2023 seems to be the year that many organisations are raising funds.
Many not-for-profits are doing it tough and now trying to make up for lower donations during the Covid period. Some businesses have experienced a few tough years and are ready to get back to international markets yet require a capital injection to achieve their goals.
No matter what the situation, many of you out there are looking to external sources for funding. And that might mean you’re kicking off a donor development programme or putting together your information memorandum (IM) to pitch to investors.
As you start your fund-raising journey, don’t forget the power of executing a communications strategy alongside your fundraising or capital raising campaign.
There are several reasons why it’s important to get your communications right during this important moment in your business cycle:
No matter if you are a consumer looking to donate to a charity or a savvy investor looking for your next big deal, what is one of the sources you’ll consult before you depart with your money? Google, of course.
So, it’s important that your organisation have some positive, impactful news stories and content online that donors or investors can find.
Think about what good news stories you can pitch to media who have authoritative websites where your story will live. Develop a range of your own stories for your website and promote these through all your online channels.
And remember, one story is not enough. Credibility is established when you have depth of content online that boosts your reputation.
Your communications strategy should also be looking at ways you can generate excitement about your organisation, your brand or your products. It’s not enough to have credibility these days, you also want to create a bit of buzz that takes your audience from trusting you to loving you!
Think about it – there are a lot of charities people can donate to that will invest those dollars wisely. There are numerous good investments that will give you a good return on your funds. But what stands out are organisations who are doing unique things, things that generate a hubbub around their brand or their products.
So, think about ways you can generate a bit of fizz. Can you create an event that gains attention? Is it through generating really interesting videos or imagery shared online? Can you get some influencers creating and sharing content about your organisation?
‘Buzz’ rarely happens by chance, so be innovative and purposeful.
Word of Mouth
At the end of the day, many of us donate to a charity that either we know personally, or our friends have told us about. And the investor community also often relies on conversations about the current business opportunities in the market and who is investing in what.
So, your organisation or business must look at ways that you can generate positive word of mouth. How are you getting in front of people who matter – people who can be great ambassadors for you and who will share your positive stories?
It’s important to think about your core target audience and then think of ways to reach them in a more personal way. Network at the right events, speak at conferences your audience attends, create good content and use the power of social media advertising to deliver your messages into your audiences’ news feeds.
Strategise ways you can generate that ‘water cooler conversation’ in a powerful way.
To all of you out there looking for funds, good luck. And remember to add a communications component to your next campaign.