Friday, September 4, 2009

Philipino Dangkal to raise funds

During my recent travel through Philippines, came across this simple but powerful way to engage corporate employees in helping the social cause.

The companies ask their employees to bring in their used newspapers, measuring one hand span. This measure in Tagalog (Filipino language) is called Dangkal. The newspapers thus collected are then sold to give money to NGOs. Interesting!

In India too some NGOs use something similar called Raddi drive. The word Raddi means junk in Hindi and comprises old newspapers, magazines, bottles and so on.

To me more than the money, it is a great way of getting the corporate employees into the habit of giving.

Only caveat is that this should be used as a means and not become an end to engaging employees. Surely, dangkal way of attracting attention should be quickly graduated to signing them for pay roll giving or giving on a monthly basis through direct debit.

So start asking for a Dangkal of raddi today!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Monthly Giving Does it Make Sense in South Asia?

I am writing this aboard the train, returning after my two back to back sessions on Monthly Giving at 20th South Asian Fundraising Workshop, Jaipur.

As expected there was a huge debate on why Monthly-Giving would not work in the developing world. Although my cause was much helped by fundraising guru Tony Elisher in his master class and plenary session, where he emphasized the importance of monthly and committed giving.

At times, I get a similar gasp of surprise from fundraisers in the West, when I share that NGOs in the region raise one time donations through Face to Face fundraising.

In short there appear to be contrasting positions that may take some time to move. I have seen monthly giving working in Japan, South East Asia, so for sure it works in Asia. It is also working in India for organisations like GreenPeace and UNICEF.

The other non-profits seem to be quiet happy with one time donations. The reason being that in India a one time donation is usually acquired at an ROI of 2. This means if you spend a dollar on acquiring a donor you get two dollars back immediately. This is good, but the question to ask is about one time donor retention. I have still to see more than 30-35% retention of donors in the second year in the region. At the same time the monthly donors may take at least 3-4 years to drop down to that level of attrition. Which clearly means a higher long term value.

I am sure in the years to come this would change. I feel so happy to see a big change already in the general attitude towards fundraising from individual, compared to workshops I attended 3-4 years before.

By the by I promised the delegates that I would upload my presentation here. The same is available below for download and free circulation.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Fundraising in Nepal

I had this great opportunity to be in exotic Nepal, volunteering with Resource Alliance. This gave me the chance to spend 3 productive days with grass root NGOs bouncing ideas on starting fundraising. Good fun!

The particpants were from partner NGOs of VSO (Voluntary Services Organisation). We had an interprator (Mr. Chakra) in the workshop who translated every word I said. Quiet exciting, although the poor fellow had a hard time translating even the bad jokes I cracked.

We fiercely debated on if individuals could really give at all or could give in Nepal. I had my surprises when the particpants told me that cheques and credit cards were almost not existent. This left cash collection as the only payment option. Challening! But then the group could find some possibilities that may work in Nepal like Face to Face in malls and Tele-facing (mix of telephone and face to face). Below are some of the presentations that shaped our discussions (please copy them on the browser as the clicking links are not available some how):

A great break from all the fundraising exchange was this video of a dance perfomed by women from a local NGO. The ladies danced with perfection to a folk number and lilting music. The dexterity defied any hint of disability they had. I wanted to put the video here but the file seems to be too heavy (700 MB ??). Too bad!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

240 fundraisers from around 3 dozen countries under one roof!

It is exciting to see such a big surge of fundraisers in India. And these are not only from India but from around 3 dozen countries around the globe. The gathering has been made possible because of the 9th International Workshop on Resource Mobilisation being held at Infosys Campus in Bangalore from June 25-28, 2009.

It is such a pleasure to share with the really deserving grass root NGOs, who seem to be wanting more and more.

I will like to thank the 60 odd people who attended my session on "Fundraising face-to-face, on the phone and through Tele-facing...on a small budget".

For the others who could not make it to the session or the workshop the presentation is right below.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

3 simple ways to renew donors

Dear Fundraiser Friends,

Many of us will meet at the Resource Alliance's big fundraising platfrom 9th IWRM at Bangalore (from June 25-28th, 2009). Believe me it will be a great fun.

I am here in uploading a presentation that may interest you all. It is based on my experience with few of the leading fundraising organisations in India. Click through the slides and comment if you agree or otherwise.

3 steps to renew donors -

Friday, June 19, 2009

Events that Fundraise Year after Year

One event that has proved to be a real cash cow for the cause of children is CRY Cadence Corporate Citizenship Challenge.

Started 10 years back, the event was born out of a failed fundraising event. Around 11 years back Cadence had supported a quiz for school students being organised by volunteers of CRY. Although, the event called FACT School Quiz, witnessed sleek quiz mastery by Roshan Abbas, not much money came out of it.

With all credit due to the Cadence team, instead of being miffed about the failed event, they popped up the idea of a Corporate Cricket Challenge to raise funds.

The idea appeared queer, but worth testing. The journey to the launch event was not easy as the dozen teams that played in year one were hard to come by.

