5 steps to developing sustainable funds

(via Charity Choice)

Charities are experiencing a challenging fundraising environment; funding from local authorities is being cut or moved to competitive tenders, voluntary income is flatlining and there is increased competition for funding. Then we have the incoming GDPR and all of the changes this will bring. Alex Hayes explains how charities can develop sustainable funds...

At the Foundation for Social Improvement, we have been following these trends for a number of years through our FSI Small Charity Index. This quarterly survey provides a snapshot of the small charity sector and the latest index shows that income generation has stagnated – worryingly, income has not risen in line with the increased demand for these charities’ services. Last quarter’s index found that voluntary income remained static with 50% of respondents reporting no change and 8% reporting a decrease in statutory income.

Many charities speak to us about their fundraising or income generation strategy as being largely in their heads or just scribbled in a notebook. Although there is no right or wrong way for a strategy to look, there are important things to consider along the way. 

Below are five things to think about when you are developing your strategy, which should give you a good basis to develop sustainable funds: 

1.Build on strengths and successes

What has worked really well for you in the past and why? We work with a range of organisations to produce strategies and I am always interested in what answers are given when we ask about their successes. Sometimes charities talk about large grants or donations and other times they focus on the fact that they bought in new volunteers or their first ever donor in a particular fundraising stream. 

Equally, learning from what didn’t work well can be valuable too. Ask yourself, what would we do differently next time? Spend time with a range of people in your organisation and ask for their opinions, as well as going back over the finances and accounts. Try to look over a few years and don’t focus on one-offs or blips. 

Read more via Charity Choice...