Why should I have a fundraising strategy?

Have your fundraising efforts become stale?

Do you feel stuck in a rut when it comes to thinking of new ways to raise funds for your charity? Having a fundraising strategy could transform your entire approach and increase your charity’s sustainability, meaning you can do more for your beneficiaries.

We’ve all been in one of those meetings where you’ve been tasked to come up with a new way to fundraise for an upcoming project. Ideas are thrown around until you land on something like a sponsored bicycle ride which you know will be fun but is seemingly plucked out of the air. If this is the case, it’s probably because your charity is living a ‘hand to mouth’ existence, where fundraising is only thought about on a project by project basis. This usually places a huge amount of stress on how to cover project costs and there is more pressure on one particular fundraising activity to deliver. This is where a fundraising strategy could make all the difference.

The benefits of having a fundraising strategy

It will make your charity more sustainable

By having a fundraising strategy you will be able to grow the infrastructure of your fundraising so that over time raising money becomes easier. The strategy provides charities with the tools to fundraise on an ongoing basis for the projects they run for their beneficiaries, as well as factoring in core costs such as rent. If you’ve ever felt like you are running on a hamster wheel constantly trying to raise funds for the next upcoming project, a fundraising strategy will allow you to hop off, evaluate what works best and plan for that. This means that instead of trying to raise money to cover immediate costs you will have a plan to keep the money coming in and stop you behaving in an ad hoc way. This type of strategy aims to provide a platform for growing a charity’s income and making them more sustainable by diversifying the range of ways the organisation can make money.

Ensures you look after your donors…

…which means they’ll want to keep giving and give more. If your charity is constantly switching between different ways to raise funds it can often be hard to retain loyal donors as your campaigns can seem random. However if you cultivate your fundraising techniques you’re more likely to get people to donate again and again.

Makes fundraising more cost effective and maximises your return on investment

It is inevitable that in order to raise funds, money needs to be invested into your fundraising efforts. A good fundraising strategy involves looking back at your fundraising history and asking what worked and what didn’t? You should also consider what your competitors are doing to raise funds and whether you are exploring all the options including: developing statutory fundraising, grant making trusts, corporations and individuals. By carrying out this research you’ll be able to know what infrastructure you need to take your ideas forward and how to cost these resources in order to create a fundraising investment budget.

About Kathy Roddy

Kathy has been a professional fundraiser for over 17 years and has been developing and delivering fundraising training for the past 12 years. She also works with clients helping them to develop fundraising strategies and tailor funding applications. Kathy is a member of the Institute of Fundraising and holds the Certificate in Fundraising Management. Kathy specialises in fundraising strategy, trust fundraising and raising money from individuals.

If you want to find out how to create a diverse and sustainable fundraising strategy, book your place on our Effective Fundraising Strategy courses with Kathy Roddy