Fundraising in challenging times

Andy Clayton

In: News 

Fundraising, over the last few weeks has become that bit harder, with many income streams being significantly impacted by the current climate. National and local charities alike have been forced to cancel and postpone events which are a major source of income, in addition to the growing pressures they are facing as a result of home working, shop closures and increasing strain on many of their services.

So, what can your organisation do to fill the income gap created by the fallout from COVID-19?

Keep up the proactive comms

It’s crucial to continue to tell your story; communication with your supporters and members is vital, to let them know you need their help at this time and there are still ways they can get involved and support you. Utilise all channels available to you, through print and direct marketing, social media, your website and email communications.

Maximising the opportunity to make an impact has never been more important. Consider where your audience is currently located; we are already seeing a significant increase in direct mail campaigns for many clients across the charity sector as they look to get in front of supporters who are working remotely.
Andy Clayton
Head of Client Strategy, Ruddocks

Families are currently dealing with having to home school, and keeping children entertained and stimulated whilst the restrictions around social interactions are in place, so if you have a children’s offering this is good opportunity to solve a real problem whilst increasing engagement at the same time.

Event cancellations

Where you have been forced to cancel events, you could look at replacing these with an alternative ‘virtual’ event, for example a fundraising conference could be run online as a webinar or perhaps changed into a podcast. A public participation event could instead be an activity (or series of) that people can do in their homes or garden, for example a virtual walk, cycling or running challenges or other activities families could do together.

Stay in regular contact with those people signed up to your events and let them know of other ways they can support you in the meantime. You may have prepared literature for an event, be it a fundraising pack or communications to send to signed up participants about your charity, why not revise the contents and send a direct mail piece to encourage people to get involved in other ways, through other initiatives such as regular giving, in memory donations or lotteries – this can of course, all be supported by your digital marketing.

The current situation will eventually ease so it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. Plan for future events that you have recently postponed and build flexibility in at the initial planning stages; get your marketing and communications as ready as you can over the coming weeks so you’re in the best possible position to hit the ground running when life begins to return to a level of normality.

How can we help?

At Ruddocks, we understand how hard you work to develop and grow your income streams and how the situation we are all currently facing is likely to be affecting you so if you would like to have a chat to see how we can help you to successfully navigate through the current climate please get in touch.