Today more than ever charities need to be able to meet the pressures of maintaining sufficient levels of income from a number of streams and remain agile, adapting strategies and introducing new income streams when needed. This is where a strong fundraising strategy is key.

When we are approached by organisations for support to develop a fundraising strategy they are usually looking to achieve one or more of the following aims:
• To continue current work
• To expand services into new areas of work
• To reduce the risk of over-reliance on a single source of income
• To build up reserves
• To raise more regular long-term funding

A well-developed fundraising strategy will help to provide clarity about your organisation’s aims and priorities while also providing a ‘reality check’ to ensure  these priorities are realistic and achievable. Through the careful research and scoping of opportunities, the strategy will introduce a more targeted approach, increasing the likelihood of success and most effective use of time.

Another, often overlooked benefit of the fundraising strategy is that it encourages a shared responsibility for fundraising across the organisation. This is increasingly important as the new CC20 guidelines from the Charity Commission emphasises that trustees have responsibility for fundraising and should be aware of the strategy and activities taking place.

The scope and depth of a fundraising strategy depends very much on the activity. For example, a three-year fundraising strategy aligned to a business plan will look quite different to fundraising for a one-off occurrence, such as a Capital appeal or a big event. It’s important to remember that while the strategy is a ‘road map’ it should be subject to change as external factors require.

If your organisation is thinking of producing a strategy in-house then it can be very helpful to look online for templates or to larger charities who publish their Fundraising Strategies online. If you are producing a strategy in-house then it may be helpful to note that in very simple terms a fundraising strategy needs to incorporate the following information:
1) Organisational information – vision, mission etc.
2) Objectives of the strategy
3) Resources available
4) Current income
5) An exploration of potential funding – by fundraising area (e.g Major Donors, Legacies, Trusts and Foundations)
6) Fundraising plan – what are you going to do in relation to the potential funding, who is going to do it and by when?

We have supported a number of organisations by offering strategic support and workshops to help facilitate the development of  a strategy. We also offer a full report service which is bespoke to meet the needs of your organisation but usually includes:
• A detailed review of your organisations current status
• Scoping of competitors and a review of current trends
• An exploration of opportunities
• Recommendations
• An action plan

If you would like to find out more about how we can help your organisation develop a future proof fundraising strategy then get in touch!