News & Commentary Straight from Think HQ

Commentary December 15, 2016

Take-aways from the 2016 Giving Australia Report – a communications perspective

We’ve combed through the Federal Government’s Community Business Partnership's new 2016 Giving Australia report released this month, to share with you some of our top takeaways and recommendations to help your NFP grow in the new year.

Explore digital giving

The report finds that the most effective ways to ask for a donation are through door knock appeals, telephone, mail or letterbox drop, and street fundraising. The least effective is TV.

Though not necessarily a substitute for other methods, online technology that makes giving easier for the donor is on the rise, and can be a valuable tool to support a NFP’s fundraising.

An increasing number of donors are engaging with crowdfunding technologies as they can directly engage with the cause they care about. NFPs should explore digital fundraising tactics, including online campaigns that utilise established crowdfunding platforms.

Keep your donors in the loop

Outcome reporting is important to donors, but they just don’t just want cold hard statistics. Your donors want to know how their contribution has changed lives.

Keeping your donors up to date on your progress and giving them opportunities to directly see impact is important for maintaining and growing donor relationships.

NFPs should ensure a variety of engaging communications is maintained with donors throughout the year, utilising a range of communications channels to deliver it.

Update your website

Individuals and philanthropists are more likely to support an organisation when they know about the organisation’s cause and have respect for the work. Yet, around 23% of NFPs still do not have a website, and some have websites that aren’t mobile friendly.

Our recommendation is to critically review your website - is your vision communicated clearly? Is your website visually appealing? Is the load speed fast? Is the content up to date?

Think volunteer

Volunteering rates have increased in the past ten years. Making volunteer recruitment and training efficient, and supporting and recognising volunteers will lead to better volunteer outcomes.

Just like donors, volunteers value seeing the broader impact that the organisation they are supporting is having in the community. In fact, many volunteers are also donors.

It’s important to keep your volunteers in the loop, and this involves identifying their favoured communication channels and sharing relevant updates with them.

Don’t forget about the good old one-to-one

There’s no doubt that the digital age and social media has had a positive impact for many NFPs. However, personalised and face-to-face contact is still really important for relationship building with donors and philanthropists.

NFPs should consider ways in which they can have meaningful one-to-one engagement with their givers – including phone calls, meetings and events.

Engage with businesses

Though not all NFPs align with the goals of businesses, the report found that more workplaces are seeking volunteering opportunities. In particular, large businesses tend to give more, are increasingly engaging with social enterprises and want to create social impact.

NFPs should tap into this opportunity and invest in resources to create and manage corporate engagement and partnership strategies.


To find out how we can assist you, have a chat with Anna at

See one of Think HQ’s work with donor engagement here.