Tips for small shop fundraising

Did you know that over 80% of charities in Canada are considered small- to mid-sized? That means there are thousands of people just like you working in small shops, wearing all the hats.

Needless to say, fundraising isn’t always a top priority when you’re also directing a program, dealing with HR issues, and reporting back to your funders. But a few key tips can help make sure that the fundraising that you do plan is effective and successful.

Use what you’ve got

When you have limited resources there’s no sense in trying to do it all, so really look at what you’re good at and build on that. Start with a SWOT analysis of your organization. If you have a great networker on your team, see if you can devote some of their hours to schmoozing with higher-net-worth individuals to secure some larger donations. If one of your program staff is really savvy with social media, ask them to test out a fundraising campaign.

Think beyond the gala

Sure, special events can raise your profile and bring new friends in the door. But they also require a huge amount of resources, are a source of staff burnout, and have a low return on investment. So think about other fundraising options that require fewer resources: fundraising letters to your existing donor base, a board-driven major gifts program, digital fundraising campaigns, and more.

Leverage your smallness

Small shops have a unique advantage: a smaller donor base. This means that a “personal touch” in your fundraising is more do-able than in a large hospital, where a $25 donor might get lost in the shuffle. Take the time to get to know your donors, and provide them with a donor experience that they’ll never forget.

Ashleigh Saith

Co-Founder, Charity Savant

Ashleigh Saith is a fundraiser and nonprofit leader with years of experience working in small- and mid-sized nonprofits. She’s passionate about nonprofit marketing and leadership, and found herself with a shocking knack for finance. While out running, Ashleigh thinks about new ways that Charity Campus can help nonprofit staff and volunteers grow, learn, and connect with each other.