The Problem with Fundraising: Overcoming the Biggest Failings and Hurdles


Fundraising is the lifeblood of many small charities, enabling them to fulfill their noble missions and bring about positive change in the world. Chris Stoddard, an expert in the field and the owner of Raisemore, has dedicated his efforts to help these organisations by authoring “The Fundraising Blueprint.” However, despite the best intentions and expertise, fundraisers often encounter significant challenges that impede their progress. In this article, we will delve into some of the most significant failings and hurdles fundraisers face, and explore potential solutions to overcome them.

1. Donor Fatigue:

One of the most pressing issues that fundraisers encounter is donor fatigue. As more charities and causes vie for attention and support, donors can become overwhelmed and desensitised to the constant stream of appeals. This saturation leads to a decline in donor engagement and financial contributions, making it increasingly difficult for fundraisers to achieve their goals.

Solution: Fundraisers must prioritise building meaningful relationships with donors. Personalised communication, regular updates on the impact of donations, and expressing genuine gratitude can help foster a stronger connection between the charity and its supporters. Additionally, diversifying fundraising efforts to include creative and innovative campaigns can reignite donor interest.

2. Lack of Diverse Funding Sources:

Overreliance on a single source of funding can be detrimental to charities, leaving them vulnerable if that funding stream is disrupted or reduced. Relying heavily on a few large donors, government grants, or corporate sponsorships can stifle growth and limit the organisation’s capacity to tackle new challenges.

Solution: A robust fundraising strategy should involve diversifying funding sources. Exploring opportunities for individual giving, community partnerships, crowdfunding, and events can create a stable financial base for the charity. This approach not only mitigates risk but also broadens the charity’s reach in engaging different stakeholders.

3. Ineffective Storytelling:

Telling a compelling story is crucial in capturing the hearts and minds of potential donors. However, fundraisers often struggle with effectively communicating their charity’s mission, goals, and impact. Lack of emotional connection in their narratives can hinder their ability to inspire generosity.

Solution: Fundraisers should invest in developing powerful storytelling skills. Sharing real-life success stories of how the charity has positively affected individuals or communities can create a meaningful emotional bond with potential donors. Utilising various mediums, such as videos, photographs, and social media, can help convey the charity’s message in a captivating and engaging manner.

4. Competition from Established Charities:

Smaller charities often find themselves in direct competition with larger, more established organisations that have extensive resources and brand recognition. This competitive landscape can make it challenging for lesser-known charities to gain visibility and attract donors.

Solution: Rather than trying to outshine bigger charities directly, smaller fundraisers should focus on their unique selling points. Emphasising the charity’s grassroots approach, personal connection with donors, and specific niche causes can attract supporters who resonate with the organisation’s core values.


Fundraising for small charities is an arduous but essential task that requires dedication, resilience, and creativity. By recognizing and addressing the biggest failings and hurdles, fundraisers can strategise effectively and optimise their efforts to garner the support they need. Donor engagement, diversified funding, compelling storytelling, and embracing uniqueness are key components of a successful fundraising journey. With perseverance and innovation, small charities can overcome these challenges and make a significant impact on the causes they hold dear.

The Problem with Fundraising: Overcoming the Biggest Failings and Hurdles

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