No, not a new game, but maybe it could be? Antonina Romanova, our german-speaking lead consultant headed to Germany for Purple Vision recently…
Over 300 representatives of non-profit organisations gathered in Potsdam and Dresden in September for Fundraising Tag. Organised by fundraisingmagazine.de, and supported by sponsors including Purple Vision, the days offer a mix of sessions, workshops and networking time.
A fairly standard format, but for us the exciting element was that it was in German and would give us an
opportunity to learn more about our fast-expanding customer base in Germany.
We saw these events as not just an opportunity to share our knowledge and experience but also to learn the needs and and requirements of German organisations and get a deeper understanding of the technology and tools they use and problems they face in their day-to-day activities.
We’ve all got something in common …
All non-profits, regardless of where they are in the world share some common factors, but it’s the specific requirements that determine best practices, internal processes, applications and solutions. These will always be different as they depend on range of factors including market, political and economic situations as well as regulations at a market and government level too.
Of course the other major factor influencing the people, processes and technologies in non-profits around the world is the vision, mission and strategy of the organisation – which will vary widely.
In the exhibitor area of the event we were interacting with Fundraising Day attendees. We shared our experience in non-profit industry, explaining how a proper strategy and a vision in combination with modern technology solutions can lead them to a more successful fundraising and brand recognition. Together with Account Managers from Salesforce.org Christiane and Lisa, we showed a number of people the power that Salesforce offers non-profit organisations.
Some of the common questions about Salesforce were related to various functionality modules, such as donation management, contact management, digital marketing, event management, grants, volunteers, data protection and, of course, costs.
A number of people were excited to hear that Salesforce.org grants 10 free licenses. However, a couple of people noticed that if you need a higher number of licenses, than they become quite expensive. I should mention that Salesforce licenses are heavily discounted for non-profit organisations. But them being not entirely free means that resources are actually invested into the product development.
Network and Learn
But Fundraising days are not just about representatives from non-profit organisations talking to the exhibitors who offer various solutions and services. Fundraising days are also about learning and networking. There was a number of sessions and seminars that attendees could attend. Each seminar was dedicated to a specific area or functionality.
For example, a Purple Vision speaker Klemens Karkow was talking about fundraising for small and medium clubs and associations.
Some other speakers were sharing their knowledge on how to build a successful partnership with corporate sponsors, how to better understand donors, how to work with major donors and how to benefit from social media and e-mail marketing. Each seminar provided not just a lot of content but also gave attendees an opportunity to ask their questions and get answers from the experts.
I have also attended one of the seminars. You can never know everything and I decided to use this opportunity to improve my industry knowledge. I attended a session on Practical Tips or How to Make Friends from Enemies.
It was very interesting to hear all the tips, related to organisation and contact donor journey communication. There were, however, a couple of aspects that made me think on how to bring together time proven best practices and the tendency of donors becoming more and more digital. One of the things mentioned by the presenter was that a research showed that if you send donors handwritten Thanks You letters within 7 days after the first donation, a chance to receive the next donation within 12 months is 16% higher than if you thanks them by email or print a letter and send it per post. I agree that for certain groups of donors, this will be the right approach. But if an organisation wants to attract younger donors, it should also consider other ways. And that’s were a marketing journey with 1:1 communication comes into play.
See you next time!
I found Fundraising Days to be a great experience for non-profit organisations that could learn best practices, talk about consultancy and technical solutions to exhibitors and discuss their problems and successes with other non-profits.
At the same time it was a fantastic opportunity for Purple Vision and for me personally as it allowed us to get a better understanding of our current and future customers on the German market and learn about other solutions offered within it. As we are an independent consultancy, we should keep looking and investigating what tools are available in order to be able to offer our clients the best options.
See you at the next Fundraising Day!
Antonina is one of Purple Vision’s Lead Consultants for non-profit projects. As well as being a Salesforce whizz, she also speaks Russian and German (hence being asked to help our German clients) and loves dancing. She’ll be attending the next Fundraising Tag days in March.