A word from Plunket's top collector

Plunket’s Online Collector is in its third year this Appeal and each year Plunket teams get more and more savvy with how they use it.  This year our top 10 collectors raised more than $11,150 between them. That's 46% of the $24,023.52 total raised via Online Collector!

We talked with Point Chevalier Plunket, our top collector who raised a whopping $2,215.01.  

What a great effort!  But it didn’t happen by chance – they had a plan...

Q. Plunket Point Chevalier have been very active online this year, can you tell us how/why?

We’ve become more and more conscious of how useful it is to communicate with our Plunket families online, especially when you see how much smartphones have allowed busy parents to jump online when they have a spare moment around the kids. We’ve really started to see the value of Facebook (we’ve now got over 130 followers) and our quarterly combined newsletter is emailed out to the database.

We built on this approach with this year’s appeal, using Facebook and mail outs to generate interest in the lead up to the appeal and to make it less of a cold call for our door to door collectors. We’ve also taken the lead from local businesses who have told us that they are moving away from print media and that doing business is all about online advertising and Facebook.

Q. What drove you to use Online Collector?

Most people don’t carry a lot of cash, even at home, so when volunteers went out to collect we briefed them to push the online donation envelopes as an alternative option for donating. We knew that we would be able to circulate the online collection option to our Plunket families database and to business networks.

Q. Why do you think it was so successful for you this year?

We had a clear strategy for communicating to our database without overwhelming them with too many emails. We worked to a time frame for sending out these emails in the lead up to appeal week and over the rest of the month of March. Our Facebook page provided an additional platform to promote the online collector tool.

We think the online collection was an opportunity for anonymous and potentially more significant donors who may not have given a similar donation at a door to door collection. An online tool also means that people can give generously without being asked to commit to a regular schedule of payments. This is really useful when you think about how many parties there are in New Zealand who are effectively competing for charitable funds.

Q. What are your top tips for others?

  1. Start by making sure that you have an up-to-date online database.

  2. Make sure you have a strategy for communicating with this database.

  3. Take advantage of any skilled volunteers you have (we are lucky to have a graphic designer on our committee)

  4. Come up with visually interesting and punchy communications to wrap around sending out the online collection link.

  5. Finally, all door to door collectors should be briefed to provide this option when door knocking and will need collateral to leave behind information about how to donate online.

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