Fundraising strategy development

Fundraising can often be left to chance – it can also evolve over time in that sources of funding can dry up. It can be vital for organisations to review previous fundraising and develop a dynamic fundraising strategy. And remember the 80/20 Rule! Pareto’s Law says that 80% of our success comes from 20% of our efforts – but which 20% is the question?

In 2020 we worked to complete a 5 year funding strategy for Together Dementia Support – a charity in Manchester working to support People Living with Dementia – be these those who have dementia or those who care for them.

This led on to John working on the actual fundraising – starting in April 2021 and by October having raised a huge £500,000 from a range of sources.

We can’t promise such amazing results for everyone but we will absolutely aim for it!

In these tough economic times, particularly on public sector finances, many charities are finding it difficult to raise the funds they need to continue let alone develop and grow. Perhaps it’s time to review your fundraising strategy. Here are a few suggestions and things to think about.

Local authorities and central government are providing less money to local charities via grants and increasingly putting services and other opportunities out to tender. Could this be an opportunity for you? Do know how to find out about up and coming opportunities? A number of contracts that come up will be too large or complex for a smaller local charity. We have recent success in supporting charities with tenders to both Leeds City Council and the Ministry of Justice.

The National Lottery is always worth considering – Reaching Communities, the Arts Council, Sport England and the Heritage Lottery Fund. They have a variety of programmes ranging from small grants e.g. Awards for All with up to £10k per application – to major initiatives (e.g. Reaching Communities) with the potential to fund major projects up to £500k – and we have raised this amount recently for one of our clients. There is a lot of work involved in applying for the larger grants. You will need to have clear evidence of the need you wish to address and be clear on the difference you wish to make in terms of defined outcomes. If you have not applied to the National Lottery before then an Awards for All application is probably the best option to consider.

Charitable Trusts and Foundations are another potential source of income. There are over 8,000 charitable trusts in the UK and they cover nearly every type of activity. It is important that you look carefully at their criteria, what type of activity they are seeking to support and what their geographic coverage is.

A targeted, high quality approach to a few trusts is far better than a scatter gun approach to as many as you can find. The main challenge is finding out who they are and what they are looking to fund. We can work with you on your overall fundraising strategy, applications to trusts and foundations and on your legacy work.

In developing a new or refreshed strategy we work with organisations through a process:

Getting Started – Why?

Our Mission

Our Aims & Objectives

The environment – internal/external

Fundraising audit – what has been done before

Our Fundraising Objectives

The Fundraising Mix – the 20/80 priorities

Implementation & Timeline

The Risks

Monitoring & Evaluation

If you would like more hands on help and advice in identifying and applying for funding then Third Sector Consultancy can help.

We offer a free initial consultation to help assess your needs and how we may be able to help.


For a number of years John and Third Sector Consultancy have been providing both fundraising services and management for the Third Sector National Learning Alliance. In both these roles he has met and often exceeded targets and objectives.

TSNLA relies entirely on raising regular funds through various routes and John has led on this and has been very successful in generating the income we need to carry out our work.

Tim Ward

Chair of the Third Sector National Learning Alliance