MS Research Australia’s fundraising campaign, Kiss Goodbye to MS, is going from strength to strength. With a 2016 global fundraising total of US$1.1 million (AU$1.45 million) and 12 countries now on board, our Aussie initiative is a model example of a low-cost, high return fundraising initiative. And this success is being recognised in the not-for-profit sector.
Recently, our Kiss Goodbye to MS Campaign Manager, was invited to speak at the 40th Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA) conference in the Gold Coast. The annual FIA conference is one of the sector’s most recognised conferences, with more than 800 for-purpose professionals travelling from all around Australia to attend.
In the presentation, we shared insights with the large audience on how to run a low cost global fundraising campaign, as well as how to start a campaign from scratch, without a significant financial investment. We presented to other Australian not-for-profit organisations that attended the FIA conference, highlighting the key strategies behind building brand awareness on a lean budget.
Kiss Goodbye to MS and MS Research Australia are well known in the not-for-profit sector for maintaining low administration costs while producing excellent results. A key component of being able to maintain low admin costs is embracing digital media and our extensive network of pro-bono partners.
At the conference, there were a number of questions from the audience about how to approach corporates for in-kind support as well as questions around what partnerships offer the most value. MS Research Australia has a long-standing history of working closely with pro-bono partners, who become a trusted part of our small team. Some of our pro-bono partners have been working with us for more than 5 years and in the 2015/16 financial year, our pro-bono partnerships were valued at almost $1 million per annum. It is only with our pro-bono partners’ support that we are able to maintain low fundraising costs, maximising our ability to put more funds into MS research.
‘Our pro-bono partners are ones which we cherish and nurture at every opportunity. We simply couldn’t have achieved what we have without them’, said Petricia Augustus, Head of Communications, Marketing and Operations at MS Research Australia.
The other factor in maintaining low administration costs, which we explored with the audience, is the use of digital marketing. In the evolving digital landscape, it is crucial for not-for-profits to embrace social media platforms and employ them to their advantage. The good news for the for-purpose sector is that social media is one of the most cost-effective marketing tools available, offering the chance to build a positive brand reputation and receive feedback with minimal financial investment. Social media allows us to personally connect with you, our valued audience, on a regular basis in a way that is convenient for you.
At the FIA conference, there was significant discussion on today’s advanced technology and the fact that we are living in a global society where communication across cultures, geographical boundaries and countries has never been easier, or quicker. This is the case for Kiss Goodbye to MS, with social media enabling us to connect with supporters around the world. For Kiss Goodbye to MS, Facebook is as much the “social network” as it is the “support network”, and our community have become an incredibly supportive, knowledgeable and supremely uplifting group.