Spring Forward and March Ahead Into Future Fundraising

This week we’ve seen in the Spring Equinox – The official start of Spring in line with the astronomical calendar. 

The end of Winter is symbolic of new beginnings and fresh starts, the beginning of things blooming and generally a sense of new life. So it makes sense that this time in March is an excellent time to have a look at your charity fundraising efforts and prepare for the year ahead. 

March forward with plenty of plans to take your fundraising successfully into the new season and rest of the year. As we all know in the fundraising world – It’s vital to always be thinking ahead.  

Here are some things to think about to ready your charity to spring forward into future fundraising this March. 

Reflect on the last year

March tends to bring with it year-end so it’s a great time to take a closer look at your fundraising campaigns from over the last year. Reflect on what worked well, what could be improved upon and most importantly, what brought in the most donations? 

Some questions to ask:

  • Which fundraisers were a success? 
  • Which didn’t meet your targets or expectations? 
  • What was your ROI? 

The answers to these questions will influence how you plan your fundraising calendar and help you to identify areas to boost donations. 

Practise gratitude

Now is a great time to thank all of your donors for their donations throughout the past year. Saying thank you and showing your donors your appreciation for their support is a vital way of recognising how important each and every donation is, and showing exactly what that money has gone towards. 

How has their donation benefitted your organisation? Show them! Not only does this show your gratitude, it also encourages retention – Donors are much more likely to continue giving to your cause if they see where their money is going, the incredible work it is going towards and your appreciation for every penny. 

How can you say thank you? Depending on the size of your organisation and the volume of donors you need to contact, you could consider a handwritten letter to each donor. If this seems unachievable, perhaps a personalised thank you email would be a good alternative. 

If you have the man-power, then a phone call to each donor saying thank you for their donations could be a great way of showing your appreciation as well as building meaningful relationships. 

What’s your fundraising budget? 

It’s important to create a fundraising budget to make sure that what you are spending leaves plenty of room for donations to be meaningful. 

There are always going to be unavoidable expenses, so make sure that you are taking these into consideration when devising your fundraising strategy.

Some of these necessary expenses might include things such as:

  • Staffing
  • Marketing materials
  • Hiring event venues or spaces
  • Supplying food and drink at events
  • Paying postage fees
  • Fees for online fundraising services and platforms
  • Costs for processing payments / donations

Here at Donater we pride ourselves on providing a cost effective online fundraising solution for charitable organisations of all sizes. We know first hand how important every single donation is to your cause and make it our aim to provide online fundraising pages, Donate Now buttons and QR Code technology to boost online donations for charities rather than be a further drain on finances. 

Have you created a fundraising calendar? 

Now that you’ve ascertained what fundraising events worked last year and devised your budget, you’re ready to create a calendar full of fundraisers that will meet your goals. 

Which fundraisers worked well last year that you could re-create again this year? Can you identify anywhere you could save money out of your budget when you repeat it? How can you beat last year’s donations? 

By determining your fundraising for the year ahead in advance, you give yourself more time to raise awareness and spread the word – Hopefully leading to greater success and increased donations! 

Make a marketing plan

Now you’ve created your calendar, you can make informed marketing plans to raise awareness of your events in good time. 

How do you communicate with your donors and potential supporters? Identify where you reach out to donors and liaise with marketing professionals to devise meaningful ways of sharing your fundraisers to the right people at the right time. Think about the most cost effective ways of getting your message out there.

Consider utilising the following:

  • Newsletters, offline via direct mail or online via email
  • Social media platforms
  • PR in local newspapers
  • Local communities – Schools, churches, community centres etc

Do you engage with donors without asking for money? 

Most donors will not appreciate only being contacted when you’re asking for more money. Remember to engage with your donors and supporters in other ways as well. Create opportunities for your charity to connect with donors, and offer supporters the chance to meet each other too! There is a whole community at your fingertips – A simple engagement opportunity could be just the thing to mobilise them.

Engagement opportunities could be;

  • A volunteering opportunity where they can give their time rather than money
  • A ‘live’ online on a social media platform where supporters can see your work or behind the scenes
  • A networking event where donors can meet fellow donors as well as people from your organisation
  • A formal dinner where you can thank donors as well as share where their donations go

Do you utilise online resources? 

We’ve seen a huge leap in recent years of how charities use online tools to boost fundraising. It’s never been so easy to communicate with current and potential donors – You are quite literally in the palm of their hand via their smartphone! 

Social Media 

Online engagement via social media is hugely important when it comes to raising awareness of your charitable cause. The potential to reach huge audiences for little to no cost is too good an opportunity for charities to miss out on. 

Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram make donors so much more accessible – And vice versa! Your charity can be at your donors fingertips at the touch of a button, so making sure you are in those spaces is vital. 

Engage with your supporters online and get to know them – What posts do they like and share? Are you replying to comments they make? What would they like to see more/less of on your channels? 

Online Payment Accessibility

It’s not just about social media though. Is your charity accessible to online donors? Can people pay via their mobile? Less people are carrying cash these days, and many donations are made by people sitting on their sofa with their smartphone in hand. If your charity doesn’t have a quick, straightforward way for people to make donations online then you could be missing out on funds. 

That’s where Donater comes in. Our online fundraising tools give charitable causes – Large and small – the opportunity to receive funds online in a safe, straightforward way for both the donor and yourselves. Cashless, contactless and cost-effective. 

Do you know what your donors really think of you? 

Here at Donater we don’t doubt that you are doing incredible work – We’ve worked with some amazing charities who are making a real difference in the world. 

But there is always room to do better! We can all strive to improve what we’re doing and how we work. And the best way to do that is talk to those who matter. In this case – Your donors! 

What do your donors really think of your charity? Feedback – Both positive and negative – Are imperative to moving forwards and doing better. There is always room to grow – That’s how organisations improve. 

Consider sending out a survey to your past and current donors via email or social media and find out first hand where improvements can be made. Whether that’s donation processes, engagement opportunities, communication methods or something else. 

Spring Forward and March Ahead 

Spring has officially arrived – it’s time to march forward into better fundraising and march ahead with your plans for the rest of 2024 and into 2025. 

If you think Donater could help take your charitable cause forward and help you to raise more money online, get in touch with our friendly team today.  

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