Fundraising Brilliant Basics, in conversation with Claire Daniels

In a cost of giving crisis, now is the time to focus on the fundraising brilliant basics, before adding the cherry on top.

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"The speakers were perfect and I loved their energy together"


Claire Daniels
Fundraising Strategist & CEO at Aha Consultancy

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Keith Williams
CMO & COO at Funraisin

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Aha Consultancy

Aha Consultancy
Strategy and innovation to help you see things differently

About Aha

Watch a live discussion on the brilliant basics of digital fundraising, with strategist Claire Daniels from Aha Consultancy.

In the session we covered how to:

  • Create a proposition that captures your audience’s attention
  • Convert supporters with smarter journeys and flows
  • Engage supporters with creative and fun experiences
  • Nurture lifetime relationships, rewards and recognition
  • Direct your next move with behavioural data insights

Don’t have time to watch the full webinar? Check out our takeaways below.


The fundraising basics haven’t changed, but the tools available to us have. We see a lot of charities innovating with the cherry on top, but sometimes it distracts from getting the brilliant basics right first. As we now go into a cost of giving crisis, it’s more important than ever that we get the foundations of what we do right.

"At the heart of it fundraising is about a really clear proposition, really easy ways to take someone from an ask to giving, really strong storytelling, great relationships and experiences, and using the data that’s at the heart of everything to drive your decision making." - Claire Daniels.

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Keep it simple - Know your cause and your audience and don’t reinvent the wheel!

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  • Understand why people support you and who’s most likely to support you
  • Enter the market with an ask that’s already ‘a thing’ they’re doing
  • Match your ask with what’s going to fit with your audience

Check out the example from Pawgust and how they’ve carried their proposition all the way through.

Make it easy - Meet people where they’re at, facilitate quick action, provide tools!

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  • Make your fundraising asks as quick and easy as possible
  • Meet your supporters where they’re already at 
  • Expand your supporter’s reach with web and social fundraising

Check out the example from JanuRun and how they’ve integrated their fundraising across web and social media.

Check out the example from March Charge and how they collected the essential data in registration first, then followed up with Next Steps for more.

Check out the example from The May 50K and how they’ve welcomed back repeat fundraisers and recognised their impact.

Build in the why - Reinforce why they’re doing it, show impact, remember it’s new to them!

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  • Demonstrate quick and easy impact for a dopamine hit
  • Build empathy for the people we’re impacting to trigger mirror neurons
  • Add social validation by sharing the impact with others for oxytocin

Check out the example from Hunger Drive and how they demonstrated their impact in real terms with dollars for meals.

Build a great experience - Make it attractive, fun and engaging

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  • Give people a great time so they build a stronger relationship with you
  • Create fundraising pages as story pages with a whole experience
  • Put yourself in the shoes of the participant with experiential testing

Check out the example from Laps for Life and how they invited supporters to explore their digital experience and kept people engaged with gamification.

Check out the examples from Fred’s Big Run, CEO SleepOut and Dance for Sick Kids and how they demonstrated their impact in real terms, recognised repeat fundraisers and created interactive experiences.

Use data - Learn, adapt and evolve!

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  • Think about what you need to learn from the very beginning and review it
  • Make time to review how your supporters are behaving
  • Consider how you can incentivise the first donation or creating teams

Check out the example from Up All Night and how they celebrated high value fundraisers with their Shining Nights VIP club.

Check out the example from Coastrek  and how they recognised supporters with exclusive content and discounts.


How do I fundraise in a cost of living crisis?

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You keep fundraising, even when faced with adversity with costs particularly. We saw this in the pandemic - the charities that were brave and pushed forward were the ones that succeeded. You’ve really got to keep trying because consistency is what’s key in getting people to support you in any way, from brand to messaging, seeing things multiple times.

The second thing is to be relevant. There’s statistics around the fact that the more relevant you are to what’s going on in the world right now and you can make things feel for people, the more likely they are to donate. Even just acknowledging to people you recognise the challenges that they’re in right now, and the problems they might be facing with money, makes people feel good and more likely to continue on with their donation.

Be cautious and test before making any big changes or cancelling anything with acquisition. We have to optimise the things we can really track for the best CPAs, but you might find the other activity that was a little less tangible was adding a huge amount. If you want to turn off a particular channel to save funds, just test it for a short period of time and see the impacts before changing anything permanently.

Can you give me any juicy tips on how to navigate this crazy overcrowded fundraising world and cut through the digital noise?

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Stand for something.

How can I maximise the potential of my events and turn newly recruited supporters into long term?

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Give them a great experience.

How should I approach supporter profiling and journey mapping?

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Deep qualitative research - you don’t have to spend loads of money but need to get out and speak to people and understand them. Surveys aren’t enough and please don’t do focus groups.

Less is better than nothing for journey mapping.

How can I make things more engaging for donors to move them through the funnel faster?

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Put yourselves in their shoes and imagine it through their eyes - if you find it fun then they’ll find it fun.

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