Whole organisation fundraising: the next big thing

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Alan Clayton | 9 September 2016

Everyone in your organisation is a fundraiser. Or they should be.

Perhaps not out shaking a tin in all weathers, although I do advocate that hands-on involvement and interaction with volunteers, but everyone has a role to play in raising funds for their organisation. Because fundraising is absolutely critical to every charity’s mission.

Fundraising increases income essential for growth.

Income to grow services, projects, communications, education, campaigning, influence and awareness. To protect people, stop injustice and save lives.  

Fundraising is the lifeblood of a charity, NGO or non-profit and so it has to be the responsibility of the whole organisation. Sounds simple but, as many fundraisers can testify, it is not easy.

So what is needed to achieve whole organisation fundraising?

  • Organisational recognition that fundraising is a crucial part of the mission.
  • Trustee, CEO and senior management engagement.
  • Organisational culture change.
  • Leadership development of senior fundraisers.
  • An education and charm offensive.
  • And fundraisers get gutsier and better at playing power politics.


To achieve a surge of growth – the type that could double or triple your income – you must involve the whole organisation from the very beginning. And it all starts with the new ambition.

A big, fresh idea – borne out of experience, insight and intuition – which will unify your organisation behind a powerful emotional proposition and inspires your board to action.

The proposition has to be emotional to be fundraisable but, because people are involved, the process of finding it will also be. That is why it is important to get your people talking to each other. To help them become powerful communicators, and to grow their confidence and belief in your cause and your potential to grow. Done right it will set them on fire.

This can only be achieved by one person. Your CEO.

An inspirational leader, they must be able to unleash their emotions and focus them for action. It is up to the CEO to unify and align your organisational culture and provide the space, resources and support to let fundraising flourish. They will have your back. They will not compromise.

And when you have achieved whole organisation fundraising you will not need to compromise. Everyone will pull together to allow fundraising to grow rapidly and perform as it should. And best of all fundraising will not only be accepted, but it will be encouraged and owned by the whole organisation.

Some call it a pipedream. I call it the next big thing.

Alan Clayton, Alan Clayton Associates

Alan will be delivering the closing plenary at the Scottish Fundraising Conference 2016. He will present an inspirational New Ambition and challenge the whole sector to rally around fundraising. He will showcase research and case studies to demonstrate the prime importance of a specific new ambition in priming fundraising growth for any organisation. Book your conference passes here.


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