How can charities encourage giving in the slow months

Does your charity’s plan for the year ahead include a focus on bringing in donations in the winter (quieter) months?

Donations tend to dry up in the winter months as purses tighten after Christmas and tax returns need completing. However, in terms of humanity, it is the hardest time of the year with the colder weather really impacting upon the vulnerable, elderly and homeless.

Charities still need to fundraise to support those in need, despite donations taking a natural back seat.

In order to ensure your fundraising this winter is both successful and inspires the year ahead, DONATE has compiled the top ten ways to drive donations this winter.

How can charities encourage giving in the slow months

  1. Ride on the coat-tails of New Year’s resolutions, and those who pledged to get/stay fit this year. People will sign up for events, such as marathons, fun runs, etc – and will be sponsored for doing so. Why not ask your friends to sponsor you for every month you keep your gym membership/new sport up?
  2. Partner with a local foodbank and host a competition to get as many donations to the foodbank as possible. Engage local schools and community groups, as well as other charities, to team up and raise as much as possible. Develop friendly contests on who can raise the most, who brings in the highest average donations, the largest single donation, etc. These could also be matched by a local bank branch or an employer.
  3. Keep an eye on the news in your sector and the narrative over the winter period, especially in regards to the vulnerable in society and the things they may require. E.g coat exchanges and/or fundraisers to buy new coats for the homeless, and food donations.
  4. Host an auction of unwanted bits and pieces/things not used in a while. This could be the perfect opportunity to introduce digital fundraising platforms into your fundraising with an online auction, or even a physical auction with contactless card machines.
  5. Encourage organisations to support charities as part of their corporate social responsibility. Workplace volunteering schemes are proven to boost productivity and improve employee retention, proving a win-win all around. Other ways to support charities at workplaces include hosting fundraisers at work events and getting a contactless machine to improve the ease of fundraising.
  6. Support seasonal charity fundraisers such as Dry January, Sugar-Free February and Fairtrade Fortnight. Employers could match-fund their employees to encourage friendly rivalries over who can keep at it the longest.
  7. Partner with an organisation where you could receive donations for every air ticket or holiday booked. Examples could include giving to the Australian fires relief efforts when travelling there or donations to Indonesian flood victims when travelling there.
  8. Encourage organisations to promote payroll/payday schemes where donations can be made tax-free, meaning more reaches the charity. These are great for both corporate social responsibility and building up a solid bank of donors. These are becoming more and more popular, with £133m donated in 2017-18, up by £3.5m on the year before.
  9. Make 2020 the year you start an environmental pledge campaign. For example; for every plastic bag bought, organisations can donate £1 as ‘payback’ or even make a larger pledge to show wider support. Perhaps, you could team up to host a repair cafe with contactless donations or upcycle some bits for an auction.
  10. Stay in contact with local press and radio so that you can partner up with a campaign when relevant news comes along. This would be the perfect case study when you’re looking to show the importance of charitable giving.