Intro|Intermediate|Non-profit fundraising

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Answer the questions

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You are on a plane. A person sitting next to you starts a conversation and finds out that you work for a non-profit organisation. She is interested in this topic and starts asking you questions.

1. What is the name of your fund/organisation?

2. What is your mission? Whom do you help?

3. Who do you collaborate with?

4. What programmes do you have?

5. What projects do you work on?

6. Have you ever organised a fundraising event? What was the result?

Read the text and choose the correct headlines for the given tips

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1. simplify

2. charity

3. increase

4. shift

5. complete

6. pull out

7. opportunity

8. interact

9. advantage

10. commonplace

11. precaution

12. trust

13. confidence

Useful language

🔹year-over-year — compared to the previous year

🔹consumer-oriented — directed towards consumers

🔹search tools — tools of research on a web page

🔹to land on — (in this context) to see

🔹an email house file — a database of emails

🔹to check a box — to mark or click on (a box) in order to select a particular option on a form

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It appears that Mrs Johnson is one of the founders of Cancer research UK. She would like to share her experience with you. She is giving you some tips on how to boost donor acquisition.

Find out more about fundraising tips


1. equal

2. button

3. in need

4. amount

5. handful

6. goal

7. tricky

8. appreciation

Useful language

🔹to draw one’s attention — to make someone notice something

🔹a lasting impact — an effect that continues for a long period of time

Grab attention

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Grab people’s attention

You probably spend a lot of time driving people to your website, but visits don’t equal dollars!

Once you have people on your website, it’s important that you draw their attention to your Donate now button. Take the organisation Charity: water, for example. When you land on their homepage, you notice the big, blue button that says, «Donate now».

There are a few things that Charity: water does really well here:

🔹The organisation wasn’t afraid to make their fundraising ask the most important element on the page.

🔹They let you know exactly how your donation will be used — 100% of your money brings clean water to people in need.

🔹They’ve used strong images that support their reason for giving.

Mark the sentences as True or False

Use giving levels

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Use giving levels

Research has shown that suggesting giving amounts leads to increase of donations. It’s a simple concept, really. Instead of asking people to type in the amount they want to give, suggest a handful of amounts. The goal is to get people to give larger amounts than they would if left to make their own decision.

Livestrong starts their giving levels at $25 and goes up to $1,000. They also include a box for Other, so that people can choose to give a different amount.

Mark the sentences as True or False

Give a present

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Give a present

This one can be tricky, but if done well, it can have a lasting impact on donors.

Giving donors a gift for making a donation is a great way to show donors your appreciation, while also providing them with something that will remind them of your non-profit every time they use it.

National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has done a great job with their gift. Here’s why:

🔹The gift is something that can interest their donors. The organisation is sure that people who support NWF love getting outdoors to see and experience nature, wildlife, and the beauty of this earth.

🔹The gift has the NWF logo. It means that the donor — and anyone who sees the logo — is reminded of NWF every time they use it.

Mark the sentences as True or False

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Read the letter and choose the correct options

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After a long conversation with Mrs Johnson, you decide to write to your web designer and propose some ideas on how to make your website more successful.

Watch the video and fill in the gaps

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The flight is long. After lunch, you continue talking with Mrs Johnson. She is telling you about the recent walkathon they organised. She even has a video to show you.

to take on — to fight or compete against someone

to stride — to walk with energy and confidence

to bound — to run or jump taking large steps when you are full of energy or excitement

to bleed — to have blood flowing from your body, for example from a cut

a blister — a swollen area on your skin that is full of a clear liquid and is caused by being burned or rubbed

to ramble — to go for a long walk in the countryside for enjoyment

Tonight we are taking the city on. We won’t just walk — we’ll stride through these streets. We’ll march and bound. We’ll bleed through the blisters. We’ll remember while we’ll ramble. We’ll stand by each other and walk with each other all night long. But however we choose to walk, together we’ll all cross the finish line in our own style and in our own time. Because in the fight to beat cancer, we’ll keep walking until we win. Help us beat cancer sooner. Sign up right now for Shine Night Walk.

Choose a topic to talk about

  1. How was the idea born?
  2. What was the aim of your event?
  3. How did you find sponsors?
  4. How did you motivate donors?
  5. How much money did you collect?
  6. What was the outcome?

  1. What kind of event would you like to organise?
  2. How did this idea come to your mind?
  3. Where would you find sponsors?
  4. How would you motivate donors?
  5. How would you spend the raised money?

  1. Who organised that event?
  2. What was its purpose?
  3. What sponsors were involved?
  4. How did the organisers motivate donors?
  5. Why did you like the event?

Match the letter parts with their descriptions

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Mrs Johnson is very interested in your fund/organisation. She donates to your future project. After the flight, you exchange your business cards. Now it would be nice to write her a thank-you letter.

If your organization receives funding of any type, following up with a thank-you letter is a must.

Strengthening relationships with donors by sending out a thank-you letter will not only help secure future funding but will give the donor a way to know that you appreciate their support. Letters also serve as a record of a gift and can often be used for tax purposes.


Read a sample letter

Dear Mrs Johnson,

On behalf of the Advita Organisation, I would like to thank you for your contribution of €300,00. Your financial support helps us continue in our mission and assist those in our community.

The generous support of individuals like you makes it possible for our organisation to exist and to make the community a great place to live.

Thank you again for your support!


Sue Jackson

Now you are ready to write a thank-you letter to Mrs Johnson.

Write a thank-you letter to Mrs Johnson. Add some personal details to the letter


A thank-you letter should include:

1. A formal greeting (e.g., Dear Sir/Madam – when you don’t know the person’s name; Dear Ms Green – when you know the person’s name).

2. An introduction in which you write your opening remarks and mention your reason for writing.

3. A main body in which you write about the importance of donation for your fund/organisation.

4. A conclusion in which you write your closing «thank you» remarks.

5. A formal ending (Yours faithfully – when you do not know the person’s name; Yours sincerely/Sincerely – when you know the person’s name) and your full name.

  • On behalf of …/In the name of …
  • I am writing to …/I would like to …
  • Your financial support helps us …
  • Thank you again./Thank you one more time.
  • Sincerely/Sincerely yours/Kind regards

  • Tell about your fund or organisation
  • Fundraising tips
  • Message to your web designer
  • Tell about your fundraising event
  • Writing a letter to your donors
  • Thank-you letter to donors

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