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strategy and fundraising
With the fundraising of most charities currently disrupted by the coronavirus crisis, now is the time to be planning future strategy. In doing so, it is particularly important to consider how the crisis may have changed the fundraising landscape for your charity for the longer term.
in the short term, the disruption will continue but, as we emerge from this crisis, some things may have changed which will impact on how you will raise funds in the future. It will be important therefore to review both the internal landscape (how you are raising funds now) and the external landscape (the things that will impact on how you do this in future). In short, your fundraising opportunities are likely to have changed and so your fundraising strategy needs to take account of this.
The place to start is a fundraising opportunities review, which then feeds into the development of your new fundraising strategy.
Questions to Ask
Some helpful questions to ask include: Are we still investing in the right areas (and how do we know)? Is the weighting of our fundraising strategy still correct, or do we need to adjust it to the changed circumstances? Has the crisis and its aftermath thrown up any new opportunities for our charity (such as an increase in digital fundraising)? Where will future growth come from? Can we still rely on our traditional income sources or do we need to diversify more (such as developing major gifts, for example)? Have we got the skills and capacity we need for the new environment? What training might we need to ensure we make the most of future opportunities? What is the scale of the opportunities we face (both existing and new ones)? What could we realistically expect to achieve in each area?
The review is a future facing version of a fundraising audit, with the emphasis firmly on the opportunities. Instead of drilling into great detail about current performance, as an audit would, it instead looks at future potential. Its findings are then fed into the development of your fundraising strategy, which then sets out what it will take to exploit the opportunities, as well as setting targets and timescales and developing the narrative for each area of fundraising. In order to be prepared for the new fundraising environment once the current crisis is over, now is a good time to be conducting your review and developing your new strategy. Then you will be ready to maximise your income in the “new normal”.
Need a Hand?
In recent months, we have conducted reviews for a wide range of charities, which have identified where they should be looking to invest for the future. In some cases, this has meant a need to refocus the fundraising team or to restructure how fundraising is actually delivered. In each case, the review provided a firm foundation on which to build the subsequent fundraising strategy.
Opportunities reviews can be undertaken either by your inhouse staff, or by external experts, who bring with them their experience of many fundraising operations and can provide greater objectivity, albeit for a modest cost.
If you need to undertake a fundraising opportunities review and would like external support, please call Simon George on 01785 663600 for a free initial chat. It might just be the kickstart your fundraising needs in the changed environment.
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