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How to start digital fundraising from scratch - Interview With Hasan Sarwar - [Video]

🚨 Attention small charties. This one is a MUST-read! 🚨

Despite living in a very digital era, there are a lot of organisations of all sizes that are still pretty scared 😨 of moving their marketing online. The charity sector is no different.

So Jamal had a chat with Hasan from Novojion, a small London-based charity. Hasan revealed how he has managed to start from nothing and end up with 60% of his income from digital fundraising!

This one is worth your time.

How did you get stakeholders and trustees to make that switch to digital-first? 💬

First off. What I wanna say is it was a very difficult task! Most of the stakeholders within our industry are very much old school, and they're happy with the way the trajectory is going.

So I decided to have a conversation with the director who I knew quite well at that point. And I said, what's your plan? What's your plan for the future? They came back to me with, oh, we've tried it all before. We've done the whole digital thing and it didn't work. We've done it three or four times with three or four different people.

So I gave them an opportunity, and I said, once you see the results, then you'll understand why this is so important. So they let me do that. And that was really interesting because most people don't allow you to do that.

What platform did you start off with first? 🏁

Initially, I embarked on what we call social proof in the industry, which was to get people to trust you at the beginning. Then it is just nurturing that throughout the year. So constantly bringing out content, which shows what you're doing.

(NOTE: Content of what the work you do = social proof X consistency = trust) 😎

What platform has worked the best for you? 🏆

It was Facebook and Instagram for me. I think when it comes to ads Facebook works the best for me. 👈

Just recently we started our YouTube advertising and also Google Ads. The reason I use Facebook and Instagram is that they are content-based platforms.

What have you seen as your best audience? 🧑‍🤝‍🧑

My best audience is ex-pats from Bangladesh. It's worked the best because we're a Bengali charity, you know, it's the, it's the target audience that we want. It's not worked as well as I'd hoped, because not everyone who is an ex-pat actually, has listed that they're an ex-pat. So the audience isn't as big as I'd expected.

I've stuck to that on Facebook, and then also, with the pages that I have admin access to, I do have a lot of l look-alike audiences.

What content works best for you? 🥇

UGC is good, but I think that people are fed up with seeing sadness, so for example, my last ad started off with lots of sad images and then it just switched.

So it was just a complete, like, no, we're not gonna have any more sadness. And then it showed like smiles of the people that we've helped. And I think people are more inclined nowadays to see result-based content rather than situational.

I think that's because of the audience that we have on digital, which is a lot younger than we have on TV. For example, if you're on TV, I'd still say situational content would work best for the older generation. But for the age range, that's online, they're much more aware. They know that the situations exist. There's enough content out there showing what the situation is. It's now about results-based content. "What are you doing?" "What has made the difference?" "Where is my money gone?" Just answering those questions works really well.

Have you got a 30-second hack to increase your paid search or your paid social results? ⏲️

I'll tell you what my recent hack is. Okay. My recent hack is I don't make my adverts more than 35 seconds. I've decided to do that for the last two, or three months. And it's worked perfectly as in the number of, as in the view rate and, and the time that people watch my videos has gone up.

When they see that it's only 35 seconds they're more inclined. It used to be one minute, but that's gone out the window. So my recent hack is to close down the time and also to make the messaging on those videos very snappy.

Yeah, I think those two are the biggest hacks anyone can use right now. If you're looking to capture the audience that you're looking for.

My last question, and probably my most important question. What's your favourite cereal? 🥣

My favourite cereal is Frosties, but I do not eat it anymore. Because of the sugar! But I love Frosties. You gimme a bowl of Frosties. I'll eat it three times a day. 😍

That's a wrap 🌯

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! 📧

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