Top tips for charity fundraising during COVID-19 and beyond
All areas of the charity sector have been impacted by COVID-19, with fundraising becoming an increasing concern for many.
Successful fundraising and grant applications begin with research into possible donors and funders.
The following sources are a good place to start your research. They include lists of COVID-19 emergency funding, as well as more general funding directories:
|Site||Description||General Funding||COVID-19 Funding||Cost|
|Charities Aid Foundation (CAF)||N||Y||Free|
|Charities Excellence framework||Y||Y||Free|
|Local community foundations||Y||Y||Free|
|Lottery good causes||Y||Y||Free|
|The Heritage Funding Directory||Y||Y||Free|
|Name||Name of potential funder or donor|
|Type||The type of potential funder that you want to approach. These include trusts, foundations, corporate funders, statutory bodies and philanthropic individuals who may be able to support your activities.|
|Area of interest||The potential funder’s areas of interest, the fit with your organisation and the projects/activities which need funding. For example, the funder may be interested in the protection of the environment and natural heritage; promoting the arts or helping marginalised sectors of society.|
|Past giving||Other charities, projects or organisations that a funder has supported in the past, and what kind of grants they have awarded. The funder may have a particular track record in supporting grass root community groups or the restoration of museums and heritage buildings. Understanding what a funder likes, or has a tendency to support, will help you to work out if they are a good match for your organisation. Knowing about relevant past grants or gifts, including the amount, will also help you gain a sense of what level of gift to request.|
|Key people||Try to find a list of trustees, key executives or administrative staff (such as a grants manager) of a given trust, foundation or funder. These should be listed in their annual reports or provided on the given funder’s Charities Commission website listing. Try to map a route to any of these through your networks to effect an introduction or letter of endorsement.|
|Procedure||Any key elements in the funder’s application process including deadlines and any financial information or supporting materials that they require. Some may wish you to complete a paper application form (rather than online) while others have an online quiz to assess your suitability for their grants. Some funders have several deadlines per year so think about which deadline ties in best with your charity’s governance process.|
|Important to note||Any special considerations relating to your approach to this funder or donor for a grant or gift. For example, some funders exclude capital projects or ongoing costs.|
|Target amount||The target amount that you will be seeking from this donor, taking their areas of interest and track record into consideration.|
|Next steps||What your organisation needs to do next to approach this donor or funder. For example setting up a phone or video meeting with the grants manager or drafting an application for funding.|
Top tip: It can be helpful to colour code each of the possible funders/donors to show their potential to give a gift or grant to your charity. This can be according to their likelihood to give or the possible size of their financial contribution. Colour coding can help you to prioritise your approaches and applications. For example: green – most likely to give to your charity; amber – may give to your charity; red – unlikely to give to your charity.