable causes whilst also helping donors cut their mobile and broadband phone bill and energy costs. If you’d like to support a charity you feel passionate about in a different way, get in touch with Fundraiser Telecom today!

New Law Targets Aggressive Fundraising Charity Tactics

David Cameron has stated that some fundraisers’ activities are damaging the reputation of the charity sector.

A series of recent events, resulting in individuals being intimidated, has called for there to be new legislation updating the Charities Act. The amendments are aimed at ensuring that charities and organisations, which raise money, clearly state in their contracts how vulnerable people are to be protected, and whether further action ought to be taken. Several fundraising enterprises have already confirmed they will strengthen protection.

Under the new law, all charities with an income of over £1m will have to detail their fundraising approach in their trustees’ annual report. This will include stating the use of professional fundraising organisations and their policy for preventing aggressive, high-pressure fundraising activities targeting the vulnerable, including the elderly and people with mental health conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

Minister for Civil Society, Rob Wilson stated that the new law would have “some impact on charities” in terms of revenue, but said they would lose out “if these scandals continue to go on”. Furthermore, failure to not act accordingly could result in full regulation of the charity sector that “would incur big costs for charities”. To prevent charities avoiding implementation of the new law, a review panel has been established by the government.

At Fundraiser Telecom, we believe in rewarding individuals who donate to charities by sharing low-cost telecom and energy services. For Charities, Fundraiser Telecom offers an effective way to help organisations raise money for their charitable causes whilst also helping donors cut their mobile and broadband phone bill and energy costs. If you’d like to support a charity you feel passionate about in a different way, get in touch with Fundraiser Telecom today!

Reaching your target market through effective advertising!

It’s a word not liked by most. Cost can be perceived to be high and for what return? But the fact remains, that advertising works and delivers results, especially if you’re a charity trying to reach across a broad target market. Plan correctly and have a strong proposition to ensure a beneficial return-on-investment. Big brand charities use TV to create interest and drive up the numbers of donors. Hard-hitting visuals are an extremely effective way to sway public opinion.

How to create effective advertising

Know your target market

Understanding the best channel of communication to reach your potential target market is key. Olgivy once said, “you know that 50% of your marketing budget is wasted, the problem is you don’t know which 50%”. Whilst this still holds true today, the development social media has changed the landscape considerably. Information can be ascertained about your target market and their preferred communication channels identified. Does your target market prefer to read interest magazines, listen to the radio or watch TV? Knowing some very simple facts will help you refine your advertising campaign.

Be creative!

Dare to stand out from your competitors and create a point of differentiation. A strong concept which is campaignable will build upon brand recognition and recall, which reaches your target market across all touchpoints. Generate a campaign, which should be a minimum of three creative treatments budget permitting, which works though all mediums such as TV, radio, online, print, SMS, social media, direct mail and email marketing. Ensure the headlines are engaging, use a captivating visual, be clear with a single-minded proposition in the body copy and above all incorporate direct call-to-action. A good advertisement should connect emotionally with your target market on a grassroots level, whilst also appeal to rationale thought in order to for them to make a decision to donate.

Planning placement

Think out-of-the-box. Define a media strategy, plan accordingly and consider flighting and scheduling to optimise your reach and achieve the biggest impact. Importantly, is there an opportunity for editorial content or target market engagement? Is there an opportunity to encourage potential donors to interact through the media and advertising campaign. Can the media title be used creatively to build up a story over a defined duration or if using print media, over a number of pages. Killer ads are known to make an impact but can be a one hit wonder. Can smaller ads be used over titles for elaborating a story? Be focused and be brave in your media schedule. In order to optimise your budget choose your preferred media titles and create a differentiation within them, be it TV, print, radio, outdoor, or online.

At Fundraiser Telecom, we offer an effective way to help charities raise money for charitable causes whilst also helping donors cut their mobile and broadband phone bill costs. If you’d like to support a charity you feel passionate about in a different way, get in touch with Fundraiser Telecom today!

Create Your Contact Strategy To Elevate Your Fundraising

Better supporter communications can make a huge difference to your fundraising revenue. As a result, organisations with a defined contact strategy, which have their customer lifecycle tend to benefit more from recurring donors and increased loyalty. So, what are the key factors when considering a successful contact strategy?

