Gift Aid is a wonderful thing. There’s no denying that it could be made easier, less bureaucratic, but the simple fact is that there is probably no more cost-effective way of adding 25% to your donations. All you have to do is get a completed Gift Aid form from your donor, record the details of their donation and submit it to HMRC and a few weeks later a cheque arrives. To make life even easier, we’ve developed GiftAiderTM which will automate your submissions. Put simply, Gift Aid is the icing on the cake for fundraisers.
You may not have heard of it, but Google Ad Grants is the non-profit edition of AdWords, Google’s online advertising tool. As part of its nonprofit programme, Google gives eligible charities $10,000 (£5,800) a month to spend on AdWords, Google’s pay-per-click advertising system. Not only that, if you spend at least $9,500 (£5,545) in two months of the previous 12 and fulfil other criteria, you can also apply for Grantspro. If approved, Google will give your charity $40,000 a month to spend. That’s a whopping $480,000 (£280,000) a year.
Dan Cobley, Managing Director, Google UK says: “Through Google for Nonprofits, we want to support the incredible work of charitable organisations in the UK by eliminating some of the technical challenges and costs that they face. We hope our technology will help them to reach more donors, improve operations and raise awareness so they can focus on changing the world for the better.”
Get found quicker on Google by applying for your Google Grant today. All charities registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales are eligible.
Your fundraising goals should be a stretch, but not to the point that they become impossible. As you get closer to your target amount, raise it to encourage people to continue donating. Avoid reaching the situation where prospective donors decide not to donate because you have almost reached your goal.
A fundraiser or charity employee has to sell the cause to encourage people to take part. If you are passionate about what your charity does, it shows and makes it harder for a potential supporter not to get hooked.
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn are just some of the tools that can help you promote your charity and send messages to volunteers about how they can help. It’s easy, quick, free and the message can be spread fast to different audiences.
Social media is about building a long-term relationship with your supporters, and this could be more impactful than frequent calls for donations. Look at other things you can ask your community to do to support you like sharing an image, telling their friends about your work or changing their profile picture.
Don’t forget to share images in your posts; a recent survey found that those organizations who add an image to their pages raised on average 33% more than those who didn’t.
Work on relationships with people already supporting you. If your existing supporters feel appreciated they are more likely to champion your cause to family and friends. Make sure to always acknowledge each donation, if you don’t, donors may feel disaffected and are less likely to donate in the future.
Many small charities are often carrying out 6 or 7 different types of fundraising activity at any given time, and often doing all of them at a sub-optimal level. Pick one or two areas to focus on and really make them shine.
If you think that anybody can fundraise you are mistaken. Fundraising takes skills and hard work; the best fundraisers can make a huge difference to the fortunes of your charity. Appoint a smart, fast-learning team and offer them plenty of training and support. Bear in mind that it’s important to hire a fundraiser to raise money and not because you believe they have an address book full of instant donors.
Most Trustees would like to raise money simply by broadcasting how great their cause is, how great their need is, and then waiting for donations to roll in. However, even the best newsletters and media articles don’t raise much money. Asking people directly and passionately raises money, and there’s no shortcut to this. However, stopping people in the street is more likely to irritate than enthuse them; media advertising is generally ineffective (except if you’re a children or animal charity), so if you want people to give you money, be prepared to ask for it with a proud, direct and passionate ask, whether it is in person, over the telephone, by letter or to a room full of supporters.
Be specific in what you ask for; there is no such thing as giver-fatigue, however there is a nagging fear in most people’s minds that their donation is not being well spent, that it will go on administration or fundraising.
The last few years have been particularly tough for the charity sector as it’s had to find new ways to operate and interact with the government whilst meeting the needs of those it serves.
A period of economic growth followed swiftly by recession has seen income levels under pressure at exactly the time when charity services are most needed. With fewer corporate donations and government grants available to charities, you need to ensure that fundraising is at the top of your list of income priorities.
During the next two weeks we will be posting a daily strategy / piece of advice which will help take your fundraising to the next level.
Day 1: Remember that fundraising takes time
Raising money from donations is not an instant task, nor a quick one. And of course, the bigger the amount of money, the longer preparation takes and the longer lead time needed. Any organisation which wants to increase its income level from donations should not expect to see a return before 18 months.