Afterall, if organisations didn’t need money, sustainability wouldn’t be much of an issue! But in order to get money, we need to clear on
- What we’ve done with any money we have already had
- What we need more money for
- What we’ll do when it’s gone again
It’s not sustainable to carry on earning and spending, and earning and spending without taking time to think about what you’re trying to achieve. There’s a strong case for being more analytical and strategic about Income Generation:
- Where does your money come from now?
- Does it matter that 80% of your income over the last five years comes from just a few main sources (commonly just 6-8)? Do you know which ones? Do you know why they chose to give their money to you? The value you add for them? If not, how can you find out, urgently?
Successful income generation strategies begin with proper analysis. We can’t recommend strongly enough that you don’t just read the questions above, you do the analysis that helps you answer them.
These are some of the approaches and tools we find useful:
- Income Generation Strategy template – We devised this template to help people to create well-structured strategies for income generation – it can also be used for marketing, business development and communication plans.
- Short Breaks Fund Unit Cost Toolkit – Shared Care Scotland has developed a tool to help calculate the unit cost of your service. Note: this is a specific (and thorough) tool for providers of short breaks to unpaid carers, but it is a useful reference for anyone who wants to be able to calculate – or evidence – the true costs of their services.
- Preparing for Market – A useful and enjoyable tool we developed for helping not-for-profit teams overcome aversion to marketing! It is provided as a free and shareable resource for not-for-profit education, and credit should be given as shown.
- Institute of Fundraising – The IOF’s website gives comprehensive coverage to fundraising policy, resources, events and networks. NB: This is a UK website, some areas of legislation differ in Scotland but there is a helpful separate section on IOF networks in Scotland.
- The Charity Social Media Toolkit – Available via this link as a PDF or as an online resource. A very comprehensive guide, from the basics of starting out on social media to using it for effective fundraising. Lots of interesting resources, links and case studies.