Australia, Benchmarking, business planning, Business Strategy, Economy, fundraising, goal-setting, leadership, Not for Profit Sector, partnerships, philanthropy, Strategic Planning, Women in Business

45% of charities receive funding from Government

With all the current debate about the amount of funding governments provide to private and public schools, it made me think about about how much of our charities’ revenue comes from government. I revisited research by the ACNC (Australian Charities and NFP Commission) particularly the 2016 Charities Report  I was surprised to be reminded how much charities funding comes from government and in comparison, how little from individual donations.

In 2016, charity revenue totalled $142.8 billion with just one per cent of charities’ revenues accounting for well over half (54.9%) of the whole sector’s total revenue. This is perhaps surprising enough in itself.

Over 45% of charities received funding from government grants and 70% received income via donations and bequests however this latter source of income made up just 7.3% ($10.5b) of all revenue.  Government funding represented 43% of all revenue.

Apart from government grants, many charities stated that they received ‘other’ income and this was a significant proportion of their income (49.5%).  However, in the 2016 report this ‘other’ income wasn’t broken down but could include income from Trusts and foundations, income from raffles, lotteries and gaming, membership and other fees as well as sponsorship, interest, rental income and dividends received.

Much media, industry and community attention is paid to fundraising to solicit gifts from individuals while the amount is comparatively small compared with government and ‘other’ funding.  Should there be an even greater reliance on individual philanthropy? Should the focus shift or does government get a ‘cheap’ deal by funding charities to do work they would otherwise not do or could not afford to do? Should the government provide this level of funding to charities? Or should we expect charities to rely on charitable donations in order to deliver their goals? Something to think about .

Source: Data for the 2016 Charities Report comes from Australian charities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) at the end of each charity’s 2016 financial year. Where financial information was not reported by charities it was estimated. Visit australiancharities.acnc.gov.au/ .

Australia, Corporate sponsorship, Footscray, fundraising, leadership, Melbourne, Not for Profit Sector, partnerships, philanthropy, Victoria

Fire destroys offices of the Les Twentyman Foundation in Footscray

les twentyman.jpg

A fire today in Footscray  at Little Saigon Market has destroyed the offices of the Les Twentyman Foundation destroying hundreds of Christmas gifts, including 6,000 donated school books, intended for children of poor families.

The Foundation has been a part of the Western suburbs of Melbourne for over 30 years and Les Twentyman has been the major driver.

Donations can be made at www.ltfoundation.com.au and material donations can be made by phoning the organisation on 9689 480 or visiting Replenish for Health in Douglas Parade, Williamstown.

 

 

Benchmarking, business planning, Business Strategy, fundraising, leadership, Not for Profit Sector, partnerships, philanthropy, Strategic Planning, Uncategorized

Online fundraising and Regular Giving increases: findings by M+R Benchmarks Report

It’s refreshing to see some solid benchmarking on the trends in the NFP sector.

In this 10th edition M+R Benchmarks has created some highly useful data on trends in online fundraising. It involved 105 participants in eight sectors.

Interestingly, it shows a decline in response rates to emails; revenue growth increased by growth in email lists.

The report shows an increased trend in monthly giving which is very positive as this is a great way to provide sustainable revenue for organisations.

You can read the whole report here and I’ve quoted some highlights below.  By the way, the report includes some useful and illuminating graphs particularly about which sectors are growing and which are declining.

  1. “13% of online gifts came from mobile devices

  2. For every 1,000 email subscribers, nonprofits have 355 Facebook fans, 132; Twitter followers, and 19 Instagram followers. In 2006, those numbers were basically zero, zero, and zero: Facebook was limited to .edu email addresses, Twitter was just about to launch, and Instagram’s founders were still in college.

  3. Nonprofits invested $0.04 in digital advertising for every $1 of online revenue. This might not seem like much, but considering that overall online revenue grew by 19% in the last year, digital advertising is an increasingly important market for acquisition, conversion, and retention.

  4. The volume has been turned way up: the average nonprofit in our study sent the average subscriber on its list 49 email messages in 2015.

  5. Monthly giving accounts for 17% of all online revenue – monthly giving is growing quite a bit faster than one-time revenue. In the first Benchmarks Study, only about half of the participants had a recurring giving program at all.”

 

Australia, Business Strategy, Cancer, Cancer treatment, Dry July, fundraising, leadership, Melbourne, Movember, Not for Profit Sector, partnerships, philanthropy, Strategic Planning, Women

We went dry in July and helped raise over $4m – with @Dryjuly

dry july

@DryJuly, which raises money for adults living with cancer by supporting organisations involved with cancer research, equipment and treatment, raised over $4m this year through its online and social media marketing. See their beneficiaries here.

