5 Ideas to Develop a Winning Fundraising Strategy
So you’ve found an amazing cause to support, and you want to get stuck in and start changing lives as soon as possible, right? Well, raising money is the goal, but there’s a lot to think about between kick-off and the final score, and the more basics you get right at the beginning, the more chance you have of a win. But don’t worry, we’re going to show you how to create a fundraising strategy that will underpin everything you do for maximum success.
1. Create a vision
For a fundraising strategy to be successful over the long term, you’re going to need donors to buy into your goals, and for that you need to have a clear and communicable vision of how your charity will fundamentally change the world. Be realistic, and don’t promise something you know you can’t deliver. But do make sure you have some credible aspirations that really will make a difference.
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2. Have a communication plan
Being clear about who your donors are, and why they might support your charity is the foundation of any good fundraising strategy plan. Tell them your story, using real life examples to provoke an emotional response that motivates people to fundraise and donate. Then, for every initiative you run, send regular updates to your volunteers and donors, letting them know what their money has achieved. Be specific: £5 can vaccinate a child; £10 provides shelter for a homeless person, etc. People are much more likely to donate if they perceive a tangible outcome.
3. Plan, plan, and plan some more!
When you’re inspired to raise money for a cause, you might just want to dive in and start fundraising straight away. But a good fundraising strategy involves making smart choices, and the more you plan, the more success you’ll see. Don’t try to do it alone; get together a fundraising committee, ideally with a mixed group of people who can bring different things to the discussion. Then plan your charity’s events calendar, with a good balance between big events, and smaller, on-going initiatives.
4. Find some partners
Most big charities rely heavily on their key sponsors to help them raise more money. But even if you’re starting from scratch, it’s likely you can get buy-in from a partner or two to support your fundraising strategy. Think about local organisations that have similar goals or interests to the cause you support, and pitch some ideas to them. Whether it’s marketing help, regular donations, or just the occasional raffle prize, partnering with other people can often be a win-win for both sides. You could apply to trusts and foundations for grants to boost your fundraising strategy.
5. Focus on the long-term
The biggest wins in fundraising come from the long-term relationships you forge with donors, sponsors and partners. That’s why it’s important that any fundraising strategy has people at its heart. This begins with identifying the right partners and audience for your work, but really comes to fruition in your everyday efforts to engage them. Let them know with newsletters, social media posts, and website updates what their donations have achieved, and how they can continue to help. Make it personal, with face-to-face contact at events, and phone calls to say thank you for significant donations or support. The more personally invested you can make a donor feel, the more likely he or she is to keep donating, and to tell others about your cause.
Ready for kick-off? Get started on your premier league fundraising strategy now!