Make Your 2017 Sparkle

To kick off the new year, we thought we’d ask some key people in the charity sector for some words of wisdom. Here are the best tips for ensuring success for your charity in 2017.

Ongoing education is important
Fundraising is changing rapidly due to advances in data technology and marketing. The need to skill-up has never been greater. Continuing education during 2017 is your key to staying on top of trends and developments in the sector.

As the leading provider of fundraising education and training in Australia, FIA strongly believes in the importance of ongoing professional development to enhance your career potential and contribution to the effectiveness of your organisation.

Our comprehensive education courses can help you learn new skills, consolidate your knowledge, hone your leadership and management abilities and improve your results for your organisation.

    Kathryn Hodgkinson
    Fundraising Institute Australia

Get your systems in place
We know the pool of Government funding has been shrinking for several years, and organisations are working hard to diversify income streams. Individual donors, corporate sponsors and the philanthropic sector have become a lot more conscious with regards to the longer term outcomes and impact of their investments into social sector initiatives – evidence of outputs are no longer enough. Investors want to be reassured and know their contributions are making a difference.

It’s important for the sector themselves to devote resources towards setting up systems to capture data and stories beyond the usual compliance requirements, so they are able to successfully demonstrate the social value they are creating. Increased emphasis on the collection of this information will also assist organisations in evaluation activities that lead to better outcomes for community.

    Lesley Harris
    Lesley Harris (Freelance Project Delivery for NFP Sector)

Take a good look at your website
I would like to encourage Aussie charities in 2017 to spend more effort on their websites.  Websites need to be visitor and donor friendly, encourage and enable a donation easily, contain Will wording and easy instructions on leaving a gift in a Will and provide information that indicates what impact donations and support from donors will make.  The traditional principle of making it easy for donors to donate still stands.  Stop saying how good you are as an organisation and show impact through your words and pictures!

    Margaret Scott FFIA CFRE
    Margaret Scott & Associates

Using videos on social media
I believe social media will continue to grow as an integral part of fundraising for the non-profit sector in Australia in 2017. During 2016 Facebook began trialling charitable giving directly via their platform with select non-profits in the US, but we’re yet to see it released more widely here yet. It’s exciting to think this could be a reality soon for Australian charities though.

I also see non-profit’s becoming more self-sufficient in their social media presence. That is, there will be a more sustainable move towards up-skilling current staff or long term and skilled volunteers to steer non-profit’s social media presence and content. I worked with many charities during 2016 that have realised the importance of social media and are now poised to be able to manage their own social media presence in a sustainable way for their organisation.

I think we’ll also see more use of video content in communicating with donors and inspiring support of organisations, particularly with Facebook Live, but also on Instagram, which has now overtaken Twitter in terms of active users. Video is a dynamic and popular content choice on social media, allowing organisation to get their message across in a genuine way and often results in better engagement for social media posts.

    Kirsty Wallett
    The K Franc Social

Thanks to Kathryn, Lesley, Margaret and Kirsty for their insights. Here’s to a fabulous and fruitful 2017 for everyone!

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