The Role of PR in Fundraising

from voluntary sector network blog:

Why fundraisers need to give more thought to PR

PR and fundraising can have an uneasy relationship. Each can have high expectations of the other without really understanding what role they both play and how they would benefit from working more closely. Good communication and planning between PR and fundraising teams or individuals is essential. PR should reinforce and build on the messages that fundraisers are giving to supporters and in challenging times, such as the sector is facing now, the relationship between the two is even more important.

Ask a charity what it wants PR to achieve and after ‘raise awareness’ will often come the answer ‘raise money’. Sometimes it’s even the other way round. There is often an assumption that the two are directly linked – an assumption that establishes unrealistic expectations from the start.

Fundraising aims to encourage donations and to inspire supporters to raise money through a direct call to action. Good PR supports that call by demonstrating the need for the funds and the charity’s integrity in how it spends the money [emphasis added]. The choices supporters make about which charity to donate to can be won or lost on these messages, which is why PR has so much value in a fundraising situation. And when times are tough and the pot is small, it’s especially important in persuading supporters to choose your organisation over others in the sector.