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Tips on how to convey “The Giving Message” for your Charity

 

 

Your charity is either very well known or indeed less renowned. 

 

You are either working for a charity which has large spread awareness and the general public and your supporters, instantly recognises your branding; know something about the  good work your charity does,  and who the reciprocates are of your fund raising.

 

Or you work for a charity which is less well known, yet with equal importance, needy beneficiaries, with funding to grow; whilst increasing the awareness of your worthy cause, a natural priority too.

 

Irrespective, of the size of your charity and regardless of how well known your good cause is, you may be finding it challenging to make a vital connection in the minds of both current supporters and future donators.

 

The connection being, attaching the fundamental reason your charity has been formed. Highlighting “The giving message”, to any campaign or event you embark upon for the much needed and hopeful, consistent donations to keep your charity afloat.

 

This can be illustrated by well-known charities; yes they may have prime media attention, a host of celebrity supporters and hefty glossy advertising campaigns but all of these marketing elements are especially conceived because human nature being, that we have extremely low attention spans and need repetition in order that a message is absorbed, understood and acted upon. The general public also respond better when they feel involved. 

 

The good news for you is that there are several elements about how they reiterate the fundamental of “The giving message” which you can apply. Here a few examples:

 

1:  The Barometer – we often see on programmes such as Blue Peter, when they support a particular charity, or indeed with Children in need, the use of a barometer.  Showing a visual of what your target is makes it easy to understand plus it helps people to feel a part of your campaign too. 

 

2: A Giving web page – has your charity got a giving page? It’s the perfect place to put a picture of a barometer on plus it gives the opportunity for donators to comment on too.

 

3: Update your website to Ecommerce – A great way for donators to make immediate pledged donations on and great to build interaction too. Why not list the donators, allowing them to make a comment also means that you have their emails to harvest for any future campaigns.

 

4: Facebook and twitter – If your website doesn’t yet have a facebook or twitter get into social media now. It’s highly popular, free for you to do plus you can download the popular social media icons for no cost too and it instantly updates your website without any financial outlay.

 

5: Growing Social media – Each time you do something new, be sure to mention it on facebook and tweet about it too; you will be extremely pleased by how quickly your online community will grow, for instance by getting people to “like” your message – The breast cancer charity are very proactive with their social media because it works and it doesn’t cost valuable money. 

 

Helpful tips when writing a press release for your charity

Editors and feature writers are extremely busy and they get inundated with press releases. However they are looking for new editorial content. So here are some tips to help get your press release read and get the attention, and column inches that your charity or worthy cause deserves.

1: Take a little time to research for the relevant person to submit your press release to

As a general rule of thumb, the larger the newspaper or magazine then the more specialised feature writers there will. So for instance if you were considering sending your press release to the Telegraph daily newspaper then they have a health news Editor and a health features Editor. Far better to send your press release to the person your story resonates with, rather than simply sending it to the Editor and besides of which, if you send your story to the wrong person, they seldom forward it on internally. 

2: Telephone first to ascertain the correct person’s name and email

It’s well worth taking the extra time to telephone your desired title and try to get the correct person’s name and email. If that particular organisation has a no names policy and many do then try typing in some key words into Google. For instance: “health editor the telegraph”. Often you can gather the details from the internet and another trick is to ask the receptionist for a particular department, have a pen at the ready, as you will almost certainly get a voicemail, and then jot his or her name down. Also most contacts have a pattern to their email addresses. The Telegraph pattern is first name dot last name at telegraph.co.uk.  

3: The subject title in your email

Again the larger the organisation, the more sensitive their spam filters. The Telegraph is notorious for this and an Editor there once told me that often even government emails end up in their spam filter. To help avoid your email doing the same, think carefully what you type into the subject field. Whether you have had a thirty second conversation with a contact in the publishers, or enjoyed a good conversation, put in the subject field: “Following my conversation with Natasha”. Then on the same line put a dash then write: Re: National Heart awareness day, or something short and succinct which is highly relative to your campaign.

