Start your fundraising with a bang in 2015 – some top tips

Diabetes UK Runner 1

The beginning of the year is always a time for reflection and, as we start the new year, it’s a chance to think about how we as fundraisers can make 2015 the best year ever for our charities and supporters.

Tell the story of your event through your fundraisers’ eyes

All of us know that our beneficiaries are our most powerful advocates, and the power of telling their stories is widely celebrated, but how many of us do the same with our fundraisers’ stories? The person most likely to encourage others to fundraise for your charity is the person who’s already had a great experience of doing it!

It’s true that a photo is worth a thousand words, so think now about committing to getting great pictures and video content throughout the year. At Diabetes UK we brought the experience of our Swim 22 event to life by sharing people’s reasons for taking part in a simple video.

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Content is everything

It’s easy to plan communications for the coming year based on copying and pasting last year’s and updating the date. But think about the best emails, websites, letters and social media posts you’ve seen throughout the year and what you can apply to your communications.

This is your chance to inspire, engage and celebrate your fundraisers and the more appealing your communications, the greater the interaction you’ll get and the bigger the buzz you create around your events. Are you talking to your supporters as valued friends and part of your team, or using bland corporate language? For me, Anthony Nolan stood out in 2014 as a charity creating cut-through with simple but powerful copy across all their channels.

Don’t forget the people doing their own thing

It’s not just about established events, it’s also about the incredible people doing their own thing in the most inspiring, challenging or just plain weird ways. They are your organisational heroes, some of the most committed supporters and compelling stories you have as an organisation. They often also create great digital content themselves that you can share or retweet. Think about how you can make them feel special.

Tried and tested – making something good even better

It’s easy to start the year excited by all the new events and activities you have planned, but it’s also important not to neglect all the well-established ones. What’s the one thing you could tweak or change to make an event even better? At Diabetes UK we’ve focused on improving the quality of our communications, particularly how we use images and videos and have seen an impact across all our events in increased income. Video doesn’t have to be expensive. Here’s a simple video we created encouraging people to sign-up to our London Bridges Challenge.

Think about how you thank

Still writing thank you letters for your Christmas presents? As charities, we sometimes spend the least time on one of the most important parts of our interaction with our supporters and miss out on a chance to create that moment of delight. Could you experiment with bespoke videos, thanking individuals on social media, getting sponsored gifts or incentives or sending a thank you from a service user or beneficiary rather than a member of staff? And are you even confident that every single person gets thanked?

Do it yourself

Not only a good way to work off the mince pies, but also a way to show your supporters you are literally right behind them. What’s the one event you could sign up to take part in this year and put yourself in the shoes of your fundraisers?

Celebrate success

Your supporters are amazing, but so are you! Make the time to reflect and learn from all the great things that will happen throughout the year and don’t be afraid to shout about and share your triumphs so others can learn from them.

Wishing you all a very successful fundraising year for 2015!

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Katie has worked in the charity sector for over 10 years and is currently leading a team of brilliant fundraisers at Diabetes UK. She is contemplating starting her training for the Great North Run 2015 and can be found online @simmonskt