Over the last two weeks I have delivered a series of seminars exploring a range of innovations in income generation for charities and social enterprises (particularly smaller organisations). Hosted by Price Bailey Chartered Accountants (an award winning, top 30 accountancy and business advisory firm) in London, Cambridge and Norwich, the seminars covered the following:
Changing attitudes and approaches to fundraising.
Surveying a wide range of well-known and lesser-known ways of generating income.
Selected case studies exploring a few of these in more detail.
Some tips to help charities and social enterprises stand out from the crowd.
Each event was well attended (thank you Price Bailey - the food and drink on offer may have had something to do with that!) and my presentation (at times deliberately provocative) seemed to go down well. You can see the slides here.
The title “Innovation in Generating Charity Income” is a daunting one, because one person’s innovation is another’s old hat depending on their experience. Nevertheless, delegates engaged in a good level of debate and questions, and in particular were interested in exploring issues such as:
Building relationships with business supporters.
What’s involved in a social impact bond?
When is crowdfunding a good solution and when not?
What does it take to scale fundraising from “give as you shop/recycle/search” channels?
What is the potential for fundraising through social media?
How can we demonstrate the impact of our work without generating a whole new industry within our organisation?
I enjoyed these discussions and learning from participants’ experiences as much as helping them with new ideas.
To introduce a little audience participation in each presentation, I held a quick poll of participants to ask them what fundraising methods they have used in the recent past and what methods they expect to deploy in the next year or so. The results were interesting (and varied significantly between the seminars):
The most common income sources were trusts and foundations, individual giving and one-off business donations, with a significant proportion also receiving income from local authorities, through events, legacies and earned income. Delegates appeared to be embracing digital giving platforms of various types (although many had yet to do so) but very few had ventured into social investments/loan funding (perhaps unsurprisingly for audiences comprised mostly of small and medium-sized charities).
What struck me was the almost touching optimism from delegates that they would break into new (to them) funding markets in the next 12 months, particularly Lottery, Business and Trust/Foundation funding, each of which is a highly competitive market. It was encouraging that some were planning to venture into less traditional markets such as social investment and growing earned income.
I hope the delegates had as engaging and stimulating time as I did (the feedback suggests they did). Thank you again to Price Bailey for inviting me to give these seminars. I hope we have the opportunity to collaborate again.
If you would like to know more about new ways of fundraising that your charity or social enterprise can try, we'd be delighted to hear from you. Simply contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange free initial telephone discussion.