Boost Trust Fundraising Income

Apr 22 2016

How to Boost Your Trust Fundraising Income

Income from Trusts is often seen as the holy grail of fundraising. Indeed, for many charities trust fundraising forms the backbone of all their income, eclipsing the amounts raised through community fundraising, individual giving, corporate grants and legacies. No wonder then that many charities are keen to boost their trust fundraising income. But how can this be done, in an increasingly competitive marketplace where many established Trusts are seeing their own income squeezed?

The answer is to take a step back and take a leaf out of the corporate rulebook, looking at your strengths and weaknesses as an organisation and what steps you can take to improve your trust fundraising options.

SWOT analysis

Carrying out a basic SWOT analysis is a quick and simple means of identifying which internal and external factors are influencing your ability to secure funding from trusts. Taken together, the internal factors constitute your strengths and weaknesses. These could include the experience and skills of your trust fundraising team, the amount of cooperation between different departments in your organisation, and established relationships with trusts. Opportunities and threats represent the external influences. These include the relative popularity of your sector, how you are affected by cuts in statutory and other fundraising sources, competition from other charities and media trends.

The ANSOFF matrix

Once you have conducted your SWOT analysis, you will be in a strong position to calculate trust fundraising objectives and put precise financial figures on the goals you need to achieve. Use these to set up the architecture of your trust fundraising campaign using the popular ANSOFF matrix used by many businesses in the commercial field.

You essentially have four different options for growth:

1) Market Penetration

Aim to increase your current share of the Trust market you operate in, using your existing projects and fundraising appeal. This is the most low-risk growth option, but is also the strategy that takes the longest time. The potential returns are also commensurately smaller than some of the higher risk strategies.

2) Market development

While maintaining your current fundraising project, with this approach you spread your contacts to different Trust markets. For instance, while your current strategy may purely involve approaches to UK-based Trusts and foundations, you may try a similar approach with international or European grant making bodies. You can also look at grant making bodies from similar and related fields to your own cause. For example, if you are a homeless charity, could you try making an approach to a Trust that funds child protection issues?

3) Product Development

Your products in the case of charities are the projects you undertake. While still thinking within your core area of expertise, which additional projects could you take on to attract the attention of major funding bodies? This can be an audacious and lucrative source of funding if it comes off, but is also risky as there is no guarantee of success.

4) Diversification

This is the most high-risk of all for the four strategies, and brings together both Market development and Product development to branch out into new and untested waters in your efforts to secure new funding sources. Many organisations and charities have done this extremely successfully, but for it to work you need solid buying and cooperation from all of your trustees, senior managers and core supporters.

There are many ways to develop trust income and various different sources available to do it. A Contact Relationship Management package such as SubscriberCRM can help you manage your relationship with different trusts, explore new avenues for funding and test new appeals and campaigns.

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