The new year is fast approaching, and despite fundraising plans continuing to be altered due to the pandemic, we as a sector must begin to plan for the year ahead to ensure we are meeting fundraising targets and supporting those in need.
Here are five essential steps to beginning any new year planning:
1. Take a step back and review
Has the messaging you have been working with the past year been successful in terms of donations received and new donors engaged?
Planning for the new year is a great time to gather all your collateral and review whether you are raising awareness of your cause in a way that is understood by current and future donors. If maintaining the loyal donors you have already is key, look at ways you can keep them engaged with invites to events and newsletters with updates on your work.
If your cause is particularly focusing efforts on catching the eye of new donors, look at social media and how you can present yourself in different spaces. See how City Food Share used leaflets to reach new donors.
2. Standing out
Standing out in a busy sector can be tough but there are easy ways to increase your profile. By focusing on what you offer as a charity and showcasing that through celebrating your milestones, curating catchy blogs for your website and LinkedIn, and by being present in the community space, your charity will be seen by the community and awareness will grow.
For example, Vauxhall City Farm focuses on how the urban farm is used for educational, recreational and therapeutic activities, offering clear messaging and allowing donors to understand what they do and why they need the donations to support this.
3. Audience is key
Audiences are changing as digital fundraising becomes more commonplace. UK Fundraising recently reported that Gen Z & Millennials could be the biggest givers this Christmas, showing that younger donors are becoming more and more engaged with causes.
With £5.4billion donated to charity between January and June 2020, an increase of £800 million compared to the same period in 2019, according to CAF’s 2020 Giving Report, there has never been a better time to review who your audience profile is and ensure your messaging delivers.
4. Innovation and digital fundraising
Charities across the board have taken to digital fundraising platforms during lockdown. A recent survey from digital fundraising platform DONATE reveals that 52% of the charities using their platform had seen text giving emerge as a new and important channel during lockdown.
Religious charities and rotary clubs, in particular, have taken to digital fundraising to make up for income lost by lockdowns and a lack of fundraising events to support their work. For many causes, like St Andrew’s Church in Enfield, digital fundraising has been a lifeline during lockdown, with many charities expected to carry on the channel regularly due to ease and newfound familiarity.
5. Do we begin to plan fundraising events?
After a tough year, the charity sector needs to look forward and plan fundraising events to support. Planning for a virtual fundraising event that could be switched to a physical event if possible, is a good place to start concentrating on.
Whether it's a virtual festival like The CBA Festival of Archeology, hosted in the summer with webinars and workshops, or a text raffle like Packed With Smiles’ recent community raffle with 50 lots up for grabs, there are plenty of opportunities to fundraise digitally in 2021, even when physical events return.
The New Year is all about looking forward, and 2021 is a chance to put our 2020 knowledge to good use by adapting and learning from what this year has taught us. We hope these 5 tips help you to take a step back, review and begin to make tentative plans for the year ahead.
If your charity is looking to go digital with its fundraising this Christmas, New Year and beyond, register with DONATE and receive donations through text, web and contactless giving.