Shake it up for the festive period

Man looking at lightbulb

Guest Bloggers | 4 December 2017

Stumped for new fundraising ideas this festive season? Need to start thinking of campaigns for the New Year? CharityJob have some ideas...

Where to find fundraising campaign inspiration and how to generate new ideas.

It might be easy for your campaign to get drowned out among all the others, take a look at these secret (and not so secret) sources of fundraising inspiration. Hopefully you’ll come up with all sorts of new campaigns to get the donations flowing in the New Year.

Much of our festive inspiration comes from the exciting fundraising group on CharityConnect. So take a look if you’re interested in connecting with other passionate fundraisers.


Inside the box, how fundraising ideas can come from popular culture

Fundraising can be a circular world sometimes, but it’s worth looking outside of the sector for inspiration, here’s some great advice from some well-known fundraisers. A recurring suggestion seems to be to glean fundraising ideas from TV shows! So, to think outside of the box, you need look inside the box.

Lizzi Hollis Butcher has gathered some fundraising tips from the Vicar of Dibley of all places. Here’s some major donor advice inspired by a sitcom…

“As fundraisers, our networks and introductions are going to become even more important as GDPR kicks in and cold approaches become more difficult.”

Things can often get lost in translation via email and in our increasingly faceless, digital world, something as simple as a phone call to introduce yourself and set up a meeting can make all the difference.”

Fundraising is a joint venture and whether you’re the guy that brings in the big bucks or the smaller gifts, everyone is important.” Lizzi Hollis Butcher on CharityConnect

And the tube doesn’t stop giving it seems. Richard Sved, the director of 3rd Sector Mission Control explains how fundraisers can learn from TV gameshows. So, even the trivial can be a great way of generating ideas.

Remember that face to face is best, and that we can build better relationships if we seize the initiative, and create dialogue rather than waiting for something to happen. What’s the worst that could happen if you pick up the phone and make the first move?” Richard Sved on CharityConnect.


Realism. Take examples from real life

Part of the point of the works of James Joyce (and bear with me here!) is that everyday experience can be transformed into revelation. Well, we’ve been highbrow lets go low, the underground to be specific. Writing on third sector mission control, Richard takes inspiration from an experiment to change the way we use escalators.

So next time you’re thinking about contacting however many thousand people, just stop for a second. Think about them on that busy escalator. They’ve all got different motivations, want to go at different speeds. And although they may look away, they’re aware that you’re there. You just need to learn how to reach them.” - 3rd Sector Mission Control


Ask yourself hard questions to create new ideas

Doing something just because “that is the way we’ve always done it” is never the right way to go. This is even truer for fundraising, where failure to adapt can mean the loss of revenue streams. New ideas are going to be the lifeblood of having an adaptive fundraising strategy, as traditional routes begin to dry up. By thinking of hard questions about the way you raise money, it is possible to come up with unique solutions.

Try these on for size...

What’s just not working?

What has your team done historically that doesn’t seem to be working anymore? You may have put it down to performance issues, communications or marketing? If something has not been working for a long time, it may be that the strategy itself is just not working. Time to re-think?

Do you need new talent?

Let’s face it, the pool of experienced fundraising candidates, especially for high-level roles, is limited. Good fundraisers don’t need to look at job adverts, those at top of their game are headhunted or can pick the job they want. So, for what reason should these rare candidates respond to your job ads? Probably none, so a good idea is to think about the core competencies of the role. Are the skills needed essentially: sales, marketing, and business development? Perhaps candidates from the for-profit sector could bring the change you need.


Spot trends, just how and where are people donating these days?

Disruption is the name of the game everywhere these days. Sometimes the charity sector can be a little slow to react, but this isn’t the case with the new generation of donors. Poor response rates from the previously lucrative field of face to face fundraising indicate a lack of public trust, to the extent that the likes of RNLI have decided to end their program.

BUT! As one door closes another opens (or so they say) what was once on the street, or the doorstep is now online. Crowdfunding and social appear to be where it’s at, your route into new fundraising campaigns should encompass both. Media events, sharing events and video fundraising may also be the wave of the future. Next year we’ll (probably!) have integrated donation options in both Facebook and Twitter.

I could go on and on, but we wouldn’t want you to get bored! The main thing to take away is that inspiration can come from anywhere. Keeps your eyes and mind open, new ideas can come from the strangest places.

If you’re looking for that next fundraising position, then check out CharityJob for the largest and most varied amount of fundraising jobs in the country.


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