Taking fundraising into the future can be a nerve-wracking journey for charity leaders.
While developing programs, systems and initiatives is a gradual process, change can be met with resistance from members of the team and donors who are traditionally creatures of habit. This resistance can cause short-term disruption leading to a temporary drop in income.
That aside, modernising a fundraising model is essential to meet the responsibility to donors to spend gifts in the way that most benefits the cause. We’re in the middle of a digital revolution and with the internet, the Internet of Things, mobile apps and artificial intelligence at our fingertips, there’s no reason a charity shouldn’t be utilising developments to build income most effectively.
If your approach to fundraising isn’t fully immersed in the digital revolution, here are SupporterHub’s recommendations for how you can take a more progressive approach to fundraising.
Before making any changes, analyse existing programs and income and assess those which have been in place for longer than two years.
Just because something has always been done, it doesn’t mean it’s the most effective process or program. Run comprehensive reports from the past five years to identify peaks and troughs in income. If a program is on the steady decline, the data will confirm it’s time to direct time and resources elsewhere.
- Identify and trial new systems
Working with outdated systems can impact productivity and hinder results.
Research and trial an integrated database with a multifunctional capacity. Having all resources in one system will save subscription fees and build on the technological capabilities of the organisation. It will also free up the time of employees allowing them to focus on developing their role.
You can read more about choosing a database here.
- Build social media presence
Social media is the first place donors and potential supporters go when researching a charity. Followers want to learn about your mission and see for themselves that you’re credible and authentic. Many donors and potential donors now use the instant chat and direct message features on social media platforms as a customer service tool rather than phone or email.
Modernise fundraising by building an active social media presence on a minimum of two to three platforms. Research the platforms your ideal donors are using and start to build a solid profile making sure to utilise behind the scenes tools such as live video.
- Utilise the capacity of mobile devices
100% of donors have access to a mobile phone and modern fundraising requires a charity to meet supporters at their handheld device.
Some examples of how you can adopt a mobile fundraising strategy include:
- Optimise website for mobile use
- Develop a mobile app
- Signing up to roundup apps
- Adopt an SMS or TTG (text to give) strategy
- Collect donations via Mobile Pay or Apple Pay
- Recruit a consulting team
If your approach to fundraising hasn’t developed, engage with a team of consultants to identify areas for change.
Fundraising isn’t a competitive industry, so a consultant doesn’t necessarily need to be someone employed in an official capacity (although they can be).
Make up a focus group consisting of fellow charity leaders who can offer advice on the strategies they’re using. Donors and board members are also excellent candidates as they have inside knowledge of the charity combined with external experience that is likely to provide value. Always include someone with IT experience who can advise how developments in technology can benefit your approach.
A modern approach to fundraising is essential to keep up with the needs of your audience. To find out how SupporterHub can help modernise internal systems including email marketing, data tracking, reporting and donor database, sign up today and get 14 days free. Get started here.