28 September 2021
Mindwize, partner of the FAB, is an international, creatively driven and data-inspired agency with over 25 years of experience in developing campaigns for non-profit and social enterprise organisations. Liesbeth van Uytven is managing director at Mindwize Belgium.
Mindwize helps organisations with traditional fundraising techniques like direct mail programs and legacy campaigns. Digital campaigns are becoming more important to enlarge the online communities for non-profit organisations and then stimulate these supporters to donate by taking them through an integrated donor journey. In this journey they use all relevant direct communication tools like online retargetting, e-mail, post and of course the telephone.
“During COVID19 we have seen organisations re-appreciate the telephone as fundraising tool. Fundraisers are often reluctant to do telemarketing campaigns. But many are now convinced, if used in a correct way, it is a valuable addition in their fundraising channel mix. The pandemic has actually given our call agency Socialcall a boost as many non-profit organisations refocused on digital campaigns that included the telephone in the follow up journey.”
Focus on engaging online communities to help smaller organisations survive financially
“Many smaller organisations and charities were no longer able to have spaghetti-soirees, waffle-sales, etc. and of top of that they were hit by the changes of De Warmste Week-concept, that focused on volunteer work last year. That meant a loss of 17,5 million euros that was not raised during that week. We all saw the big sms-action Boven de Wolken held as an emergency appeal to be able to continue their important mission.”, Liesbeth explains. “Mindwize works for well know organisations but also helps smaller organisations, for example Belgisch Kinderkankersteunfonds. . We helped them think about how to make their online communities grow and how to raise more funds through these communities. All starting from the right donor journey. We are really glad that we can put our expertise to use for small and bigger organisations to make these communities grow and find new donors. The fact that we have an international network of digital marketeers at Mindwize and that we can all share our results and knowledge, is a real big plus and our USP.”
It might not come as a surprise that online giving boomed during the past years. “A study by iRaiser, fellow FAB Friend, showed that online giving doubled or did even better. Organisations that had a good mailinglist or a lively community before corona hit, had really good results for online giving” Liesbeth indicates.
Donation page as digital cash register
“Many organisations also had wonderful integrated campaigns that worked really well. Your donation page is only your digital cash register, is a quote from one of our international colleagues. A good story to tell your supporters with a clear call to action showing the impact of their support is the fundraising basic that stays very important. Then good targeting and the use of the right channels, together with a simple, user friendly donation page will get you started. But it is as important to have really good publicity and communication on your topics to attract the attention of potential supporters and get traffic to your website and it’s donation pages.”
“Thanks to Corona and ordering via QR-codes in restaurants, people rediscovered this tool and we see it works for certain target groups and specific channels well. It is not in any way replacing the traditional payment form in direct mail, but we do see interesting learnings and advise all charities to keep a close eye on the development of new payment systems.”
If Liesbeth has to pinpoint some points of improvement in the fundraising sector, it would be working on the image and appreciation of fundraisers. “Organisations really have to try their best to make fundraisers feel appreciated, because they are still often frowned upon. You want to make sure the fundraising knowledge and expertise stays within your organisation. We still notice that there needs to be more integration or collaboration between different departments in organisations, like fundraising, people working in the field and marketing/communication departments. Some of our clients are doing a great job on internal collaboration, other organisations are struggling.”
Donor behaviour is more impulsive
“For a while people have been tending to give more to local or national initiatives, we’ll have to see how that evolves. We also notice is that younger people give more impulsively and less often engage for a long-term or monthly commitment: they are not very loyal. But that is a general constatation, not only for fundraising. I believe it is important as a fundraiser to keep an eye on general consumer behaviour to determine your fundraising strategy. Contactless payments are becoming so common, as fundraisers we have to jump on that bandwagon.”
As an expert Liesbeth gives some tips on telemarketing campaigns. “ A personal qualitative phone call is never a bad idea, if it is relevant. We never do cold calls. There already has to be some kind of a connection between the supporter and your organisation. If you call someone, thank them and ask about their connection with the organisation. Have a real conversation with them and make a relevant gift request . Research shows that people being asked to give on the phone by well trained call agents, like our team, are much more loyal.
“If you are calling people who have given before, don’t be afraid to ask to give again. But if they do not want to give again, still thank them for what they meant for your organisation in the past. Our most important goal is to give people a good feeling during and after the conversation. We make them feel valued and appreciated. That is why we work with really experienced, qualitative call agents with some life experience.”
Potential in middle donors
Mindwize cooperated in the article on Middle Donors by Isabel Penne, chair of the Fundraisers Alliance Belgium. “Internationally Mindwize has done quite a lot of middle donor-campaigns. In Belgium it is still less common, because the donor databases are often smaller. But there is certainly potential for good middle donor campaigns. It is important to give middle donors a range of possibilities of amounts to spend for very specific projects.”
Raise Social – make your volunteers raise funds
Recently Mindwize Internationally launched a new product ‘RAISE SOCIAL’. Volunteers of the organisation can get their personalised QR-code that is connected to a personal landing page. The volunteer can then raise funds where ever and whenever he or she wants. (Potential) donors can scan the personal QR-code and fill in his/her personal details. “The system allows a detailed reporting per volunteer recruiter and department. And we also include a training for the volunteer recruiters, because that is crucial. It is not only a new, simple way to raise funds, but it also makes the involvement of volunteers grow. I like the product our international colleagues developed. We always monitor what could be interesting for Belgian fundraisers to improve their programs. This might be a future addition to our Belgian services.”
Mindwize is an international, creatively driven and data-inspired agency with over 25 years’ experience developing effective campaigns for non-profit and social enterprise organisations. Helping to make the world a little bit better.