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  • Writer's pictureJamal Abbas

4 Tips To Get More From Your Donors - Interview With Howard Lake - [Video]

Is this blog worth my time? 🤔 Howard Lake breaks down his top tips on how to build relationships 🔗 with donors to keep them coming long-term. He also talks you through a fundraising campaign on a small budget 🤑. Read or watch to learn Howard's fundraising secrets 👇

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My first question…Can you explain what Fundraising UK is in one sentence? 🙋‍♂️

It’s a news and community site for professional fundraisers, people whose main job is to fundraise.

There are loads of people that seem to find it useful, whether it’s journalists, funders, policymakers, or technology companies. So it’s a site about fundraising to help fundraisers raise more money using the power of digital.

What do you think is the next big thing in the fundraising world? 📈

It’s hard to say, except just to expect rapid change and quite a bit of failure.

I would say make the most of your website and work with trusted agencies or people. Make your website as powerful as it can be. Don’t give up on email and make the most of existing tools.

What trends have you seen during the pandemic that excite you? 📊

It may sound boring and not cutting edge, but it’s fundraisers thanking, speaking to donors, and listening to them. So all those fundraisers that picked up their phones 📞 and just talked to donors, thanked them, and then just asked them that fundamental question, 'why did you give?'.

That is just some of the most valuable information you can get. Nothing beats using what time you have to talk and learn from supporters.

So I’d say that I would say just a willingness to adapt. Everyone had to and so did supporters.

What is the worst fundraising mistake you have seen a charity make? 😭

Just not thanking donors. We’re very good at asking. We know who to ask, usually how much, and so on. But it’s that lack of follow-up. It is astonishing that charities don't do it.

How should you say thank you to your donors? ❤️

You have to plan all fundraising campaigns. That means thanking people and then taking them further. So it could be anything from some of the clever stuff where charities send an initial receipt.

Saying thank you for that amount of money recognizing any previous money that’s come in. So we are talking about using a CRM fundraising database.

Plan how you then take people on an appropriate second stage.

There’s research that says that when people give online, they’re up for being asked to do something else and that’s not a donation. For example signing a petition, signing up for an email update, doing something on social media.

So, yes, I think planning, knowing that you need us to think well is probably one thing I'd suggest.

What should you never do when it comes to creating content for social media? 🚫

I’d say not to test. The wonderful thing about social media, and digital, is you can work out and track the results. You can test almost in real-time. How are people clicking through those social posts? Are they not? Why not?

And most of the platforms, if not all of the platforms, give you data. So whether it’s Facebook analytics, Twitter, and so on, you can see what kind of content works and it’s just hard graft.

It’s analysing and adding a bit of creativity to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Is it adding a video?

Is it adding an ask every time, or occasionally or interspersing asks?

How do you fundraise on a shoestring budget? 💸

Find out what makes supporters tick, why do people support you?

Then find people like that and present a series of messages that resonate with them and be very clear about what you are asking. Then measure the result and test and tweak to learn and improve.

Your fundraising shoestring strategy 👆👆

This is my last question, probably the most important one. What’s your favourite Cereal? 🥣

You know, I do like all those Jordan cereals, this is meant to be healthy and sustainable, which is probably a good thing.

And I’ll add one other thing, a guilty pleasure. They have some online games on their site, so I do a tiny bit of brain teaser now and again.

Summary: Cut straight to the main points 👇👇

That's a wrap 🌯

Howard covered a range of different topics that should act as a springboard for you to dive into further. So where he talks about testing content or thanking donors make sure you read/research further into it so you can build on what he said. 📈 A great place to learn more about that is on by joining our newsletter. We'll be interviewing fundraising leaders and uncovering the secrets behind digital fundraising. Subscribe now! 📧

Also, check out the amazing resources UK Fundraise has to offer. It's a great place to get access to knowledge on all things fundraising not just digital. 👈

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