1. Analyze, plan, and decide!

Plan what you want to spend your limited resources on and choose a fundraising method that will make the most with the least investment of resources!

--> You may want to think about the following aspects here:

  • What experience do you have in fundraising? What are you good at?

  • What can you get volunteers to help you with?

  • What is the fundraising form that best fits your goals?

  • Do you want to fundraise because you need money fast?

  • Would a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign be suitable for you because you have a lot of dedicated followers?

  • Do you have a social media savvy volunteer? Would you prefer to fundraise with a communication campaign only?

  • Do you have a hefty database scattered here and there in Excel, but never use it effectively? Do you have time and want to look for a system to run it efficiently, whether it's a large mailer system or CiviCRM?

2. Find an efficient way to reach your target!

Most organisations use the same channels and tools to fundraise; success depends mostly on the consciously planned and effective communication.

Unfortunately, there are few channels that are completely free nowadays; as on FB, for example, you can only reach a fraction of your followers organically, but with a small investment you can still be successful.

--> So, what are the most basic channels that are relevant to most people?

  • The Social Media

    • Facebook - Organic posts are rarely enough, you often need to use paid presence. Optimally, all paid campaigns should be measurable, for which it is recommended to look for an online agency who will be happy to help you pro bono for a session or two to develop metrics that you can use on an ongoing basis from then on.

    • TikTok - An effective, highly targetable emerging platform that reaches up to age 30 target audience, at an affordable price.

    • Instagram - Mainly for cases where imagery and creative design can be the focus of our campaign.

  • Databases

    All organisations have a database of sorts, e.g.:

    • Newsletter subscribers,

    • 1% subscribers,

    • volunteers,

    • past donors,

    • association members,

    • event attendees,

ambassadors, etc.

Just look around! You're surrounded by lots and lots of data to process and use, available for free! This data has huge potential! It's just waiting to be used by you!

Remember to check or make sure that you have asked for their consent to be contacted for any data collection! GDPR obliges... Store this data properly, filtered - as most people manage it in Excel...

Use a mailing system (e.g., Sendinblue, MailChimp - free version included) or a CRM (CiviCRM).

Don't use an email account used for everyday correspondence to send to multiple addresses - this can cause serious problems in the long run, e.g. your emails can end up in spam.

3. Make sure that anyone who wants to donate to you, can pay you easily and efficiently.

  1. Have a card payment interface for one-off and recurring payments.

  2. Know who the donation is coming from at all times, so you can stay in touch over the long term, build a donor base around you, and collect regular donors.

Once you have analyzed and gathered all the tools and knowledge at your disposal, all you need is a good goal, a good message, a story that can persuade, convince or even shock your target group, and then you can start planning your campaign! Good luck!

Background illustration: Photo by Antoni Shkraba from Pexels / Pexels license