Raising the money needed to keep smaller charities going is a well researched topic. It’s the No 1 worry for small charity directors and trustees. That followed quickly by the associated headache of finding and retaining competent fundraising staff. Added to this is the well-known challenge that Grant Making Trusts are facing as they struggle to meet an avalanche of applications – not long ago you could rely on a success rate of 1 in 4 when applying to Grant Making Trusts, now its nearer 1 in 14. However, a recent report by our sister company, Raisemore, has shed light on where a significant amount of ‘new’ money will come from.

Raisemore’s new Report ( “ Individual Giving – a missed opportunity for small charities “ ) finds that smaller charities are missing out on a major source if income that is tapped handsomely by the larger charities. Individual donations are the backbone of Cancer Research Campaign’s funding and that of most of the top 100 charities. Yet, apparently, it hardly features at all in the fundraising efforts of small charities. Yes, it is to these exact charities that local donors greatly prefer to give their charitable support. So why are small charities missing out and how can they put this right?

A good first start is to get to grips with what “individual giving” actually is. In short it is:

  • Cash donations of smaller amounts
  • Regular donations by direct debit or recurring card payment
  • Major Gifts from wealthy benefactors
  • Legacy Gifts in donors’ wills

Each of these needs a different strategic approach, but none of it is rocket science and any small charity trustee, director or fundraiser can get on top of the requirements for success, given the will to succeed.  A good starting point would be to read or re-read the Individual Giving chapters of ‘A Blueprint for Fundraising’. And when you are ready to start up or beef up an individual giving programme you’ll be in for a nice surprise: the investment returns can be very favourable if done correctly.