Strategy Reviews and Development Audits

Whatever your fundraising ambitions, you need to have a strategy that details your goals, maps out your actions and provides a pathway to fundraising success.

There will come a time when your existing fundraising strategy (if you have one at all) will need to be reviewed - and there are many good reasons for doing this.

Simply put, a fundraising strategy maps what funds you’ll need to meet your goals. This includes identifying what actions you need to take to generate these funds and what resources you’ll also need along the way. It provides not just the basis for your ongoing fundraising activity, but also the platform for your board to decide how much investment will be required to make things happen.

A written fundraising strategy is a dynamic document. It isn’t produced so that it can sit on the shelf and gather dust. It will naturally evolve to reflect successes and failures, manage changes in external influences and meet new challenges.

The key elements of a fundraising strategy

Whilst every fundraising strategy is unique to the organisation it serves, they all share some common elements. These are:

1. Where are we now? Position audit
A review of the charity’s current fundraising activities over the last three years including a comprehensive SWOT analysis.

2. What are others doing? Key learnings research
A summary of the findings generated from research into comparator, benchmark and competitor charities.

3. Where do we want to be? Stakeholder research
An outline case for support for the charity and its wider fundraising operation would be prepared and tested with internal stakeholders. Focus groups to be held with internal teams.

4. Where is the money? Resources review
Validation of the case for support with selected prospects across the region and the UK, including gift evaluation and volunteer leadership identification.

5. Where are we going? Options appraisal
Develop the recommendations for the 3 to 5-year Charity Strategy including outline income and expenditure projections, key audiences and timeframes, risks, staff resource etc.

6. How do we get there? Fundraising strategy
Finalise and present the Fundraising Strategy to Trustees and SLT.

The key benefits

  • Guides you in generating additional income, when your business plan may be changing or there are new projects and programmes about to come on stream
  • Helps you identify whether any existing income streams can be reduced or even withdrawn altogether
  • Supports you at a time when leadership or management is going through a period of change
  • Helps you to identify which income streams are most beneficial to your charity and where you can diversify and streamline
  • Provides insight on tackling declining donor retention which may be because your strategy hasn’t been reviewed for some years

A complete strategy should recognise all three needs in the fundraising mix and deliver the best plan to raise funds, as and when appropriate, for each of them.

"The Kennel Club Charitable Trust is an established charity of over 30 years, but we have never had a proactive fundraising operation. We engaged Gifted to undertake a Strategic Review, creating an action plan for how we progress. Since then, we’ve been implementing the Fundraising Strategy with Gifted’s help and have seen our charity thrive - we are so excited for what the future holds for us and our increased ability in fulfilling our vision of making a difference for dogs." 
The Reverend Bill King, Chairman of Trustees, The Kennel Club Charitable Trust

"Gaining a clear understanding of our Members’ opinions was essential to developing a fundraising strategy that could guide the future of the MCC Foundation. Gifted was able to bring a professional, independent eye to the state of play and enable us to take our next fundraising steps with confidence. We have been delighted with the progress that we have made already." 
Gerald Corbett, Former Chairman, MCC

Further information

Client assignments
  • Bradford Hospitals' Charity
  • De Montfort University
  • MCC Foundation
  • Middlesex CCC
  • The Goldsmiths' Company
  • The Kennel Club Charitable Trust
  • The Lord Leycester Hospital
  • The Skinners' Company
  • Wakefield Grammar School Foundation
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To arrange a no-obligation discussion of your fundraising needs, contact [email protected]

Why review your Fundraising Strategy?