It’s a very cool annual campaign with very low effort on the part of the participants and I suggest it has the benefit of growing involvement year on year.

The campaign asks its participants to give up drinking alcohol for a month.  They can just stop there if they like – a great way to have a healthy month.  Most people however would make a donation to get involved and then perhaps raise money from their friends, family and colleagues.

It has a positive benefit for the participants who have an AFM – an alcohol free month – who basically could donate what they would have spent on alcohol during July to the Dry July campaign.

It would be interesting to see how many participants a) join again after the first year – ie their retention rate and then b) whether they raise or donate more money in subsequent years.  I’d like to know what their retention rates are given it is hard for many charities to attract regular donors via online channels.

It may also be a good way to involve men in fundraising – notoriously difficult.  Movember is another annual campaign (the participation requirement I like less as it involves my husband growing even more facial hair!) But I’m sure its successful in this time of trending beards!  This was a fantastic idea started in  2003 by Adam Garone (who sports a most impressive mo’) and the other three co-founders inspired 30 guys to grow a moustache or beard and fundraise for men’s health during the month of November. Now, 10 years later, the campaign runs in 21 countries and in 2012, over a million ‘Mo Bros’ and ‘Mo Sistas’ took part.  Some very hairy people out there! Barbers everywhere rejoice!

I love these innovative, fun and joyful ideas.  They focus very much on the user, the customer, the donor and do not rely on doleful images and sad stories.  Certainly, there is a need for that type of marketing (and many will tell you how well these elements help) but I do love the fun and happiness created by campaigns such as Movember and DryJuly.

Giving up the grog for July made me reflect on my own drinking habits – and that is a good thing. Perhaps its having a similar effect on others – another interesting piece of analysis to consider.

I encourage all of us in the fundraising and NFP sector to look for joyful ways to engage with our ‘customers’ and stakeholders – make them the hero, give them ways to engage that THEY like and watch how they get involved and even show off their participation.  Well done to DryJuly.  Great result.

Australia, fundraising, Melbourne Zoo, Not for Profit Sector, partnerships, philanthropy, Threatened Species, Victoria, Women in Business, Zoos, Zoos Victoria

Fundraising Excellence… Helping Australian threatened species

For the first time Zoos Victoria and our Foundation (fundraising and sponsorship) team were recognised by the Australian Fundraising Institute for our very special fundraising campaign leveraging the 150th anniversary of Melbourne Zoo.  It was my privilege to head up the ZV Foundation during this highly creative period, a role I still hold.

mali

One of the main projects was Mali in the City with 50 sculptures of our very own (then) baby elephant Mali were painted by professional and amateur artists and positioned all around the city. Each sculpture had a paid sponsor for the period of the installation and at the end of the exhibition, all of the sculptures were successfully auctioned off. A wonderful event that brought the Melbourne community back in touch with its fantastic city Zoo.  We raised almost AUD $1m with the campaign across our various events and activities for our Victorian and International conservation programmes. And had a great time in the process!

Here’s the story which was featured recently by the FIA talking about the awards:

Zoos Victoria

Winner of the 2014 Most Effective Creative Campaign and the 2014 Special Projects, Events Award

Campaign: Melbourne Zoo’s 150th Anniversary Mali in the City Campaign.

Key Personnel: Jenny Gray, Kevin Tanner, Pamela Sutton-Legaud MFIA, Sid Myer AM

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What does winning this award mean for your organisation?
Winning the award meant a great deal for Zoos Victoria, in particular helping to acknowledge the hard work of a team of people that worked on Melbourne Zoo’s 150th Anniversary celebrations. It was also significant as it further demonstrated the love that people all over Australia share for Melbourne Zoo and Zoos Victoria as an organisation but also the love people feel for the charismatic animals that live at our zoos including Mali the Asian Elephant. Being successful in reaching a large number of people with our anniversary celebrations was extremely important for our organisation as it meant many people became engaged in our fighting wildlife extinction work and at the end of the day – this is the most important message.

How has it impacted on your work in terms of campaign strategies, staff morale etc?
The Award was a huge boost for the many teams involved in Melbourne Zoo’s 150th Anniversary celebrations. It was nice for staff to be publicly recognised for a campaign which touched so many different people. It has also made staff feel proud to be part of an organisation that is fun, has the ability to be bold and, above all, to be part of an organisation that the community clearly values.

