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Fundraising In A Cost Of Living Crisis

Hello, it’s Laura from Cirrico. I’m the Head of Impact and have spent the past 18 years working with charities of every size and type as a fundraiser and leading programmes. Our work at Cirrico is to accelerate human progress through technology. In short, that means freeing you up to do more of the things that will create more impact, by automating the tasks which are a complete time-sink.

Two weeks ago I was lucky enough to be with 60 charities at the Salesforce Nonprofit Roadshow in Glasgow, where we spoke about the Cost of Living Crisis and what charities can do to still raise the money they need at a difficult time. I was joined by some of our amazing charity customers like Street Soccer Scotland, The Celtic FC Foundation, and met so many other inspiring organisations too.

The questions on everyone’s lips:
“How do we stay relevant?”
“How do we increase fundraising to match the demand for services?”
“How can we increase activity but not increase headcount?”
“Are there any quick wins?”

Staying relevant

When I was a fundraiser I did a talk that landed me in The Guardian Newspaper (for good reasons, don’t worry!). I spoke at IWITOT about the magic of storytelling and how Humans of New York was able to fundraise over $1,000,000, when he set out to raise $100,000. (Side note, they met their $100,000 fundraising target in less than 45 minutes, watch the full video below to see how)

Storytelling is the magic that sits in your organisation.

It is a living, breathing and free tool that can be harnessed by everyone. However my advice to all charities at the moment is to create amazing storytelling donor journeys, ones that inspire people to read your emails, and share your content.

Everyday we help organisations like yours create automated donor journeys via Salesforce tools and it saves marketeers and fundraisers so much time. So one of my top tips is to gather some amazing stories and create the best journey possible. (I’m on hand if you want to chat to me about this also!)


Donor journeys increase fundraising when stories are shared

To inspire you further, I want to share a story with you. Ten years ago I was walking through Birmingham Christmas Market. When a street fundraiser for Shelter stopped me.

“Can you please help a homeless person tonight stay in a warm, safe bed?” they asked

Being someone who cares deeply about homelessness I said yes, I donated and became a monthly donor. Fast forward to Christmas Day, I checked my emails

“Because of you I am working Christmas Day” the email RE said.

As I opened it, it had a photo of a man in a Christmas Rudolf jumper with a headset on which confused me, it read:

“Thanks to you I’m working today, on Christmas Day because people are still losing their homes – even on Christmas day. Thank you for supporting us.”

The way this made me feel as a donor was priceless. Are your donor journeys making people feel amazing for donating to your cause? Do you share stories people will share and continue to support you because of?



This is my favourite subject of all. Are we doing enough to demonstrate impact to our volunteers, supporters, donors and teams across our charities? Often when I ask charities this the answer is ‘No’.

If you can take time to work with your programme team, however big or small your charity is, and come up with stats and data on the impact donations have on your work. Feeding this back to your supporters will create a huge impact.

I was recently speaking to a large London-based animal charity which rehouses animals. I asked how volunteers are thanked, and in the conversation asked if they ever are shown the impact they have made to the cause?

“Thank you for volunteering 262 hours this year! This year you’ve volunteered enough hours with us to make an impact, this year you’ve cleaned out 118 litter trays, fed hungry cats a whopping 461 times, and we can’t count the amount of cuddles you’ve given”

Imagine getting that type of feedback in the way that Spotify does the annual round up of what you’ve listened to.


Increasing productivity without increasing headcount.

I hate to sound like a broken-record here but this is all about automation-automation-automation. If you can automate your reporting, invoicing, coding of donations, uploading of data and insights from third party fundraising companies, or simply the amazing donor journeys we previously looked at, it’ll save you hundreds of hours. Bipolar UK saved each of their team 2-3 days through using Salesforce in the first 6 months which meant they are able to do more of what they love, fundraising!


Quick wins with GiftAid
CAF stated last year that 64% of eligible donations do not have GiftAid processed on them. That accounts for millions of pounds. Using Salesforce you can automate your GiftAid giving so that your donations are automatically processed for GiftAid when someone opts in. That can be across Charity Shop donations, one off gifts or regular monthly direct debit donations.


Interested in implementing Salesforce?

If you are interested in implementing Salesforce, then please get in contact with the experts at Cirrico.

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