2011 FIA Conference

Social media and fundraising; learnings from corporate world

By Sean Triner

The final session of day one at the WA state conference was with a young entrepreneur award winner, Tenille Bentley. A very interesting session, beginning (like all social media sessions) with all the huge numbers but refreshingly localized for Australian market. Mind blowing numbers; I loved one analogy – as Australians continue to give up cigarettes they become addicted to Facebook. The infamous unfair break, the smoko, is replaced by the facebooko (or face-o).

Some good tips:

  • Only worry about Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn
  • 80% of your social media communications should be about your topic, indirectly about you – only 20% about your products (something I call ‘Fluff and Bite’)
  • Don’t think of social media with a ‘what is the ROI’ approach. That is like asking ‘what is the ROI on my mobile phone’. It is about relationships
  • Gave example of peril of ignoring social media; someone working at Dominos spits in a Dominos Pizza, video goes viral, Dominos no idea why or what to do about it. Eventually they counter on YouTube and begin to recover sales
  • Always have policies that people agree to to allow you to remove inappropriate comments. But be aware they will just post them elsewhere
  • All charities should have a Business Facebook page. Allows for analysis
  • Great use of you tube, blender manufacturer blends things like iPads
  • Biggest growth on Facebook is 55-65 year old women
  • How often should you update?
    • Facebook 2 x a day on business page plus 5+ conversations on others walls
    • Twitter 5-10 days
    • LinkedIn once a day, business focus
    • YouTube when you have something good and worthwhile
  • Frightening end- managing a social media brand takes about 26% of a working week.

    So if you haven’t got time to do it, see her because that is what her company provides. Nice, subtle pitch!

    Good stuff. The challenge for the fundraisers here is, of course, what role social media can have with their fundraising.

    For me, social media is still best used for retention strategies, particularly for online and face to face recruited donors, and overlaying it with Game Layer is the best idea.

    Tenille Bentley

Maths and Fundraising at WA State Conference

By Sean Triner

I am at the FIA Western Australia State Conference listening to Paul Ramsbottom, a fellow fundraising geek. He is looking at revising the donor pyramid.

This is how the National Park Service in USA illustrates their donor pyramid.

Ken Burnett, who brought the donor pyramid to the attention of many of us in 1992, recently blogged that it was no panacea. Also, the Agitator (The American one, not me) recently blogged about it and how it was not really useful.

Paul agrees. The problem with the pyramid is that it infers people move along it. You bring them in, they make another gift, then another, then become an automatic donor, then a major donor and finally a legator. This doesn’t really happen.

He is getting into some pretty neat maths stuff now – looking at state charts; a mathematical approach in this case looking how people change their state. The key question is what triggered the change in state.

A donor can, at any point, move from one ‘type’ to another. As time moves along, the state of the donor is only ever at one fixed point. He points out that this needs to be managed within charities – he says that Amnesty International in Australia are the only charity he knows of to be working on this topic. If you can’t afford it (but have a database that justifies it) then simply outsource data entry and hire data analysts.

His second maths thing is graph theory. For those who haven’t heard of this, it is simply the theory behind things like how LinkedIn suggests who you should connect with. Also called social network theory.

He shows how Jason Boley managed to use this to spot an incredibly important link between a donor, through the LA Foundation and to another donor – they would never have known without this connection.

The first network map is complex, but Jason drilled down, focusing on LA Foundation and Atlanta Foundation (the red nodes).

Drilling down we see these new connections – that were unknown to the university.

So. We have learned a little about state theory and graph theory, but what does that mean for you?

The key here is that the technology overlay changes the game through four things.  Speed, Scale, Automation and Analytics.

These two theories will help you target better, saving money on marketing to the wrong people and increasing money by getting the right ones. And of course, major donor fundraising will benefit from networks discovered through graph theory.

Paul Ramsbottom

2011 FIA Conference Feedback

By Mai Seki, Fundraising Manager for Doctors of the World in Japan.

My name is Mai Seki and I work as the Fundraising Manager for Doctors of the World in Tokyo, Japan.

I am currently living in Sydney and working with Pareto Fundraising as part of an internship organised by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I was very excited to learn I was coming to Australia to work with Pareto Fundraising, as I knew it would be a fantastic opportunity for me to learn sophisticated fundraising approaches and strategies.

As part of my desire to learn as much as possible while here, I attended the 34th FIA conference held in Melbourne at the end of February. Each morning, I volunteered on the registration desk, and then in the afternoon was kindly permitted to attend some of the sessions.

I learnt a lot from each session, but Ken Burnett’s session ‘The innovation and inspiration show’ is still strongly impressed on my mind. One of the most important messages I took away from his session is to communicate with donors as human beings, and not just ask for their money.

After each session I attended, I contacted the speaker to request a copy of their presentations. I was extremely impressed when the first two responders were Ken Burnett and Stephen Pidgeon. They were two of the most top celebrated speakers at the conference and must be very busy, but both replied with genuine, warm-worded replies and also with remarkable speed! From them, I have not only learnt fundraising strategies, but also how professional fundraisers should be.

Click here to view the presentations given by Pareto Fundraising staff at the 2011 FIA Conference.

Donor: “May Change Mind”

By Jonathon Grapsas

I had a great time in Melbourne at the FIA Conference last week.

I usually figure if I get two pieces of gold dust from a conference it’s a good result. I got tonnes over the three days.

One of things that has stuck in my mind is something Ken Burnett said during one of the wonderful sessions he delivered.

Ken shared a story about a fellow fundraiser’s insights about donor loyalty.

The three words that were forever etched at the top of this persons mind were “may change mind”, referring to the constant battle as fundraisers we face.

May change mind.

Pretty powerful few words.

We probably entertain these words when we study the chasm between good and awful donor care, or on the back of a supporter complaint.

Yet in reality, they are arguably the three most important words in fundraising. Just as Ken said.

They change the way we think about donor conversations. They keep us forever on our toes. They prove the how volatile the relationship between a supporter and our organisation can be.

Ken also quoted Canadian fundraiser and author Harvey McKinnon who articulated beautifully where the buck stops when it comes to donor relationships by saying, “donor loyalty is about you being loyal to your donors, not the other way around”.

So what should you do?

Keep reminding yourself of those three simple words.

May change mind.

And perhaps consider plastering one of these on your monitor?