Life as a sole fundraiser can be very rewarding and also very challenging, having someone who has several years experience of this type of fundraising and who has an external view point, can make a difference to the decisions and approach to some of those challenges.
I worked with Rachel for 12 months, she joined Spark! as their first Fundraising Manager, although not a fundraiser, her skills were highly transferable and her fundraising instincts are exceptional.
I acted as a coach/mentor over a 12 month period, our discussions involve all the aspects of fundraising from events, to corporates, major donors, grants and case for support. As a part time fundraiser Rachel has many different things vying for her time and attention, having one day a quarter when she can focus on the bigger picture, budget, strategy and objectives for the next 3 months is very useful.
Return on Investment is in excess of 1:30.
Garden Organic had little experience of organising and running an event of this calibre, particularly with HRH as the host. The Chief Executive, Myles Bremner spoke to a former colleague, the Director of Fundraising at The Prince’s Trust, Julian Barrell, for advice on support at the reception. Julian had worked with Julia Worthington of Amber Consulting previously and recommended her consultancy as a company that would be able to manage this event, having worked with the royal household previously and with a wealth of experience prospecting and cultivating major donor support.
Amber consulting became involved 6 weeks prior to the event. G.O. had already identified who to invite, mostly current and previous supporter, at this point there was a limited amount of research on the invitees, and the charity had been unable to attract a sponsor for the event from their corporate supporters.
Amber reviewed and rewrote the sponsorship materials and using their contacts recruited a sponsor who also provided excellent goody bags for all 120 guests, we also researched many of the guests so that G.O. were able to identify those that were the greatest prospects for future support and therefore were some of the first to meet HRH. Each guest was looked after by a nominated fundraiser, with full briefing notes on each one, who had the goal of cultivating the guests.
Prior to the reception Amber provided a training session on networking for all the staff who would be at the event, this gave people tools to use to enter a conversation and exit , as well as the confidence many were lacking around this high profile and important event.
“Julia came to work for us on a particular high profile major donor event, where we wanted some overall co-ordination and some training for our management team. Julia’s professionalism was combined with a persuasive approach when working with senior managers with a range of different skills and outlook! She ran one particularly effective coaching session which several members of staff fed back was one of the most constructive training events they had ever attended.”
Myles Bremner, Chief Executive
The new Chief Executive of The Factory, Youth Zone, Manchester, approached Amber Consulting about working with their fundraiser to develop a fundraising strategy that would increase the income from private sector sources.
Income had been decreasing over an 18-month period and there was concern that the decline would continue
Amber Consulting started to work with the Fundraising Manager, to develop a fundraising strategy that would play to the strengths of both the charity and Phil Ascott’s abilities as a fundraiser. Twice a month Julia and Phil met face to face to develop the audit and strategy, any issues that came up during the month were addressed in a weekly phone call, this ensured that progress was not delayed or derailed.
Over a period of three months a fundraising audit and strategy was developed. The recommendations to the Chief Executive and The Board helped them to decide on the direction that fundraising would take in the next two years.
Over the following six months Julia worked with Phil to ensure the strategy was delivered, acting as a sounding board and coach. The benefits being that income increased by 20% in the first year of the strategy and by a further 30% the subsequent year, in addition the benefits for the fundraiser were many, below are some of the reasons he gave:
I learnt new strategies for dealing with people
- Development of the strategy was key to the success, this created a tool to move the business forward.
- Julia reminded me of the support networks I have and gave me some coping mechanisms for dealing with the stress of this busy role
- Regularly reviewing the pipeline and discussing how to move supporters forward