Taking time to review

As we begin to see the first signs of a potential return to work for many of our clients, the roles and plans that were in place before the lockdown have changed dramatically. Many planned activities have been postponed until later in the year, as we wait for the larger statutory funders to announce new non-Covid-related funding rounds, and appeals to individuals and major giving campaigns have been put on hold until the financial repercussions of the pandemic are better understood and donor confidence increases.

So, once you’ve applied for any Covid-related emergency funding and made changes to your activity plan for the year, what’s next? Here are some ideas for using this time as an opportunity to focus on the activities that often get pushed to the end of our ‘to do’ lists:

  • Look back over the last quarter: Take stock of what you have done, achieved and learnt during lockdown. This could be useful in future planning, but could also give you a morale boost. We find that clients have often achieved more than they think they have.
  • Research new funders: Understandably, we can often get caught up in ensuring that we are meeting the application deadlines for our potential funders, which means that we aren’t taking time to have a good look at any changes to funding guidelines or new funders in our sector.
  • Talk to previous funders/service recipients: It’s always useful to get an outside perspective on how your organisation is doing, from people who have an interest in your success. A quick online questionnaire or phone call could result in some helpful insights for your fundraising or for the wider organisation.
  • Develop a new fundraising activity: This could be a great opportunity to investigate that new idea for raising some additional funding that you have considered in the past but haven’t have the time to dedicate to it. Maybe there is room for a Crowdfunding test campaign, or a new cultivation event for your major gift prospects.
  • Review your case for support: The aims of your organisation probably haven’t changed since you first wrote your Case for Support, but when was the last time you checked it to see if it could be refreshed? Do you have new quotes from stakeholders that could be added, perhaps new photos, or updated statistics to include, for example?
  • Update your communications strategy: We think it’s safe to take say that we all have a box of unused brochures in a corner of the office somewhere. Have your means of communicating with your supporters changed in the last few years? And how is your social media strategy working? Are there any tweaks you could make to test other approaches to keeping in touch with your constituents?
  • Housekeeping: Updating your CRM system is not a popular activity and many of us have been guilty of letting it slide. This could be a great time to get your database up to date and also check how well your original GDPR plan is being implemented.

We hope that these ideas have inspired you to make the most of the transition period. And remember, Craigmyle are here to help you with any fundraising needs, large or small.

As we begin to see the first signs of a potential return to work for many of our clients, the roles and plans that were in place before the lockdown have changed dramatically. Many planned activities have been postponed until later in the year, as we wait for the larger statutory funders to announce new non-Covid-related funding rounds, and appeals to individuals and major giving campaigns have been put on hold until the financial repercussions of the pandemic are better understood and donor confidence increases.

So, once you’ve applied for any Covid-related emergency funding and made changes to your activity plan for the year, what’s next? Here are some ideas for using this time as an opportunity to focus on the activities that often get pushed to the end of our ‘to do’ lists:

  • Look back over the last quarter: Take stock of what you have done, achieved and learnt during lockdown. This could be useful in future planning, but could also give you a morale boost. We find that clients have often achieved more than they think they have.
  • Research new funders: Understandably, we can often get caught up in ensuring that we are meeting the application deadlines for our potential funders, which means that we aren’t taking time to have a good look at any changes to funding guidelines or new funders in our sector.
  • Talk to previous funders/service recipients: It’s always useful to get an outside perspective on how your organisation is doing, from people who have an interest in your success. A quick online questionnaire or phone call could result in some helpful insights for your fundraising or for the wider organisation.
  • Develop a new fundraising activity: This could be a great opportunity to investigate that new idea for raising some additional funding that you have considered in the past but haven’t have the time to dedicate to it. Maybe there is room for a Crowdfunding test campaign, or a new cultivation event for your major gift prospects.
  • Review your case for support: The aims of your organisation probably haven’t changed since you first wrote your Case for Support, but when was the last time you checked it to see if it could be refreshed? Do you have new quotes from stakeholders that could be added, perhaps new photos, or updated statistics to include, for example?
  • Update your communications strategy: We think it’s safe to take say that we all have a box of unused brochures in a corner of the office somewhere. Have your means of communicating with your supporters changed in the last few years? And how is your social media strategy working? Are there any tweaks you could make to test other approaches to keeping in touch with your constituents?
  • Housekeeping: Updating your CRM system is not a popular activity and many of us have been guilty of letting it slide. This could be a great time to get your database up to date and also check how well your original GDPR plan is being implemented.

We hope that these ideas have inspired you to make the most of the transition period. And remember, Craigmyle are here to help you with any fundraising needs, large or small.