Here are some of our top fundraising tips – drawn from our 60-year track record, in-depth knowledge across sectors and hands-on experience of strategy and implementation.
Don’t let costs/budgets just rise. Ask what’s the minimum you can spend to meet your needs? Answering this challenging question will ensure that your fundraising target isn’t needlessly climbing and you have a robust response to donors who want to see value for money.
- Be part of strategic planning: At all stages, fundraisers need to be involved in organisational planning, whether that’s defining vision and mission, setting strategic goals, or creating budgets.
- Stewardship: develop relationships with donors through ongoing communications in the form of recognition, crediting, thanking, information and news sharing.
- Phased campaign: Don’t assume you have to tackle your big fundraising target all in one go. Consider your project and what needs to be acheived, by when. A phased approach to a fundraising campaign can help you build momentum and maximise results.
- Step back and ask: am I spending enough time on what’s important? Know which activities are important (with outcomes that lead to achieving your goals) and which are urgent (demanding immediate attention, usually someone else’s goals).Awareness of this distinction moves you from firefighting to creating space for activities that will build success and growth.
- Key elements for fundraising success
- Persuasive case for support
- Convincing financial need
- Identified constituency
- Committed voluntary leadership
- Consider investing in a communications audit. Staying in touch with stakeholders and supporters has never been more important. A communications audit assesses your strategy, channels and messages, enabling you to review and enhance performance.
- Case for support – your case for support needs to win the heart and the head
- Keep it personal: You can never say thank you too often. When you do, keep it personal, not generic so donors feel personally valued.
- Keep communicatig about what you do. Fundraising and communication go hand in hand. Keep your supporters informed about what you’re doing and the impact of your organisation’s work. Use opportunities to get in touch, large or small. Share challenges as well as success stories. Personal and creative ways work well.
- Respons to new funding opportunities: In response to Covid-19, grant making is very fluid right now with quick decisions. Trusts and foundations have added emergency funds, some may have changed their priorities. 3 things you can do:
- Keep an eye on grant makers for funding opportunities
- Record data on what you are doing to demonstrate impact
- Consider if you can adapt any of your current projects to meet new funding opportunities, as long as still true to your organisation and its work.
- In times of crises, go to your friends first. Planning fundraising approaches in time of crisis? Don’t do cold marketing, start with your existing friends and supporters.