4:   Geographical relevance

Your story will either have regional, national or international relevance. So for instance if you have a regional story and you are based in Kent, then with the best will in the World, trying to get your story published in a Sussex title will be unlikely to be successful unless you can make a link in the copy to Sussex.

5:  Topical, timely, or human interest

Generally speaking, Editors look for your story to fall into one of the above, what is known as “pegs”. Of course your story could be argued that it naturally falls into all three; however you are sadly competing with a lot of charities seeking column inches. So when you are writing your press release consider whether you can tie it in with something which is current news. For instance does your charity look after the vulnerable young homeless people? Could you draw upon comparisons in the recent riots?

6:  Wording and double spacing

Try to keep your word count to between - 350- 500 words; the fewer the better. The purpose of your copy is grab attention. Editors seldom print word for word. If your press release resonates with them then they are likely to telephone you for further information or arrange a reporter visit you. Double spacing is old fashioned but do use a modern easy to speed read, typeface and try to keep your press release on one page.

7: The Headline

Make your headline or title stand out. For example: “Media alert - £2 a week can supply clean water to the Children of Deli”.

8: Photographs

Editors like pictures, so where possible send them. They like pictures of people in action shots. So for example if you have a photograph of Children drinking clean water from a new well in their village then these are the sort of images they like.

We hope that the above has been helpful!  

 

Corporate telephone fundraising tips

 

With the recent demise of a well-known charity fundraising telemarketing company, you may well be sadly noticing a down turn in donations.

 

Logistically, it is invariably challenging and likely not to be financially viable, to target the domestic market; however it could be invaluable to consider some in house corporate telemarketing.

 

So here are some tips to help you create your in house corporate telemarketing campaign.

 

  1. Start small – by this I mean better to gather fifty corporate business details concisely, rather than setting an unrealistic goal of say a thousand. Ensure you collect the following: Managing Director’s name, email and telephone number as opposed to simply a thousand business names. You will then be far more likely to call say ten a week and you can build a rapport with your donating prospect.
  2. Practice what is known in sales as the “elevator statement”. This sales phrase is apt because a company representative should be able to explain what their company or charity does in the time it takes to travel from one floor to the next in an elevator.
  3. Jot down what your charity does, who benefits from your worthy cause and why funding is so crucial. You will soon have this mastered succinctly and ready as your telephone pitch.
  4. Before you get on the phone, be kind to yourself, especially if telephone fundraising is out of your usual comfort zone. Help yourself by not worrying if you blush, no one can see you, don’t worry if you stutter a bit, the confidence will soon come, and remember that after every no is a yes.
  5. I would recommend that if especially this is new to you to set a target which you can do daily or as frequently as possible; the key being consistency. You are likely to be wearing many hats so even if you make five a week that equals twenty a month.
  6. Be prepared that there will be some administrative follow up work such as logging prospective donors details into a call back system and indeed some people will ask you for an email.
  7. Don’t be daunted by the need to send an email, you have plenty of material such as your website address and your newly created elevator statement. Try to keep your emails interesting informative and personal.
  8. As your confidence grows you can ask prospective donors whether they support a charity already, when is their preferred charity choice up for renewal and indeed when is their year end. (Not all businesses have a traditional yearend in March and they may well have surplus monies which when allocated to a charity, that they in turn benefit from making donations for tax planning purposes.
  9.  Try speaking to the Managing Director or Financial Director; if you cannot reach him or her then try sending an email. If you have spoken to “Jane in accounts” then refer to that brief conversation in the email.
  10. Keep it modern, in most cases it is considered old fashioned to use Surnames plus by using first names, it puts you on an even keel with your prospective donor.     

 

Boost your charity funds

 

 

On the whole your current donators will fall into two categories’, the general public and corporate donators.

