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International Fundraising: Unleashing Greater Generosity Across Borders

Published by Tim Kachuriak

I’ll cut right to the chase: Australian and New Zealand based nonprofits now have a clear partner to lean on for growing digital fundraising and decoding what works to grow giving: Marlin Communications.

Marlin Communications is our exclusive Agency Partner in Australia and New Zealand – and hopefully the first of many international partners in other regions to help more nonprofits grow giving and generosity around the world. 

With an impressive reputation for innovation and results, working with some of Australia and New Zealand’s cutting-edge causes – Marlin can help you grow your digital fundraising. See how Marlin can help you here.

But no matter where you are in the world, I want to invite you into something big.

At NextAfter, our vision is to unleash the most generous generation in the history of the world. And we need your help – and the help of so many others across the globe – if we’re ever going to see meaningful growth in generosity.

Some companies and organizations measure overall generosity by looking at the percentage of GDP (gross domestic product) that is donated to nonprofits. And there’s value in that. But you and I both know that generosity is far more than GDP and tax-deductible donations.

Generosity is a state of the heart.

While we often measure generosity with metrics like new donors, retention and attrition, Life-time Value of a donor, and more – the most common tactic that moves the needle on generosity has little to do with numbers, metrics, donation platforms, and analytics.

The tactic that moves the needle on generosity is empathy.

Growing Generosity Using Empathy

In an experiment from this most recent year-end season, we saw just how impactful empathy can be on growing giving and generosity.

Towards the end of the year, CaringBridge sent out an email to their subscriber list with an appeal for donations. It utilized a matching opportunity, a deadline to give, a personal tone, and a plain-text style design – all tactics they have tested over the years.

But they wondered if it might be more impactful to include a longer story of impact.

They set up an experiment. The “Control” was the original email appeal. The “Treatment” was a longer form email including a story of impact.

While both emails had success in raising significant funds, the “Treatment” led to a 42% increase in donations. You can see the full experiment details here.

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Why did the treatment lead to 42% more donations? It built empathy with the potential donor.

The story allowed the recipient to put themselves directly in the shoes of someone impacted by the work of CaringBridge. As you read it, you feel the worry and concern that Courtney had for her family while she was going through treatment for breast cancer.

You experience the joy and relief that she felt when she realized that her kids were being taken care of and that her family was remaining positive with her.

You clearly see how CaringBridge led to her relief, encouragement, and support through a trying health journey.

We see experiment after experiment in our library where greater giving comes from greater empathy – whether it’s fundraisers having more empathy for donors or donors having more empathy for the recipient of their gift.

How Empathy Can Help Grow Giving Internationally

It’s really hard to have empathy when you don’t have proximity to someone’s culture, issues, pains, and passions. And for that reason, if we want to see generosity grow internationally, we know that we need some help.

That’s exactly why we’re partnering with Marlin Communications as our exclusive Agency Partner in Australia and New Zealand. The language, design, and tactics that work to grow giving here in the United States might not work in exactly the same way in a different cultural setting.

Marlin Communications is a well-respected agency in Australia that has served hundreds of nonprofits with award-winning creative, transformational fundraising strategies, and donor-winning digital. They’re now going to take Australian nonprofits to the next level in a/b testing, research, and optimization to grow their digital fundraising.

They know far more than we do about how to navigate the cultural nuances of the region, nonprofit legal compliance, and even variations in user experience, payment options, and more.

If you’re in Australia or New Zealand and looking for data-driven, tested, and proven ways to grow your online fundraising, you can check out what it’s like to work with Marlin here.

But no matter where you are, I’m hoping that you’ll choose to join me as we work to unleash the most generous generation in the history of our world.

Published by Tim Kachuriak

Tim Kachuriak is Chief Innovation and Optimization Officer of NextAfter.

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