Author Archives: Meegan Allender

What’s on the horizon for Raffles/Lotteries?

Excerpt from the December 2015/January 2016 Fundraising & Philanthropy Magazine


Steven Banks
Managing Director
Aspire Non Profit Consulting

How has the area of raffle/lottery fundraising performed over the last 12-18 months? 

Prize-led fundraising has continued to be a resilient avenue of unfettered funds, with some programs achieving 10%-30% increases in active data. Programs that adequately cover fixed costs, including prizes, are able to regulate the level of investment in reactivating and acquiring supporters. We find that programs can then be fine-tuned for either growth or maintenance.

Typically the larger Art Unions in Australia are optimising their long-term returns by systematically investing in acquisition and importantly converting their irregular supporters to monthly contributors.

Programs that traditionally rely on one sales channel, e.g. telemarketing or mail, are finding the market tougher, especially with the tactic of asking supporters to on-sell books of tickets.

Premium lotteries ($100 ticket – multiple major prizes) have continued their foothold in the southern and western states. These media-driven programs are expanding the range of games on offer and evolving into large database-marketing lotteries.

In summary, larger multi-channel programs appear to be growing whilst a number of smaller to mid-size programs are reviewing their game and marketing strategies.

How do you think the area of raffle/lottery fundraising will perform over the coming 12-18 months? 

I expect overall revenues will continue to grow nationwide, with more advances in multi state and territory activity (despite regulatory hurdles) and broadening of sales channels to suit supporter preferences and acquisition.

New entrants will continue to look for market niches, in terms of offer, frequency and loyalty incentives. Existing programs that lack investment or reinvestment of funds may decline, due to a combination of declining supporter numbers and increasing numbers of well-organised competitors.

Telemarketing will continue to be a strong performer, particularly with a KPI focus on quality conversations and sales closing ability.

Attention to backend systems and processes will be critical to maximising returns, particularly with 1) a range of payment options via call centre, field sales, website and mail room, 2) complaints and enquiry handling and 3) data hygiene.

What is your ‘bold prediction’ for raffle/lottery fundraising in 2016?

I would like to see some charities merge their efforts and build partnerships in prize-led fundraising (to provide scale and efficiencies). However, my bold prediction is that more fundraising leaders will seek to broaden their fundraising mix – by implementing prize-led approaches to existing databases and to acquire new supporters.

Lottery databases can be a significant source of regular givers, mid-size contributors and bequestors.

Digital Marketing for Charities

Category : Digital Marketing

There are approximately 600,000 registered charities in Australia so how do you make your charity stand out in the crowd? How do you get your message through? And, how do you know it’s getting to the right audience?

Charities often have very tight budgets and every dollar spent needs to ensure sufficient ROI and awareness goals are met. Digital marketing is the most cost effective way to reach the largest audience possible. When done well, a digital marketing campaign is all encompassing from website, to pay per click advertising (PPC), emails, search engine optimisation (SEO) and social media, and remains consistent across all other direct marketing channels.

These marketing techniques provide charities the opportunity to engage and connect with current and potential supporters on various platforms.

Digital marketing enables charities of all shapes and sizes to highlight key messages, in front of an exact target audience, in a very scientific way. The beauty of these marketing techniques is the ability to accurately track and measure results like never before.

The rise of the digital world has brought with it many lessons: understand your audience; marketing is not defined through a single channel and; knowledge is power.

A strong digital marketing strategy is imperative and needs to ensure accurate messages with a targeted approach. Digital marketing coupled with a dynamic offline campaign will ensure a well-rounded, impactful and consistent message across all mediums. To chat about incorporating a digital marketing strategy into your next campaign, get in touch via the Contact Us page.



How not for profit organisations can win with lotteries

Category : Increase Revenue

Lotteries, raffles, art unions – whatever name you give them, they are all games of chance. Applying these programs to a not for profit organisation creates incentivised giving, which can become a very powerful tool to acquire and retain supporters.

The not for profit sector in Australia is a crowded and competitive marketplace. Pro bono Australia recorded over 600,000 organisations that make up the sector (, 2014). And, with a current population of 23,343,640 (, January 2014) – that means there is one NFP organisation to every 38 people in Australia.

When key not for profit executives were asked what they perceived as the greatest challenge for their organisation, the number one issue identified was ‘finding new sources of sustainable funding’(McLean Delmo, February 2012).

Demand for the charity dollar is high. The global financial crisis, or threat of it, has meant the majority of consumers are much more aware of where their money is going. Local charity, International crisis, natural disasters, the list of legitimate causes is large and competitive. So, how can a lottery program help your organisation win?

A well-executed lottery or raffle program will provide three key benefits:

  1. Diversity
  2. Sustainability
  3. Revenue

A lottery is an incredibly diverse vehicle, which can be adapted to all channels within the marketing mix.