Briefly tell us about the campaign that won you this award? What made this campaign so successful?
We won the Award for our 150th Anniversary celebrations which took place in 2012. In particular, we held a public art exhibition called ‘Mali in the City’ which saw 50 life-size artist decorated fibreglass elephant sculptures displayed all over Melbourne’s city streets and later sold at auction with all proceeds donated to Zoos Victoria fighting wildlife extinction efforts. The campaign was extremely successful as the sculptures were modelled on the exact dimensions of Mali the elephant, (at the time) a two year old elephant calf who was the first female elephant calf born in Australia and arguably one of the most popular animals at Melbourne Zoo. The campaign was also extremely unique, it was eye-catching and helped to brighten the wintery streets of Melbourne and it involved a large number of local people from local business to community and high profile artists.

Why did you/your organisation decide to submit an entry?
We decided to submit an award to help recognise the huge amount of work dedicated to the project by a large number of staff members across many departments of Zoos Victoria and also to help acknowledge the incredibly positive support from the Melbourne community. It was also another avenue to help raise awareness of our fighting extinction work with threatened species within a community that cares about causes.

What advice or suggestions can you give to other members considering submitting an awards nomination?
The Awards are a great way to celebrate your team’s hard work and successes within the fundraising industry. It was also a good way to benchmark your campaigns against what the rest of the industry is doing. In particularly winning the award had numerous benefits including media opportunities as well as the opportunity to build new relationships at the Awards event.

pamela FIA

Australia, Business Strategy, Corporate sponsorship, Economy, fundraising, Melbourne, Not for Profit Sector, partnerships, philanthropy, Uncategorized, Women in Business

What’s in a name? that which we call a Fundraiser by another name would it be as sweet?

Apologies to Shakespeare… But I’m pondering: Why do we call Fundraisers… well, Fundraisers?  Yes we do the action of raising funds … but that is so much only a part of the end result. What we do more than just raise dollars is build long term relationships and help philanthropists deliver on their own philanthropic goals.

In doing that we must do so much more that is often overlooked in the focus on the bottom line.

If you hire a Sales Person for your sales team, you want certain specific things from them in terms of meeting budget goals and building client relationships.  And clients hopefully are getting a product they want and need in exchange for their cash.

And yet a Fundraiser often must manage more than you’d expect from a sales person and it’s time we found a new description of this much misunderstood role. As a Fundraiser,  if you are to be successful in encouraging others to donate their time, talent and in particular treasure to an organisation, any fundraiser must learn an entire range of skills hidden in the term ‘fundraiser’ .

If you’ve ever met a great Fundraiser then you’d know that we are the sum of many parts. They are often good people managers, good financial managers, have a strong understanding of strategy: can take a helicopter view of a business to understand not just its financial needs but its priorities and urgencies.  They learn how to build long term relationships;  must learn how to recognise a philanthropist’s needs and goals and try to match them with their organisation’s needs and goals. It’s a tricky, sensitive business and one that takes maturity, knowledge and understanding of the role philanthropy plays in any non-profit business’s success.

Perhaps worrying about the title is a red herring. As with many things, it starts with the brief when a recruiter is starting to look for someone who can raise funds.

1. Forget the title: Look for relationship people – that is those who understand other people AND understand money and how it works within a business. 

2. Look for those who understand how to put together a strategic plan and can explain the organisation’s priorities to potential donors.

3. Look for those with a track record – yes, the bottom line does come into it, it’s just not the only thing.

4. Look for a link to your cause. Does the potential recruit really care about what you’re doing.

Just because I started this off looking at the title, I’d like to suggest a few alternative (nice) names for fundraisers:

Chief Relationship Officer; Strategic Prioritiser; Philanthropic Advancer, Bonding Adviser….

Perhaps the US has become more inventive – whatever we call them, fundraisers deliver a very valuable service to our non-profits and I believe it could be time we gave a higher recognition to their varied skills. They bring more to most organisations than just dollars. But as a ‘Strategic Prioritiser’ myself, perhaps I have a bias view. Over to you.

 

Australia, Business Strategy, Corporate sponsorship, fundraising, Not for Profit Sector, partnerships, philanthropy, Strategic Planning, Uncategorized

Can $50million ever be a bad thing?

imagesCAUQNPPU

Much has been made of a recent philanthropic gift of $50m to an Australian university to set up a scholarship fund. Quite right, you might say.

