Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Fundraising Made Easy

After 16 years working in charities I never would have thought I would ever hear the words "fundraising made easy". As anyone in the charity and not for profit sector will tell you, fundraising is a lot of things but easy, it is not.
 So how did I find the easy way, well I left the charity sector for the corporate sector and here is where I found a company wanting to help charities. This wasn't a one off sponsorship for a tax reduction, or a gift of over stocked product, or even a well hearted person who wanted to do some good. This was a company who had thought about how they could help charities to help themselves to raise more funds continuously, with no strings attached.

Ok so what am I talking about? We have all heard about online giving, sites like "Give a Little, Local Hero or Go fund me" I have even tried some of these sites myself. I've set up a fundraising page and shared it and waited for the money to roll in. Well we got some money which is great, there really are some generous people out there but we didn't get a lot of donations. Sound familiar?
These sites work best when you apply the peer to peer fundraising philosophy.  According to John Haydon, a well-known FB marketing consultant, Haydon describes it like this. Peer-to-peer fundraising is based on a two-way relationship. Traditional fundraising appeals are often one-sided, broadcast messages. These promotions can move people to act, but they don’t easily capture the emotion or relationship that can drive giving on a massive scale. Social fundraising puts the message in the mouth of the person who is most likely to prompt a donation: someone the audience knows.

The experience of supporting a good cause becomes one that people can have together, which makes it even more powerful. Peer to peer fundraising sites makes it incredibly easy to raise money online for the things that matter to you most. In minutes, you are able to personalise your fundraising campaign and share it with your networks and the networks of your peers.
So ok Haydon, its people driving people to donate I get that but it can’t be that easy right? Even I was sceptical even after they showed me all the data to back up their claims. And I won’t lie to you, you do have to work at it to make it work, nothing can really be that easy.

How much work is involved and how easy is it really?

So I wanted to test this new company Ticketsuite out. A peer to peer fundraising site and event management site in one. Think of it like this, Give a little and Ticketbrite in one. A one stop shop.  On this site I was able to sell tickets to an event and have champion’s fundraisings for me too.

The event was for CanTeen, Fight Night. A Gala Dinner with a boxing ring in the middle. Now anyone who knows me, knows I hate boxing but this is an annual event they do, it’s for a good cause, so you get over yourself and do the job anyway. So for those who don’t know how this event works, we had 20 fighters (all amateur volunteers) and a couple of celebrities to bring in the punters. Each fighter has to sell a table which were set at $3000 and set up a fundraising page and bring in as many donations as they can.  We actually started with 40 volunteer fighters but 20 pulled out because of injury, other commitments, fear or whatever reason. With 40 we set the fundraising goal at $35K. When we were left with just 20 I said leave our target and even if we only make half we will be happy.

Our volunteers came from various backgrounds and lived all over Auckland, we really didn’t know how we would do. We raised $34,890.00. We sold 37 tables to the event and with TicketSuite we could download an app on our phone so we could scan the tickets when people arrived.

Now running this event was not easy, it’s a lot of work, we hosted it at the Cloud, so we had to pack in everything. But the fundraising, other than a training day and an email now and then to provide tips on peer to peer fundraising. This was totally driven by our champions. It became a competition and in the last week we were sitting at 20K which we were very happy with and it jumped $15k in the last few days because they were all competing, driving it hard, on their FB pages.
In previous years money has been made by what profit was made after covering costs from ticket sales and the silent auction.  We still had the silent auction but we definitely made the most from the peer to peer fundraising.

Ok still sceptical? I know what you're thinking, "but it is CanTeen, young people living with cancer, you would have to be a cold hearted soul not to care" right?  
How can this help other causes that aren’t as well known? Well, like John Haydon said “Giving is also social in that we are strongly influenced by our family, friends, and networks—as well as those we perceive to be our peers. When an appeal for funds comes from someone in our networks that we trust, we’re more likely to act”.
Its not about the cause necessarily, its about the people who care about your cause, its your champions who make fundraising easy. 
So why TicketSuite? 
Well it has no set up fees, no membership fees, in fact there is no cost to you at all. All these sites make money by taking a percentage per transaction from a ticket sale or donation. TicketSuite has the best value online.  Beginning with an option to start at1.5% fee per transaction, that's as little as .30cents for every $20 you raise, because as they say “We help those to help others with event management and fundraising made easy” If you want to know more visit

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