Crowd Funding - Andy Harris - Action for Children
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Crowd Funding - Andy Harris - Action for Children

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  • JH
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  • TL – Joe Video, do we have a CD of this?
  • Hi, I’m Joe Howes and I Head up Action for Children’s Community Fundraising team of 40 fundraisers across the UK. Whilst this is an online tool, it has been a game changer in the way we work with donors and our projects offline. I’m briefly going to talk about how My Action for Children has changed the way we work with our projects and how we have harnessed the power of the crowds of supporters they have around them in their communities We’re big - so first of all, our crowd could be considered to be our number of projects – as Andy said, we have over 500 of them across the UK. But think of all the people that are touched by those projects, local communities, beneficiaries and people who hold the individual cause close to their heart. These people want to give locally and often don’t know how they can support the project down the road from them. My Action for Children has created hundreds of these local asks and drawn these random localised crowds together under one roof so we have a better idea of who they are, what kind of cause or item for a cause they want to support and bring them all together under one roof. Drawing these crowds together to support Action for Children is a REAL opportunity for my team.
  • I love a good diagram so I thought I’d quickly highlight the opportunity in picture format: 1) Imagine 500 of these projects across the country - all Action for Children projects but all having their own local way of doing things. This makes it fairly hard to manage consistently. 2) Each of these projects is supported by local groups, many we knew about but we’re finding a lot that we didn’t. 3) My Action for Children gives a focus for these local groups to channel their funds through by supplying hundreds of local asks. It’s useful for you to understand exactly where we used to be around local fundraising to help you understand the opportunities My Action for Children has created.
  • 1) Projects were raising funds locally, with no communication to the fundraising team. Well how much was being raised that the organisation didn’t know about? How were these donors being looked after – sometimes pretty well I’d imagine but often stewardship was non-existent. We needed to ensure that fundraising asks were known to the fundraising team so we could ensure the donors were getting the best stewardship possible. 2) We previously had no real ability for projects to restrict income to low cost, single items and certainly had no way of holding this information for all to see – fundraisers and the public alike 3) There was no central process behind signing off local asks. Did we really need what local projects were locally asking for? 4) Classic project visits where we prayed the Project Manager didn’t ask for funding for a low cost item when we have an unrestricted ask of £500,000 5) And the real barrier for us going forwards was the simple loss of trust projects had in the fundraising team. Unrestricted income never came their way despite numerous project visits they’d supported.
  • Now these are all excellent reasons to sort out a way of working that wasn’t really helping anyone. I think the final key driver was that as fundraisers we believed entirely in enabling the public to fund tangible items where they could see the difference their money meant either locally or to a cause close to their heart. This was the way we could see the public’s desire to give was going. With our local presence we felt we were in the ideal place to make this happen.
  • This has been and will continue to be a game changer for community fundraising. It’s brought about plenty of positive changes for fundraising that we probably didn’t anticipate when we first started. Firstly, we’re drawing new and existing crowds in. We’re using the site to collect a wealth of fundraising opportunities to pro-actively take out to local supporter groups, companies and church groups. It’s also enabled us to build our sight of supporter groups we didn’t know existed. These are groups who have had longstanding relationships with projects that are starting to place money against My Action for Children asks where in the past they raised funds in separate bank accounts and bought items the project might need. We’re building an information profile on My Action for Children for all of our projects. For the first time staff and supporters have simple information about any of our projects. This has been critical for fundraising bids across the wider team and in the past has been incredibly hard to find and generally been full of Children’s Services jargon. We’ve created a new restricted income process. At a first glance this looked a simple process: The organisation identifies a need - it raises the funds required to meet the need - it spends the funds on meeting the need (move right to left) But before MyAFC, it was messy. It was really difficult to track the process end to end and to prove what we were funding was what the organisation had identified as a priority. We worked with the Database Management team, with Finance, with Project Managers, with Procurement and with IT to build a process which enabled a service manager to identify a need, request funding, track progress of the funding, celebrate when all the funds were raised, claim the money and spend it on what they said they would. It wasn’t easy and it required all of us to face some uncomfortable truths about how we’d managed (or not managed) things in the past. But now we are supremely confident that if we were subject to a Finance or a Fundraising audit, we can track the journey of a pound from when it was first requested, to it being donated and to it finally being spent. And what’s even better is that this now isn’t unique to needs funded through MyAFC. We’re using the sign off and tracking process across fundraising for funding requests of any value, funded by any income stream. When making applications to win local work from the local authority we can now highlight exactly what we have raised for specific projects or areas and say what extra value we have been able to provide. We are beginning to get a good idea of what our supporters like (and don’t like to fund). For example Christmas presents and fun days out always go down particularly well. And finally, there’s still lots to do but we’re building a trusting and positive partnership with our projects that is going to grow stronger and stronger, ensuring we develop our local fundraising opportunities even further in the future.
