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Developing a Fundraising Plan - Strategies and Ideas

  • In this blog I look at developing ideas and strategies around a new fundraising campaign. We also have numerous resources and blogs on delivering campaigns which you can view here

    First steps

    Before starting any successful fundraising campaign it is always worth thinking about what will work best for your charity. Whether it is developing an existing campaign idea, or starting from scratch with a new strategy, thinking about how your charity can play to your strengths is key. The first step should be looking at your charity’s mission as well as what interests your supporters in your work. The key to any well-run campaign is linking these two things together.

    Designing a campaign

    Deciding on what your campaign's ‘mission’  is and why it will appeal to supporters should be your first step. Question yourself on issues like:

    • What does your charity seek to address?
    • How can you communicate that message?
    • Is it a niche issue you deal with or do you have a large basis of public support?
    • What could you do with this many people's support?
    • Would it be helpful to hold an event?
    • How could you link in other organisations and what could they bring to the table?
    • How can you use your Localgiving page to promote what your organisation does?
    • Why is it that you need funding to support you charity's work in the first place?

    You need to build a campaign around a compelling reason to fundraise. For example, a charity dealing with youth activities can draw attention to the impact you have on kids lives by getting the children and their parents to take part in the campaign.

    Once you have thought about your charity’s appeal you should also try to shape a campaign that plays to your strengths. For example, a sports clubs should focus on fundraising challenges that appeal to their large network of members, while a small arts groups could be creative and think of a community project that will capture people's attention. A charity dealing with a societal problem like homelessness should seek to raise awareness of their work in the wider community, while an after school children's club could focus on appealing to the people connected to the children attending. An appeal or fundraising challenge should focus on who it is that’s interested in your charity. Engaging them with a campaign that is tailored to their interests is what leads to donations.

    Targeting donations

    Once you have an idea of what kind of campaign would interest your supporters start thinking about how to get them to actually make a donation. Questions like:

    • What would capture the interest of people who care but are are unaware of the specifics of what you do?
    • Have you had a responsive supporter base in the past?
    • Is there a need to raise awareness of your reason for fundraising first or is asking previous donors more important?
    • Can your supporters help you promote the campaign online and with their networks?
    • What sort of skills or networks do your volunteers/supporters bring to your fundraising project?
    • Would engaged volunteers consider becoming fundraisers themselves?

    Once you have a better picture of how your supporters would respond to a campaign launch its time to link this in with your mission. For example, a sports club should appeal to their member base by getting their members to do a  physical challenge (like a 5k run in the local park) while a community arts group should capitalize on their supporters interest in local creative projects by doing something creative (like painting an issue raising mural in a local space). Groups with large networks of supporters could ask that everyone contribute a small amount to reach your collective target, while charities that deal with an important but niche issue could ask for larger donations from the select people who really care.

    ‘Targeting’ donors is simply thinking about the smartest way to go about reaching your fundraising target with your charity’s supporters in mind.

    Taking advantage of opportunities and putting the idea into action

    Once you have put the finer details of your fundraising campaign idea together it's always worth having a think about what kind of things your group has at its disposal to take advantage of.

    • Do you have board members or trustees that can help out?
    • What skills and networks do they have?
    • Could you tie the campaign in with an anniversary or an event that is already coming up?
    • Can you highlight an award your charity has won or some other significant achievement?

    It’s also worth thinking of media attention you can get for your campaign by linking it in with current news stories. Awareness campaigns  (e.g. ‘Mental Health Week’, ‘Black History Month’, ‘National Day of Action for the Homeless’) can be good events to link in with.

    Every charity has aspects that make you unique. The way to maximize your outreach is to tap into this and use it to promote your campaign.

    Once you have your campaign strategy you can begin putting your plan into action

    Remember - Localgiving has a fundraiser campaign coming up in April, Local Hero. Find out more here and best of luck fundraising!

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