Beyond Blue is one heck of an organisation. Offering supports and services across the states, they support all people in Australia affected by anxiety, depression and suicide.
They’ve been instrumental in starting those (sometimes confronting) conversations about mental health.
And their welcoming blue door is always open for the 13 million people who connect with Beyond Blue each year.
Well, thank goodness for that.
Because we now know most people have been touched in some way by mental health challenges.
It’s no surprise, then, that 150-200 dedicated fundraisers sign up each month to support Beyond Blue.
All deserving attention, appreciation and support.
So how does Beyond Blue rally behind its incredible fundraising community and help them get the most out of their campaigns?
Raisely’s CEO, Tom Maitland and Content Marketer, Georgie Moore sat down with a couple of Beyond Blue’s hard-working peeps to find out.
Zareen Syed, Community Fundraising Manager and Katie NIcholson, Fundraising Lead were only too happy to spill the beans on why they moved to Raisely, how the platform is simplifying fundraising for them and what innovation does for charities like Beyond Blue.
Read on, my friends.
What was the challenge before Raisely?
Katie: Community fundraising is huge at Beyond Blue - and very different to other charities!
It actually makes up more than 20 percent of our philanthropic income.
The community is incredibly motivated to support the cause most often because they or someone they know has been impacted by mental health challenges.
But they have their own ideas about how they want to raise funds and give back to an organisation they believe can make a difference.
We already had a platform where the community could register, submit their ideas and set up automated fundraising pages.
However, it couldn’t be tailored to fit the diverse needs of each fundraiser and their campaign.
This meant that Raisely’s ability to customise was a huge point of difference for us!
Zareen: It felt like we lacked the innovation to move with the times and support our fundraisers to create more unique and cutting-edge profile pages.
And, we needed an easier experience for our coordinators who were managing such high volumes of registrations.
We sat between the platform’s support team and our fundraisers, so even making simple changes created major bottlenecks.
This was frustrating for our coordinators managing the registrations and obviously for the fundraisers themselves.
Why did Raisely become your fundraising platform solution?
Zareen: Raisely was a huge standout.
They could duplicate what we already had and offer a window into innovation. Some other platforms just hadn’t got up to speed with those concepts!
Anybody can use or engage with the Raisely fundraising platform.
This has meant more groups and teams coming together as our fundraisers rally their friends and families to get involved.
We can go into the backend and make simple changes - like reissuing receipts, which we couldn’t do before.
We’re able to listen to community feedback and take prompt action. That speed and agility is exactly what we want!
It frees up time for our coordinators to focus on what they do best: supporting our fundraisers.
Raisely helps us be there for every fundraiser because our team alone can't do that. Raisely is the fourth member of my community fundraising team!
What was the outcome of your most recent campaign?
Zareen: During the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Beyond Blue saw a colossal 42 percent increase in calls.
It was gratifying to see how many people knew where to turn for help.
Nonetheless, we still had to act immediately.
Raisely’s fundraising platform meant we could quickly set up a matched giving End Of Financial Year (EOFY) appeal by ourselves (without going back-and-forth with Raisely).
This was our first matched giving campaign on Raisely and we were blown away by the results!
We ended up raising a whopping $877K.
This included matched giving totalling $350K from our corporate partner, Downer, and other generous donors.
We could then respond rapidly to the sudden demand, scaling up our services to increase capacity and answer every call.
Before we incorporated matched giving and a Raisely hub into our end-of-year appeals, it was hard to see the impact our donors - big and small - were making.
For us, Raisely took a regular appeal and transformed it into a community hub where supporters share why giving in support of mental health is important.
All while being able to see the overall impact this appeal was making.
Do you have any tips for successful community fundraising?
Both Zareen and Katie gave us a big YES!.
Read on for their top 5 👇
👍🏻 Keep it simple
Every donor is different. Treat them as such!
All participants will have varying degrees of fundraising experience.
Some have only ever known fundraising platforms; others are more comfortable giving cash.
Think about the questions they’re likely to have - and answer them before they ask.
Triggered-based messages, resources and downloadable assets are all excellent ways to make the fundraising experience as simple as possible.
💡Be their inspiration
Participants will turn to your organisation for ideas on how to raise money and get the most out of their campaigns.
You should have a smorgasbord of inspiring options waiting for them.
That said, make sure engagement is a two-way street - learn about their approach, their activities and how it’s working for them.
💙 Show them the love!
Take your relationships with your fundraisers seriously.
Nurture them, know them and make sure fundraisers believe you’re there for them too!
❓ Tell me why
Educate fundraisers on how to get the best out of their campaigns.
Ensure their fundraising pages are personal enough for people to see what they’re doing and why.
Friends and family are far more likely to dig deeper when they understand why someone is fundraising for a particular cause.
When fundraisers are open about the reasons it’s close to their heart, people listen.
💥 Make their impact count
Fundraisers want to know their hard work is making a difference.
Celebrate their stories on social media, newsletters, annual reports and internal channels. They see it, other fundraisers see it and everyone feels the rush of a job well done.
And always connect them to the cause when your team communicates back to fundraisers.
It’s encouraging, but more than that - it honours the friend or family member they might be fundraising in memory of.
Make Raisely work for you
Think your organisation needs a simple, more effective fundraising platform?
Talk to us about booking a demo and juicing up your fundraising game.