Community Fundraising

A frequent objection to Direct Marketing-based fundraising is that it is either too intrusive or too impersonal - you just can't please everyone can you?

Community Fundraising takes a less remote view. It is mainly about building links and raising the public profile of your campaign, cause or organisation. While not always  as lucrative, or offering the same money-spinning potential as Direct Marketing, it does offer insights and benefits of its own that can and should feed back into your overall fundraising strategy - including direct marketing activities. It can also prove fertile ground for recruiting new donors, something which isn't always easy. 

Community Fundraising in Practice

Events Fundraising is an activity which helps overcome the perceived 'impersonal' barrier and bring donors and causes closer together in a personal sense. It is the experience of many fundraisers, that the donors who do make the effort to attend your public events, etc are usually the best donors to have around - both in terms of their generosity but also in terms of their loyalty.

Fundraising in the form of Sponsored Challenges, Community Projects, etc., is another way of involving donors in the work of your organisation. It is usually the collective nature of such fundraising activity that generates the buzz, gets people interested and brings more people into your inner circle. 

It is also a very good way of devolving fundraising responsibility where others who are willing to give it a try. This is very important. Fundraising is less of a burden when more people are involved. Resentment breeds when it feels like a few solitary individuals have been left to carry the burden. 

Fundraising from Businesses

Corporate Fundraising is really about building business partnerships that will assist your cause; usually financially but sometimes through gifts-in-kind or some other mutually beneficial arrangement. 

This type of fundraising is different because you are dealing with a corporate entity rather than an individual. Individuals are generally spontaneous in terms of their decisions-making. A corporate entity has a much more complex (sometimes labyrinthine!) procedures to go through before they will get back to you, or even return your call! 

While it can be lucrative, Corporate Fundraising involves a lot of hard work. While this is also the case with other types of fundraising, it is the type of work involved that differentiates the approach: Business networking; research to identify prospects; making appointments; face-to-face negotiations. It can also involve being firm, knowing when to say 'no', when to walk away even. 

Businesses support not-for-profit organisations in numerous ways - donations, sponsorships, gifts-in-kind, cause-related marketing, payroll giving schemes, etc. They may also be able to open doors that allow you to access other fundraising channels. 

Grant Us ...

Grant-giving, whether it be from Trusts, Foundations, Statutory Bodies, etc., are other sources of funding that may be available to you. 

Many of the same principles that apply to Corporate Fundraising, apply here as well. The main difference is that private businesses are usually looking for something tangible in return for their support - good PR for instance. 

Grant-giving bodies will probably have a slightly different slant or concern - e.g. that they are funding something that genuinely serves a common good or public benefit; that the money is well spent, etc. In short they want to know what your intentions are. Of course corporate donors will also have such concerns. It's mainly a difference of emphasis. 

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