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Charity Fundraising: How To Keep Going During Covid-19 

We talked to Rita Chadha, CEO of the Small Charities Coalition and Deanne Wolf,  Senior Consultant for Trust Fundraising from Money Tree Fundraising about charity fundraising in the COVID-19 crisis in our weekly KindLink webinar. Here are some key actionable insights to help you utilise ambassadors and prepare grant applications.

Key Points to Take Away about Charity Fundraising

  • Trust fundraising is a long game, it is about developing relationships over time, not immediately. It involves preparation and expectations have to be maintained, as results may appear only after a while.
  • Trusts are interested in how beneficiaries are being impacted at the moment. The current situation is less about the charities, who are the translators and facilitators of the grants.
  • Your beneficiaries are the best ambassadors but you need to handle their stories mindfully and respectfully.
  • Applications should also take into account a clear vision of your projects and the right resources they require. Make sure your projects are feasible and appealing to funders.
  • Have patience. Funders are receiving thousands of applications but are working with limited staff.
  • Manage your expectations. Trust funding is about preparation. You’ll do an awful load of work at the beginning and you may not see anything for some time.
  • Think about the challenges you are facing now because of the crisis and how your organisation will be different in the following six months.
  • Focus on what message your charity would like to deliver and decide how you tell your story based on content, purpose and medium.
  • Research different government funding opportunities and charity fundraising events such as the 2.6 challenge.

Keep These Three Tips in Mind When Doing Research

  • Research is a time and money investment that will pay off, so make sure to research all the funding opportunities out there but also be realistic. Guidelines for grants are changing day by day and people are suspending their grant activity, there are some trusts that will close. Unfortunately, that is a reality and you might need to look at this rather coldly and move on from there.
  • There are research ‘rabbit holes’ that you should be avoiding. If there is no strategic match between a grant you found and your organisation, don’t waste time applying. Only apply if you’ve been invited to do so. If it’s a general match and you already have a grant cover letter or a short proposal or it’s a short application it’s worth giving it a go. If you don’t ask you don’t get. Equally, if it is none of the above things and it is too general, leave it for the end after you have applied for grants that are better suited to you.
  • Keep your funding priorities clear. If you find potential funders for other projects note them down and park them. Leave these until later when you are dealing with that other project, unless the deadline for the application is tomorrow. If funders will allow it, contact them and clarify any deadline related issues. It could be the beginning of the relationship. Keep in mind for now that some of the funders are managed from legal firms or accountancy firms who may also not have enough staff that will be able to answer your questions. Do your best with what you have.

Find more tips here.


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