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Advice On How to Work with Individual Fundraisers

Advice On How to Work with Individual Fundraisers


(upbeat music) – Hey everybody it’s Zach from Blackbaud and we are here at bbcon. Blackbaud’s annual tech
gathering for social good. I am joined by my new best
friend, Caroline Jones. – Oh, nice to see you!
– How are you? – I’m loving that hat. – Well, you are a U.K.
style icon, is this working? – You are so working it, I’m
slightly jealous, actually. I’d like to get my head on
in that hat in a moment. – Well, we can take turns, how about that?
– Make it happen. – So, today at bbcon, we
are talking about the power of individual fundraisers and
the impact that they can make. Now, you have won JustGiving’s award, previously, for Creative
Fundraiser of the Year– – Yes, that’s right. – What was that fundraiser? – That was Knickers Model’s Own, which, we should cut to
the knickers point here, with an American audience, it’s underwear. – Underwear, oh, okay. – My underwear, which is a
very British term, knickers, was always my own. But, every other element of my outfit, my shoes, my dress, my jewelry, everything else was second
hand from thrift stores or charity shops, as we call it. And it was wearing a
different outfit everyday throughout 2015, 365
days posting on social and engaging with an online community that was a really
wonderful hub, generosity. And using the JustGiving
platform to fundraise which was pivotal to the
effectiveness of the campaign. – And this was supporting
Cancer Research U.K., right? – Yes, I lost my Mom, sadly, to breast cancer in October ’14. And to celebrate her life, I thought, “I’m going to do a fundraiser “that’s something she
would have connected with.” And, in brackets, I didn’t
want to do anything physical or exhausting, so I thought, “I’m not running, I’m
not doing a marathon, “I’m not getting overexerted,
I’ll just wear fashion “and that can be, surely
that will be easy.” It wasn’t easy. But then–
– You make it seem easy. I mean, come on.
– That’s the key, isn’t it? Often, the things that
look easy behind the scenes are so much harder really. It involved probably four
hours a day of social content, posting on all my platforms,
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, responding to emails. Also getting the visual right, the content needed to be spot on. I set really high standards of myself, which I didn’t need to do. I could have cheated, I could
have posted ahead of time, I could have got a stylist involved. But I think, actually, the
authenticity of the campaign– – It was so personal to you. – And the real success was
that you knew it was me and you knew that I had
down days and high days, and you’d see that in my
face, I couldn’t hide it. And I just love fashion, so, I was in my element
from that point of view. – When the organization found
out about your campaign, was it because you reached out to them and let them know it was
going or did it take off and then they reached out
and were like, “Hey,–” – It was the first, I rang them and said, “Hi, I just need to say
somethings happened.” No “Hello, how are you?” “You might want to know
that I’m on the BBC homepage and I’ve also appeared on
the Daily Mail Online.” Which is a U.K. newspaper. The combination of both
of those factors resulted in 97,000 people going to my Facebook Page in the first week.
– Holy smokes! – Up until that point,
I had about 27 people and I’d raised approximately 45 pounds. That was the moment that
it became a campaign. It wasn’t just me and a
few friends, it was big. And so, to explain that
to somebody on the phone, actually, in reality, it
took a few phone calls. Persistence does pay off. It took a few phone
calls and for me to say, “I don’t think just giving me
my local fundraising person, “I think it might be a
bit bigger than that.” Perhaps that’s very British.
– I don’t know. – Slightly apologizing
for something that’s big. You can maybe see that
it’s bigger than you think. – How did they support
you in your endeavors? – So, finally I got through
to the right person. I had managed to speak to
somebody on their PR team and they immediately said,
“No, we can see what this is. “We get this, you’re gonna need somebody “to help you on social, “you’re gonna need
somebody in the PR team, “press officer, to support you.” And very quickly, this unit clicked in. For a company like Cancer Research U.K., they are a very big charity in the U.K. And so, a little bit like a tanker ship, things move quite slowly, but
they have to be quite dynamic, they have to be nimble. Is that term used in the U.S.? – All the time.
– Nimble. You have to be, they had to run with me because I’m not an
employee of the charity, I was running at my own pace. – You were doing it everyday.
– I was doing it everyday and “I need a response
from you today please, if that’s possible.” And so, you’re this
swerve ball that comes in, but also, when they looked
at the culamenchures that the campaign was creating, it was evident by the end of the year I’d generated 750,000 pounds
with the culamenchures. So, the campaign had this impact wider than the money that was generated. 75% of the shops were
getting onto Twitter, they were creating their own accounts, they were connecting
with me through social. All the brands that I was wearing, majority of them, were connecting with me. They were aware that what I was posting might get some
social coverage for them. – So they helped amplify
some of that as well. – Exactly, so this
community was much wider. It wasn’t just the charities, it wasn’t just the third sector,
the wider territory sector, and it wasn’t just in the U.K., it was absolutely world
coverage, that engagement. – It was an amazing campaign.
– Thank you. – The last think I want to ask you is, if I’m an organization that
wants to tap in the power, yeah for this last one, please. – Yeah, thank you. – If I’m in an organization
that wants to tap into the power of people like you,
individual fundraisers, what advice would you give them? – I think you have got
to spot these sparks. I think you’ve got to be
willing to give control back. Be cool about it. We are creative people, we
don’t like to be controlled. I think creative people like
to be doing their own thing. – Absolutely. – I think that’s absolutely fine. And I want to work with
brands that are creative and quite dynamic and
willing to take risk. And I suppose the other message is that I’m not part of that business, I’m myself. And so I can say things and
reach people in a different way. I think that gives me the
freedom to work with brands that I feel I can add value to. I suppose, the other final
message is, as a fundraiser, don’t take no for an answer. If you’ve got an idea push. Keep going. Be authentic and always be kind. Because in an online world,
where it can be quite savage, kindness is the most
important thing you can do. So, for me, for my audience,
that’s the most I can do. – That’s wonderful. Wonderful advice to share. – You look better in that hat than me – I don’t know about that. Thank you so much for spending time with us.
– Pleasure! I loved it!
– I’m so glad that– – Shall we have a hug?
– Yes, absolutely. Lovely time.
– I loved it! Oh my goodness, Nashville and this hotel and all of your lovely voices. I’m coming back here. – We can’t wait to have you back. Thanks a lot. And if you’d like to follow
the conversation happening here at the conference, just
follow the hashtag bbcon. Thank you, friend. (upbeat music)

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