Skip to main content

How To Build An Annual Fundraising Strategy

Give as you Live’s team of fundraising experts uncover the keys to writing a fundraising strategy that will take your goals to new heights in 2024.

Writing your annual fundraising strategy can be a daunting task – trying to balance your fundraising targets across multiple and varied income streams, retaining existing donors, attracting new supporters, and engaging everyone in between is a challenge, but we can help!

What is a fundraising strategy?

Your annual fundraising strategy should be the base of your charity’s action plan for the year ahead. There’s no one clear-cut solution (unfortunately); it will look different for every charitable organisation.

By streamlining your fundraising ideas in line with the resources you have available, and identifying the opportunities most relevant to you, you’ll be able to piece together a strategy that is effective and a fundamental piece of your team’s toolkit for the year ahead.

Why should I spend time writing an annual fundraising strategy?

 As well as creating unified goals for your team, a well-planned fundraising strategy can unearth benefits you may currently be missing out on. It will help you to:

  • Identify areas to focus your resource
  • Recognise the most effective tactics for your organisation
  • Tailor your efforts to your audience
  • Provide your team with clear, achievable and realistic goals e.g. income targets or supporter retention and growth numbers

Ok, it seems worthwhile, but where do I start?

Your first step to creating your 2024 annual fundraising strategy is to review what happened in 2023. In short, where does your charity currently stand?

You could conduct an audit or produce a report showcasing your key statistics, but it should be personal to your organisation. As well as the core fundraising, event participation and donor retention figures, you might want to consider things you haven’t before to give you a clearer picture.

For example, how frequently do your donors give? How many donate regularly? What is the average donation? What percentage of donors cover donation fees? How many donors have lapsed in their activities over the last 12 months? How many donors have switched to alternative methods of support? How many major donors do you have, and what is their value?

Collecting donations using Give as you Live? You have full access to a wide range of data such as those points suggested in your Charity Admin Panel. Not using Give as you Live yet? Find out more.

What else will help me understand our current landscape?

Once you’ve got a grip on your key numbers, it’s time to look at your supporter activity. Understanding when they engaged with you this year and the methods they chose to do so will help to pinpoint the key times to run campaigns and other activities in the year ahead.

For example, how much website activity did you see over the year and when were the peaks? Can you associate those peaks with activities you ran, or maybe key events in the year such as Giving Tuesday?

You should also take a look at your communication channels – what emails performed best in terms of opens and clicks? They might not have driven the most donations, but these best performers will tell you what time of messages your supporters like to receive. Also, which social media posts gained the most likes, comments, or shares, and what can you replicate or utilise at other times in the year ahead?

Charities that utilise Give as you Live’s wide range of free fundraising tools also have access to a free-to-use Marketing Toolkit, equipped with over 50 marketing campaigns to help drive donations, saving you vital time and resources.

Additional insights from supporters

If you’ve looked at all of this and found that your tried and tested messages aren’t performing as well as they used to, don’t panic. There could be a lot of different reasons beyond your control: the cost-of-living crisis and an increase in marketing emails causing congested inboxes are just a couple of possibilities.

Consider surveying your supporters to see if the ways you contact them or the types of content you send are still what they prefer. You might find your supporters are using other channels, or maybe they want to see more from your charity, such as how you spend funds raised and the good it does. The action points from this feedback can be built into key areas of focus in your annual fundraising strategy.

Other supporters to consider are your corporate partners and sponsors. Now is the perfect time to review your goals for corporate partnerships and how they support your overall aims for the year ahead.

Writing your annual fundraising strategy

Now you’ve identified the good, the bad, and everything that changed in the current year, and identified the resources available to you in the year ahead, it’s time to put it all together and flesh out your fundraising strategy for 2024! The good news is that you don’t have to ‘overdo’ it – keeping it clear and as concise as possible will help ensure that it is received and understood by your team.

You can create your strategy in whatever format works best for your organisation. It could be a Word document, a presentation or even an Excel sheet. Whichever format you choose, you should ensure that it is accessible to all relevant parties, and also editable to account for feedback and updates.

Don’t forget to include your team: asking them to provide information in their individual areas of expertise will help not only to create an appetite to review the final product but also to get buy-in when it comes time to share or present the final strategy.

Don’t forget to include:

  • How much you raised last year, and how did that differ from your expectations.
  • A breakdown of where your income came from. Don’t forget to include shopping income from Give as you Live Online as well as donations, fundraising pages, campaign pages, corporate fundraising, grants, and gifts.
  • What do your current donor and supporter bases look like? Who are your key supporters, and who should be your target audiences next year?
  • Challenges and successes from the current year.
  • New opportunities such as fundraising events and diversified income streams.
  • Goals for the coming year.
  • An overview of resources, including anything new that may be available to you later in the year. Don’t forget to include the all-important budget!
  • A brief timeline or calendar breaking down the key events that will help your organisation to achieve its final target.
  • How your strategy supports the goals outlined in your charity’s mission.

Contact us

Need some support? Give as you Live’s dedicated Charity Team is on hand to assist with any fundraising assistance you might need - from diversifying your income streams with our tools to maximising the data we provide via our market-leading Charity Admin Panel, and everything in between.

Share post:

You may also be interested in...

Ready to start fundraising?

Create your Fundraising Page today - just choose a charity, enter a few details and you can be fundraising in minutes.