I.G. Advisors (I.G.) recently had the pleasure of collaborating with The Big Give and Rosa on the Women and Girls Match Fund – a campaign which raised over £2 million and supported over 100 charities working to improve the lives of women and girls who are vulnerable, disadvantaged or underrepresented in England and Scotland.
While the I.G. team works across all-cause areas, we are particularly passionate about gender justice and have experience assisting charities of all shapes and sizes with fundraising strategies, donor communications, and more – You can check out our 10 years report for highlights.
So, what are our top tips for digital fundraising ✨ with confidence ✨? And what about fundraising for the women and girls sector specifically?
Tip 1 – Don’t be daunted by digital.
For many charities participating in the Women and Girls Match Fund, digital fundraising was a new beast. A number of organisations had tiny, one-person fundraising teams and were concerned about the limited capacity to manage an additional campaign on top of their day-to-day work – let alone a campaign that would revolve around (*gasp*) digital channels of communication.
Remember that anything above zero is an achievement – whether that’s one new supporter gained, one additional marketing resource produced, or one new skill developed! It’s also important to bear in mind that the skills we use for our day-to-day fundraising are transferable, from our ability to communicate impact and pitch our organisation’s work to our skills for understanding donor audiences and mapping networks of supporters. Don’t underestimate the value of your knowledge and talent, your pre-existing resources, and everything you’re already doing so well.
Tip 2 – Pause. Breathe. Reflect. Repeat.
“There’s just so much to think about, and way too much happening all at once…” We might have invented this quote from an imaginary Match Fund participant, but we’ve all been there! So overwhelmed with a new project or challenge that it’s hard to know where to begin. Or so busy that once one campaign has ended, it’s straight onto the next without taking time to catch our breath and reflect in between. Ringfence time for reflection in your calendar and acknowledge this as a key step for success before, during and after your campaign. Yes, it really is as vital as drafting a copy for your crowdfunding page or remembering to inform current supporters that the campaign is even happening (though please don’t forget to do these things!)
It’s important to reflect not just on our ambitions and goals for the campaign but also on the strengths and opportunities we could capitalise on, as well as any weaknesses or risks we should mitigate. Equally, it’s essential to consider not just how we can benefit from the awareness and donations we receive during the fundraiser but also from the learnings we can take forward for even greater success in future.
Tip 3 – Seize (and be emboldened by) the opportunity
Digital fundraising, particularly through social media channels, is a great means to reach a wider audience. And yes, we want to raise money from this audience, but additional ambitions shone through strongly during the Women and Girls Match Fund campaign, including challenging problematic narratives, raising awareness of important causes, and amplifying women and girls’ voices.
There are a number of campaigns within the women and girls sector that do this well. This Girl Can by Sport England, which centres women’s voices in its campaign videos, is a great example. We also love the way Equality Fund so passionately and unapologetically pitches its case for need and support on its website. Be inspired and emboldened by the examples set by peers, and lead the way by setting an example of your own that others can aspire to and feel encouraged by.
Tip 4 – Fundraise in feminist solidarity
One of the many features that set the Women and Girls Match Fund apart is the way it brought together so many amazing charities and encouraged them to fundraise within the same timeframe and learn together within the same virtual spaces. It was powerful to witness these organisations coming together to share inspiration and ideas, alongside apprehensions and concerns, during trainings. Presentations from Martha Wood at Bendrigg Trust and Leanne Thomas from Pregnancy Sickness Support were also invaluable sources of wisdom. In fact, as both a Women and Girls Match Fund participant and willing mentor to peers taking part in the campaign, Pregnancy Sickness Support is an example of feminist solidarity at its finest. Share experiences and learnings, reach out, connect, and discuss difficulties with honesty and vulnerability so we can all succeed at raising money for the causes we care about and can celebrate our collective success together.
We’re thrilled and humbled to have had a chance to connect with so many amazing charities in the women and girls space and to have (hopefully) played a helpful role in their journey towards digital fundraising with confidence. All of I.G. ‘s training for the Women and Girls Match Fund campaign are publicly available here.
If you have any questions about fundraising or the work of the I.G. team, please feel free to reach out to email@example.com – I’d love to hear from you!
What has been your experience of digital fundraising as a charity supporting women and girls? What do you feel are the untapped opportunities of digital for the sector?