Did you know that people are interested in volunteering in January more than at any other time of the year? It’s no surprise really, as once New Year comes around, almost everyone is thinking about self-improvement and the next challenge they want to take on. While this is great for people in general, it is also great for charities and their fundraising efforts, mainly getting in more volunteers and donations! So, how can you make the most of the New Year as a charity? We’ve outlined a few ways below.
Start planning for it early
January may be the month that people are keen to sign up for new things and take on challenges, but it is also the month where life begins again and everyone gets back into the swing of their jobs and family life. Soon, we are so busy again that we don’t have time to think or plan for extracurricular activities and things are put off until suddenly it’s next year!
As a charity, you need to be planning ahead for the New Year to take advantage of increased interest in January, the most important being getting people involved as soon as possible so that they don’t lose interest or get too busy.
Here are a few areas that you’ll need to plan and prepare for:
- How will you collect volunteer information? (names, contacts etc)
- How will you keep in contact and follow up with them? (e.g email newsletter)
- How will you encourage charity support? What marketing methods will you use?
- How can you make it easier for people to get involved with your charity? (e.g improve your website, offer online donation methods)
- Which fundraising events have worked best for you in the past? Can you use them again in the New Year?
One of the best ways to ensure that people don’t lose interest as the months go on is to set them a goal. For example, March tends to be the beginning of half marathons, so get people to take on the challenge in the New Year and be there to support them when they are training for it. Running and sports events are often the most popular fundraising methods, so try and think about what events are coming up and encourage people to take on the challenge with your charity. You can then provide supporters with fundraising packs and branded merchandise, and encourage them to spread the word.
Most people don’t go searching for information, so make it easy for people to help you by telling them how they can do just that! Communicating with loyal and new supporters is essential for a charity, so think about the best ways to speak to your audience. Do they prefer direct mail? Social media? What do you get the most engagement with? Only when you know this can you communicate effectively. You need to invest in spreading the word about local volunteering opportunities and the different ways that people can support you because if you don’t, people won’t know anything about it.
By taking advantage of the New Year with these simple methods above, you can encourage a good level of support from the get-go, setting your charity up for a good year ahead!