Send your fundraising ROI skyrocketing

A few tips on how to improve your fundraising ROI and achieve dizzier heights of success! 

  1. Good things come to those who wait, or rather, good things come to those who work with focus and consistency over many years and who await the results with patience.

In my last employed role, I spent eight years building a regional trusts and major gifts programme.

However, there are well known challenges with recruitment in fundraising and turnover is high.  Unfortunately, this is the exact opposite of what is needed to develop the personal relationships needed to make your fundraising efforts really sing.

So nurture your fundraisers, give them opportunities to develop, expose them to new opportunities, ensure they leave the office on time and encourage them to have physically and emotionally satisfying lives outside of the office.  Give the good ones reasons to stay, and your ROI will creep up.

  1. Monkeys equal peanuts; investing in fundraising is nerve wracking, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. Ask experienced candidates for their recent ROI figures and take up references.

For new fundraisers, think carefully about the qualities you want in your fundraiser; are they good at listening, unafraid of picking up the telephone, thoughtful, diligent, able to put themselves in the donors shoes and to advocate for them in internal meetings etc.  If you shirk from training and developing a new fundraiser, you will struggle to see a decent ROI.

Think carefully about value over cost, remembering that if you’re paying peanuts, then it might be better to just go hungry (or to have fewer, high quality, organic peanuts).

  1. Reduce wastage. I had a much ruder strapline for this suggestion but have toned it down so that it works with the serious and professional tone of this report.

For every hour that your fundraising team are not speaking to donors on the phone, meeting donors, prepping to meet donors, writing to donors or following up with donors, your ROI is going down faster than a Red-Bull cliff diving finalist.

Some non-fundraising stuff is needed for sure, but if you manage a fundraiser then think terribly carefully about what you’re asking them to do.

Can you support them to cut out some of these?

  • internal meetings (or sections of meetings that don’t directly respond to their area)
  • travel
  • commitment to respond to every single email
  • data entry (essential but maybe your best fundraiser doesn’t need to do it?)
  • internal networking / team building

Just a small reduction in this stuff could send your fundraising ROI skyrocketing.

The UK Fundraising Benchmarking 2019 report is available to download here.

Please tweet us @LarkOwlUK for your ideas on how to send your ROI sky high…

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