Make sure your community fundraisers are involved in discussions to provide insight as to what’s happening out in the real world. Yes, we hear the inspiring stories, but we’re also the first to hear the grumbles that could spark the next innovation within your fundraising team.
Be better at communicating plans and campaigns to allow community fundraisers to recruit local leaders and influencers to increase your reach. Share your corporate pipelines with community fundraisers so they can build personal relationships and grow a following before the social media ‘vote for us!’ push.
And you, the manager. If you’re responsible for the community fundraising strategy at your charity, make sure you’re in contact with the fundraisers and most involved supporters who are doing the fundraising. Data is cool, but words don’t paint the bigger picture.
Responsible for an event and spotted a supporter with a strong personal connection and an even higher fundraising target? Don’t just put them on the usual stewardship journey, contact your community fundraiser and ask if they’ve heard about them and if not, arrange to make it happen.
Invite community fundraisers to discuss their experience with your other campaigns when working with supporters and write community fundraising involvement into your strategy plans throughout all fundraising activity. Take advantage of the impact that having a human to human interaction can have on fundraising income. Read about Yorkshire Cancer Research’s £8,000 fundraiser
from one participant by doing just this.
And don’t keep this to just fundraising; do your supporter communications reference their complete support of you? We LOVE that they give regularly and run a marathon for us each year, so why don’t they know this?
Review your expectations
Are your measuring tools pressuring supporters into ways of giving that are right for them, or is it for you?
Are you spending too much time and money on creating products instead of looking at a supporter’s overall potential and how you can reach it?
As communities become increasingly time poor, are groups still the way to go for local engagement, or should you be focussing on stewarding your donor to host their one event better each time, rather than asking them to host more?
Are your unachievable conversation targets encouraging fundraisers to spend their time with people who aren’t engaged with your cause, and harming your opportunities to spend time with the people who are?
Experience over targets
Individual team targets, geographical boundaries, focusing completely on the cash, job titles…all of these things create a sense of protectiveness within a fundraising team and dictates what is, or isn’t, part of your job.
We’re losing sight of the supporter that doesn’t care who looks after what area or what product, they just want to know they’re going to make a difference and that they’re going to feel good doing it. Instead of creating processes that work well for you but complicate delivery, think about what works best from a fundraising support viewpoint; if someone wanted to give to you, is it as easy and enjoyable as possible?
Don’t just think of support in monetary terms. Who do your supporters know, what skills can they share with you, are they a passionate campaigner with big reach?
Once you acknowledge that community fundraisers are event recruiters, legacy fundraisers, storytelling extraordinaires, relationship and engagement masters, digital users, corporate managers, and so much more, invest in their learning in these areas to better their professional approach and watch your engagement and income soar.