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5 Charity Fundraising Strategies


5 Charity fundraising ideas featured image
There are a number of different strategies for securing funds as a charity. Image credit: Mārtiņš Zemlickis

Charities and non-profits often rely on donors to carry out their work. This means finding, engaging, and retaining the right people to support your organisation. The right fundraising strategies are crucial for this.


Unfortunately, like any other organisation, charities operate in a competitive environment.


Charitable donors obviously want to know that their money is going to be used effectively. As a charity, your challenge is competing for donors’ attention, and convincing them that your cause is worth their time and money.


Today, we’re going to look at some of the most effective charity fundraising strategies around. But first, let’s look at the basics.


How to Create a Charity Fundraising Strategy


The first thing to understand is that there are a number of different kinds of fundraising strategies. First of all, different strategies target different kinds of donors, such as:

  • Normal members of the public,

  • Major donors,

  • Charitable legacy donors,

  • Corporate donors,

  • Statutory agencies and government donors.

Each of these categories require different strategies to target effectively.


Additionally, you have a range of options available to you to target each of these donors, from traditional in-person fundraising, to sophisticated digital campaigns.


Your goal should be to have a diverse range of funding streams, taking in each of these kinds of donors. With that in mind, here are five core strategies you can implement to ensure sustainable funding for your charity or non-profit.


1. Leverage Donor Data


Knowing who donates to your organisation and when is one of the greatest assets you have. This applies equally to securing new donors, and repeat donations. On the one hand, this helps you to analyse the kinds of people who are most likely to become donors, across:

  • Their age,

  • Location,

  • Gender,

  • Income,

  • Behaviour,

  • And more.

In other words, gathering donor data helps you to figure out the kinds of people to focus your efforts on.


Additionally, your campaign data will help you decide which specific strategies offer the best return on your investment. This includes measuring the success of your:

  • Messaging,

  • Different marketing channels,

  • Campaign timing,

  • Your internal processes.

Finally, putting data at the heart of your charity fundraising strategies allows you to craft more compelling campaigns. The more you can quantify the impact of each donation, the more easily you’ll secure future funding.


Using Data for charity fundraising
Analysing donor data helps you to make better decisions. Image credit: Scott Graham

2. Utilise Crowdfunding


Crowdfunding has exploded in popularity over the last decade. Essentially, this means targeting a large number of people online to contribute small donations. Usually, crowdfunding is carried out through known and trusted online platforms.


However, it’s worth keeping in mind that crowdfunding isn’t usually a long-term charity fundraising strategy.


Rather, it is most effective when you have a specific, short-term fundraising goal.


Let’s take a local football club as an example. If you were trying to secure funding for a one-off purchase like a team bus or your kit for the new season, crowdfunding would be an excellent option.


For the same team, crowdfunding wouldn’t be a sustainable fundraising model in the longer term. Read on for more effective long-term charity fundraising strategies.


3. Add Donation Matching to Your Charity Fundraising Strategies


Donation matching is one of the most effective ways to supercharge your fundraising efforts. This works as follows:

  1. You engage with a major or corporate donor,

  2. They agree to match future donations, usually by a fixed percentage,

  3. You advertise that for each new donation, you’ll also receive additional revenue from your corporate backer,

  4. More people will be encouraged to make donations, as they are confident that their money will go further, thanks to donation matching.

This is actually one of the most effective ways to bring major donors on board. We mentioned earlier that having a diverse range of funding streams is crucial for any charity or non-profit.


Big donors know this too.


Rather than giving you a lump sum, donation matching gives major funders confidence that they won’t be your only source of funding. Instead, their donations grow as the level of support you receive from other sources increases.


4. Social Media and User Generated Content


These days, social media is at the core of almost every charity fundraising strategy. This brings new opportunities to smaller organisations, who might not have the luxury of an army of volunteers.


Still, you need to know how to use social media effectively.


For example, just posting on Facebook asking for money is unlikely to get you far. Instead, you need to know how to engage your audience. Firstly, to secure donations, but also to grow your reach online, and find new potential donors.


One of the best ways to do this is through user generated content.


Essentially, this means encouraging your existing audience of supporters and donors to create content for you, which you then share on your own social media. The reason that this is effective is that people are more likely to take an action when they see their peers doing it.


Common types of user generated content for charities include posts about your supporters’ own fundraising initiatives, or even photos of them visiting your office to make a donation.


The Little Princess Trust are masters of this. This is a charity which encourages people to donate their hair for young people undergoing chemotherapy. Their socials are awash with user generated content like this:


Charity fundraising through user generated content example.
User generated content is incredibly effective on social media. Image credit: The Little Princess Trust

5. Hire a Fundraising Consultant


To ensure successful and sustainable charity fundraising strategies, it’s often best to bring in the experts. Whether you’re a major charity, or a small community organisation, professional fundraising consultants allow you to get on with promoting your particular cause.


Many smaller organisations simply don’t have the time, resources or expertise to effectively secure long-term funding.


Additionally, dedicated funding consultants have the expertise and knowledge to help you through the process of applying for and securing major funding from government sources, statutory agencies or other major donors.


Every charity needs a bespoke approach to meet its specific strategic and financial goals. Speak to S3 Solutions today to find out more about how we can help to grow your organisation.