Long-term commitment is good for us all
What 20 years of fundraising experience has taught us at Rapidata is that actually, while how you look after your clients has to be top priority, a wider commitment to the whole sector is vital if you are to excel on a long-term basis. And surely – as a supplier to and for the sector – it is not only the right thing to do, but it makes good business sense to do all we can to strengthen the fundraising environment and to encourage innovation.
When the IoF asked me to explain what winning Most Committed Company to the Sector at the 2018 National Fundraising Awards means to Rapidata, it got me thinking. While receiving this particular award is a wonderful achievement and something we are hugely proud of, what really matters is why we are deemed worthy of it.
The closer we engage with the sector, the more we understand our client base; the issues they face, how we can help resolve them, continually improving both our services and our clients’ results. Seeing this wider picture very early on led us to produce, and importantly to share for free, sector-wide research and benchmarking, including the regular Charity Direct Debit Tracking Report that monitors regular giving trends from 2003 to the present.
Research and learnings enable development and growth. It’s enabled us to produce new products with meaning for charities, most recently Grow Your Gift and Control My Payment, that help charities adapt and keep pace as the market changes. In turn, this greater understanding means we can help to support development across the wider sector that helps to drive up quality and standards.
As founding members of thinktank Rogare, we hugely value the option to have our say on current issues in fundraising. As a corporate member of the IoF and myself as Chair of the IoF Suppliers Forum, we can contribute to the development, strategy and policies of our industry bodies. And by sponsoring sector events, we gain exposure that ensures that Rapidata is often front of mind; so, we’re the first to acknowledge that this is a beneficial approach all round.
With a specific focus on supporting charities to develop successful regular giving programmes, we simply don’t want to sit outside the sector, but rather to play an active part from within – where we too can make a difference. When we first started in 1997, we set out to commit ourselves in the charity sector and that’s why this award means so much. It reaffirms our passion for the sector as well as each of the causes we work with, and it breeds confidence among our client base.
What’s more, it’s been fantastic for team morale – an award like this really lifts the whole team. It’s vital recognition of just how important they are and how hard they work.
We are committed to the sector and so we feel fiercely proud of this award. But we also recognise that having the opportunity to work with so many good causes that are positively changing the world we live in, is indeed a privilege.
Nominations for the 2019 National Fundraising Awards will come around early in the new year. Start thinking about how your organisation works within the sector, how you might apply your learning to support others, and encourage all those who you work with to recognise and celebrate their work.
Scott Gray, CEO at Rapidata