When times are tough
With a difficult winter ahead and yet more belt-tightening for so many in the UK, fundraising can seem harder than ever. Although affected by the economic context, fundraising is far from impossible in these circumstances. Drawing on our decades of experience, including fundraising during past serious recessions, we share 10 tips for fundraising in hard times:
1. Let people say no for themselves
Don’t assume that people can’t or won’t give, enable them to make the decision for themselves. Asking people to give is an essential part of fundraising.
2. Develop sensitive messages and approaches
In your communications, be sensitive and refer to the challenges people face. Approaches shouldn’t be high pressure.
3. Consider cost-of-living connections
Look at how your charity and its work relates to the current cost-of-living crisis. Tell supporters and the public what you are doing and why its relevant. Develop asks that highlight connections.
4. Communicate need
Provide compelling and coherent information on what you need to do and why, alongside how much it costs. If your heritage building needs urgent repairs and you can’t wait for ‘a better time to fundraise’ then explain why action is needed now.
5. Emphasise the power of setting an example
Effective fundraising asks everyone to give generously according to their means. Don’t’ forget to underline that by making a gift (that isn’t a lot because that person doesn’t have a lot) they are setting an example to everyone else
6. Focus on affordability
Promote information on how gifts can be spread out over time, and the use of tax effective giving, to make gifts more affordable.
7. Ask for fundraising leadership
If a supporter is already giving all they can, alongside thanking them ask if they would consdier approaching people they know on your behalf, sharing why they already support you.
8. Plan for competition
Some trusts and foundations may have less funds with more applications, so you may need more approaches to raise the funds you require
9. Invest in stewardship
Keep thanking and engaging supporters so they stay with you for the long term. Find ways for people to be involved.
10. Don’t forget those who are doing well right now
Although times are tough, there are individuals and organisations who are doing well and are affluent enough to still giving larger sums. Evaluate your networks to identify personal connections that might enable you to approach them.
If you want to explore how Craigmyle can help you fundraising in these hard times, then please get in touch. We can help review your existing fundraising and talk your through what might work best for your charity.