The donation secured Graham and Louise Tuckwell the honour of having made the largest philanthropic donation to an Australian university by individuals.

The couple funded 25 scholarships of $20,000 each per annum for up to 5 years.

An interesting question is whether the University would have set up the scholarships without this impressive and very generous donation – ie was the scholarship a strategic or donor driven decision? Many organisations struggle with these questions. Should we accept a large gift which we otherwise would not receive unless we tie the gift to the donor’s specific requirements? It is not suggested that in this case the university in question had this dilemma – but is there ever a time when $50m is a bad thing?

Most not-for-profit organisations can cite examples of where trying to deliver on a donor request in order to secure a large gift has cost them more than if they hadn’t accepted the funds in the first place.

When a business (and non profit or otherwise we are all businesses) tries to deliver solely what is of interest to the donor, time and resources are taken away from other strategic priorities. Staff can become disheartened when they see their core needs being unmet while other ‘less urgent’ projects taking priority.

How do we avoid these situations and put ourselves in the best possible position to accept a generous gift AND improve our capacity to deliver on our core values and deliverables? I would suggest 3 things:

1. Be willing to have a transparent and honest discussion with the potential donor about what will really help your organisation deliver on its mission. What do you really need to move the organisation forward and meet the supporter’s philanthropic objectives?

2. Have a plan around your vision – if you can’t share your strategic vision with potential supporters how can they fund your highest priorities? If you don’t know, neither will they. Create a strategic plan with room for growth – show how you would put their funds to the best possible use.

3. Be willing to say no. Or to be more positive, be willing to say ‘yes’ to the gifts that will push you and your organisation along on its journey. Yes, you must always be flexible and you should know where the line is.

I wish all organisations the very best of luck and good fortune in their fundraising and hope their planning is going well for the next financial year. May another multi-million donation be just around the corner. Make sure you’re ready to say ‘Yes’ to it.

Read more about the donation here at the excellent Fundraising & Philanthropy Magazine http://www.fpmagazine.com.au/50-million-donation-for-australian-national-university-316794/

Not for Profit Sector, ubud Writers festival, Uncategorized, Writers

Ubud Writers’ Festival 2013 Dates

2013 marks an important year for UWRF as we get set to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of Southeast Asia’s most renowned literary event.

urf international_poetry_slamIn 2013, UWRF comes full circle returning to its original theme Through Darkness to Light/Habis Gelap Terbitlah Terang honouring Indonesia’s beloved women’s right pioneer RA. Kartini, Paying homage to Kartini the Festival focuses on women’s stories, women’s rights and education, heroes and visionaries, and embraces writers across all genres including travel writers, songwriters, playwrights, poets, comedians and graphic novelists.

‘To add to the excitement of celebrating our ten years, the Festival welcomes our new International Program Manager – Summa Durie who joins our existing programming team of Kadek Purnami – Community Development Manager, Wayan Juniartha – Indonesian Program Manager and Ida Bagus Putra Wira Adnyana – Program Coordinator. Also joining the UWRF team is Marketing Manager – Madeleine Smith. Both Summa and Madeleine have had immense experience in arts events and will bring an effervescent youthful spirit to our upcoming mammoth 10th Festival’, said Janet DeNeefe – Festival Director/Founder.

In breaking news – the dates of the 2013 UWRF have now changed to 11 – 15 October to avoid a clash with the upcoming APEC meeting, which is being held in Bali early October. Please make sure to update your diaries and calendars now with our new dates.

Whether you have been to every UWRF, have experienced the Festival once or twice, or have ever thought about attending – 2013 is the year to see you at the Festival, as they welcome the world’s most exciting writers, thinkers and artists to Ubud. www.ubudwritersfestval.com

fundraising, Melbourne Zoo, Not for Profit Sector, philanthropy, Uncategorized

Give Hugs this Christmas!

Will you make a charitable donation this Christmas? Are you foregoing gifts this year in favour of your favourite cause? Many people will and the trend is increasing. I’d like to think we all probably have more than enough ‘stuff’ and dont need much else so a gift to a charity instead of a new pair of socks sounds like fun! Lots of charities need our support at this time of year in particular.

Try www.oxfam.org, www.worldvision.org, www.redcross.org or www.zoo.org.au to name a few… or if you have to have a gift, perhaps consider visiting an elderly friend or neighbour and giving them a hug … I think that’s just as charitable and probably very welcome 🙂 Merry Christmas, Felice Navidad, Joyeaux Noel 🙂

Give a hug for christmas
Give a hug for christmas