But soon things fell in place and rest as it is said is history.Although, I was associated from year one to four, but always kept tab on the event as it attained great heights.

Click on the link below to know more. An interesting concept to adopt and an interesting lesson too. Do not despair if your fundraising event fails, there may be success lurking in the corner.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Two Training Programmes to Attend in Forthcoming Week

There are two programmes that can make immense sense to NGOs who desire to market their organisations and fundraise on their own.

The first one is being organised by the prestigious Management Development Institute (MDI) in Gurgaon. The course titled "Strategic Marketing for Social Sector" has a special discounted pricing for few deserving NGOs. So better click below and enroll.

The second one titled Major Gift Fundraising is being organised by SAFRG and is on acquiring high value donors, an area that needs serious development in Indian fundraising arena. The details on the programme are as below. Clcik on the image to enlarge and enrol.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Presentations SAFRG Masterclass May 2009

Dear all,

Thanks for attending the masterclass. Please find below 3 of the 4 presentations made on the day.

The fourth presentation from George Hla would be uploaded soon.

Meanwhile happy acquiring and renewing donors.



Friday, May 22, 2009

Low Budget Donor Acquisition & Getting Most from Your Donors

A must workshop to attend that mixes the International and India experience suitably.

For more information on Sessions and Speakers click below

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Double Bonanza for Fundraisers in India

This summer and monsoon will see a double bonanza for the fundraisers in India. Two big International Fundraising Workshops are happening right here in India.

The first one organised by Resource Alliance is at Bangalore in the month of June. And the second one in August is being organised by South Asian Fundraising Group at Jaipur.

This appears the rare opportunity to attend both. Click below to know more about them

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Does your Charity has a cause not interesting enough for Donors?

How often one hears that.

I have come across several NGO leaders mentioning that their cause, their work, is not often interesting enough for individual donors. And hence they keep on chasing funding agencies and in some adhoc fashion certain corporations for funds.

A new email campaign from GreenPeace India may help us in making uninteresting interesting.

Now basically, what GreenPeace needed money for was an advertisement. Surely, not an interesting thing to ask money from donors,especially individuals.

But the way it has been done makes it so very interesting and compelling.Read below to know how it does the same:

1) It projects a big problem (Tata's destroying the eco system of a port)

2) It talks of a holistic solution to stop Tatas.

3) It further goes on to say how a huge amount of work has been done to address it (like placing advertisements in foreign publications that Ratan Tata reads etc.)

4) And the final bit, it projects a small gap that if not fulfilled will undo all the great effort in this direction ( an advertisement in the Indian newspapers that Ratan Tata reads)

Moreover the communication gives an opportunity for people to become activists (see Really amazing. I would love if GreenPeace shares how this did in terms of raising money and votes.

Click below to see the emailer for your self.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Recruiting & Renewing Longterm Donors through Direct Mail

Contributed by Pallavi Kumar, CEO, SAFRG (South Asian Fund Raising Group), India

This is to thank all the participants for their highly participatory attendance at our recently concluded Direct Mail masterclass. I am glad you liked and appreciated the workshop. As the topic of this blog indicates, this masterclass aimed at sharing the following with you:

1) Fundamentals of Fundraising (see Surat Sandhu's presentation)

2) Fundamentals of Direct Mail & how to write a Direct Mailer to acquire donors (see Anup Tiwari's presentations)

3) Which lists to use and how to use them (see Chetan Sharma's presentation)

4) How to renew donors that you acquire (see Anup Tiwari's presentation)

5) Renewing donors by wishing them (see Bijay Mishra's presentation)

6) And finally how to acquire monthly pledge donors (see Anup Tiwari's presentation)

I hope you will find these useful. Happy downloading these on your machines and your work life too.

Cheers and see you soon in our next workshops and 20th South Asian International Fundraising Workshop in Jaipur (August 8-11, 2009).


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fundraising Telethons

Fundraising Telethons although few in India are not new.

The trigger for this post is the recently broadcast 24 hour NDTV Greenathon. A really commendable effort because of the:

  1. Kind of interest it was able to mobilise amongst the public at large and even the celebrities.

  2. Duration of time dedicated for the cause was also unparalleled.

  3. Amount of money it was able to generate, above INR 2.5 crores (>$ 500,000)

More on Greenathon can be found at

However, the kind of effort put could have raised more resources for the cause if:

  1. A clear ask in terms of smaller amounts were made e.g. INR 1,000, INR 5,000 and so on.

  2. Monthly pledge donors should have been recruited and not only one time donors. This would have ensured that a big percentage of these people continued with TERI (beneficiary non-profit organisation) year after year.

All said and done, kudos to the people who were behind it. To know more about other successful telethons in India, click on the links below

It would be great if Telethons become an annual way of raising resources for the social causes. I was once told by a former CEO of CRY-Child Rights & You, who had a telethon to credit, that in an evening through telethon they acquired as many donors as they had in 25 years of their existence.