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7 tips for your fundraising contingency plan

7 tips to consider in your contingency planning

Without a short-term end to the current Covid-19 situation, it’s now more important than ever to make sure your business contingency plan is still up-to-date and relevant to safeguard your future fundraising income over the coming months.

During this unprecedented time, it’s unlikely that current plans have included a situation such as this, so here are some ideas that you may want to consider:

Communication

We’ve seen that some supporters are worried about their financial position and some donors will take the decision to stop supporting you while they try to manage their money.

However, continuing communication with your supporters is vital right now. Share what’s happening in your charity, your services and all the good news stories to remind donors of why they should give, listen to their feedback and thank them again when you can.

Staff engagement

It’s not just supporters with whom you need to communicate. With the speed at which events are changing, ensuring internal communication with senior management and trustees is key.

Creating a feeling of one-team has never been so important, so good and frequent communication to all staff is vital for motivation, engagement, energy and keeping them up to date with what they need to know.

With the other distractions in the home working environment, including juggling childcare, homeschooling and more, this will help staff focus on what’s important.

Reduce the impact of lost fundraising income

Your Supporter Care teams are key to helping you soften the impact of cancellations during this time.

While many supporters will just want to cancel their donations, when you thank them for their support, it’s worth asking if they’d consider an alternative to a straight cancellation, such as lowering their gift amount to just a few pounds, or skipping a payment or taking a payment holiday. This means you’ll still get some regular giving donations coming in, albeit at a lower rate.

Be agile

The evolving situation means that you need your teams to respond quickly, and ensuring that they have the tools to do so at home.

Do they have access to the right platforms and systems, with all the passwords they need? Are they able to make changes to your digital channels quickly and in response to any new Government rules.

And if you’re working with any third parties, make sure they have given you all the support you need so you can access their systems remotely.

Everyone is online

Don’t miss the opportunity to make sure your digital strategy is relevant for the current situation.

With remote working it means everyone is online, so make it easy for supporters to find what you’re doing, via your website, social media, email newsletters and give them the opportunity to support you digitally, whether that’s via a computer, mobile or tablet.

Key partners

Make sure you check in with your key suppliers to ensure they’re prepared for the ongoing situation.

It’s definitely worth having an open conversation about what the impact is on them, the services they provide you, and what contingency plans they have in place to make sure they don’t let you down.

It’s not just about the short-term

As we know, we are in this for the long-haul, so while getting everything up and running now is taking much time and energy, don’t lose sight on planning for the long term.

If this continues for six months or more, start to think what this might look like for you, and regularly assess this against the changing nature of the situation.

 

These are only a few areas to consider as part of your business continuity plans, however we hope these points will go some way to help charities soften the impact of losing supporters and income, as we progress through these challenging times.

Read more from our Covid-19 resources hub >