Promotion of the lottery through direct mail is the most common channel to a warm supporter base. Telemarketing has been used effectively for years by charities of all sizes, however, can be costly for acquisition if an incorrect strategy is adopted. To avoid blowing the budget on acquisition, promote regular buying of lottery tickets by automatic payment so conversions have a higher response value.

The flexible lottery program can be promoted at events of any size or calibre and of course digital channels are ripe with opportunity through a website (with ticket purchase function), emails, social media, search marketing etc.

The lottery may also provide a valuable PR tool through promoting the prize (if it is newsworthy) the draw and the winner/s.

There is a growing demand for transparency of fundraising activities, which leads to a challenge for charities to find creative ways to raise untied funds. Lottery offers the solution through its incentivised giving nature.

Supporters of the lottery are instantly rewarded with the chance to win. This makes lottery a valuable acquisition tool, and exposes the opportunity to acquire donors that would not necessarily support your organisation. The chance to win creates a tempting buzz of excitement and taps into the ‘what if’ optimist that exists within all of us.

Of course, once lottery supporters have purchased and are added to your database, they can be approached to support the organisation in other appeals. The key with cross selling from raffle is to segment and test, test, test! You don’t want to lose the repeat lottery supporter by bombarding them with other messages if they are not interested.

If a lottery program is executed correctly, with a carefully measured balance of warm and cold contacts, a strategic marketing strategy and a smart prize mix, it will return positive financial results and increased brand awareness.

There is no doubt that not for profit organisations in Australia need to adopt long-term strategies to remain competitive. With its diversity and mathematical predictability, Lottery can deliver a winning formula.

Direct Mail – Dead or Alive?

Category : Direct Mail

With the rise of the digital age and our ever-increasing reliance on technology, what influence does ‘snail mail’ still have on our purchase behaviour? Has the increase of digital marketing, meant a decrease in success rates for this more traditional channel?

Direct mail has been around since the late 1870’s when Aaron Montgomery Ward created the very first mail order catalogue in America. He believed that by selling products directly to the customer at appealing prices, you could create an innovative marketing model and generate customer loyalty.

Direct mail was also used after World War II in America, when national charities such as the National Easter Seal Society were seeking methods of expanding their fundraising avenues. Even today, the channel is still most commonly used in the not for profit sector.

The validity of direct mail has definitely been under scrutiny in recent years. The technological advancements of digital channels and the increasing importance of limiting the impact on the environment, has created a perception that marketing efforts should concentrate on digital and mobile.

There is no doubt that the way consumers transact with companies is changing. In June 2013, Roy Morgan research released a study which revealed that, in any 3 month period, at least 50% of Australians had shopped online.

The cultural perception is that technology will assist with time poor pleas and this has created a strong trend, an almost obsessive reliance, on smart phones, email and online shopping.

It is little wonder that 70% of companies in Australia plan on increasing their digital marketing spend over the next 12-18 months. The key areas of focus for these budgets is Search Engine Optimisation and email marketing (Responsys, December/January 2013).

What an interesting and exciting opportunity for e-marketing, but what does it mean for direct mail in 2014 (and beyond)?

With challenge comes opportunity, and despite the incredible growth of the digital platform and the influence it has on consumers, there is definitely still a place for direct mail in the marketing mix.

Ironically, the volume of e-communication sent in the current climate has meant that consumers are being bombarded with messages and the effectiveness is being more and more diluted.

The fact still remains, no matter what your age, receiving tangible mail in the post is a novelty. A study conducted by Australia Post confirms that 70% of promotional material received by households is still read, filed, or passed on (MarketSmartly, 2013).

So, the scene has been set for a well-executed direct mail campaign to really make an impact. The challenge is to adopt an integrated approach, package the message in an innovative way (to cut through the clutter) and to ensure increased accuracy of targeting.

The way that technology is influencing the marketing mix means that is as important as ever to keep up with immerging trends and new marketing channels for example, what’s next for mobile marketing or social media? However, the greatest strength to incorporate into a campaign is integration.

If the rise of digital has taught us anything it should be that success of a marketing campaign can no longer be defined through one channel. Know your audience and adopt a multichannel approach to all campaigns.  Utilising more segmentation, variations in artwork depending on the segment and personalisation techniques should see increases in response rates.

Direct mail is definitely still alive and well and with a quality strategy and an integrated approach, it might just become your secret to success.


1. Responsys and Econsultancy 4th annual report on Marketing Budgets. (December/January 2013). How marketers are spending their budgets in 2013. Retrieved in January 2014 from

2. MarketSmartly. (2013). Six Benefits of Direct Mail. Retrieved in January 2014 from

3. Amy Bainbridge. (2013). More than 50 per cent of Australians shopping online: Roy Morgan research. Retrieved in January 2014 from