The world of not-for-profit organisations has become rather crowded – And it’s only continuing to grow. So what can help your charitable organisation stand out from the rest? What can attract donors to give to your charity rather than elsewhere, to help your mission and further your worthy cause?
Friendraising could be just the thing to set your fundraising apart.
When it comes to fundraising, there are a lot of similarities with friendships. A donor needs to trust the charity they are giving their money to, and in return are loyal in their support. These relationships take work, commitment, investment and time.
Now imagine asking someone who wasn’t your friend for money. Asking for money always tends to feel a bit awkward, but wouldn’t you find it easier to ask for help and support from someone you have a relationship with? Wouldn’t that friendship that you’ve cultivated help you to ask for the support you need, even in the form of money?
That’s where Friendraising comes in.
What is Friendraising?
In simple terms, friendraising is simply the act of befriending a person or organisation in order to support a charity or not-for-profit organisation financially.
In 1992, Ken Burnett suggested that charities should treat donors as individuals. Understanding people on an individual level, looking at their donation history and their motivation to make those donations can help a charitable organisation to identify how they can nurture the donor relationships and encourage new ones.
What could Friendraising look like for your charitable cause?
Using the concept of Friendraising, your charity could try to establish meaningful, quality relationships with individuals or businesses in your community. This relationship should be authentic and not solely based on financial gain. A friendship is a mutually beneficial relationship – A friendraising relationship isn’t just about what you can gain from them, but what you can offer in return. You need to add value to their organisation and vice versa – And ideally the community you both serve.
Perhaps the underlying success that comes from Friendraising is the building of a community – An army of friends and supporters that care passionately about your cause and are committed to helping you achieve your goals. This network of supportive friends and allies are not going to want your charitable cause to fail.
Here’s an example. Let’s say your charity is animal welfare and rescue. What businesses and organisations could you forge a friendship with in your local community? Perhaps a pet shop, veterinary practice or local supermarket. Any organisation where you can meaningfully link your brand to theirs is a great place to start.
How would this friendship be mutually beneficial?
Well, the pet shop, vets or supermarket could champion your charity for you by sharing news, events, raising awareness and having donation boxes at their points of sale. They can be involved in any fundraising initiatives and have links to fundraisers and online donation pages on their websites.
They could donate a percentage of their profits at the end of each year to your cause. In return, you can share your partnership with them at every opportunity. Encourage supporters to shop at the local independent pet shop for all their animal needs. Share rave reviews of the local vets who have cared so kindly for the animals you have rescued, and signposting people to their care for their own pets.
Supermarkets are other larger organisations often need to show their commitment to their community via their Corporate Social Responsibility policy or fund – And helping your charitable cause is a perfect way to do it!
What about Friendraising with individual donors?
Friendraising is a sustainable way of fundraising – It’s not enough to just ask people for money every now and then. You need to actually invest in your relationship with your donors, not just appear out of thin air when you need money.
It’s so important to build a relationship with your donors (and potential donors!). Sure, many donor relationships might start with them making a one-off donation, but this could turn into a committed, loyal relationship with multiple donations over time if you nurture it right.
Afterall, you want your donor to give and then keep on giving. Friendraising transforms a one-off gift into a donor that is happy to keep on giving. Fundraising strategies need to be donor centred. This means helping your donors to feel a connection to your mission, and providing feedback that is personal to them showing the real, meaningful difference their donations are making.
Giving can feel really powerful for a donor. And you can help nurture this.
Donater can help you Friendraise, digitally
Here at Donater, we’re passionate about giving not-for-profit organisations and charities the tech they need to fundraise digitally in a way that’s straightforward for them and their donors.
We have a suite of digital fundraising tools designed with charities and the donor in mind, including mobile payment technology, online fundraising pages and embedded Donate Now buttons.