Fundraising Workshop December 2008

Effective Fundraising Workshop for Charities

 

The third workshop in the Fellowship programme centred on fundraising, a subject on which there was a great deal of expertise among the twelve charities represented round the table at the Foundation's headquarters in Warwick Square.  It was good to see a number of charities who had sent representatives to each of the workshops: Essex Association of Boys Clubs, Time and Talents and the Feathers' Association.   There were also key figures in charities from outside the immediate Rank family, such as First Story and the Rosemary Foundation.   Sixteen attendees produced a lively and collaborative atmosphere.

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James Williams, fresh from his immense efforts with the Manchester Charities Evening, introduced Jennifer Davies, Development Director of the Philharmonia Orchestra.   Jennifer spoke about the £1.5 million shortfall once statutory and local grant income had been taken into account.   Around two-thirds of this supplementary funding comes from individuals, while corporate support accounts for another twenty percent: trusts, foundations and special events make up the rest.   Jennifer spoke about the techniques for recruiting and retaining donors and sponsors, the ways in which special events can be made special and lucrative, and the need to communicate a mission enthusiastically and professionally.  Jenny's remarks about developing a circle of supporters or "friends" were particularly helpful to a number of charities.

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Daniela Barone Soares gave an invaluable presentation on applications to grant-making trusts.   Daniela is particularly well-placed to advise on this, given her background with Save The Children and her current post as CEO of Impetus, a grant-making trust which relies on corporate support to make its own grants to charities.   Daniela spoke about homework, the importance of a well-constructed plan and the right fit between the charity and the grant maker.  She was able to give an informed overview of current trends and innovations in the grant-making sphere, as well as the particular challenges which charities are facing in the current economic crisis.

 

Fred Packard completed the presentations with a characteristically clear, succinct and well-ordered talk.   He outlined the perspective of the trustee on a grant-making board, looking for candour, clarity and particular outcomes in the applications they studied.  Several charity representatives commented on how helpful it was to have the view from the other side of the donor divide.   Fred's talk led easily into questions and discussion, on topics such as sustainability, tailoring language to each application and the value of legacy support.

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Reaction to the workshop was very positive:

"Thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to join the workshop. It has given me much to think about and I shall share the valuable lessons with my colleagues."

"It was an extremely useful afternoon which I am glad I attended. As I said to you on the day, keeping the numbers down made it much better. It felt more informal and gave a real opportunity for discussion and interaction."

"I thought that Fred's hand out was one of the most useful that I have seen in terms of selling an organisation."

"I just wanted to say a big thank you to Rank for organising such a beneficial seminar."

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