Focus on Funding: Fundraising in the “new Normal”

Focus on Funding: Fundraising in the “new Normal”

19 May 2020 by Gordon Kane

During our Focus on Funding Week, we asked charity fundraising expert Gordon Kane to guest blog, sharing wisdom for what fundraising might look like post-Covid-19

What should our approach to fundraising be in the new normal?

In a word: sustainability.

But don’t wait till lockdown is over to fashion a new sustainable fundraising approach.

Do it now.

Why? Because your supporters will want to know how Lockdown is affecting you, NOW.

Now is the time to tell them how you are being impacted. Now is when they are going to be most receptive to your news, your plight … and your fundraising asks.

After all, if your organisation is put out of business, or is severely hampered in its operations by coronavirus, who’s going to tackle the wrongs in the world that need righting on their behalf?

What fundraising method is most sustainable and crisis-resistant?

That’s an important question to ask yourself.

The answer is a method which is going to be relatively unaffected by sudden emergency situations, both now and in the future, so that funding keeps flowing in uninterrupted.

Enter … Regular Giving by Direct Debit, Standing Order or Debit Card.

Regular giving isn’t just stable and sustainable. It’s a great method for growing your funding too, as you’ll see in a moment.

And it’s NOT difficult or expensive to execute.

Even small organisations, like parish churches, can raise money this way, even when times are most difficult.

Did you know that by signing up just 20 supporters per annum (that’s less than 2 per month), with each supporter donating £20 per month, you would raise:

• £4,800 by the end of the first year

• £24,000 for your organisation ‘each’ by Year 5

Even small organisations, like parish churches, can raise money this way, even when times are most difficult.

The best way to recruit monthly donors? Two things, achievable by any small church or community group: (1) public meetings and (2) email campaigns.

Public meetings

Public meetings are important. They give you the platform you need to ask outright for regular monthly donations AND they allow you to collect email addresses which give you a second chance to put your case for regular giving in the future. Here’s what to do:

  1. Advertise an event in your church bulletin with an interesting topic and an enthusiastic ‘expert’ speaker

  2. Ask people who attend the event to sign up for email news

You are now free to provide supporters with the latest news and developments about your work, AND to send them fundraising emails asking for support for your work too. As your email list grows, you then move onto:

Launch a Fundraising Email Campaign

• Send 7 fundraising emails to your email list over a 10-day period

• Those emails need to be LONG to engage supporters

• We are talking about 800-1,500 words per email (yes – really!)

Plan it now.

Do it next week. Don’t overthink it. Just make sure that your emails demonstrate a critical need (or two) for funding NOW and in the AFTERMATH of the coronavirus crisis.

An email fundraising campaign enables you to build your email list and start recruiting regular givers straight away, even without the need for public meetings.

You do this by: requesting that your email list FORWARD your fundraising emails to their closest friends and family members and include an opt-in for email news.

It doesn’t matter if you only have 100 names on your email list, you will immediately bring in fresh funding and recruit new regular giving donors.

And probably more than you think. And it won’t cost you a penny. And you will immediately have solid evidence to present to your board for investing in future email marketing and regular giving strategies.

Last month, I produced just such an email campaign for an organisation with 1,900 people on the email list.

They had never asked for money by email before. It generated £9,000 in one-off donations and £3,000+ in new monthly donations.

Of course, the £3,000+ in regular giving was the value of gifts for the first twelve months only.

The more remarkable figure was the cumulative total that those new regular giving donors will contribute in the years ahead.With attrition rates applied conservatively, I calculated that the true worth of those regular gifts would be £12,144 by Year 10 – that’s more than was raised in one-off donations.

But the best thing?

Most of the regular donations that were set up in 2020 will continue rolling in until the year 2030, and beyond, without fail – even should another international disaster hit.

Gordon Kane joins us for our #FocusonFunding daily webinar on Thursday

“Planning to Fundraise In the New Normal”

2pm-3pm, Thursday 21st May

Book your FREE place here

Gordon Kane

Gordon Kane

Gordon is a Fundraising & Marketing Consultant and founder/CEO of Bloom Fundraising. After a career in the commercial sector, Gordon began working in the charity sector in 1999. He worked as director of fundraising for the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children from 2010 till 2016, before setting up Bloom Fundraising in 2016, providing strategic consultancy and fundraising services to clients in England, Wales and Scotland.

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