Being able to deliver what you’re established to do can’t be done without funding; and any fundraising you plan to do can be a challenge at the best of times; but when times are tough, when people don’t have the resources to give as they ordinarily would, it can be a lot tougher.
When planning your fundraising campaign you need to know who gives and why; survey results from research conducted in early 2012 gives some insight into who gives, where they are and other important demographics, do you know who gives to your organization and why, and do you know what makes people want to give? If not it could be good for you to look for some research that applies to your organization.
Fundraising,To maximize what you might be able to achieve you should prioritize your efforts:
What avenues are you likely to have the most success with?
If you’re not already, you should stream or categorize your current supporter and prospect lists. Categories such as, Hot or Taps, Warms and Colds are ideal to use:
These are those who give on or you know will give for a specific purpose. They are often the ones who you can gain support from for the least effort.
Often this group responds well from having regular contact from the same person, this group is ideal to be ‘account managed’.
This group haven’t likely given for the last or possibly a couple of appeals, but are open to being approached. With the right approach this group will give, it’s all a matter of your approach and reinforcing that their support is needed and that they are important to the organization.
As the ‘title’ suggests, they’ve not supported before – perhaps they’ve never been approached before. This group will take more work, but shouldn’t be forgotten altogether as you will gain new support from this group.
Perhaps having a separate team contacting each group will reap the greatest rewards, different skills sets can be needed, some people have transferable skills – do what’s right for your organization and, team.
Don’t just look at the immediate period, are there fundraising opportunities that could generate income in future periods?
Be open with those you are contacting, not everyone will be able to give right now, leave the door open for support in the future.
You will find others will want to offer support over a period of time, and others may also wish to work with you for raising support in the future. Whichever, all support should be nurtured.
Collaboration with future supporters to build on future fundraising is important, using the networks you will come across through your fundraising efforts will help build future campaigns. It is likely you will be able to network with a number of people (and businesses) who you will be able to unite to create a campaign and income in the future.
Bequests is something else that shouldn’t be negated, does your organization currently have a bequest programme? If not, now could be the time to investigate and plan a bequest programme. Check what other organization are doing and research what will be the best way forward for this for your organization.
What can you do to raise significant sums?
It’s true getting large sums makes it easier to reach the total fundrasing goal, but it’s not that simple. A well thought out plan is a must, no organization can go looking for significant sums without first thinking through all the processes, and thinking what information potential ‘
Questions such as where support goes will mean you have to be open, and questions about authenticity are to be expected, you need to be prepared for them, and be able to answer them before they are asked.
Teaming up with others can also benefit in gaining significant support, the support may not come from one source – it could be as a result of collaborating with a number of parties. Be open to exploring collaborative projects.
Don’t forget to engage with current supporters to learn what it is you do that makes them continue to support, perhaps bring together a focus group to help build your campaign.