Are all your ducks in a row when it comes to fundraising?
This article will help you to identify the resources your charity already has in place and how much capacity you have to undertake fundraising.
What do you need for successful fundraising?
1. A clear vision that communicates your organisation’s aims and values
To persuade other people to support your charity, you need to be clear about what you are trying to achieve. Not all charities have vision statements, but they all have charitable objects that describe what they were set up to do. These can be seen on the Charity Commission’s website. If you don’t know what yours are, have a look now.
2. A strategy and business plan showing how your organisation plans to meet its aims
How does the work you are fundraising for fit with the charity’s overall strategy and plans? How does it contribute to achieving the charity’s vision and charitable objects?
3. A good understanding of your organisation’s finances and budget
Make sure you are familiar with your charity’s most recent published financial statements or accounts.
Did you make a surplus or a loss last year? What is the level of unrestricted reserves?
You may be asked questions about your organisation’s financial position and if there’s anything unusual you should be able to explain it.
If you are fundraising for a project put together a budget and know your figures.
4. Evidence of the impact and the outcomes of your work
It’s easy to tell people what you do: the services and activities you deliver, but harder to describe the changes that occur as result of your work. Funders want to know about the impact you have and how you can prove that what you do is making a difference.
5. A case for support
The case for support is the foundation on which all your fundraising applications are built. It is a written document that explains the need for your service or project, the difference it will make, and why it matters. It explains why your charity needs funding, how much funding you need and how donors can support you. It includes evidence of impact and compelling stories that illustrate how your charity brings about change.
6. Time and resources, including fundraising knowledge and expertise
Capacity is a big issue for smaller voluntary organisations, with both time and resources in short supply. Fundraising is not just about asking, it is also about keeping up to date with funding opportunities and researching them. And it’s about thanking donors and building relationships with them. This can take a lot of time. Do you know which types of fundraising work best for your organisation? Reviewing what you’ve done, and how well it worked, can help you to plan ahead and use your limited resources wisely.
Without asking for money your charity won’t have any. Asking, even in writing, can feel unnatural and awkward. Having all your ducks in a row will help you to ask because you will be clear about what you want to achieve, why it’s important to do it and how much money you need.
Don’t have a case for support? Don’t have time to research funders?
Do get in touch for a chat about how I can help you.