Define a donor journey - Your first step is to identify your audience’s donor journey. This includes    everything from the first point of contact, the source of leads, ongoing communication and your donor nurturing process from initial contact through to repeat donation. You must also establish the frequency of contact between your organisation and your donors, and the messages that are being communicated at each touchpoint.

Understand your touchpoints – Analyse when and how your organisation contact donors and the effectiveness of the communication. Does this prompt additional funding or the required action? It is key to establish where and when contact occurs for both parties during the donor lifecycle. Considerations should include what are your donors preferences and their preferred method to communicate. This will help you to identify an appropriate time to engage with donors and assist you with your campaign goals. By understanding the various touchpoints preferred by your donors, your brand is able to streamline marketing efforts and reduce overheads.

Take a multi-channel approach – Don’t focus your contact strategy on a single channel, such as just telemarketing. Avoid damaging or unnecessary contact, which adds no benefit to your donors’ experience, instead consider a multi-channel approach which integrates all channels and communicates a consistent message and brand. Consolidating your channels and departments prevents your donors from receiving uncoordinated communications, and instead ensures that they get valuable information at appropriate touchpoints.

Focus on segmentation – What and how you communicate has a major impact on your supporter relationships, so you must be aware of the different content requirements at each point in a donor’s lifecycle. Create relevant communication across all channels through segmenting your database, and keep a focus on your key audiences for a particular initiative. The lifecycle will be different for each donor, therefore your contact strategies and content need to be different. Being perceptive and contacting donors at varying touchpoints increases the likelihood of repeat donations and loyalty.

Begin implementation -  After establishing relevant touchpoints and content requirements, consider the communicative mediums such as email, direct mail, SMS, telemarketing or letters. This is also the time to evaluate issues in your strategy, such as identifying where there are gaps or an unnecessary amount of contact. Understanding gaps or conflicts in your contact strategy will ensure that your organisation behaves collectively, adds value to its initiatives and enhances its recurring fundraising potential.

At Fundraiser Telecom, we offer an effective way to help charities raise money for charitable causes whilst also helping donors cut their mobile and broadband phone bill costs. If you’d like to support a charity you feel passionate about in a different way, get in touch with Fundraiser Telecom today!

Building A Strong Brand For Your Non-Profit Organisation

If you’re looking for repeat donations, consider the importance of building a recognisable and memorable brand. Non-profit organisations operate within a very competitive landscape, where they are constantly vying for participants, sponsors, and most importantly, donors. It can be difficult to stand out in a crowded market, but a strong brand can help build the connection, relevance and resonance, which is essential in driving fundraising in your favour. A brand is a short cut to your corporate mission, vision and values, it evokes a gut feeling in the target market. Read on to find out why a strong brand is essential, and key elements which need to be considered to assist you in unearthing your brand.

1. Clarity of Values -  Successful fundraising is founded on making a strong case for your campaign, and ensuring that your audience understand your brand values. After all, a brand is a set of commitments and expectations that exist in the minds of your audience, so you don’t have one until people understand it! It’s therefore essential that your organisation is able to communicate its values so as to cultivate a prominent brand which leaves a lasting impression. There are three key principles that you should outline to establish your brand:

  • Your organisation’s long term goals.
  • Why you exist.
  • And finally, what you as collective believe in.

By outlining what your organisation does, how you plan to achieve your goals and the values underpinning all fundraising activity to create a brand personality, which creates a point of difference and builds familiarity, trust and identity.

2. Visual Brand Identity – A brand identity should convey the personality of your organisation, and allows for instant brand recognition and recall. For non-profits, it’s especially important that your brand is memorable and communicates its values effectively in order for potential donors to support you over a wealth of other worthwhile causes. Your visual identity, which may comprise a logo, colour palette, fonts and a super graphic, has to be consistent across all touchpoints,in order to encourage your potential target market to donate to your charity.

3. Consistency – Consistency is key if you want your supporters to recognise your brand, and demonstrate that you’re a trustworthy and reliable organisation in order to gain supporters. It’s essential to clearly define your positioning across all your marketing communication in a consistent, concise method.

At Fundraiser Telecom, we offer an effective way to help charities raise money for charitable causes whilst also helping donors cut their mobile and broadband phone bill costs. If you’d like to support a charity you feel passionate about in a different way, get in touch with Fundraiser Telecom today!