Many charitable and nonprofit groups would agree that despite the nobility behind their respective advocacies, their groups
One of the most common problems encountered by charity agencies are their fundraising campaigns, including the ones that are done online. Apart from having to come up with creative ways to accrue donations and build relationships with sponsors, organizers also need to ensure the efficiency of every department (even if it’s only a one-man unit) that comprises the whole fundraising machine.
Then again, problems stop by and wave a nasty hello to organizers or both traditional and Internet-based fundraisers. But let’s focus on online fundraising—here are five of the most common drawbacks agencies bump into and how you can keep them under control.
#1. Being Repetitive with Almost Everything
Keeping your creative juices flowing is a challenge both to the artistic and unimaginative. The thing with fundraisers is like most endeavors, the excitement you feel about it in the beginning is temporary and after the initial high wears off, the way of doing things can become a little too mechanical for the workers. There are also cases where organizations milk a certain strategy that worked until it becomes a trademark. The problem with this is without the proper intervals, the technique that used to work the first few times can become a drag when you use it excessively.
Tip: One of the things you can start doing today is by consistently consuming materials—all of which are available online—that fosters your creativity.
- Immerse yourself with your niche until it feels like the back of your hand.
- Read up on subjects like fundraising strategies, business models, management styles, art and design, and relationship building.
- Identify the different aspects that your organization has, and cover each base with learning everything you can about it.
This way, your team will not be limited by what you already know and you can be expected to bring something new to the table whenever necessary.
#2. Doing All the Work
In nearly every group that has ever existed, there’s always this one person who inherently takes on more jobs than he or she is supposed to. While this doesn’t have to be a comment on their being workaholic or the rest of their team mates’ passivity, the fact that this scenario exists in your organisation can evolve to a collective and unhealthy dependence on that one worker who works more than he or she should.
Tip: Take advantage of the probability that doing online fundraisers minimizes the need for legwork which means you are more likely to work in the comforts or your home or your office. This shouldn’t mean though that you should treat yourself like a workhorse; remember that sometimes it’s better to work smarter than to work harder.
If you have the inclination to bite off more than you can chew, loosen up a bit and take a good look at your organisation’s tasks and existing teams. Enable everyone by giving them assignments that they can excel at so that you wouldn’t have to get too involved in the tasks that you’re practically the one who’s doing everything. While it’s advisable for a team leader to know what everyone else is doing and provide input, you should also give them enough room to do their job and do it well.
#3. Demotivated Volunteers
Whether you’re all working while facing your computers or performing physical labor for a specific fundraiser, too much work can exhaust your volunteers, something you can’t really afford as they are one of your assets. Your campaign may mostly be Internet-based, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t be overworked. When your volunteers are worn out, you risk them losing focus on what they do and possibly harm the whole campaign in ways you weren’t able to anticipate.
Tip: It’s crucial for charity agencies to enlist as many volunteers as they can handle not only to get all the help they can get, but also to allow the campaigns to move smoothly. By signing up more volunteers, you can have the option of putting them in rotation in terms of schedule and type of work and give them a chance to find which area resonates with them. By allowing your workers the time and place to find the designation they resonate with, you can expect them to deliver a good performance.
#4. Inefficient Website
One classic irony about being or doing anything online is the negligence to put up and maintain an efficient website. Being an online fundraising team, or the fact that you’re on the Internet at all, already tells you that your website is the face you wear and present to you audience. Thus, it is crucial that your website doesn’t just look good, it should also be good to talk to or in this case, navigate.
Tip: From the lot of volunteers you were able to enlist, see if you can handpick people whom you can form into a small team whose work will be about the website alone, which includes the technical and design departments of the site. You can also assemble another group that will be responsible for the content you will publish, so that your site will be consistently updated and relevant.
Pay attention to the navigability of your site and make sure that every page loads quickly, especially the ones that have a fair load of rich media content. Make your call to action buttons prominent, but don’t let their display come off as crass. Aside from writing articles, you should also make use of the different types of content such as images, videos, infographics, and kinetic typographies to make the site more engaging for visitors.
#5. Poor Relationship-Building Strategies
Communicating with people is one of the pillars that support endeavors such as online fundraising. It is an essential skill everyone in your team should develop because it has the power to influence decisions, to bring in more people who can help, and to make the advocacy stronger. Failure to establish relationships with people, whether they are potential sponsors, volunteers, or beneficiaries, can be detrimental to your organization, not to mention completely ironic.
Tip: Go social. Apart from the legwork you’re supposed to accomplish for your campaigns, maximize the Internet to build relationships with prospective partners. Sign up to social networking sites and get in touch with people who share the same interest that your organization does. Show them how they can help and invite them to be a part of the cause you live for.
While the blunt part of this all is that you’re looking into how they can pitch in, you need to appeal to their emotions in as many channels as possible. There are also people who prefer to receive personal correspondences so make sure that you open a mailing list they can join.
While raising funds for different causes is an honorable and praiseworthy thing to do, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its own set of challenges. The good news is by arming yourself with knowledge on what concerns to anticipate and how to address them, you have the headway to prepare and possibly avoid having to experience these problems altogether.
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