I’ve just moved house and, like everyone, each time I move there are so many things I wish I had done earlier to make it easier. For starters, I had accumulated several tonnes of junk over the years, but when I had to decide if I wanted to take it with me I ended up throwing it all out. And with those things in the house that needed fixing, I forfeited the convenience of doing it earlier when I had more time, and waited until the middle of the most frantic season!
Fundraising can be a bit like that. There are always things you know need to be done for a stronger year, but you find yourself working around and stepping over “boxes of stuff” you need to do. Is it time for a good spring clean before another year ends?
Some things worth adding to your spring cleaning list if you haven’t already:
- Fundraising certificates: Make sure you’re registered in each state where you’re fundraising. It can be a process, but there are repercussions for not operating within the fundraising laws in Australia. Don’t delay getting this organised, and tidy it up as soon as possible. Here are the fundraising registrations by state: NSW, WA, VIC, TAS, QLD and ACT. Depending on your charitable purpose, you may be exempt in SA and NT.
- Charity mail number: If you’re a registered charity, you’re most likely eligible for charity mail rates. You can almost halve your Australia Post bill by having a charity mail number. Check it out here.
- Data: You can waste thousands of dollars sending mail to donors who have moved or passed away. Wash your data against a bereavement register, or use a system like Sensis to do it for you.
- Donor experience: Make sure you check what a donor experiences when they give to your organisation. Do they get a timely receipt (within 48 hours or same-day online)? Is there enough space on the receipt template for a personalised message of thanks? Is the thank-you message specific to the appeal they gave to? Do they get to have a conversation with anyone about why they support you?
- Campaign debrief: Write down what didn’t work in your last campaign (and don’t skip over the issues you experienced with your systems or processes), and fix it if you can.
Right now you’re probably starting to build for your Christmas campaign. But do your 2017-self a favour and get rid of all the things now that you know will trip you over or weigh you down next year.
Whatever it is, use spring to breathe a little, and then roll your sleeves up and get stuck into it so you’re more effective in your fundraising. You’ll feel more motivated and prepared, and you’ll be running on all cylinders for your next campaign.
By: Joshua Crowther