Fundraising Cut Through – Tips and Advice from Fundraiser Innovator Kylie Wallace

In less than a year, our way of life has changed. There was drought. Then bushfires. And now a global pandemic.

After weeks in isolation and many more to come, the days of the week no longer seem relevant.

Zoom sessions are our new normal – who would have guessed ‘you’re on mute’ would work its way into the most commonly used phrases of 2020?

Of course, working remotely has a few positives – all day access to the fridge and a short commute from the bedroom to the kitchen table but staying away from friends and family is starting to take its toll.

And there’s no doubt the current situation is impacting heavily on cause-based organisations and not-for-profits across Australia and around the world.

Some of the most frequently asked questions we’re getting right now are focussed on fundraising and events.

‘Do we cancel or go virtual?’

‘Is now the time to ask for donations?’

‘Do we pivot or stay the course?’

‘How will we survive this?’

The answers can often be found in your mission, vision and values according to fundraising innovator Kylie Wallace.

In troubled times remind yourself what you set out to do and course correct if needed.

For five years, Kylie was the campaign manager for The Polished Man – a not-for-profit organisation focussed on ending violence against children – raising more than $5 million.

Now, Kylie splits her time between NFP consulting and her new role as Retail Innovations and Experiential Manager at World Vision Australia and she has kindly shared her top fundraising tips with others.

Number one: Keep it Simple.

“Don’t overcomplicate things,” Kylie said. “The Polished Man campaign centred on people painting a nail to start a conversation which inspired donations and ultimately helped us reach our goal.”


Number two: Focus on Impact

“The money isn’t the goal. The impact comes from what you do with it.”


Number three: Ask when it’s Needed

“Only fundraise when you need it. Trust is built when the need is real.”


Number four: Add Value

“To build a relationship with donors you need to add valueit easy for them to keep supporting you.”


Number five: Stay Fresh

“It’s so easy to burn out when you follow your passion. Be kind to yourself.  Know when it’s time to rest and show up again tomorrow.”

Want more advice? Here are some of Kylie’s practical tips to get and stay ahead.


Tip one: Invest in Tools

“Make your visuals awesome. I pay $17/mth for Canva Professional and use it all the time.  If your cause isn’t sexy, use design elements that will take your visuals to the next level.”


Tip two: Great Images

“Invest in a photoshoot. Get a bank of images you can use across the campaign. If you can’t do that, next best thing is good quality stock images that can be used to tell your story. Old, staged, boring imagery isn’t going to get you across the line.”


Tip three: Use Ambassadors

“An ambassador can help you get cut through. You’ll be surprised who knows someone who can help – ask your team, networks, Board, donors – a warm intro works wonders!”


Need some tips for creating a fresh, fundraising campaign? Read on for Kylie’s timeline.


Step 1: Great Campaigns Start with Passion

“Look for something that interests you and ask yourself why does this matter?”


Step 2: Do Your Research

“Find experts, ask questions – make sure you have relevant, up-to-date, verifiable facts before you move forward.”


Step 3: Check the Market

“Market analysis is vital. A good idea isn’t enough you need to assess the donor market. If there’s no interest in supporting the cause you need to move on.”


Step 4: Unpack the Ask

“The ask has to be simple. If you want to attract hundreds and even thousands, it has to be something people can grasp quickly and run with.”


Step 5: Get Feedback

“Ask people you trust to give you feed back on the campaign – are they engaged? What more do they want? Have you done enough?”


Step 6: Seek Approval

“Who in the team or organisation do you need to run the idea past to get things moving?”


Step 7: Develop the Campaign Collateral

“Use the tools, create modern designs, keep the messaging simple, set budget, goals, metrics and timeline.”


Step 8: Launch

“Select your channels, get ready and go for it.”


Step 9: Report, Analyse, Tweak, Continue

“Keep an eye on how things are tracking, celebrate successes and always thank your ambassadors and donors.”


Step 10: Share Impact Stories

“Create infographics, share case studies and tell your supporters what they’ve helped you to achieve.”

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