  • We’re going to release the power of the crowd (count fingers) We need to plant the seeds . Recruiting a small core group of active online supporters right from the beginning and engaging them with the site is the key to growth. We need to facilitate their conversations. We need to give our crowd good content that engages them, makes them want to get involved and compels them to share it. We need them to get involved . We have to enable relationships between supporters and projects. We have to make it easy to get the word out. Automating as much as possible means that donors can just tick one box and all their social networks are updated with what they’ve been doing, whether it’s making a donation, signing a petition or starting a fundraising campaign. We’ve got to have patience . Chucking a load of money at a huge advertising campaign for this won’t work – it’s all about taking the relationship building skills and great networking talents that community fundraisers have in bucketloads, and applying them online. As fundraisers we all know about the power of personal recommendation. And we all know the time and effort required to build the trust, confidence and enthusiasm in our supporters to convert them to advocates. It’s no different online. There’s no magic to it, it’s just good fundraising practice. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy though!
  • GB 4) At the moment only one or two people within fundraising can access the back end of the site. So we’ve got lots of control, but it does mean there’s a single point of failure and there can be capacity issues resulting in delays. We need to decide who within the organisation we’re going to give access to the site, and at what level. Should Project Managers be able to write their own content and publish it? Who needs to sign it off from both an accuracy point of view and from a style perspective. 5) We’ve talked a lot about getting projects engaged, but as you all know, what with funding cuts and increased need, our project managers have plenty of things to be doing just providing a service to our most vulnerable children and young people. So with these pressing priorities, how do we make it as easy as possible for them to engage with the site and provide the content we need? 6) We need to think about how we best manage build and manage our online community. How do we provide the focus and fundraising expertise it needs to be a success. Do we dedicate a full time person to it, and if so, where do they sit? Are they part of the PR team, the community team or the direct marketing team? 7) And how are we going to promote this? Do we spend money on a big online and offline ad campaign? Or do we take our time and really focus our efforts on building support within a really targeted market?
  • GB 4) At the moment only one or two people within fundraising can access the back end of the site. So we’ve got lots of control, but it does mean there’s a single point of failure and there can be capacity issues resulting in delays. We need to decide who within the organisation we’re going to give access to the site, and at what level. Should Project Managers be able to write their own content and publish it? Who needs to sign it off from both an accuracy point of view and from a style perspective. 5) We’ve talked a lot about getting projects engaged, but as you all know, what with funding cuts and increased need, our project managers have plenty of things to be doing just providing a service to our most vulnerable children and young people. So with these pressing priorities, how do we make it as easy as possible for them to engage with the site and provide the content we need? 6) We need to think about how we best manage build and manage our online community. How do we provide the focus and fundraising expertise it needs to be a success. Do we dedicate a full time person to it, and if so, where do they sit? Are they part of the PR team, the community team or the direct marketing team? 7) And how are we going to promote this? Do we spend money on a big online and offline ad campaign? Or do we take our time and really focus our efforts on building support within a really targeted market?

Crowd Funding - Andy Harris - Action for Children Crowd Funding - Andy Harris - Action for Children Presentation Transcript

  • Digital Fundraising Twitter: #iofdigitalconf LinkedIn: IoF Digital Fundraising Conference 2012 – join this group for the opportunity to continue networking with your fellow delegatesHeadline Sponsor: Associate Sponsors:
  • My Action for Children
  • What we are going to cover….Crowd funding can be one of the simplest ways to raise funds forspecific projects in the community and really make your supportersfeel that they are making a difference to that cause. Since its launchin 2011, Action for Children’s myactionforchildren.org.uk has raisedover £500,000 for the 94 projects on the site, and that figure isgrowing every day. In this session, Action for Children will share theirlearnings and experiences of running the site, from the initial stagesthrough to 2012’s comprehensive upgrade and their exciting plans forthe future.
