Fundraising in a Day: five questions answered

Ahead of his upcoming training course - Fundraising in a Day - trainer, George, answers five common questions to get your fundraising plan off to a flying start.

Do you know how much money it costs you to fundraise?

Finding the most cost-effective fundraising stream is vital to growing your charity.

When you consider the time it takes to organise your fundraising, are you still making as much money as you need to?

To understand how much you are really making from your fundraising, you need to look at the time staff are spending on fundraising, the cost of the equipment they use and the cost of any potential marketing. Once you have these costs you can see the true value of each fundraising stream, allowing you to make the most effective decision on where to spend your fundraising time going forward.

What do you do before you put pen to paper on a funding application?

Getting prepared to write funding applications is just as important as the writing – a fundraiser is only as good as the information they have.

What are the critical steps to get you ready to start writing applications?

To write powerful funding applications, it is important to be armed with the right information before you even begin. Having a case for support will support each application you wish to complete. A good case for support might answer the following questions:

  • Who are you?
  • What’s the need that has to be met?
  • What solution do you offer?
  • Why should your charity take on the work?
  • How much funding do you need?
  • What’s the future of your charity?

Why does the funder keep declining my application?

Sometimes the perfect funder just keeps saying ‘no’. However, they may not know that they are your perfect funder.

How do you build a relationship with a funder that will support any application you submit?

Engaging funders before the application process begins can be quite tricky. You may get lucky and meet a funder during a networking opportunity or, more likely, you will have to rely on the old fashioned method – picking up the phone. However, once you have got in touch with a funder, it can be a good idea to request feedback on an application/idea before it’s sent off. This allows you to really tailor your application to their specific needs. Not only will this boost your chances of the funding application being successful, but it starts a relationship with a funder that can be nurtured for future bids.

Why do other charities’ events keep growing whilst mine do not?

It is difficult to engage people year on year to keep attending your charitable events.

How do your events keep fresh to ensure more people will attend each year?

The way to grow successful events is to keep the ideas as fresh as possible. Running the same old sponsored hike/cycle/run will always attract a core group of supporters. However, to entice supporters outside of your core group you have to be more creative. Maybe, instead of just a sponsored run, you add a ‘Tough Mudder’ element to the route. Or instead of a standard sponsored hike you opt for a sponsored hike for parents and children in nature, challenging them to find various species of plants, animals and fungi.

How do we even know the type of donor that we should approach?

Finding the right donor group is important for cost-effective fundraising. It can be very easy to waste time on well intentioned campaigns that are simply aimed at the wrong people.

How do you find out who the right people are?

To understand your ideal donor you have to put yourself in the shoes of your most passionate supporters. If you can map out a profile of the average donor with information such as their age, family status, education, location and favourite brands, then you can ensure your fundraising and marketing is reaching the right people. Just the process of thinking from the donors perspective will add value to your fundraising activities.

Want to find out more? Join Fundraising in a Day on Wednesday 8 April.