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How to do resource-raising

Resource-raising should be an integral part of your charity, but too often it is neglected because it is hard to put a value on. Other more traditional forms of donations, such as, money and time, are easy to quantify, which makes them easy to assimilate into your organisation.

When small charities are starting up they rely rather heavily on in-kind donations. They accept these non-cash donations with open arms because they can supply invaluable services that would otherwise cost. However, when charities grow and become less easy to man-manage, it seems as though they don't allow room for resource-raising, as it is seemingly hard to measure.

Here is a quick guide to reassure you that there is a way to incorporate this into your charity's everyday work.

Things you'll need

  • Types of resources referred to, are: money, goods, services, facilities, knowledge, skills, profile, access and influence.

Consider the benefits

There are three main benefits to resource-raising:

  • cost saving
  • supporter cultivation
  • capacity building

Diversifying your donation base is a good way to open up the floodgates a little bit more. We are living in austere times; so even though people may want to give generously, it may not be a viable option. Offering would-be donors a way of helping without having to part with their money, is a perfect way of simply getting more donations.


Help your team

Taking advantage of in-kind donations is easier said than done if the fundraising section of your company is primarily concerned with meeting targets.

You must first of all decide what kind of resources you need. Once this is agreed upon, your fundraisers' jobs will be made far easier as they will have a proper set of guidelines to follow.

Now that you have set up the guidelines you should decide the best method to measure the value of the resources. If you don't do this your staff will not be able to work on a targets based means; which will deter them.

Setting up a structured plan will promote resource-raising as a legitimate part of your fundraising team's duties. If you don't, it will carry on being an opportunistic thing that people try to avoid - so make sure to encourage this as something more habitual.

If you are going to fully commit to resource-raising, then you must build the tasks into job descriptions. If you employ fundraisers who can't negotiate and collaborate on resource-raising projects, then it will be a futile endeavour. Make sure you stock your charity with workers who have the skillset to deal with both money and non-money donations.


Research donors

Once you have identified the items and resources you need, make a list of potential sources for these items. Be realistic about what you need and how much time it costs you to find these donations.

Sites such as In Kind Direct, scrapstores and Amazon Wishlists can be useful. As can approaching local and national businesses or contacts directly.

Take a look at this fundraising blog post from Tennyson Insurance about resource raising. It has lots of useful links, examples of how charities are doing this and free templates to help you with your own resource raising - 7 steps to resource raising.


Additional considerations

  • You must be prepared to budget for the “hidden costs” that could arise from these donated resources. Bear in mind that there could be costs, such as: transport, depreciation, maintenance and management
  • The longevity of the resources you gather will depend on your relationships with the people offering them and the stipulations put in place to make sure the services are reliable.
  • Make sure there is strong leadership on what role the donated resources will play in your organisation, otherwise it is at risk of splintering into a mess that will eat in to time and money.
  • Finally, try to give as much coverage in your newsletters and social media sites to the success stories. This will inspire others to give it a go too.


Page last edited Jul 25, 2017 History

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