The Director of Redstone Marketing asks three
nonprofit executives for their perspectives.
BREE JOPP Community Fundraising Officer, Australian Conservation Foundation
The ACF pushes for bold solutions to make this country better. As an advocacy organisation, we expose environmental destruction and create real solutions for a better future. We are made up of over 700,000 passionate people who speak out for beautiful creatures such as the Leadbeater’s possum, corroboree frog and (my favourite) the platypus – and of course, their precious habitats.
To ensure we remain proudly independent and non-partisan we are entirely community funded and so, for us, our people are the heart of everything we do.
Due to the strong community focus and nature of our organisation, we decided it was time to introduce a community fundraising program in 2019. As the newest employee and owner of that program, I used my first year to develop the core pieces required for people to fundraise to help protect our beautiful natural environment. This included our online fundraising platform for people to create their own fundraising pages, collateral and resources to help them fundraise in their local community, and of course, the boring back-end administrative requirements!
Despite the challenges of 2020, I was pleasantly surprised to be spending time working at home fielding new enquiries and on Zoom calls with new fundraisers. People remain passionate about protecting nature, so I was happy to be there for those motivated supporters. I also used 2020 to refine the strategy for ACF’s community fundraising program and think about new opportunities for 2021 and beyond. So excitingly – and with the support of the excellent team – we turned an atrocious year into something good! We used 2020 to strategise and develop our inaugural peer-to-peer event, launched in February.
What’s really exciting is that this strategic work has brought the whole ACF community together. Staff across the organisation now know what the community fundraising program holds for next year, and everyone is excited to make it happen. The idea for the event really was a product of our people.
As I sat at EventRaise back in March 2020 hearing whispers of COVID and the implications for our work, I really felt for my industry colleagues who have had to work so hard to make their events happen. It was scary. But, at EventRaise2 (from my dining room this time), it was inspiring to see fundraisers showcase their great work through such a challenging year.
KAT CROWLEY Fundraising, Programs & Partnerships Coordinator, The Give a Care Foundation
2020 was a tough year for everyone, and especially for those of us in fundraising. The Give a Care Foundation was no exception. Launched in October 2019, the fundraising programs were due to begin in 2020. Then COVID-19 hit.
When I joined in mid-October 2020, I launched the Foundation’s first fundraising appeal and ran it as
a purely digital appeal. With most of the country online and many isolating, it seemed like the most effective way to connect with supporters, build brand awareness and expand our social media reach. And it worked! We experienced a surge in online engagement and a significant increase in the number of followers across our social media platforms.
The Foundation’s mission is to combat social isolation for people living with a disability who, for the most part, are confined to their homes, pandemic or not. So, in a way, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns (especially here in Victoria) provided us with an opportunity to truly showcase what the daily life of a person living with disability can feel like. We decided to use the country’s collective experience to demonstrate what a person living with a disability experiences every day – being socially isolated and disconnected from the community.
Our Christmas Appeal focused on Giving the Gift of Connection. We told Matt’s story, a beneficiary of our Connecting Couches program where people of all abilities log onto Zoom and enjoy a fun, interactive activity with other members of the disability community.
We anticipated that the experience of isolation for a relatively short time, and the newfound understanding of the emotional and physical toll it can have on a person, would encourage people to donate and make a difference for people living with a disability who couldn’t get out even when restrictions lifted. So far results have been positive, and we are looking forward to engaging with more donors in 2021.
JESSIE BALLANTYNE Founder, Grants Hub
The most excellent fundraising strategies I saw in 2020 were from organisations and social enterprises who moved beyond the online ‘donate now’ button. While passive donation options have their place, we are also targeting a generation of givers who like to be more deeply invested in causes and brands. This extends into both e-commerce and giving. People want to understand more about who they’re donating to, whether goods are ethically sourced, and how far back a supply chain can be traced. Increasingly, people want to see not-for-profits and social enterprises who are innovative, digitally invested, and sell products as part of their fundraising program.
COVID-19 blew all e-commerce predictions out of the window in Australia and provided unprecedented online fundraising opportunities. Australia Post reported an 80%
year-on-year e-commerce increase in the eight weeks following the declaration of the pandemic. A staggering 200,000 shoppers bought something online for the first time in April. In November, 5.5 million households shopped online. Black Friday and Cyber Monday broke records with 42% growth. If you don’t know what these events are, it’s time to do some research and start planning for 2021. With people forward planning to spend online during these two events, they should be key dates in your fundraising calendar. And that’s going beyond Giving Tuesday. In an era of hashtags and socials fuelling spending, you need to jump on the bandwagon of what people are already following. If you don’t, you’ll get left behind and your fundraising program will suffer.
Those who rose to the occasion in 2020 saw the rapid increase in online engagement and e-commerce and responded quickly. I saw organisations that produced reusable face masks and hand sanitiser to tap into a demand-outweighing-supply opportunity. They sold online and raised significant funds and notable media attention. Others joined forces to sell existing products, filling a need for home-delivered essentials and gifts in a locked-down Melbourne. They used their combined online presence to sell more and raise their profiles. What a way to combine fundraising with e-commerce and make the most of a booming online economy.