Fundraising Ideas | Different fundraising channels
Since the 1970s charities have become much more sophisticated in how they fundraise, and employ a range of fundraising channels and tools. For example, direct marketing is still the workhorse of many charities' voluntary income, but various fundraising and commercial ideas have been applied to make it very sophisticated. A/B testing, list-swapping, segmentation and data overlays are just some common practices nowadays.
Charities now will often use a mix of direct marketing, events, grants, legacies, major gifts, digital, telephone and local or community fundraising to generate ongoing income. In so doing, they often outsource some of these activities to specialist agencies.
Business ideas for fundraising
Charities also adopt and adapt ideas and practices from the commercial sector. Oxfam's national network of charity shops, emulated by many other charities now, is run as a separate trading company, which donates its profits to the charity.
Many charities generate income by selling their services to government agencies under contract to run and implement projects.
Many digital business ideas have been adapted for and by charities. Ideas such as affiliate marketing, rounding up donations as micro-donations, and online shopping are all now popular with many charities.
The idea of fundraising from mobile phones is also being tested by many charities now, whether it is in the form of SMS text giving, regular donations from the donor's phone bill, or NFC (near field communication) or swiping your phone for contactless donations.
Some of these fundraising innovative ideas have been generated from within charity but an ever growing number are being conceived and made available as services by those outside the sector such as marketing, telecoms, and data experts and philanthropy enterpreneurs.
Some ideas that help charities fundraise are well established and arguably underpin all other fundraising activities, no matter how sophisticated or advanced. Despite the growing dominance of digital communications, it is still true that 'people give to people'. The most effective approach in fundraising is often a face to face ask.
Simplicity of the ask is also important. Prospective donors need to be asked in a clear manner and given an easy way in which to respond. Add too many options and they will walk away, throw the direct mail letter in the bin, or simply delete the email.
Asking the right person at the right time is also a key element of successful fundraising activities. For this reason many charities work hard to understand their donors and what makes them choose to give. In this way they try to find more similar prospective donors and further hone their messages to existing supporters.
It is cheaper to retain a donor than it is to recruit a new one. This truism is at the heart of a fundraising manager's job in deciding which ideas to stick with and which new ideas to test. Charities should also be prepared to generate ideas that keep donors loyal to the charity, rather than focus on how to secure new donors.
Similarly, securing a regular donation is far more effective than securing one-off gifts. For this reason charities promote direct debits as a method of giving, together with payroll giving, and in some cases membership. All these ideas ensure that an initial fundraising ask generates an ongoing stream of income, helping the charity to budget ahead.
For more information on how your charity can benefit from fundraising creative ideas, please call 0845 094 8033 or go to www.thebestoffundraising.co.uk
Some Ideas To Help Fundraise
- Charity sponsored events
- Digital Fundraising
- Sponsored runs
- Sky Dive
- Charity travel challenges
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