Well first, use what you already have but better – you don’t need to invest heavily in new systems, or completely change the way you work to successfully fundraise. So start with what you have; for example, if you are running an event, is this a scope to invite donors along to this, or kindly get the public involved? – maybe you and your stuff, all take part of the fundraising event to raise money for your charity, so you could ask the public to get involved in raising money too.
If you are a small charity, I recommend starting with your local community and finding if they would help to raise money. You can also go to local companies to sponsor your events, in return for getting a higher profile locally and some good news in the local press about them.
Also, think about how you can bust the impact of your events, like using social media to promote them to the wider public and perhaps get them to sign up,
You could also give your events more impact. For example, by twitting live to your followers at an event; or posting pictures and videos onto your twitter stream or facebook page while the event happening.
This can help to give people, even who aren’t there more of a sense of what you are about and also keep then engaged.
– What communication do you produce? do you have a newsletter that can be sent to donors with a cover letter as part of their regular donor communications program, that can help keep you at the further of their minds throughout the year
– Are you in social media? if so, can more of your messages be about fundraising and if not, is it worth considering building your online profile,
My advice would be to start with one channel, be clear on what it is for, before launching into the next.
If you are communicating with people via email, think about subscribing to an email marketing service to help you manage those communications.
If you have a website, get a donate bottom on there. It doesn’t matter if, to begin with, you are hardly receiving any donations through it. You are promoting the fact that people can give and making easy for them to do so.
If you are using an email marketing service, you can set up your emails in advance, and sent them out as people sign up to your list, so you can create a series of welcoming emails that automatically go on as someone subscribe
Similarly, you can automate your twitter, LinkedIn, Google plus and Facebook updates by using various platforms. You can literally set up all your messages to run for a week, or a month through one platform, and then all you need to do, during the week, is to check in and make sure you are involved in any conversations that your messages might have generated and this is a fantastic way to save time,
Next, you want to break tasks into manageable chunks.
You should know that there are certain days when you have to deal with certain aspects of your work. Yet, you do need a degree of flexibility with this. For example, if you fundraise on Tuesday and a donor wants to meet you on Friday, you have to meet them anyway.
Maybe managing fundraising within your limited time can be easier if you spend 30 minutes a day on research, or maybe give over a Monday morning to research or update your social media for the week, setting up your automate posts.
Yet be careful, do not over-automate. Social media works when you are present. So while you automate, you still want to check in each day to comment, retweet and keep engaged.
Now, you want to share the load: Who else can share fundraising tasks in your team? if the answer is no one, is there someone you can bounce ideas off, or ask to be a fresh pre-advisor on your funding proposal? If the answer is still no, maybe you have a trusted associate working on another charity who can perform that role, or perhaps get a mentor so you can offload and bounce ideas.
Who deals with admin in your team? could he add, gift recording and managing the thank you process,
What about research? different people can help build your prospect list. And if you have no one, get some good system in place.
If you want to avoid getting completely overwhelmed, decide to focus on getting really good at one thing. So, if you want to improve your trust funding hit rate, focus on getting systems in place for research, proposal writing, and reporting. Find some prospect that really fits with what you are trying to do, and get your case for support tuned, and ready to go. Or perhaps you have a campaign coming up that you would to get wider support for, and have decided you need to focus on social media, spend time on deciding your strategy, choosing your platform and engaging the audience. Or maybe you want to get your board more involved in fundraising and need to raise awareness by meeting each of them individually and getting an understanding of what they would like or need. choose one area and focus. it doesn’t mean don’t do anything else, but it means this should be your priority.
Fundraising is about identification, cultivation, socialization and recognition. Make sure you don’t walk those stages alone.