Tying up laces of sneakers to get ready to run

Fundraising Fundamentals

PART 1 - GETTING STARTED

The first step to putting together an effective fundraising strategy is identifying where you are, what resources you have at your disposal and where you want to go.

Developing your fundraising strategy

Prioritising goals and activities is always a good starting point when putting together your strategy, will help ensure you make maximum use of your organisation’s resources.

There is no set template when putting together a fundraising strategy, but asking the following questions can provide a framework for your plans. 

1  Where are you now?

Who are your current supporters?

What fundraising have you done up to this point and how successful was it? Include events you ran, crowdfunding campaigns, grants or partnerships.

2  Where do you need to get to?

Think about what services you want to deliver today and how this might change over the next few years.

Consider what you may need to put in place to make sure your charity can respond to changing circumstances and new opportunities. 

Ensure your fundraising aligns with your strategy, rather than your strategy aligning with your fundraising. 

3   How much can you afford to spend?

Remember, fundraising is an investment, be that time, money or both. Not all fundraising is expensive, but those that invest do so for a reason. 

4   How long do you have to raise the money?

Do you have enough time to build relationships with major donors, which can take many years to come to fruition?

For example, if you want need to raise £50,000 in the next six months, trying to reach major donors that don't currently have a relationship with you will be challenging.  

Thinking about how much time you have will help you decide which ways are best to raise those funds.


5   Are you set up to receive donations?

Think about the systems and processes you have in place to manage donations, including Direct Debits and online donations.  

If you don’t have these in place you may want to look into free to use online donation tools such as CAF Donate.

6   What rules and regulations do you need to be aware of?

Be mindful of which regulations apply to your planned fundraising activities and your marketing of them. Find out more about the Code of Fundraising Practice and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Keep it simple

The best fundraising strategies are simple and clear.

A SWOT analysis can help you understand what's realistic and achievable. 

If you've never done a SWOT analysis before, there are plenty of examples you can find online. On the right are some things to think about when putting yours together.

To be successful, your strategy should be reviewed regularly rather than stowed away in the office drawer never to be looked at again.

Setting targets and developing a calendar of activities is key to helping track and assess progress.

swot analysis diagram

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Fundraising Fundamentals

KNOW YOUR DONORS

Now that you've got the basics of your fundraising strategy, it's time to identify your donors before building your case for support.

Go through to Part 2

Useful Fundraising Resources

web donations

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Boost donations through your website

Your charity's website is an important tool for raising funds online.

Get the most from it with our top tips
EMAIL

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Write winning emails

Email can be an effective tool to raise donations when done properly. Our top email writing tips can help you write winning emails every time.

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social media

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Get the most from social media

Want to step up your social media, or just need some ideas to freshen up your content? Here's some hints and tips to drive your fundraising through social.

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