F&P’s Content Creator, Fiona Atkinson, shares her Top 10 takeaways from the jam-packed 2022 Digi.Raise + EventRaise conference.

Last week I was fortunate enough to present several conference sessions at F&P’s Digi.Raise + EventRaise conference – our first in-person event for over two years. Digi.Raise showcases best practice digital fundraising and supporter engagement, and EventRaise shares insights from peer-to-peer, community, challenge and event fundraising.

The conference delivered over 34 hours of content, and it’s not possible to share it all here, but what I will do is provide the briefest of highlights and takeaways from a handful of sessions I chaired and attended:

1. Ophelie Lechat – Client Success Lead at ntegrity – How to use digital to drive new donor acquisition

My Ophelie takeaway: 

Invest in reaching your highest value audiences first:

High ROI = Lookalikes of your donors, retargeting previous website visitors, brand keywords, social engagers.

Medium ROI = Lookalikes of non-donor supporter types, retargeting video views, lapsed donors, tight attitudinal and affinity segments, core keywords (eg. ‘ovarian cancer charity’ for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation).

Low ROI = Demographic and affinity segments, broader keywords.

2. Jonathan Dawson – Global Director, Digital Ninjas – Getting the most out of Google Ad Grants

My Jonathan takeaway: 

Use Google Ad Grants for: general awareness, brand campaigns, revenue-driving keywords.

Don’t rely on Google Ad Grants for: emergency fundraising campaigns, anything where the outcome is critical and search traffic is either high volume or highly competitive.

And remember: Don’t treat the Grant as an afterthought. It takes time to see results. Plan and prepare.

3. Gill Whelan – Senior Partnerships & Public Relations Manager at St Kilda Mums – Leveraging the power of social media and influencers 

My Gill takeaway: 

Empower your volunteers and staff to be content creators – everyone in your organisation can contribute to your social media.

To initiate relationships with influencers, follow their life milestones and connect with them on social media – have they just had a baby, got married, or started a small business? Send them a note to congratulate them – both to start the relationship and to maintain it.

4. Vanessa McCarthy – Director at Tone Studio – Be creative – best practice and top tips for digital creative strategy that moves your donors to act 

My Vanessa takeaway: 

Always use a filter for ideas, into which you ‘pour’ your target audience, key demographic insights (audience interests and themes), key ingredients for success, and your brand.

5. Jeremy Bennett – Owner & Chief Consultant at Bigfoot Fundraising – The Ten Commandments and Seven Deadly Sins of Digital Fundraising – lessons from an in-house-turned-agency fundraiser 

My Jeremy takeaway:

Have a plan or perish! Failure to plan is planning to fail! In short, make sure you’re clear about what you’re doing before embarking on any major digital activity. Do your goals align with the organisational strategic plan? Do you have quality receipting set up and tested? Are you realistic about where you are sitting now or are you setting yourself up for completely unachievable goals?

Optimise your website – because no matter how great your digital activity is, if it’s driving supporters to a clunky, frustrating and seemingly unsecure landing page, they will not donate.

Court someone before proposing – show them emotive video, celebrate their support milestones, show them impact… THEN go in with the ask.

Have proper tracking in place – if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

6. Celeste Harrison – Principal Account Manager at Blackbaud – Ukraine emergency fundraising: £30 million raised in record time and what Australian nonprofits can learn from it 

My Celeste takeaway:

First up, that £30 million has now grown to nearly £40 million… now onto the takeaway.

What the incredible fundraising efforts for the Ukraine have shown is that in times of crises, people want to give their passion and voice as well as their money – having the ability to set up their own fundraising page on platforms such as Blackbaud’s JustGiving site enables them to do this.

On the flip side, JustGiving has observed that there has been a 15% downturn in giving to all other cause areas on the UK platform since the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, and Celeste therefore suggests delaying your planned fundraising activity if it clashes with major emergency and media events.

7. Maisa Lopes Gomes – Head of Digital Fundraising at Cerebral Palsy Alliance – Digital Leadership – Empowering teams and enabling nonprofits

My Maisa takeaway: 

Digital fundraisers are curious and proactive by nature – give them autonomy and challenges in their roles.

See your team members for who they are, not what they do. What drives and interests them, how do they like to work, where are they headed?

Don’t just focus on campaign-specific goals. The goal should be to give a great experience for every donor in every campaign. By stepping back from single-campaign tunnel vision, you can offer your donors a seamless ongoing supporter experience.

8. Kristen Lark (plus panel) – General Manager, The Funding Network (TFN) -–10 lessons learned from a year of running 27 virtual events

My TFN takeaway: 

If you’re feeling nervous about presenting to an audience, repeat the manta “it’s not about me, it’s about the audience” – it’s a conversation (not a speech) and the people in front of you are keen to learn more about what you have to share (and delivering it with a slightly shaky voice is ok!).

Your MC’s tone will make or break your event, so pick a good one!

9. Sharon Elliott – CEO, Ethiopiaid Australia – How to do digital when digital doesn’t work for you

My Sharon takeaway: 

“We will never give up on a lead unless they unsubscribe.​” This speaks for itself!

10. Jonathan Dawson – Digital Ninjas and Marianne King – Digital Fundraising Manager, ActionAid – Is TikTok the new Facebook? How ActionAid used TikTok to power their acquisition and exceed their targets. 

My Jonathan and Marianne takeaway:

You don’t have to be particularly original on TikTok, in fact there’s a lot of credibility in taking a popular concept (eg. a pandemic-inspired hand washing dance) and making it your own.

Just a handful of the goodies…

My list is by no means exhaustive. In all, Digi.Raise and EventRaise delivered 22 conference sessions, eight tech demonstrations and four masterclasses. I have shared just some of the golden nuggets of fundraising inspiration that sang out to me!

To all of you that joined us for 2022’s Digi.Raise and EventRaise at Melbourne’s MCEC, it was SO good to see you there in person!

And for those of you who couldn’t make it this time, you can still sign up for the Fundraising Forum, which will take place in Sydney on 30 August – 1 September with a focus on donor acquisition, donor retention and development, innovation, strategy and leadership. See you there!


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