Thursday, 25 July 2013

What I learned at the IOF national convention and what I’m going to do about it

The Fundraising Collectivists are delighted to welcome guest poster Gary Kernahan, Head of Volunteer Fundraising at the Muscular Dystrophy Campaign to our ranks with his first ever blog post! And a cracker it is too.... over to you Gary.

What I learned at the IOF national convention and what I’m going to do about it

I was very pleased to be asked recently to write this my very first blog! Originally I was asked to write about what I learned at the recent Institute of Fundraising (IOF) national convention.  But as several weeks have passed I thought it would be more appropriate to blog about what I’m going to do about what I have learned.

Quite often we attend training events and leave with the best of intentions meaning to implement everything learned back at work.  The reality of the day job, however, can mean those good intentions quickly fade and I was keen for that not to be the case.  So, with a spring in my step following the convention, I quickly went about working on my top 3 learning’s.

So in no particular order here are the top 3 things that I learned at the national convention and have taken back to my day job:

Friday, 12 July 2013

Capital projects and capital campaigns: the difference

Capital Campaign, Fundraising, Major Gifts Fundraising, Capital Projects
A couple of weeks ago you found me talking about IMP avoidance.  Imps, as you may recall are Impossibly Monstrous Projects.  The ones that are bound to fail.  The ones who will take you all with them.

Let's assume you have taken my advice and avoided an Imp.  You have been left with a capital project which has a half decent chance of success.  It has a Case for Support.  It has a prospect pipeline

In short you have half the tools for a fundraising campaign.  Half you say?  Yes half. There's more to a fundraising campaign than a case for support and prospects but more on that in a later post.

What IS a capital campaign? 

Monday, 8 July 2013

Working with Corporates – learning on the job

Now I am a one man band, I’m responsible for all areas of fundraising – including the previously unknown area of corporates.

So I've been learning on the job and thought I’d share my thinking to date.

Work out why they’d want to work with you?

Companies tend to have a different agenda to your regular donors. Some donate philanthropically to fulfil their ‘corporate social responsibility’ but most are looking for membership benefits, the PR that goes with being associated with you or exposure to your donors/members.

This is ok, (unless of course they are a company of dubious moral standing – in which case steer well clear) and the outcome is the same  - your charity gets more money to do its excellent work – but it’s good to realise there is a difference.

If you’re offering brand association – be clear to understand why this would benefit them, and if you’re comfortable with this. Are you selling your brand ‘too cheaply’ for the positive press it will bring them?

Are the membership benefits you offer what companies are looking for? Do they want invites to events, or would they rather their logo was attached to your latest appeal? Ask them what they are looking to gain from working with you, and then tailor your proposal accordingly.

Friday, 5 July 2013

Let your charity speak for itself

Case for Support, Fundraising, Multimedia, Digital, Audio, Communications
Last month I made the leap from the higher education sector back into the voluntary sector.

I loved working in higher education, but I'm thrilled to be working for a really fantastic voluntary sector organisation.  In the last few weeks I've been to services and centres in different parts of Scotland and met some of the most inspiring people it has ever been my privilege to meet.  

Staff and services users alike have shared their stories, laughter and frustration, showed me some of the things they really care about.  They've given me a sense of their history, passion and enterprise.  I have really felt the friendship and warmth that exists throughout the communities they built. I got to smell the earth in the community gardens, touch the blankets a service user had crocheted for a local hospital and share the laughter that echoed off every wall.  

Travelling back from these visits I've felt excited, inspired and moved to work as hard as I possibly can to get the resources these people need and deserve.  Bubbling with enthusiasm I've turned up home and tried to explain...