The Big4 Fundraising conference had a record attendance this year. Andrew Sadauskas shares four key fundraising insights from the event.

The Big4 Fundraising conference has wrapped up for another year, with fundraisers from across Australia gaining new insights into securing big-money gifts and grants.

The annual conference helps fundraisers to learn best practice techniques for the ‘big four’ areas of fundraising practice. These are major gifts, gifts-in-wills, trusts & foundations and corporate partnerships.

This year, Big4 Fundraising was held at the Pullman Melbourne on the Park, running across two days from 23 to 24 October. A record crowd of 301 people attended.

Here are four of the insights that were shared at the conference in 2019:

1. What drives businesses to partner with charities

The Founder and Director of Infinity Sponsorship, Abby Clemence, opened the Big4 conference with a keynote session on successfully adapting to the changing corporate partnership environment.

The good news for charities, according to Clemence, is that giving back is increasingly critical to business.

Big4 Fundraising conferenceThis is a growing desire among brands to partner with nonprofits.

The six key factors driving the trend include :

  1. A decline in trust in the corporate sector.
  2. A decrease in government funding.
  3. Increased consumer empowerment
  4. The millennial quest for ‘purpose’ and positive change
  5. The rise of the social enterprise, and
  6. An increase in trust in the charity sector.

“The world is on your side. They want our people, planet and animals to win,” Clemence said.

“It’s no longer a question of whether brands should engage in CSR and activities that create social impact.  Brands are being punished for not stepping up. This is happening. The question is, are you ready to engage with corporates differently?”

2. What motivates a major donor to make a gift

Fundraising Research and Consulting (FR&C) Research Manager Molly Masiello and Consultant Conor McCarthy explored the key trends in the major giving space.

The session covered the ongoing increases in Australian wealth, the rise of the billion-dollar donors, changes in PAF giving, as well as the different ways high net worth individuals are engaging with causes (philanthropy, impact investment, etc).

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During the session, Masiello and McCarthy shared the following six key questions that every major donor asks themselves before deciding to make a gift:

  1. Do I care about the cause?
  2. Do I have a compelling, driving belief that this organisation is singularly important?
  3. Is it well run or will they squander my money?
  4. Who’s involved that I know and/or respect?
  5. What, precisely, do they want money for?
  6. What difference will my gift make?

3. Best practice gifts-in-wills stewardship from Hawthorn

As the Director of Development at Scotch College, and a board member at the Hawthorn Football Club, Tim Shearer shared how these two great Melbourne institutions manage their gifts-in-wills programs.

One of the many areas Shearer covered off was Hawthorn’s stewardship of its confirmed bequestors.

Big4 Fundraising conferenceShearer’s gifts-in-wills stewardship strategy at Hawthorn draws on key lessons from Scotch College’s successful program. At its core are two key elements: recognition and engagement.

Shearer revealed the club provides recognition for its bequestors through:

  • An honour board within the Club’s facilities.
  • The Hawthorn Football Club Foundation website.
  • The Hawthorn Football Club Foundation Annual Report.

In addition, Hawthorn engages with its confirmed bequestors through:

  • Invitations to regular social gatherings and luncheons, hosted by the club.
  • A special honorary Hawthorn Football Club Foundation lapel pin.
  • An exclusive copy of Hawthorn’s official history book, One for All, by Harry and Michael Gordon.
  • A unique Always Hawthorn newsletter to keep them up to date with the club’s activities.

4. What motivates women’s philanthropic giving

Leading Fundraising and Philanthropy Advisor Kim Downes joined Melbourne Women’s Fund Co-Founder Gillian Hund to share their expertise into how women donors are different and how charities can connect better.

One of Hund and Downes’ key insights was that men and women typically have different motivations behind their charitable and philanthropic giving:

  • Men are usually motivated by ‘ego-driven’ giving.
  • Women are more motivated by giving with an ‘ecosystem’, for example through giving circles.

As a result, they also respond to different philanthropic strategies:

  • Women generally donate more regardless of education, age, race or demographics.
  • Women are more actively involved in the charities they give to.
  • Women demand more proof of impact.
  • Women prefer giving to different causes more than men.
  • Women want to set a good example for the next generation.

Sponsors and exhibitors with stands at the Big4 Fundraising conference included AskRIGHT, Precision Fundraising, The Grants Hub, FR&C Fundraising Research & Consulting, IVE-Pareto and OURTel.

The 2020 EventRaise conference will bring you inspiration, best practice and case studies to help you raise more from your fundraising events. Super earlybird discount: Register before 28 November 2019 to save up to $769! Don’t miss out!

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