You’re the Head of Fundraising at your organisation and a Subscriber to the Complete Guide to Australia’s Private and Public Ancillary Funds (PAF Guide). When you log in to the Guide, there are over 2,300 active entries of Private Ancillary Funds (PAFs) and Public Ancillary Funds (PuAFs), with the figure set to increase by at least 24% this year. Each entry represents a potential opportunity to secure funding for your organisation, but it is important to take the following into consideration before proceeding with your PAF/PuAF engagement.
What information is most useful?
Every entry in the Guide is as comprehensive and complete as it can be, so there is a lot of information to read through, and over 90% of entries in the guide include contact details. The list of Directors and other Board Members of the PAF/PuAF is highly useful; these are the key decision makers, and any existing linkage between yourself and the people of your organisation and those of the PAF/PuAF is key to developing an engagement strategy.
The geographic scope of funding (which may differ from the geographic location of the PAF/PuAF) and the philanthropic track record, indicate which states of Australia (and/or other countries) the PAF/PuAF has provided funding to in the past, and the types of charities and causes the PAF/PuAF has previously supported. You will find some PAFs/PuAFs only fund to one state or cause, and other PAFs/PuAFs fund nation-wide (and internationally) to multiple causes. This is very important when determining the likelihood of a PAF/PuAF making a donation — or multiple donations — to your organisation.
Read the useful blog article Simple Steps to Achieving Success with PAFs for a framework on how to rank PAFs based on a 5-point scale.
Make sure you have a process
A PAF/PuAF engagement strategy is a long-term investment, as is any major gift fundraising initiative. There needs to be a process for how your organisation works with your donors. The team at AskRIGHT, who have over 100 years of combined experience, recommend a Donor Giving Cycle (see diagram below). The Guide is Step One of this development cycle (Identification). The Guide helps your organisation find and focus on the leads that will provide the biggest return. From there, your organisation must successfully engage with PAF/PuAF Directors, ask — in the right way — for funding for your important cause/s, receive gift/s, and thank them. The ask (beginning the relationship) can be the most difficult part, which is why AskRIGHT is here to help with a reputation to match our name.
Identifying the PAFs/PuAFs that are most likely to support your organisation’s mission is important to save your fundraising team’s time and efforts. By narrowing down the list of PAFs/PuAFs — using the features of the Guide and the AskRIGHT ranking system — to those that are most likely to be receptive early on, can help jumpstart a fundraising initiative. Information in the Guide can be filtered with an array of categories for types of causes (eg. Health, Education, Welfare, Environmental, and so on), and, with a free text search bar, you can further narrow the list down with more specific keyword search terms. Some organisations are surprised to find funds in the Guide who have donated to their organisation in the past, which they are not currently aware of; it’s always a good strategy to re-engage past donors. We also offer PAF Director screening — at an additional cost — where we can provide matches between your organisation’s donor list and our list of PAF Guide directors. We also offer other research services to both subscribers and non-subscribers of The Guide.
Don’t cold call
Cold calling is a (tempting) mistake for those seeking major gift fundraising donations and for users of the Guide — with the contact details of Directors and Board Members listed in the Guide, why not just give them a call? Unfortunately, cold calling does not produce results and hinders any future engagement with the donor organisation and its board.
As Head of Fundraising, it is critical to be donor-centric in everything you do (as discussed in the blog article Put Yourself in the Donor’s Shoes). You must carefully consider the individual donor and the cause/s they seek to support. In the 2018 A Snapshot of Australian Giving, Koda Capital stated that the number one reason individuals support a particular cause or charity is that “it’s a good cause or charity”. So, if the individual has little to no awareness of your cause or charity, they are not likely to offer support. Awareness and trust must be built with PAF/PuAF trustees over time, which is not possible through cold solicitations. All elements of the Donor Giving Cycle are critical to moving from identification to closing a major fundraising gift.
Finally, the “thank you” is the most important part of the cycle. Thanking your donor/s not only shows your appreciation, but it keeps the trustee/s positively engaged so that they can renew their giving in the future. Continuing to foster positive experience — such as inviting the trustee/s to events — is a way to further demonstrate appreciativeness and keep them engaged.
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