I heard someone describe charity fundraising as a dark art once. I am not sure that is really the case, but finding and courting donors, holding events or raising money from the general public, is a multi-facetted area.
Within Skillshare, an International Development charity that funds and manages projects in Africa and Asia through local partners and where I am a trustee, we talk of three areas of fundraising; core, matched, wrap-around.
Core funding is usually found through submitting bids to institutional donors, but many donors want to feel that they are not the only ones bank-rolling a project and so expect the charity to find other ways of funding. We refer to “wrap-around” funding to that funding that allows us to expand the original scope of the project.
We use major charity donors for the majority of our projects, but we will also work with trusts, run events to increase the exposure, raise money through public campaigns. I am working with a client to raise funds and we are looking to find sponsorship for various elements of the charity’s work.
The woman who runs the charity said to me that a few years ago, councils would almost throw money at charities like hers. Now, she has to evidence the impact of their work, collate data, write clear and compelling bids.
What this means is that the art of raising funds has become increasingly complex and time-consuming.
So how can I help? I can provide strong bid writing skills, I can help with budget planning, and I can develop tactics for monitoring & evaluation. Finally, I can ensure that bids are in line with the organisations strategy as well as in line with what the donors are asking for.
Why is that important? Because it allows you to focus on finding the donors, developing the relationship and making asure the resources are in place to deliver.