Ten fundraising tips for small charities

Third Sector Promotion BT MyDonate

Get buy-in, seek support from your local community and apply for big and small grants, says Kate Birnie, director of the Za Foundation, which develops links with the Nkomazi community that focus on education and other practical help

Libraries are central to the spread of education
Libraries are central to the spread of education

This is a sponsored feature provided by BT MyDonate

Small is beautiful, says Kate Birnie, fundraising director of the Za Foundation, a north Somerset charity that is developing links with the Nkomazi community in South Africa to promote collaboration and the global classroom.

Here are her survival tips for small charities that are taking on big challenges.

1 People like to get behind a project, especially if they can really see the benefit of it. They buy into it and are keen to make it happen. If the project isn’t too huge, donors can quickly see their money making a difference.

2 Get your local community involved so they feel included in your charity. It can be as simple as a cake or book sale or a concert, but these things do work and are great for your profile locally. Try to get your supporters to organise them, and always make sure you thank them.

3 Ensure that you have a section on your leaflet or whatever you produce that they can take away and fill in later. This means that those supporters who are not computer savvy can still donate by simply filling in a form. 

4 Get your supporters to contemplate being sponsored for a challenge that is a personally demanding achievement. Climb Ben Nevis, walk the length of England and so on. A big challenge will usually get more generous donors and really signal your commitment to the cause.

5 Apply for grants both big and small. They are time-consuming both in research and completion, but if you are successful they can make a real difference to your projects. A good resource if you are just starting out is Funding Central.

6 Use social media to keep in touch with your supporters. Keep them up to date with lots of photos and news, especially if a big project has been completed.

7 Free money while you shop. Win-win, right? Register with Easy Fundraising and get supporters who already shop online with retailers such as Amazon, M&S, Argos, John Lewis, Comet, eBay and Boden to sign up for free to raise money while they shop. It’s simple to do and each time they shop using Easy Fundraising they raise money for you.

8 Build an email database of your supporters so that you can keep them up to date and tell them how their money is being spent. A previous donor is more likely to donate again.

9 It is crucial that you keep your website up to date and relevant. No one likes to read three-year-old news! Remember, this is the face of your charity and the first port of call for donors and anyone interested in what you do. It is vital that you have a "donate now" facility on your home page because you never know when someone will want to do just that.

10 BT MyDonate takes no commission and makes donating easy for your donors so they can donate from anywhere in the world. They even handle your Gift Aid for you. BT MyDonate is delighted to be helping to support the Za Foundation.

"By following these simple steps, the Za Foundation has been able to drive up its fundraising total, increasing the help and support it can provide to the young people in Nkomazi South Africa," says Alice Hunt, head of BT MyDonate and corporate Fundraising. "BT MyDonate is proud to provide a free fundraising and donation platform to all UK charities, ensuring that every penny that the Za Foundation raises through fundraising gets to the charity."

Visit the Za Foundation and BT MyDonate to see how MyDonate and the Za Foundation are working together

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