Five bad fundraising examples - can anyone please share some good ones?!
Fundraising Reading Round-Up

Reasons to be cheerful - examples of good fundraising!

I was delighted to receive the most e-mails and comments to a post ever after asking for good examples of fundraising (there were a few more bad examples too, but I'll save them for another day).

So, in order of receipt, here are some of the stories and experiences that people sent me:

Alison Martin nominated Sane for their great stewardship when she did a run for them:

I recently took part in the Great South Run for SANE, the mental health charity.  From the first point of contact they were quick and friendly with email responses and in sending promised resources.  They offered me a range of publicity materials, but sent only what I'd asked for (so no wastage in terms of postage or resources).

I was mainly raising funds via Just Giving on Facebook and when I 'tagged' SANE they kindly shared the post and thanked me for fundraising.  After the event I received a (prompt!) thank you letter which included the amount raised on my JG site (at the time), including mention of the offline amount and the Gift Aid.  I'm sure it was a standard TQ letter, but it was personalised to a level I was more than happy with.

A week or so after the event (and after me harassing more friends/family for donations!) I was thrilled to be pictured on SANE's FB page, with a gold star around my picture, being named as 'Fundraiser of the Week'!  It didn't cost SANE much to use/edit my photo, but it's bought them an awful lot of supporter loyalty from me, and I've been singing their praises to anyone who'll listen so it's also got them a fair bit of word-of-mouth promotion...

Pamela Grow nominated Hope Cottage Pregnancy and Adoption Centre for dedicating 2012 the "Year of the individual donor":

You can read all about their approach on Pamela's blog, but the results speak for themselves. They doubled their individual giving by following Pamela's guidance in her books and on her blog. I particularly liked this quote:

There is a saying in dentistry that you should only pay attention to the teeth you want to keep.  Conversely stated “if you ignore your teeth, they will go away”.  That can apply to donor relations too – “if you ignore them, they will go away.”

Pamela also shares other examples of expressing gratitude to donors in this post.

Becky Dodd shared this example from her own work of engaging with a donor and making them feel special:

I had a fabulous email recently which made my day, and showed what great people there are in the world. I was so delighted with the story I asked for the ladies permission to use it in my next blog, which she was delighted about. 

I promised to send her link once it was the website, which I did. I had this response from her…

 “Thank you so much for your lovely blog.  It really was lovely to read and I am so pleased that you wanted to put it on the website.  I can now contact my friends and relatives and ask them to take a look.

 "Many thanks and I hope to support the Trust again in the future.”

Margaux Smith explains why she has fallen for The Brooke:

You may have seen me post about it on Twitter when it first happened, but I signed up to be a DD donor with The Brooke last month after meeting some of their staff at IFC (and watching a very emotional DRTV ad). A few days after I signed up, I realised that in my haste and excitement, I'd not signed up with the postal address where I wanted to receive my mail (work). I replied to the info@ email thank you in my inbox and someone politely answered that they were sorry, but they needed to keep my home address the way it was for Gift Aid reasons.

Being the stubborn fundraiser that I am, I responded that I actually was pretty sure Gift Aid would be fine with my work address, because my bank has it on file and all my other DD's use that address.

10 minutes later, I got an email back thanking me for letting them know this was possible, and telling me they'd spoken to their data department and have changed their database to accommodate me and others like me! Needless to say, I was impressed. It showed me they were flexible to change, could easily admit when they were wrong, and cared enough to adapt to donor needs. It may seem like a little thing, but it made me very proud of my decision to be a supporter :)

Peter Gorbert shared a practical example from York Mind:

We use tweetdeck with a number of searches set up for things like "York Mind" "Mental Health" etc. this means that if anyone mentions us (regardless of if it's positive or negative) we can respond to them. It's allowed us turn a speculative supporter into a person who completed a 10k run for us, as well as fielding numerous general enquirers about services in York and turned a couple of "who ran this event?" into people who now connect a good event more closely with the charity.

Aline Reed nominates Leeds University:

The lovely news I hear most often comes from our University clients, so perhaps we should take a look at what they’re doing. 

Adrian Salmon (from Leeds University) has just been on the phone telling me about a 102 year old donor, who rang him this morning, delighted to see his old friends on the front of the calendar we did for alumni.

You may have also followed this response to the Bentham mailing for UCL.  

I think what’s interesting about these campaigns is they are not about showing the greatest need to motivate a donor. That’s not possible for a university, so instead they try and engage the donor and connect them with their university. Could it be that charities could learn a lesson here?

Because it’s not just about creative (just to emphasise I’m not blowing BF’s trumpet!), it’s that the donor can call up and speak to the person who sent them the pack. In Leeds’ case, Adrian and in UCL’s Hamish. And they’re encouraged to! They’re encouraged to connect via Twitter, Facebook and even visit in person. The Universities are trying to befriend their donors. It’s not to say they don’t have administrative errors. I’m guess I’m just trying to find reasons for why our university work is where I hear the lovely stories about happy donors.

John Lepp explains while he'll be giving to Redwood for the foreseeable future:

A few months ago, on the Friday of a long weekend, I saw a tweet go out from one of my fav charities, The Redwood in Toronto about their summer e-campaign to send some special moms and their kids to a waterpark or have an amazing bbq or a number of other things… Great idea. The timing was perfect, summer was just getting underway, the ask was specific and compelling and the thought of sending a mom and her kids off for a day of fun, laughter and memories was something I wanted to play a role in! HELL YES! Where do I sign up?

So, off I went after making my gift, feeling good, to go get my own kids to start our long weekend.

That evening, after the house got quiet, I checked my home phone to see there was a flashing light… a message. Usually it is telemarketing, or not for me, so I usually don’t bother checking. But I did this time.

New Message: 4:45pm

Hello John, this is Anthea Windsor, president of the board at The Redwood...” (You can listen to her call here if you want… antheacall)

And I listened for 35 seconds and I felt a massive smile spread across my face and instantly knew at the close of her call that I had ABSOLUTELY made an awesome decision to give earlier in the day. Unscripted, honest, heartfelt and real and 15 minutes before the start of a long weekend… her call touched my heart.

Simple. Remarkable. Memorable. 35 seconds.

You can read the full story over at Agents for Good.

Rosie Blanning explains why she loves the Retired Greyhound Trust:

I can honestly say that the best experiences I have had have been from small charities. The Retired Greyhound Trust are an absolute pleasure to donate to.

I received a letter from them a few months back just telling me what they had been doing and thanking me for their support. There was (thank goodness) a donation form included but the letter wasn't asking for further support, it was just saying thank you. Great stuff.

Thanks to everyone for sharing. Let me know you favourite story/example (via Twitter, e-mail or in the comments) and I'll donate the money to them on Friday.

This post is my contribution to November's Non-Profit Blog Carnival on gratitude in giving. Find out more here.