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How to get started with fundraising

Are you a trustee looking to raise funds for your small charity? Perhaps you are a member of staff who has been asked to fundraise alongside your core job responsibilities? This guide shows five steps to help you get started with fundraising and increase your results in a limited time.

Things you'll need

  • A clear idea of what you are raising funds for and a fundraising target

Be consistent

To achieve regular fundraising results you will need to be constantly committed. Decide how much time each week you can realistically give to fundraising for your cause.

Set a time each week that you will dedicate solely to fundraising. Allocate 10 minutes at the end of your allocated fundraising time to write a plan for next week’s fundraising hours.

Using this technique will help you to:

  • be consistent with your fundraising timetable
  • be focused
  • avoid distractions
  • maintain momentum leading to increased motivation
  • clearly see the results achieved each week.



Set a target

To be able to communicate with potential funders and supporters you will be clear about what you need funds for. To help you establish this:

  1. write a plan of the projects you are going to deliver over the next 1-3 years
  2. list everything you need to deliver the projects
  3. create a budget by listing the costs of all of the items needed
  4. put the projects into priority order to help you plan your fundraising.

Once you know what you need to fundraise for, you can set a target. This could be the amount of funds for a project or for specific piece of equipment.  People are more likely to donate if they can clearly see the difference their money will make.

For example E.P Collier Primary School’s set a fundraising target of £10,000 in September 2014 for solar panels. Just three months on they had raised £11,070.

How to get your fundraising campaign started

  • Write a paragraph about your fundraising appeal
  • State your fundraising target
  • Find an image
  • Add details of how people can donate
  • Post on your website and on social media

Need help with social media?

Read this guide on ‘How to be persuasive online’ which looks at how to write good fundraising text.


Recruit help

They say many hands make light work. Many organisations have volunteer fundraisers who are active in the community generating funds leaving you to write funding applications.

 To be successful at recruiting and retaining volunteer fundraisers write a role description so that volunteers are clear about the tasks required.  See this guide on ‘Writing volunteer role descriptions’.

You may like to give the volunteers a specific area of fundraising to focus such as:

  • social media and online giving
  • shop collection box co-ordinator
  • setting up a friends of group
  • supermarket collections
  • resource raising.

Need help with volunteer recruitment?

For good practise tops tips read ‘The Recruitment Guide’. by NCVO.

You can advertise for volunteer fundraisers for free at:

Success stories

The Weirfield Wildlife Hospital’s fundraising volunteers raised £1,144 through:

  • a garden open day
  • sponsored walks
  • sponsored carol singing
  • supermarket bag packing.

One volunteer fundraiser ran a £10k race to raise funds to buy a set of specialist veterinary scales.


Join free fundraising schemes

Maximise your opportunity to raise unrestricted income by joining free fundraising schemes such as those which generate funds from recycling or online shopping. For example Follow your Dreams set up an Amazon Wishlist. The key to fundraising success with these schemes is to regularly promote them to new and existing supporters. You can ask a fundraising volunteer to help you market the schemes.


Double your donations

Look out for opportunities to double your donations. Many businesses have schemes where they will match donations raised by their employees. For example, the supermarket Morrisons runs a Colleague Match Funding scheme, matching their employees’ donations pound for pound up to £500. Remind people who are raising funds for your cause to check if their employers have any match funding schemes.

Local Giving is an online fundraising platform for small local charities and community groups. They regularly run match funding schemes were they will match your supporter’s donation. Their recent campaign #GiveMe5 matched 1000 x £5 donations made during a 24 hour period. They currently have a competition: # Be a Local Hero by raising funds for a local charity and you could win an £1,000 extra for your cause.

Local Giving have a useful infographic explaining the benefits of registering to raise funds online.


Further information

This how-to is based on a blog post written by fundraising consultant Gemma Kingsman for Tennyson Insurance now Zurich Insurance


Page last edited Nov 27, 2015 History

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