Funding for off-grid rural communities

Busting 10 common fundraising myths: how to increase your not-for-profit organisation’s income

Securing essential funding is a continuous task for most charities and community groups, particularly smaller voluntary organisations that may have smaller reserves (if any) to draw on.

However, many fundraisers do not consider some income generating options which offer huge potential based on a number of misconceptions. This blog from our VCSE Support and Development Officer, Frankie Hockham, looks at 10 common fundraising myths and explains why fundraisers should explore the opportunities available right now.

Myth 1:  Now is not the time to bother our donors.  We are still recovering from the pandemic, and nobody has money to give right now.

Truth: People want to feel in control and are also desperate for good news. Your organisation is in the position to give that to them, so offer them the chance to do some good.

Also don’t assume everyone’s financial situation is the same.  Some people are not giving simply because causes are not asking.

Myth 2: We’re only a small charity, Legacy Fundraising isn’t for us.

Truth: With an average of three charities benefitting from each charitable will, there is room for all organisations to gain. For smaller charities, the potential for legacy fundraising is massive; it could take as little as one gift to make a transformational difference.

Legacy income for small charities with income under £500K rose sharply by £496 Million in 2020-2021 according to a report from Smee and Forbes.

Myth 3: People aren’t comfortable talking about death

Truth: We know that the receipt of a legacy gift is only possible on death, but the legacy conversation is not about death.  Legacies are an opportunity for people to think about life, and the steps they can take now to help support the things they care about into the future.

Successful messaging will encourage supporters to think about what impact they can have after they have died, and what a difference their gift will make to future generations A gift in a Will, along with other forms of giving, is simply the vehicle that allows the donor to give to your organisation.

Myth 4: We can’t afford to invest in Legacy Fundraising when we won’t see the return straight away. 

Truth: Legacy Fundraising doesn’t have to be expensive. Integrate legacies into all your fundraising channels, drip-feeding your message through a mix of communications.

Simple steps such as putting legacy messaging on your website, including a legacy case study in your newsletter or email bulletin, and raising legacies at relevant supporter events, – together with digital and social media – can make a big difference.

Return on Investment for Legacies ranges from 35-50:1

If you would like to find out how your organisation could tap into Legacy Fundraising, join our Introduction in Memory and Legacy Fundraising workshop on 4th October 2022 (12-1.30pm) to learn how to get started and handle those difficult conversations with care.

Myth 5: The main way that businesses support organisations is by donating large sums of money (think presentations with very large cheques)

Truth: We often think about asking for money when considering corporate fundraising, but money is only one of the most obvious forms of support. Support can also come in the form of people donating time or products or their skills or a host of other things that furthers the work of the organisation.

Read how local company Saepio supported our community growing project in High Wycombe, and find out about all the ways corporate relationships can benefit your cause at our Introduction to Corporate Fundraising workshop on 11th October (12-1.3pm)

Myth 6: You shouldn’t send a funder another grant request if they turn you down.

Truth:  Usually, yes you should. A rejection is generally just for that request and not a permanent rejection. About a year after your last request, you can try again.

Myth 7: My cause is too hard to raise Trusts & Foundations funding for.

Truth: The UK has nearly 13,000 grant-making foundations which come in all shapes and sizes, offering support to a variety of causes.  Given how different they all are, it is possible that anything charitable is fundable if an application is carefully researched and presented properly.

Do you need tips on how to make the most of your grant applications? Would you like ideas on where to find funding opportunities? Join our free Trusts and Foundations workshop on 6th October 2022 (5.30-7pm) for insights into this area of fundraising.

Myth 8: Community Fundraising is just small amounts of money and is not worth pursuing.

Truth: Fundraising amounts may differ from that of events, grants, and high value donations, but the relationships and connections between the donations create other opportunities for future fundraising as well as raising your profile in the local area.

Myth 9: Community Fundraising doesn’t warrant investment, it’s just unsolicited income.

Truth: Community Fundraising is worth investment: the relationships and engagement charities have now will have an impact in the future.

Myth 10: We should be seeing immediate growth from our Community Fundraising programme; this isn’t working.

Truth:  In most cases income will start to grow within months of building relationships and engaging with the community. It doesn’t happen immediately, the more work charities do now, the greater the growth in the future.

Learn the Truth about Community Fundraising in our Introduction to Community Fundraising workshop on 13th October 2022 (5.30-7pm).

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