You're a proud fundraiser for a local charity and you enjoy what you do. But whether you like it or not, you're still tasked with the ever growing problem of getting money in and often it can feel like a losing battle. People just don't get what you do and you find it difficult to explain it in a way that appeals to potential supporters. You don't know where to start.
Why are you struggling? Maybe you feel your charity is different from the rest, you're not trying to raise money for a 'sexy' cause and find it hard to talk about making a difference.
In my previous role as a Grants Officer I often found charities were far too reserved in speaking out about what they did and more importantly the people they helped! But this is key to raising money. Case studies, quotes and photos all help to illustrate the positive impact your charity is making.
To be able to show the impact that you are making it is important to focus on the outcomes that funding would bring rather than the outputs.
Example: A Dial a Ride charity needs to raise money to pay volunteer driver expenses each month. The charity struggles to raise money and feels it's just not sexy enough to appeal to donors. When fundraising it often focuses on how funding would cover the cost of fuel to get people from A to B each week.
Sadly the charity has failed to look at the bigger picture and could potentially miss out on funding. It has focused on an outputs of its work rather than the outcomes and what it could achieve if it raises the money.
If your charity is in a similar situation and snuggles to talk about impact and outcomes think about:
1. What would happen to beneficiaries if they weren't able to use your service?
2. Why do people need your service, what situations are they in?
3. Do you have any case studies to highlight the difference you are making?
4. What impact does your work have on those that volunteer? Why do they volunteer?
Going back to the example of the Dial a Ride service, what it failed to realise was the positive difference it was having on the lives of not only the people that used the service but the volunteer drivers too! Many of the drivers were retired and chose to volunteer regular time each week to give them something constructive to do, a purpose. Something to get up for in the mornings. They enjoyed the camaraderie between one another and the contact they had with the local community. They felt as though they were doing their bit to give something back.
Furthermore the people that were using the service often called it a 'life line' and without it they said their lives would be very different. Many users suffered from rural isolation and so often felt trapped in their own homes, due to old age and disability.
When you next come to fundraise for your cause, whether it's online or through a grant application, use the questions above to help tell your story. Include as much detail as possible to make sure your voice is heard and let people know the great work that you are doing every day.
For inspiration check out these great fundraising pages on our site:
Good luck with your fundraising!
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