Ten Tips on Developing a Fundraising Pack

A fundraising pack is a ready-made resource that presents your fundraising appeal or campaign to a wide range of potential supporters who can use it to fundraise on behalf of your cause.

A fundraising pack will provide information on various methods of how to support your cause, from holding events and activities to giving a legacy. This article suggests the structure and content of a model fundraising pack. The same approach can be helpful in developing content for a website.

The Fundraising Pack - what to include:

1. A Statement Championing Your Cause/Appeal/Campaign

A catchy statement championing your cause must feature prominently in the pack, so that it is clear what you are asking people to support. This can be your brand for the campaign or appeal. Clarity, focus and simplicity are important in formulating this vital message.

For Example: At ‘XYZ Cance’r today we carry on the fight for freedom from cancer, and we maintain a pioneering role in the development of cancer services. www.XYZcancer.ie

2. Information Explaining Your Organisation

This is a summary overview of the organisation, its history and key achievements. But keep it short … this isn’t your annual report.

For example: Founded in 1974 as the first register of volunteers willing to donate bone marrow in circumstances where a match cannot be found within a patient’s family, The XYZ Trust now holds one of the largest databases of unrelated donors in the world.

The Trust owes its existence to the determination of Shirley Nolan, who established the register in an attempt to save the life of her son, Anthony, a little boy born in 1971 suffering a rare bone marrow disease which left his immune system unable to fight infection.

3. Communicate the Aims and Objectives of Your Appeal

This is an opportunity to say what you will use the money for, how much you hope to raise and perhaps how you will report on outcomes. The emphasis here should be on how donors’ money makes a significant difference.

For Example: Each year, we need €14 million to support thousands of people with a learning disability and their families. Every contribution - large or small - helps to make a real difference to people's lives.

With your help, we can go on providing advice and support to meet people's needs, for example:

  • We deal with real-life problems. When parents first discover their child has a learning disability, we provide advice and support at this difficult time.
  • We also work with young people and adults with a learning disability to find solutions to a wide variety of problems they can face in their day to day lives.

What your support can achieve:

€25 could help us to make the first visit to a family who have a newly-born child with a learning disability and desperately need advice and support.

  • €50 could pay for two young people with a learning disability to take part in our Gateway Award programme for a year.

4. Provide Some Sample Case Studies of How Funding Will Help

A case study of your cause helps to show potential donors what they are getting for their money. Fundraising is about people (and occasionally animals) so it is important to emphasise who the cause is helping with real life examples. Children in Need in the UK provides colourful case studies of organisations and individuals they have helped.

For Example: At just 15 years old, Laura Dodds left home to go and live on the streets. For eight months she slept rough - in parks, car parks and curled up in empty concrete stairwells. For most of this time Laura passed the hours feeling frightened, cold and desperately lonely. During this difficult and incredibly dangerous time, Laura had no one to turn to for help. But her luck changed when she came across somebody from the Emmaus Project, an organisation supported by BBC Children in Need which looks after young homeless people in Laura's situation. Laura now has a permanent place to stay and reveals that life could not be more different these days. She says: "Things are really good now. I'm going to college and studying some brilliant courses. I'm much happier than I used to be. I still have worries, but they are much smaller." www.bbc.co.uk/pudsey

5. Provide Some Ideas for Fundraising Events and Activities

Your fundraising pack can include ideas for events and activities that others can carry out on behalf of your cause. This is often divided into target groups such as ideas for:

  • schools
  • youth groups
  • workplace
  • general public

You can also provide sample sponsorship forms in the pack.

6. Enclose Predesigned Publicity information

Many fundraising packs include free posters and fliers which can be used by your supporters. Posters and fliers often contain blank areas to allow your supporters to add the details (date, time and venue) of their own events.

Guidance on how to publicise an event or activity can also be included, with ideas and template press releases.

Publicity information you may wish to include:

  • Posters
  • Fliers
  • Information leaflets
  • Publicity guidance
  • Event notification form
  • Template press releases

7. Enclose a Merchandise Catalogue

A fundraising pack is also the place to put a merchandise catalogue. Merchandise catalogues are produced by many large voluntary organisations and charities. Merchandise includes items such as cups branded with the charity logo, t-shirts, key rings, teddy bears, pens, etc.

You may be able to compile your own merchandise catalogue by

  • Approaching local companies for cause related marketing opportunities.
  • Selling products you make in your organisation, e.g. crafts or art work, etc.
  • Purchasing merchandise branded with your own logo to sell at a profit.

