What’s Your Fundraising New Year’s Resolution?
Thursday, 13th December 2018 at 7:45 am
FrontStream offers some tips for those looking to get their fundraising in better shape next year.
If you head to the gym on 1 January, you’ll probably find it packed to the rafters with people looking to get in shape and sweat out the sins of the silly season.
Getting fit is one of the most popular new year’s resolutions, but unfortunately it also has a high drop off rate, with one study suggesting around 80 per cent of people who join a gym in January quit within five months. So, if you plan on getting your fundraising into better shape next year, how do you make sure you’re on track for the treadmill and not the couch?
Think outside the box
It’s easy to get stuck in a routine when it comes to your fundraising, but the new year provides a great chance to shake things up a little and come up with some creative new ideas for you to raise even more money.
Sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes to help you see what’s right in front of you, so gather together a team of friends, colleagues, experts, or consultant for a brainstorm session. It pays to have a broad spectrum of people from different fields, as everyone will bring a different perspective to the table.
From leveraging new technology to a cool idea for a peer-to-peer campaign, there’s an almost infinite amount of ways you can breathe new life into your fundraising, so why not make 2019 the year of thinking outside the box.
Social media is so ubiquitous these days that it feels redundant to promote its virtues, but it’s amazing how many not for profits could be doing a lot more in this space.
Given the relatively modest budgets of many charities, social media’s ability to reach a broad audience without the need for large investments makes it a powerful tool in the arsenal of any charity looking to do more with less.
Building a social media plan and calendar will help you manage your posting and keep it up throughout the year. Focusing on quality over quantity will avoid burning out, and ensuring all posts have a call-to-action – such as a link to donate or purchase tickets to an upcoming event – will help ensure you get maximum return on your investment well into the year.
Manage your people
You would be surprised at how many volunteers and ambassadors want to do more to support a cause but find it difficult to engage with them.
It’s easy to get so caught up in the day to day running of a not for profit that managing your supporter network falls by the wayside. But given a charity’s people are some of its most significant assets, it’s essential they’re managed effectively.
If you feel you may be unintentionally neglecting your people, make 2019 the year you turn that around – and you can do it without investing too much time or effort.
Ensure they’re given clear and concise instructions on what’s required of them, maintain lines of communication throughout their engagement, and show your gratitude for their generous donation of their time and energy. While engaging with your volunteers or ambassadors in a more structured manner can take some planning and time, the output you’ll get from well-managed people makes it well worth your while.
Get by with a little help…
They say nothing comes for free, but that’s not always true – and that’s good news for charities.
Many large organisations will have a pro bono component to their CSR program and will volunteer a certain amount of their employees’ time to causes each year.
If you’re not currently enlisting any pro bono services, maybe next year’s the time you do. There are many different levels and approaches to pro bono work: a multinational design agency might handle all the designs and printing for an event, but a smaller business might only be able to give some pointers or connect you with their suppliers – either way, there’s a lot of help out there, so don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for it.
Invest in your success
The old saying “you need to spend money to make money” might be a bit cliched, but that doesn’t mean there’s not something in it. With some small investments in the right areas, you can unlock even more avenues for donations and take your fundraising to the next level.
Where you spend that money will depend on your specific organisation’s situation: if you need to raise awareness of your cause, some targeted social media marketing will work, but if you have a big gala coming up, perhaps you’d be wiser to invest in a charity auction platform, such as FrontStream’s Bidding for Good.
A new year is a great opportunity to examine your organisation’s spending and think about where you could strategically be getting the most bang for your buck.
New year’s resolutions are a great opportunity to change an unwanted behaviour or improve something you’ve been putting off all year. But whatever your fundraising resolution, it’s equally important you consider the practical steps you can take to ensure its sustainable and doesn’t run out of steam – like so many gym memberships do come February.