As we face up to a huge increase in the cost of living, charities have a triple problem looming.
- You probably have more people in need of your services so need to spend more than ever.
- The usual amount donated by a supporter is worth less, as your costs have gone up.
- Your supporters are facing their own cost of living crisis and can’t afford to give more.
No doubt you are having plenty of discussions about funding with your leadership and finance teams, and you might make some big changes.
Honesty is best
Whatever approach you decide to take, we think honesty is the best policy when communicating with your supporters.
Explain how the cost of living crisis is affecting your charity and ask how they’d like to respond.
Acknowledge they may be facing tough choices of their own; don’t guilt trip them about it.
Encourage those brilliant people who still have a passion to give to those in greater need than themselves, whether they opt to increase their giving or just hang onto giving a small amount each month.
Make sure they feel like part of the team, taking on this challenge together. You work for a charity because you’re committed to doing something important, even when it’s tough.
Many of your supporters feel the same way – keep sharing the vision.
Keep in touch with anybody who stops supporting you financially during this time (with their permission of course). Make sure they still feel included and valued.
Consider checking in with them every six months to give them a – no pressure – chance to start giving again if their circumstances have changed.
It’s going to be challenging, but it’s not all doom and gloom – you are probably about to be inspired by the passionate people who want to prioritise your cause through thick and thin.