For Example: We have some really exciting new products such as the superb Limited Edition 'Greeting Card' prints, signed by the internationally acclaimed animal artist, Nigel Hemming. If you have a pet that is frightened by noise, Crash-Bang-Wallop is a desensitising CD containing a full eight page colour training guide, with contact details for further help and over 50 tracks including fireworks, traffic noise, thunderstorms and many more.

8. Provide Health, Safety and Legal Advice

The fundraising pack should also include guidelines on health and safety issues, and legal issues. In particular, your supporters need to be informed of the legal issues around:

  • street- and house-to-house collections
  • raffles, lotteries, ballots, etc
  • public liability insurance
  • entertainment licenses

Your organisation should develop a clear policy on the rights and responsibilities of anyone fundraising on your behalf, and this should be clearly detailed in your pack. You have to have adequate checks in place to protect your supporters from fraud allegations and to protect your cause being hijacked by fraudsters. You should also brief your supporters on security issues when handling large amounts of money. The Wheel provides free guidelines on legal/charitable issues and the Irish Charities Tax Research Group provides draft principles of good practice in fundraising. Institute of Fundraising provide Codes of Best Practice in fundraising.

  • www.wheel.ie
  • www.ictr.ie

9. Provide Clear Direction on How People Can Give to Your Appeal

The fundraising pack can give clear guidance on various ways of supporting your cause. You can include sample forms to make this even easier for people. The methods you outline in the pack can include:

  • Donating by post.
  • Donating at a bank/post office.
  • By credit/debit card (if you have the facility to accept credit/debit transactions).
  • By telephone pledge, set up a donation helpline.
  • Information on Payroll Giving.

You can make this easy for donors by providing:

  • Gift Aid declaration forms
  • Information on legacy giving
  • Pre-addressed envelopes
  • Bank lodgement slips

10. Design

The presentation of your pack is important. Some of the best examples use an A4 folder-type publication with inserts that can be removed and copied as necessary. A professionally designed and printed pack gives supporters confidence, whereas a amateurish product can raise suspicions about your viability. Strong visuals to accompany your messages are vital to tell your organisation’s story vividly and powerfully. This is an important investment in your annual fundraising efforts, and you may well have to spend money to make money. Try to get sponsorship from businesses or printers to produce your fundraising pack to a high standard.

11. Provide Accessible Contact Details

It is very important to provide full contact details for your organisation. Post Office boxes, addresses and mobile phone numbers on their own do not sit well. You will want to be contacted for numerous reasons, so make it easy for supporters and donors alike to contact the right person for the right purpose.

Your fundraising pack can equip an army of supporters fundraising on your behalf, and make a real difference in your annual bottom line, so it is well worth taking the time and effort to make it an effective and valuable resource.

Fundraising Pack Checklist

Here is a checklist for items you may want to include in a fundraising pack. While this information aims to be as comprehensive as possible you may, of course, wish to include other items in your pack.

Information on:

  • Your cause/appeal
  • Information on your organisation explaining who you are and what you do
  • Example case studies of who or what the funding will help
  • Examples of what a donation pays for

Events / Activities

  • A list of example events and activities
  • Guidance on how to organise and run events
  • Event / activity registration form
  • Predesigned posters and fliers
  • Fundraising events calendar
  • Information on Challenge events you are running
  • Booking information
  • A contact person for events planning

Legal and good practice advice:

  • Lotteries, ballots and raffles
  • Street/house collections
  • Handling donations
  • Use of Charity Status
  • A statement of principle in relation to fundraising
  • Your complaints procedure

Tax Effective Giving

  • Mutual benefits of tax-effective giving
  • Overview of tax-effective giving legislation
  • Payroll giving facility instructions
  • Information on legacy giving (recommended solicitor arrangement)

How to Receive Donations

  • Standing order instructions
  • Ability to accept online donations
  • Where to hand in cash donations - nominated collection points / persons or collection box points
  • Fold-flat collection boxes
  • bank lodgement slips

Online fundraising information

  • Ebay for charity instructions
  • Model sponsorship forms
  • Registered with mycharity.ie or equivalent for online sponsor forms

Contacts and PR

  • Full contact details
  • Press packs
  • Press/spokesperson contact
  • Press releases

Merchandise/samples to include

  • A gifts catalogue for real gifts or virtual gifts
  • Balloons
  • Stickers
  • Wristbands

Business Partners

  • list of partner deals
  • appeal for partners information.