Top tips for a tip-top charity campaign

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​David Jeffcoat gives some pointers on making 2015 a year of success.

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29th January 2015 by Graham Martin 0 Comments

David Jeffcoat

David Jeffcoat

With the start of a new year, many charities face new threats to core funding and new challenges about diversifying sources of income and energising their approach to fundraising. But what makes a campaign successful?

David Jeffcoat of Glasgow-based chartered accountants Alexander Sloan, which has clients in the charity sector, put together what he sees as five key considerations.

He said: “If your charity has a big event coming up in 2015, it’s maybe worth thinking through some of the points below, set a target, formalise a plan, ensure you have people who can help achieve the target, develop case studies and promotional material, consider links with local businesses, newspapers and ensure that the charity has a sound social media platform on which to build when required.”

Five tips for success

1. Set a plan/target for the year ahead

Sound planning and targets are crucial. Including fundraising in the strategic business plan will emphasise that it is a budgeted income stream in itself rather than just a bit of extra income.

Targets need to be realistic and the strategy to achieve the targets needs to be clear. Goals should be quantifiable so that they can be benchmarked at the end of the
year and improvements can be considered the next year.

2. Get the right people involved

The right people are important, both in the day-to-day organisation as volunteers or staff and also in governance roles, such as board members.   

Fundraising with grant-giving organisations tends to be more formal and needs to be carefully considered. People with backgrounds in fundraising will offer practical insight and be a valuable port of call prior to applications being sent out.  

A charity’s board of trustees may consist of people with finance, legal or charity work backgrounds but a fundraising or marketing background is fast becoming a very useful attribute for a charity board member.

Many grant-giving organisations award to particular causes, so any requests should be tailored accordingly.Fundraising with the public is different and often needs to be more engaging, effectively selling what it is that the charity does. Giving members of staff the opportunity to take on this task could boost morale and prove a more valuable use of their time.

3. Sell the charity’s work

Successful charities have adopted common themes, such as focusing on case studies and illustrations of where any donation is going. This is an incredibly strong influencer in donors’ minds. Every charity should be able to explain the tangible difference the charity can make if 50 people each donate £50.   

4. Raise the charity’s profile

Linking up with local businesses can help raise profile. The fit needs to be right, but many businesses want to help local charities, either through association
or sponsorship. Local newspapers are also a good source to tap into. Many will be keen to take on stories to fill their pages, and making contact with the newsdesk to inform them of upcoming events, a celebrity visit or a photo opportunity can develop valuable contacts. 

Social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, are now an obvious way to keep people up to date with what the charity is getting up to and their role in raising the
charity’s profile really kicks in when followers have a reason to post a link or re-tweet a message.

5. Don’t forget anniversaries and big events

A milestone anniversary of the charity, a move to new premises or the start of a new project or service are things to shout about. Ideally, there should be a good amount
of lead-in time and a number of events can be run around it.

Anniversaries  are a great start and it’s possible to get tie-ins with key funders, such as the local council, local business and local newspapers.