Fundraising Playbook: Easy Steps to Kickstart Your Arts Fundraising Strategy

Over the last couple of months we have been putting together a suite of  “playbooks” (a set of ideas, strategies, game plans etc.) to help our customers with a variety of aspects of their organisations. Our playbooks are easy to follow guides giving you ideas, and clear how tos on everything from box office best practices to fundraising and marketing and loyalty.

The playbooks use benchmarks or Ticketsolve user averages throughout, which gives you an idea of where you and your organisation compare to other Ticketsolve users. This is a great concrete way for you to create your own roadmap for success on any given project. 

Fundraising Playbook: First in the Series 

To date, we have only shared these playbooks with our users, however we wanted to share some of them with a wider audiences, as we found that Ticketsolve users find them extremely useful.

Below is our Fundraising Playbook, which will give you benchmarks and a deeper insight into how to jumpstart your own fundraising campaigns. Right at the end, you will also be able to download the playbook so that you can keep it as a quick how to guide. We hope you enjoy it and please let us know what you think.

Getting Arts Fundraising Right For Your Organisation

We all know how important fundraising is in the arts. With budgets getting tighter and funding drying up, fundraising has become even more crucial to arts revenues. However, it can be difficult to know if your fundraising strategies are on the right track. Is there a better way of raising funds? What are best practices in fundraising inside and outside the arts? How do we increase per patron donations? All valid questions that are hard to answer, especially if you are only looking at your own data.

Enter Ticketsolve fundraising benchmarks. We have utilised aggregate data from over 250 organisations in the Ticketsolve community, to provide you with a benchmark of where others are with regards to fundraising, along with insights on how to improve fundraising efficiency and effectiveness in the arts. 

Benchmark

Turn the Dial to Kickstart Fundraising

Keep in mind, the above are averages. Some organisations are making significant strides in their fundraising and donations activities, while others have identified clear areas for improvement.

So what exactly are the successful organisations doing? What strategies are they using to improve their overall donation percentage, and the amount given per donation? We spoke to some organisations who do particularly well with fundraising and donations, and shared their ideas below, along with some ideas of our own. We haven’t gone into too much detail below, as you can download the playbook yourself to see all of the hints and tips.

Use the Right Hook

Engaging audiences is job one of any donations strategy. But if you can’t get your customers’ attention right away they may never even get a chance to fully engage with you. The right hook, an attention grabbing headline or title can be all it takes to capture your audience’s interest. Consider changing the title of the support us page to make a bigger impact.

Establish an Emotional Connection

You’ve hooked  them, so now is the time to engage them. Your copy needs to be targeted, engaging, lively, impactful, and interesting to read. Think about using real stories or people in your copy. Using the correct narrative that really speaks to your audiences is the key ingredient to encourage patrons to leave a donation. Be clear on why you need their donation now, what the donation is for and how their generosity will help.

Nudge Tactics

Another option is to try a “nudge” tactic. For example, people are often influenced by their peers, a simple message of: “Did you know that 40% of all our theatre attendees left a donation,” is a little nudge to show customers what their peers are doing, and encourages them to do the same.   

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

Images, videos and the like are another great way to capture people’s imagination and attention. The Greenbelt Festival incorporate a fantastic image that quickly explains their mission. The image clearly shows how working together will help the festival grow and thrive. Check out Greenbelt’s Support Page for a great example of image use on a fundraising page. 

Donation Prompt

Adding an auto donation to the cart is bad practice, and likely to upset customers. In addition, donation legislation is a definitely fuzzy, so rather than worry about opt in or opt out for donations, it is better to provide a donation prompt for customers. Prompting the donation puts the choice of donating into your customer’s hands.

Follow Up Email

Our Mailchimp integration allows you to create automated emails as soon as a customer leaves a donation. It is really important to do this immediately, as you want to thank those customers for leaving a donation. The thank you email, is a great way to continue building customer loyalty.

As we said, we have only included a few of our ideas above, please feel free to download the playbook by clicking below. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be releasing more of these playbooks so keep an eye out for them.

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