EPISODE 6: USING YOUR ASSETS
13 March 2016
Once you have taken the steps to create your story which incorporates your NEED, CAUSE, IMPACT and ASK you need to consider how you are going to share your story and who you are going to share it with.
In the 2nd entry of this series we discussed how sport has a really genuine advantage over other causes which seek donations, in that sport has an extremely loyal and passionate audience of participants, fans, members, alumni and other key stakeholders within your community.
Once you have determined your audience, the next step is to understand those who are most likely to make a donation to your project.
THE DONOR PYRAMID
The donor pyramid helps you understand those most likely to make a donation and where you should consider focusing the majority of your time and efforts throughout your fundraising journey:
- BOARD AND MEMBERS
These are your smallest group of people, however they are also your most engaged. They have made a conscious effort to be involved with your organisation. This group of people is also where the majority of your donations will come from and where the majority of your fundraising effort should be focussed.
- CORPORATES AND PARTICIPANTS
This is your 2nd most engaged group of people and will make meaningful contributions to any fundraising cause, however not with the same regularity as your top group. This group is worthwhile to invest time on in engaging with your program, however their take-up rate will not be as high as your most engaged people.
- FANS AND STAKEHOLDERS
For certain fundraising causes, this group of people are worthwhile engaging. In order to effectively engage these people, more effort needs to be put into advocacy (telling your story and sharing your NEED, CAUSE and IMPACT) before you make an ask.
- WIDER COMMUNITY
Whilst it is very worthwhile ensuring your whole community are aware of your fundraising objectives and initiatives, this group of people are far less likely to become donors. When operating in this space you are competing with all other fundraising causes and it is hard to totally engage this group with the same levels of passion as your more “rusted-on” groups.
HOW TO COMMUNICATE AND ENGAGE WITH YOUR AUDIENCE
There is no one-size fits all method of communicating with your audience.
You need to assess how you already communicate with your audience.
- Do you send regular emails?
- Do you communicate via your website and/or social media?
- Do you send newsletters?
- Or do you have regular face-to-face opportunities (such as events, match days etc)?
There is no point creating a new method or platform to communicate your fundraising program and story with your audience, doing this will ensure that you don’t reach everyone who is engaged with you.
The best way to share your story and engage people with your fundraising program is to include your fundraising story and ask into your current communication platforms.
- If you send regular emails – consider an EDM (electronic mail) campaign
- If you communicate via your website and/or social media – share your story and ask on these channels (it is advised to include your story on the front page of your website in any case, linking directly to your ASF page and/or ASF donation form)
- If you send regular newsletters – include a feature article on your fundraising
- If you have regular face-to-face opportunities – create a method of featuring your fundraising campaign within these opportunities/events.
One key asset that all sporting organisations have is alumni (previous participants, board members, senior staff etc.).
Alumni are an asset unique to sport, they are a group of people that nobody else can compete with or steal as assets of your organisation.
Your alumni are heroes amongst your community, people listen to them and they are often held on a pedestal by current, past and future members and participants.
Your alumni have a strong voice who will help share your story effectively and are a great way to generate engagement and buy-in from your audience.
You alumni are also a very worthwhile pool of people who should be continually engaged with and can become valuable donors to any organisation.
It is extremely important to maintain contact with these people even after they move away from actively engaging in sport and with your club or move on in their lives. Your club has played a vital role in helping shape these people as a person, and those organisations who actively seek to communicate with their alumni and keep them engaged are the same organisations who are able to quickly generate a diverse pool of donors for any fundraising campaign.
Mark Thompson Director of Fundraising