The majority of social enterprises and registered charities need to fundraise either to survive, expand & develop, respond to growing needs, reduce dependency, or create a viable & sustainable organisation. The challenge is both in accessing what funding is available and if possible generating your own income from activities that have a commercial basis. This requires specific new approaches and different skills
All the research shows that the approach is critical. You have to ask, be clear exactly why you want the money making it easy for the donor to respond. You need to recognise and `trigger ` the donor into giving for whatever reason they decide such as individual altruism, personal reason or on behalf of a benefactor because you met criteria.
Selling in a marketplace
Fundraising is selling. By focusing on specific projects and outcomes you must enthuse donors. You need to show people why your work is important and then persuade them to give. People give to areas they have heard about so building your profile is important. People prefer a `menu` of giving options and knowing what donations will buy is attractive. Relationship building is critical as you want people to give repeatly. So thanking people is critical as is reporting back, sharing ideas , and meeting them on regular basis.
Networks & Knowledge
Successful fundraisers have a number of key skills and qualities including enthusiasm , commitment, persuasiveness, confidence, persistence, truthfulness and the ability to ask dealing with countless rejections. Most of all contacts as one key contact or network can open 1000 doors via local or nation networks etc. Good updated databases are required with good social skills and the imagination to present the work in exciting and imaginative ways using new opportunities and approaches.
Fundraising for specific projects is far easier than general costs. Structuring your work into attractive projects is more likely to be successful if you detail the PEST needs, set SMART outcomes , itemised components ,demonstrate good value and relevance to the donor. You need to test you ideas detailing why support it; what type of donor; what difference would it make; why you; how much required; and how sustainable.
Who and why
Fundraising can be led by the Chair, committee, senior staff, a volunteer or a professional. A junior fundraiser will cost £30K with a target of £120K per year after 3 years .You need to be clear about the objectives of such a post is it alternative funds, expansion, local funding, appeals, profile raising etc. Alternatively you can look to Cara community services to provide a flexible option of outsourcing the function or providing management support services to assist you develop `in-house` knowledge and skills. The advantages are that you are not taking the risks associated with employment or the overheads but are focused on obtaining the results required to justify your investment.
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