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Nikki Hogan MFIA - 2017 Scholarship Recipient

Learning that I was the successful ACT recipient of the 2017 Strategic Grants FIA Scholarship was as exciting as it was relieving!

Highlights for me were the Masterclass (not included in the Scholarship but so valuable) on Integrating Digital into your Fundraising Program and Alice Ferris’ Keynote close where she encouraged us to ‘break the rules’.

Some key takeaways which reinforced my experience and knowledge:

  • Donors respond to what they already like rather than reacting to what we want to tell them.
  • The importance of the donor journey
  • Strategy must be driven by data
  • Products give choices – brands help decisions
  • The more you know about your audience the cheaper it is to reach them
  • Same old thinking will only bring you the same old results or worse!

Some questions I took back to my workplace:

  • The importance of understanding who your donor is. What is their persona? Who are you talking to? If you know who you’re writing for it’s easier to write more quickly
  • What is the proposition?
  • How do we define success and how do we measure it?
  • Is our data clean, crisp, concise and current?
  • How is a major gift determined?

And my favourite - the Myth Busters Plenary:

  1. The DIY approach “we’ll just do it in house” – cheap isn’t always best.
  2. NFP notoriously low pay “they’ll do it anyway” – pay peanuts, get?
  3. Soapbox “100% of your donation goes to help those in need” – this undermines our ability to be sustainable and there’s nothing wrong with investing in change.
  4. “Pro-bono is always great” – not necessarily, don’t lose objectivity and be clear on your needs.
  5. It’s all about 12 month ROI “If it doesn’t break even it’s not worth it” – not true, there’s a need to focus on long-term sustainability and relationships.

I would like to thank FIA for awarding me with this scholarship to attend the 2017 National FIA Conference at the Gold Coast. Being among many like-minded professionals (and so passionate!) was very inspiring. Everyone I met was eager to share their experience, listen and exchange ideas.

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