The Guardian – Becky Slack.
Do you want to raise more money from more people? If you rely on donations as a means of generating income, then the answer is probably yes.
There are loads of tools and techniques that form the armoury of fundraisers, some of which will work better than others. At the heart of all of them will be the same crucial element: people.
The answer to successful fundraising is understanding the people you are asking for money. This will enable fundraisers to develop an informed view of donors, which will in turn inform the message and format of a campaign.
“Everyone has to develop a strategy. This needs to be underpinned by facts not conjecture. How can you do that if you don’t know who is supporting you?” says John Whitehead, a consultant data analyst.
Data analysis can tell you who has donated in the past, the amount and how they gave. Insight such as this can help you understand patterns of giving, such as whether income is falling because the number of donors is decreasing or because they are giving less. And it can help identify if you’re getting a return on investment.
“When recruiting new regular donors, for example, you need to project income over a longer period than one or two years. You may lose around 10% of donors a year through cancellation. A significant minority should still be supporting you in t10 years’ time,” says Whitehead.
Macmillan Cancer Support’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning has benefited from this approach recently. “We used our database to understand supporter motivations,” explains Katherine Blaize-Smith, senior marketing programme manager. “This included doing things like telephone surveys and online questionnaires to uncover why they were getting involved.”
What they discovered led them to remodel the proposition from being about what women could do for the charity to what the event could do for them. Karin Weatherup, creative director at Burnett Works, who worked on the campaign, explains:
“How does a coffee morning serve busy women? It gives them a chance to make time for what really matters: their friends, a good soul-nourishing chat,” she says, adding how the recruitment focus changed from “send for your fundraising pack” to “order your free coffee morning kit”.
The impact was that the income raised leapt from £15m to a record-breaking £20m. So what are some of the things you need to think about when analysing data? Read the full article for 6 tips