Community Fundraising: Looking Ahead to 2020
Loretta Bresciani-Murray on how putting supporters first in community fundraising can help us prepare for the future.
My focus throughout my roles – as fundraiser, fundraising leader and developer of people and organisations – is the supporter. What our supporters can do for us. What we can do for our supporters. How we need to change and develop as teams to make the most of our supporter relationships. What skills we need to hone. What knowledge we need to acquire. This has been critical to navigating through the choppy waters that we now operate within in fundraising. Keeping our supporters close, building truly open and mutually beneficial relationships and inspiring them through telling powerful stories are critical.
I recently joined THINK Consulting Solutions. I have worked in fundraising for over 20 years, starting as community fundraiser with NSPCC before joining Action For Children as the Scotland Fundraising Manager. I held various roles at Cancer Research UK, latterly as senior national manager heading fundraising groups and the volunteer-led fundraising series, Relay For Life. Throughout that time I have focused on building strong relationships with supporters, listening to their needs, understanding their ambitions and matching them with the right fundraising ask at the right time.
Our community fundraisers must have mastery in building those powerful relationships. They must understand what it means to put our supporters at the very heart of what we do. They have to be able to tell the story of the charity in a compelling way, that really demonstrates the impact of their mission. They need to be business savvy and have the necessary skills to make the most of fundraising opportunities and spot potential.
During my session at the Scottish fundraising conference we will look at the competencies that community fundraisers need as we approach 2020 fast. We will look at trends emerging in community fundraising. We will consider how teams can be best equipped to succeed. During the session, I will draw on research around learning and development and insights from THINK’s community fundraising benchmarking survey. This will help to paint a picture of the changing community fundraising landscape. All this gives you an insight into the practices and aspirations of the 25 charities that form the Community Forum.
We work as fundraisers in a great time of change. Think of the current and future impact of digital. Think of changes to legislation. These feel taxing currently but have the potential to help rebuild trust in our sector. Think of the stalling of face to face. The drop in Individual Giving means that many charities are looking for ways to replace lost income. Community Fundraising provides opportunities to engage with individuals and groups across communities, workplaces and organisations. It provides opportunities to do this physically or virtually. Overall it creates the place in a charity to build authentic and long-lasting relationships with supporters.
To go back to the beginning: if you are a fundraiser are you confident that you have the skills and knowledge you need to face an uncertain future? If you are the leader of community fundraising teams how confident are you that you and your teams are ready for what is to come? I look forward to seeing you at my session on 3 October at 1:20pm.
Loretta Bresciani Murray
Loretta is a senior fundraising leader, with a track record of successful strategic and operational delivery across national and complex organisations, including Cancer Research UK, Action For Children and NSPCC. Loretta has been responsible for delivering around £11m pa of income through national teams in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and regional teams in England. She has led on the strategic development of community fundraising groups and Relay For Life, a national programme of volunteer-led fundraising.
She has designed and delivered high profile people and organisational change programmes and has significant experience of Learning and Development in charities. Loretta has achieved impressive results in transforming ways of working, creating high performing teams, culture design, leadership development, talent and succession management and sales capacity in fundraising teams. She is author of THINK’s influential report on learning needs for community fundraising.
Loretta recently joined THINK Consulting Solutions as a Consultant.