Key takeaways from Digi.Raise 2023 | Ezy Raise went to Melbourne

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Joel Broadbent

Have you ever been to DigiRaise? If your role at work involves digital fundraising or peer-to-peer fundraising then DigiRaise is certainly the event for you! You can learn from numerous educational sessions, masterclasses, service providers, and general networking conversations. 

Three of us from the Ezy Raise team headed away from our desks in Sydney in June to go to Melbourne for DigiRaise 2023. We set up our table as you walked into the foyer, just to the right. We had a Quoits set up (the game throwing hoops to a target), and we had some sugary treats for anytime pick-me-ups. 

Great conversations were had over the two days we attended. Three happy people went away with prizes after the two-day Quoits competition. We enjoyed speaker sessions and great networking opportunities. But we’re here to share our favourite speaker moments.

Clive & Helen - Support Act

A huge highlight for us would, without a doubt, have to be our campaign partner Support Act getting the chance to talk to fundraisers about their cause, and about their annual fundraising event, Aus Music T-Shirt Day. 

Funds raised from Aus Music T-Shirt Day provides crisis relief services to musicians, managers, crew and music workers across all genres who are unable to work due to ill health, injury, a mental health problem or some other crisis.

Helen and Clive took to the stage at Digi.Raise to talk about their objectives for the 2022 campaign, and about their strategic elements which led them to:

  • Almost 3,000 t-shirts sold
  • 28% conversions rate
  • 7% increase on funds raised compared with 2021
  • The involvement of 50+ corporate teams
Two people on stage presenting their fundraising campaign
Clive and Helen on stage presenting their Aus Music T-Shirt Day campaign

Julia Campbell - J Campbell Social Marketing

Another highlight for our time at Digi.Raise was for our Managing Director to be able to introduce Julia Campbell to the Digi Raise stage. 

Julia ran a session called “A Wake Up Call for Nonprofits: How to Future Proof your Cause”. 

Whilst Julia provided useful data at the start, to lift the lid on the current fundraising status in Australia, what we found most helpful was her discussion about challenge to the status quo.

Why are so many non-profits scared to stand out? Why are so many non-profits reluctant to make shifts away from things they’ve always done?

Is it fear based?

Is it not knowing where to begin?

Maybe it’s about leaders who aren’t evolved in their role and ready to get the organisation moving.

Julia then identified some main barriers to moving beyond the status quo, alongside some valuable advice on how to get past it. Keep reading for our main takeaways.

Fear of standing out

You are not for everyone. Create a community instead of fans and followers.

Your cause may be quite niche, or it may be something that appeals to half of the global population. 

Regardless of this, there will be people who do not support your cause. That’s ok. They are not your focus.

Your cause is your focus, and there are people and organisations out there who WILL and DO support it. Focus on them. Appreciate them, communicate with them, engage them.

They are your people.

Fear of donor complaints

Simply put: your donors need to hear your messages. 

If you sent out 2000 emails and got 1 complaint, was it really that bad? 

Keep things in perspective and don’t take it personally.

Campaign Monitor shares an industry standard of less than 0.02% for spam complaints. That’s 1 complaint for every 5,000 emails. 

If all of a sudden you start getting more complaints, listen, read, and evaluate. 

Do not act out of panic. 

Is it a simple fix? Did you increase your frequency of emails from once a week to once a day? Did you make all emails image-heavy instead of focusing mainly on the copy?

Don’t fear complaints. Reframe them as a learning opportunity and a way to hear from your donors.

Fear of having difficult conversations

Working for a cause makes it inevitable that you’ll have difficult conversations. Just because it isn’t easy, doesn’t mean it should be skipped over.

Julia had a strategy to combat this fear. 

Read a book or an article about a topic you feel uncomfortable or unsure about discussing. 

Make notes about what you’ve read.

Start a conversation with someone you feel comfortable with, to talk about the article. 

Rinse and repeat. There is no limit to this. As you get more comfortable, change topics, or even take the same topic to different people. 

How your non profit can thrive

Create a culture of philanthropy

Make sure every member of staff and every volunteer believes in and supports the non profit mission and vision. Help them to understand the WHY. Add it into your job descriptions. 

Have empathy for your audience

Make your content clear and easy to digest. 

Make any calls-to-action easy to act upon. Don’t make them search high and low for where to go.

Ask yourself, why are you creating that piece of content?

Elicit pride in your movement

Find the core of your storytelling. Tell the hard truths. Know who it’s for and shun the non-believers.

Julia made a really good point with the above. Taking it back to the fear of standing out. Remembering that your cause is not for everyone.

Stand proud in your truth and your mission. Follow it through. 

And last but certainly not least…

Make philanthropy easy, enjoyable, and accessible to all

The Giving Trends and Opportunities Report 2022 from Philanthropy Australia, showed the three top reasons for individual giving:

  • It’s a good cause/charity
  • I respect the work it does
  • Sympathy for those it helps

Julia noted that a key motivator for donating is a person being able to donate on their own terms. Additionally it motivates them when donating makes them feel part of a bigger community. 

Julia Campbell on stage with a quote on a presentation
Quote: To not have the conversations because they make you feel uncomfortable is the definition of privilege. You comfort is not at the centre of this discussion.
- Dr Brene Brown.

Digi Raise Wrap-up

As you can see with just two of our highlights, Digi Raise was (as usual) an incredible event for those in the non profit industry to learn more about digital fundraising.

It’s worth mentioning here that Ezy Raise isn’t just a platform. We provide the full end-to-end solution including digital marketing. 

So it was important for us to be there at Digi Raise to continue to build upon our fundraising expertise to give your fundraising events the best opportunity possible to thrive.

Alongside building our skills, it’s valuable to build our community. Talking to incredible charities and fundraisers like you, seeing what you need for your campaigns, and making sure you feel heard and supported in your sector of work. 

If we didn’t see you at Digi Raise this year, we really hope to see you there next time!

Check out the Digi Raise 2023 website here.

February 2024 update: You'll see us at Digi Raise 2024 as official Session Partner + Tech Session sponsor!

We have your back.

From the very start, you'll have a dedicated account manager. We'll be with you every step of the way to get your campaign set up and in the best possible position it can be.

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