How will you fundraise?

Who should carry out the fundraising?

The choice of individual or group to fundraise depends on the nature of the activity, time and resources available, and the ultimate objectives of both the fundraising strategy and the organisation's overall business or strategic plan.

Potentially anybody with the right skills can conduct fundraising activities. In certain situations, a member of staff will be the right person, in others, a volunteer, trustee or management committee.

Good fundraisers usually possess some of the following skills:

  • A belief in the organisation or cause
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Planning and organisational skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Experience in finance and budgeting
  • Creativity and flair
  • A determined and enthusiastic personality

The best way to proceed is to form a fundraising group where members can encourage, support and learn from each other and make sure things are done on time.

If you do not have people with the right skills or experience in your organisation then your local county voluntary council (CVC) or WCVA's Help Desk may be able to give you advice and support.

Other options include an outside agency, fundraising consultant or freelance fundraiser, or suppliers with specific skills such as writing successful bids.

However you decide to go about it remember that you need to co-ordinate activities. Keep everyone in your group or organisation up to date with progress and any results.

Fundraising targets

Be realistic when setting fundraising targets as not all fundraising activities will deliver results immediately. For example, major donors may have given their first gift some time ago, after attending an event or receiving a mail shot.

Developing and nurturing this relationship may take time and it is difficult to predict when the next major gift will be made.

When establishing fundraising targets you will need to consider the following:

  • Work towards establishing a more secure long-term income base
  • What is the impact of future development on the amount of income needed?
  • Plans need to be costed and any shortfalls in income identified
  • Efforts should be targeted towards boosting reserves
  • Work must continue on retaining existing income

Fundraising budget

Once a fundraising strategy or plan is established, the next step is to consider the budget needed to finance the planned activity. A fundraising budget might include:

  • Staff time, travel and expenses
  • Venue and equipment hire
  • Marketing and promotional costs
  • Stationery and printing
  • Volunteers and trustee time and expenses

It can also prove useful to calculate the cost effectiveness of a fundraising activity or plan and use the figure to determine whether the activity should go ahead or take place in the future.