Posts by our guest bloggers...
A lot of us speak about establishing partnerships with companies. There can be a lot of rhetoric around working together and the fact that it’s about a long term mutually beneficial partnership, i.e. we’re not just after your money. But I wonder if it’s always true. A few years ago, I was calling one of my charity’s ‘corporate partners’.
Do you ever feel that your to-do list is so long it will never be completed?
They’re the words that fill every fundraiser and volunteer manager with dread.
“Hello, I’m calling from [large business]. We’re a ‘small’ team of 40 people and our company is giving us a day off to volunteer in our local community. We’d love to come in and support your charity/project, do you have something we can all do together like gardening or painting? Oh, and we’d like it to be next week if possible…”
Running an Oxbridge college’s annual telephone campaign is certainly one of the more unique ways to spend a fortnight.
You can imagine the excitement at Fresh Start when, on a cold morning at the start of January 2015, we received an e-mail from Sara, the Communications & PR Manager at Lothian Buses. Sara wanted to arrange a meeting to discuss the possibility of our becoming their Charity of the Year – what an opportunity!
In this line of work we’re constantly looking at things from a donor perspective. Writing and re-writing lines to make our point heard, worrying if we’re using the correct image, looking for that hook to ensure our donor reads on. But do we always remember to check who we are actually talking to?
Fundraisers are always aware of the cost of their marketing approach and should be forever mindful of unnecessary spending. Cutting the cost of raising donations is a first consideration of many charities looking to do the best for the beneficiaries of their fundraising efforts.
I was sitting in a café, meeting with a volunteer to discuss her fundraising ideas, when she gave me what I consider to be the biggest compliment I’ve ever had:
“You don’t actually have diabetes? From the way you understand it, I would have believed you do.”
Too many people think fundraising from trusts and foundations is just a case of sitting at a desk, bashing out a couple of applications, sending them off, and then waiting for the cheques to arrive.
Not surprisingly, but interestingly enough, the question of what fundraising is about was a conversation that came up in one form or another at the Institute of Fundraising’s National Fundraising Convention in London earlier this month.