A good fundraising strategy is an essential road map, helping to steer your charity successfully into the future, with the resources needed to fulfil your mission. However, there are some potential pitfalls along the way that you also need to avoid. Here are five tips to ensure you’re on the right track:
1. Don’t let the fundraising tail wag the charity dog!
It’s important to make sure you have done your overall business planning first before you start thinking about where the funds are coming from. This keeps you focused on your overall mission, makes it clear why you need to raise money, and ultimately creates a stronger case for support.
2. Take an honest look at your current practice
Take a few steps back and assess how well your fundraising is going. Just because you’ve always done something doesn’t mean it’s right to carry on. The environment may have changed, competition may have increased, or the amount you’re raising may not justify the resource you’re putting in.
3. Take a portfolio approach
Charities need to be increasingly creative in raising funds as traditional sources of income reduce. Once you have looked at existing methods, consider all other possible sources of funding. Identify your unique offering, and think about how you would define your products and assets – what are potential supporters ‘buying into’ when they support you?
4. But don’t spread yourselves too thinly!
It may be tempting to try many methods for raising funds, in the hope that at least some will pay off. However, in the long term this will be counter-productive as you spread resources too thinly. It is far better to pick a smaller number of approaches that you’ve identified will work best
5. Invest to accumulate, factor in some time
Some charities try to set up new fundraising approaches using existing staff and volunteers, who are already flat-out doing other things. To make a success of any new income stream, you need to factor in the skills and resourcing needed. Sometimes a new fundraising approach will take a while to bear fruit, but if you’ve done your homework and planned well, it will be worth the wait!
If you would like some help in reviewing your fundraising and developing your strategy, please get in touch for an informal no-obligation chat here