These tips have been kindly written by Kerri Tilby-Price from Exult (helping non-profits grow)
Knowing why your organisation exists means you have a clear vision of the kind of community you are trying to create. Why do you bother running the programmes and services you do? If these programmes and services were being 100% effective, what would your community look like as a result? And why does that matter?
If you really want to raise more funds, you first need to develop an in-depth budget for your organisation and then get clear about what you need – either financially or in-kind. When you do this you can be far more strategic in your approach and you are likely to discover more opportunities for support.
When you’re constantly looking to raise money, it’s easy to think every opportunity is a good opportunity and you end up scrambling from one idea to the next with little success. Sure you can piece together your budget a few activities at a time, but without a plan it’s unlikely that you are making best use of your time, energy and resources.
Whether you’re a volunteer fundraiser or a paid employee, if you want to raise more funds, you need to build yourself a fundraising team. Unfortunately many fundraisers I’ve met are reluctant to let go of the reins, and while they claim there is no one available to help, the real issue is their unwillingness to delegate.
If you are writing a donor letter, send out two different versions and measure which version gets the most response. If you are telling client stories at public events, try different angles and measure which one generates the best results.
Raising your profile goes hand in hand with raising more funds. After all, if you want people or organisations to support you, they first need to know that you exist! To build your profile effectively, you need to be consistent in your message and use several avenues to spread the word. Building your profile takes time, but repetition builds reputation, so stick with it.
If you are serious about raising more money, you need to properly invest in fundraising. Just like businesses spend money to market their products and make more sales, you need to spend money to market your organisation and encourage more donations.
Attend programmes, pitch in with special projects, and talk to clients, staff and volunteers on a regular basis.
What is the problem or challenge your organisation is addressing? Why is it important that this problem or challenge is addressed now? How can you prove that the way your organisation is addressing the problem actually works?
No matter how old you are or how experienced you are at fundraising, you can always learn something new. The fundraising landscape is forever changing, and new generations of givers respond in different ways. As such, it is essential that you keep up-to-date with fundraising trends and ideas, so that your methods and techniques don’t become ineffective.
Actively encourage your regular donors to talk to their friends about your organisation and why they choose to give. ... By simply sharing stories about your organisation, they are raising awareness of the work you do and providing a valuable third party endorsement.
Giving donors (or potential donors) the opportunity to watch your programmes or projects in action can be a really effective way to grow your donations.
When you assume someone won’t want to give – you don’t even bother asking.
Raising more funds isn’t always about finding new donors, it’s about paying attention to the donors you already have.
It’s no secret that we are moving towards a cashless society – in fact, some would argue we are already there.
Fundraising is all about relationships. The more relationships you have and the deeper those relationships are, the more money you will raise. It’s simple maths.
How many times has someone mentioned they would buy a raffle ticket, make a donation or sponsor an event, and it failed to happen because you didn’t follow up?
By regularly attending business networking groups, you can develop relationships before you need to ask for support.
Everyone in your organisation should be involved in fundraising to some degree, and your trustees are no exception.
It is more effective to spend time searching for a handful of ‘great fit’ funders, and do your applications really well, than send out dozens of applications.
Fundraising events can feel like a whole lot of work for not much money, but they are a great way to raise your organization's profile - a chance to talk about your cause.