If you're a small charity, make sure the foundations are in place
A well-maintained fundraising database, a timely and engaging thank you message after a donation, and an annual calendar of donor communications will all go a long way to making sure that your supporters feel valued. Where possible, you could even consider sending a handwritten thank you note or thank you video message. The purpose of these foundations is to ensure that you retain the support of every donor – and that the first gift is the start of a relationship, not the end.
Not every communication should be an ask for money
Great fundraising is about helping donors to feel part of a community that is making a tangible difference to the cause they care so much about. It’s about helping people to feel part of something bigger – a sense of collective action. Consider interesting ways to demonstrate the impact that donations have made, an infographic, a quote from someone who benefits from the charity, or a short video that opens the doors to the work you do. If possible, you could also add a personalised message that reflects the amount each individual donor has given that year.
We love this Thankathon from Mencap.
Create high-value meaningful communications to build regular income
Regular income, particularly unrestricted, is the stuff of dreams for charities because it provides financial stability and can be invested where it is most needed. Donors pledging a monthly amount enables charities to more accurately forecast income and plan their programmes, and their organisational growth, against the needs of the communities the charity exists to serve.
According to the Charities Aid Foundation, in 2022 Direct Debit was the most popular way that people chose to support the causes they are passionate about, and that’s why so many charities focus on growing their regular giving income as a key part of their overall income generation strategy.
The number of people signed up to make regular charity donations has stayed relatively stable in recent years, despite the economic situation. Although, according to the 2023 Enthuse Donor Pulse insights, 56% of the population have never had a regular donation set up with a charity – making it a sizeable potential audience for charities to look to engage.
Creating a successful regular giving programme is about taking donors on a journey and building a long-term relationship with them, using the database mentioned above – this level of data will enable you to get to know your donors, the level and intervals they prefer to give at, their preferred method of communication, and the areas where they’ve chosen to support. Ultimately, it’s about understanding what motivates someone to support you when there are so many worthwhile causes out there, and then creating a tailored regular giving ask based on these preferences.
Using this information, you can create a regular giving offer that will be meaningful to your donors and hopefully inspire them to turn their occasional donation into a monthly or quarterly gift.
With fewer donors, but who are choosing to give more – and they prefer to give via Direct Debit - now may be the time to think about your regular giving strategy.
This blog was contributed by Sarah Klaveness - Director of Really Good Things. Sarah has previously collaborated with Eleven on several projects for our charity clients.
November 16, 2023
November 16, 2023