  • You need a crowd to talk about crowdfunding!“A crowd is a large and definable group of people, while "the crowd" is referred to as the so-called lower orders of people in general (the mob). A crowd may be definable through a common purpose or set of emotions, such as at a political rally, at a sports event, or during looting (this is known as a psychological crowd), or simply be made up of many people going about their business in a busy area”•Andy Harris, Director of Fundraising•Joe Howes, Head of Partnership Fundraising•Gemma Buttimer, Head of Fundraising Appeals•James Robinson, Head of Individual Giving
  • A little about Action forChildren
  • One of the largest children’s charities… We work with 157,000 children, young people and families
  • Offering a wide range of services… Disability, Services for Young People, Supporting Families and Children in Care
  • National reach… Over 500 projects in the UK
  • Centre of communities…. 80% of the UK population live within 10 miles of an Action for Children project.
  • A lesson from history
  • Mr. Stephenson… In 1869 NCH was established
  • With the help of two friends…
  • One very cold night they went for a walk... “Do what you can for us, Sir”
  • The Children’s Home, 8 Church Street… They each gave £20 directly to start our first home.
  • Inspiration from across thepond
  • 9th February 2011 we launchedMy Action For Children
  • Crowd Creating – CultureChanging•Action for Children has over 500 projects across the UK•The crowd around each one of them•An opportunity to harness this crowd power
  • Early Days – Beforemy.actionforchildren• Projects were raising funds locally, with no communication with the fundraising team• There was no real ability to restrict income to low cost, single items• No process behind signing off local asks• Classic project visits• A loss of trust in the fundraising team
  • Key Driver to Change• Choose how and where• See the difference
  • An online and an offline tool – agame changer•Draw the crowds in•A profile on every Action for Children project•Creation of a tiered restricted income process•Local money supporting local tenders – a keyasset to our Children’s Services colleagues•We know what our supporters want to fund•Projects trust us more
  • So how did we expect the microsite toperform?• This was an innovative project with little to compare it to.• We knew that donors wanted to donate to more tangible things. Many wanted to support local causes.• So this was a test project rather than a short term quick win.
  • Active Commitment = LovePassive Commitment = Inertia
  • Performance• Long-term 5 year approach to judging the income success• Mixture of community fundraising and online donors• Small percentage transition of donors from warm DM to online supporters• £699,124 raised so far in first 18 months
  • What have we learnt?• This works• More promotion needed - If you build it they won’t just come• Redevelop site – stage two• Improve journeys to Direct Debit conversion• Thank you from projects – video / audio
  • The Next Phase…Releasing the Power of the Crowd
  • Big Decisions 1. Should this be a microsite or built into our new main website? 2. Can we link the new site to Raisers Edge? 3. How do we convert cash donors to regular giving? Donations still go to their local project? 4. How automated should we make the site for users? (Will we lose control?) 5. How do we get the projects to engage fully to provide video, audio, email content to show progress? 6. Do we employ a member of staff to manage MAFC and develop content and conversations? 7. How best to promote this? Big relaunch or smaller targeted spend?
  • Summary
  • Be a charity that fundraises not a charitywith a fundraising department!
  • Content is the King and Queen of Hearts
  • Improve constantly or risk being eaten! “Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a Lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesnt matter whether you are a Lion or a Gazelle... when the sun comes up, youd better be running.”
  • Promotion, promotion, promotion
  • Summary…• Be a wally and create a crowd• Content is the King and Queen of Hearts and Wallets!• The sun is coming up…don’t be a Gazelle• Get your donors active and shouting about it
  • Big Decisions 1. Should this be a microsite or built into our new main website? 2. Can we link the new site to Raisers Edge? 3. How do we convert cash donors to regular giving? Donations still go to their local project? 4. How automated should we make the site for users? (Will we lose control?) 5. How do we get the projects to engage fully to provide video, audio, email content to show progress? 6. Do we employ a member of staff to manage MAFC and develop content and conversations? 7. How best to promote this? Big relaunch or smaller targeted spend?
  • Questions… gemma.buttimer@actionforchildren.org.uk james.robinson@actionforchildren.org.uk joseph.howes@actionforchildren.org.uk andrew.harris@actionforchildren.org.uk