Question :
Prior to Covid19, we relied heavily on one big annual fundraising event. Does anyone have any experience or ideas around how to fundraise on a smaller scale but maybe more regularly? We have a significant financial shortfall to manage. Has anyone done digital events?

Question submitted 13/05/20 @ 05:19pm
Industry: Social Enterprise (Community, Not-for-Profit, For Profit)
  • Kia ora and thank you for reaching out… You’re clearly facing into a dilemma shared by many of our social enterprises. In the absence of more context, I’m going to attempt to put myself in your position and share how I would approach this situation in the hope it sparks an idea for you to try… Please treat this as food for thought to reflect on as you decide what to do next.

    Firstly, I’m assuming that your social enterprise is fully committed to weathering the storm and to continue serving the overarching mandate and purpose. Secondly, I’m assuming you’re in a senior leadership position and able to act in that capacity with the support of your organisation and board.

    Start by mapping out all the cash flows coming in over the next 3 to 6 months. Similarly, map out all the expenses for the same forecast period. The task here is to trim the operation and planned activities to fit within your most conservative funding forecast.

    Work with your leadership team and stakeholders to form a communication plan. You may need to force-rank your expenses and prioritise only the essentials. Prepare to run the operation lean for a period of time. Revisit your charity mandate and focus everything on serving the core purpose of the charity… you may be surprised by how much the operation is carrying outside of its mandate.

    Funding opportunities tend to take time to come to fruition and it’s likely that funding sources will be coming under increasing pressure in the wake of our first lockdown. The goal here is to buy as much time as you can to keep your operation alive and weather the storm. The scout team can be made up of a mix of internal leadership and external (preferably influential) stakeholders. They will need to be proficient in forming propositions and funding applications to convert opportunities into to solid value exchanges.

    Your leadership team will need support the scout team with guidance (and governance 😉 to buy as much time as possible for them to secure your new funding lines.

    Please forgive me for guessing what you’re dealing with and probably getting it wholly wrong. My hope is that something here sparks an idea for you to try and keep playing forward!

    Kia kaha!!

    I don’t know your specific focus area but what I have seen some non-profits do who used to rely on a large fundraiser is repackage their offerings and distribute them to a broader group of people that includes potential donors, etc. . With that offering you could then ask people who have the means to donate to help continue your outreach, etc. .

    There are also software platforms like Galabid.co.nz that allow you do online silent auctions, raffles, etc. . I have not used them personally but my involvement with a non-profit in the US we would run in person and digital auctions as we realized not everyone could make our fundraiser.

    Finally, and again not sure what your annual fundraiser event was, but if generated a list of attendees I would not hesitate to reach out to them to let them know how you are going during this time, how you are providing services for the community, and where your shortfall is and asking them if they be willing to donate at this time.

    Hope the above helps.

    Kia ora

    Do you have a significant donor base? If so, you can use Fund A Future for those who haven’t claimed their 30% rebates from IRD. Donors can elect to send their rebate directly back to your organisation – https://www.fundafuture.co.nz/. It will be a start to bring in more immediate income at this time.

    Check out The Funding Network – http://www.thefundingnetwork.org.nz/.

    There is an upcoming webinar on “Crowdfunding through the COVID-19 Crisis” on 21 May – https://www.facebook.com/events/710955559641478/

    This is a good resource on peer-to-peer fundraising – https://kindful.com/blog/virtual-peer-to-peer-fundraising-event/

    And here’s an interesting example from Love 146 who cancelled their gala & asked people to donate their ticket money instead – https://donate.love146.org/event/not-a-red-gala-2019/e229136

    Ka kite

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