Have you come across those fundraisers that do the same old things again and again and get the same old results? This would not be too bad if they did not then complain that it's getting harder to fundraise!
In Private sector these dinosaurs would soon recognise that a changing market requires them to adapt and take advantage of the new emerging opportunities. Failure to do so would without doubt cost them their jobs. This is not a time to complain and debate about capacity, it is time to act. Can you imagine Alan Sugar giving a task then withdrawing it because the commercial winds changed? I think not.
Don't just Survive . . . Thrive
All you need to do is embrace the idea of doing something different if you want different results. Whilst some were out shaking a box or having a coffee evening others have been getting into new ideas that could change the face of fundraising. No this is not just for large charities it's for everyone, it's for you. With the birth of the Office of 3rd Sector there should be a focus on searching for innovative ways not just to survive but to thrive. Don't stop what you have been doing successfully, but search out new opportunities from trading with Public Sector to using new income-generating ideas that create ongoing unrestricted revenue not just one off donations.
On-Going Unrestricted Income
Your websites and the internet can offer you amazing ongoing unrestricted income, well worth checking it out as some small groups and charities are generating hundreds of pounds a month every month with little to no effort. If you are not in this position ask the question why not? Who is responsible and what are they doing about it? If it's you, start doing something now.
Big words I hear you say, but how? I would like to say it's simple but surprise, surprise it's not. Sadly it means stepping out of your comfort zone and learning new skills and most of all being open to new methods. The creation of relationships and collaborations with Public and Private Sector will become absolutely essential to survival for 3rd sector organisations over the coming years so now is a good time to start. That might mean you pushing the boundaries and asking private sector for help on joint ventures as a trusted partner rather than treating them like a necessary evil.
Engage with your Supporters
Smell the coffee, times have changed, move with the flow. The support you require is still there but now it will require you to look at new and exciting ways to engage with individual and corporate supporters. Remember the rule of WIIFM ‘WHATS IN IT FOR ME’. Private sector participates in CSR because it's good for their business not because they just like giving money to good causes. Take time to understand the sponsoring company's needs and support them to achieve their goals and they will do the same for you.
Public Sector on the other hand are looking to trade with you if you offer value for money, not just a sob story and an ok service. Don't get annoyed I am not writing this article to upset those who are doing all the right things but trying to get others to think and act before it's too late. Many of the 3rd Sectors groups are superb and please forgive me if I have insulted you but others are in need of straight talking not just soft words of support.
Individuals support you because they get something out of it as well. Yes they do, even if it's just for a feeling of being useful and needed.
Everyone needs to be supplied with what they need; it's not all about you.
For many who may be reading this what's the alternative? Well some will throw in the towel because the world has changed but many others I am sure will rise to the challenge. To engage with private / public sector you first have to meet them so visit public sector meet the buyer events (e. g www.ngb2b.org.uk/show_event.asp ) and of course join your Chamber of Commerce. A good start that's completely free would be to visit our site and try using some of the free ideas at getfunds4free.com You can also get a free income generating website with content management.
Ron has for the last 20 years been helping to develop events and improve communication for Public and 3rd sector. He then decided along with his wife to spend a few months volunteering in Sri Lanka. On his return he needed to set up a sustainable revenue stream for the project he was working on in Sri Lanka and has invested his time developing safe, effective ways to raise ongoing unrestricted revenue.
Go to his site for information http://www.getfunds4free.com
An active Rotarian he spends much of his time helping on community projects and is in the process of setting up a social enterprise for ex offenders and the homeless.