 

Firstly take twenty five percent of your general public donators, rather than looking at the whole giant database and start looking at:

 

  • The average age of the donator
  • Where they live
  • What marketing method enticed them to support you was it a direct mail appeal, or did they respond to a fundraising call from your charity?
  • How much do they give and what is the frequency, i.e. £3 per month

 

Once you have this information about your donator then you have a working profile of what a potential donator “looks like”.

 

With this data, you can be more accurate in your marketing methods so for instance if Sussex residents aged forty plus on average donate £3 per month to your charity then it could be a fruitful exercise by targeting them directly with a personal appeal letter asking them for referrals from their friends and family. We all respond well to “personalised” literature and it could be a relatively low “cost per donator” exercise worth considering?

 

The same principle can apply to your corporate donators or sponsors. Just because a company employs lots of staff, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the departments communicate well to one another. Referrals into other departments could also prove a relatively low “cost per donator” exercise and you could also, in the same exercise check:

 

  • Could your corporate donator do a contra link on their website
  • Are they planning a Christmas dinner or event, could they raise funds for you on the night?
  • Could they display your posters in all their staff rooms
  • Could you send them a batch of pens helping to keep your charity in mind
  • Could they refer your charity to one of their suppliers?

Ten fundraising event ideas for your charity

1:  Sponsored walk or run – whilst not an unusual idea the benefits about doing a sponsored walk or run for your charity is that you can involve many people of all abilities and you can make this an annual event. By creating a regular event and gaining as much publicity as possible, you can encourage local businesses to sponsor your event by taking paid for advertisements on your literature or on your website. Don’t forget to involve local schools too as most of them like to be associated with local charities.

2: A Mayor’s dinner – invite your local Mayor to a fund raising dinner because as new Major’s get elected they chose one or more local charities that they raise funds for and this is an ideal way to put your charity in their sights.

3: A summer fete – good old fashioned fetes, although take much organisation are an inexpensive family day out so publicised well, will attract lots of visitors. Also Marquee or bouncy castle hire companies tend to provide their equipment free of charge in exchange for a free advert on your literature or website and approach a local village hall or School for a free venue.

4: Celebrity patronage – If you do not already have a celebrity patron, then its well worth approaching some of their management companies as they like to be seen being involved with a good cause. The key is persuading a well-known person to be a patron is to find a celebrity who has a direct link with your charity. So for example if your charity supports former alcoholic people then find a celebrity who has over- come their alcohol problems. Also you will have greater success if you chose a celebrity who isn’t currently in the media such as former Eastenders cast members.

5: Business networking – Every town or City has a number of different networking clubs for businesses; try attending a couple and because you are a charity, then the organisers will likely waive the event fee for you. Also since most of them tend to have websites then build a rapport with the organiser leading to a free web link of your charity on their site, because they will have lots of members who visit their websites regularly, hence promoting the good work of your charity.

6: Yellow socks day – Chose something quirky like “yellow socks day” create a marketing letter and arrange a pre-event talk at a few large local primary schools and all children who pay a pound are allowed to come to school wearing yellow socks.

7: X Factor – With so much talent in the UK, it’s no wonder that shows like the X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent are so popular. Organising your own talent show with the cooperation from a local school or college will inevitably create a lot of interest. Charge a nominal “pocket money” fee to participants and then charge a fee for tickets to see the semi final.

8: Auction – Speak to your local council or hotel to gain a free venue then invite local figure heads of businesses including the major to attend a wine and canapé auction event. Invest a day on the telephone to encourage local organisations to donate high value auction prizes such as a pampering treat from a local beauty spa or free weekend pass from a local golf club.

9: Teddy bears picnic – let the press and local community know that you are holding a teddy bears picnic; you could speak to local small businesses such as cup cake makers and charge them a lower pitch price than they would get from their local farmers market and everyone who brings a teddy bear gets free entry.

10:  Dancing on ice – Is your charity in close proximity to an ice rink, roller blade hall or even swimming baths? If so then your local sports club could also provide a free venue option for a sponsored ice skate or swim as the sports club will benefit from the publicity you can generate. 

 

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