Fundraisers in regional communities, working on local causes face a number of unique challenges. While a small donor pool, low socioeconomic profile, higher costs and less advanced technology, among other things, make fundraising in regional areas more difficult, these barriers to success are not insurmountable. ‘Small town’ does not need to mean small potential for success if you follow our 4 top tips for regional fundraisers.
Tip #1: Play to your Strengths – For many years regional fundraisers have struggled to achieve the success of their big-city counterparts, however a shift in the way people give is now giving regional fundraisers a significant advantage.
Gone are the days that donors were willing to blindly hand over their hard earned cash to the charity of their choice. Today’s donors are educated, strategic and much more hands-on. They prefer to give to organisations that can demonstrate real impact or advancement towards their vision. This change presents an exciting opportunity for regional fundraisers who are able to more easily demonstrate their impact and value to the community. Regional charities and not-for-profit organisations can play to this strength by focussing on communicating impact to both donors and the wider community.
Tip #2: Look beyond the locals – In order to reach a broad audience, regional charities and not for profits need to look beyond the local community for support. One potential prospect group to tap into is former locals and those with a family connection to the region. Just because someone moves away, doesn’t mean that they don’t retain their ties to a community. Children especially grow up and move away, but still feel connected to the place they were raised.
Another group to consider is regular holiday-makers and second homeowners. Their decision to keep visiting the same location over a number of years shows a strong connection to the area and to the community. Tours, event and campaigns scheduled during holiday-season is a great way to enlist the support of visitors to your area.
There may be more people than you think who appreciate what you do from a distance. And with the advancement of online fundraising, it has never been easier to communicate with those physically far away.
Tip # 3: Contribute to the community – It is vitally important for fundraisers in regional communities to be viewed as givers, not takers. As well as giving to the cause you are raising money for, you should be looking for ways to give to the wider community. This may be achieved through providing local jobs, volunteer opportunities or information/education programs. Fundraising events which promote community engagement and provide opportunities for entertainment are also a great way for your organisation to be seen as community minded.
Tip # 4: Collaborate with the Competition – The impact of competition is much greater in regional communities where the donor pool is small. However, your competition is not necessarily your enemy. They could in fact be a valuable ally. Joining forces with another charity or not profit can help reduce costs while increasing impact and growing donor support. Collaboration is very attractive to potential donors who see it as an effective way to maximise the benefit of their support.
Below you will find just a small selection of regionally-based organisations OKP has worked with over the years. We have developed a sound reputation for understanding the unique challenges of regional fundraising and developing solutions tailored to the capacity of each individual organisation and community. Over the coming months, OKP will be hosting a series of discussion forums for regional fundraisers. If you are interested in being involved, please call on 1300 721 799 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.