Introduction to Fundraising Part One

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Part one of a 4 part series on the Introduction To Fundraising - this is all about how I got to be an expert.  It is only 5 minutes long.
Any questions either go to the contact page or post as a comment.

Tomorrow is Part Two - The 8 Main Ways To Fundraise.

Professional Fundraisers…who needs ’em?

There was an interesting article in this week's Third Sector magazine (6 July).  I shouldn't have received it at all... I cancelled my subscription sometime ago in an effort to be green...I read their news articles online usually, so was somewhat surprised (and shamefully delighted - please don't hold it against me!) to receive the magazine through the letter box.

In this article called The Future of Fundraising, Richard Gutch asks the question: "When do you stop being a government contractor and start being a charity?"

It's a good question isnt it!

Richard makes the point that many of our biggest charities in the UK, receive significant amounts of government funding and it is they that are facing extremely hard times as the cuts are made to public expenditure.

Back in May, Richard had interviewed CEO's in 9 charities asking them the same question.  He found that many of them had not had to do much fundraising at all, so awash were they in government money. In some cases income from fundraising was a little as 10% of overall funds.

"one described their charity as like a branch of the NHS..."

About 40,000 charities are today relying...RELYING...on government contracts to run their charities and deliver essential services to some of the most vulnerable people in the country.  That's 25% of our entire voluntary sector, with some of the largest charities in that 25%.  What this may mean we can only have nightmares about.
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School Grants – The Foyle Foundation

The Foyle Foundation is an independent grant-making trust that distributes grants to charities whose core work is in the areas of learning, the arts and health. As schools are increasingly accessing funding from Foyle, this article will explain what they fund, as well as giving practical advice on making a successful application.

The Foyle Foundation was formed to implement the terms of the will of the late Christina Foyle. She was the daughter of William Foyle who, with his brother, founded the family owned bookshop Foyles in Charing Cross Road, London in 1904. Christina joined the business at the age of 17 and continued to manage it until her death in 1999 at the age of 88.

The foundation came into existence in November 2001, since when it has disbursed 36.4M in grants (to the year ending June 2009). Most of these grants range between £10,000-£50,000 and all are UK based, as the foundation specifically does not fund international work.

Following a strategic review, the Foundation merged with its sister charity The Batty Charitable Trust in March 2009 and from July 2009 has revised its objectives. The Foundation now operates a Main Grants Scheme supporting charities whose core work covers Arts and Learning and a Small Grants Scheme covering small charities in all fields.

Application criteria

Applications will only be eligible for consideration if they are aimed at benefiting people within the UK.

Only organisations which have recognised charitable status can be considered. For schools this means either declaring their charitable status conferred through their affiliation to a church, or applying through a PTA or friends’ group which has gained charitable status. Gaining such status is a lot less complicated than most schools expect.

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Creating a compelling ‘case for support’ is the key to successful fundraising for the whole of your organisation.  If at any point anyone involved with you is unclear about what you do and why you do it, it will reflect badly on the organisation as a whole.  In marketing terms the saying goes: ‘a confused buyer never buys’ and so it is when also looking at potential funders.  A funder who is confused about what and why you do what you do will rarely bother to dig deeper to find out and simply move on to the next charity who has clear goals and a compelling case for support.

There is a fundraising cycle and the very beginning of that cycle is the ‘Case Statement’  - the reason your organisation is needing funds.

You will need to answer these 7 questions:

  1. Who are you as an organisation
  2. Why do you exist
  3. What is distinctive/different about you
  4. What do you want to accomplish
  5. How do you plan to go about it
  6. What makes you competent to do it
  7. How will you be accountable for what you do

By answering these questions you will get a clear understanding of why you are asking for funding – and so will all potential funders!

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Fundraising for Churches

Church Fundraising

Churches can often be seen as one of the most difficult organisations to fund.  Most have costly and ancient buildings to upkeep, which are empty most of the week, whilst also having a declining tithing congregation.

So there are two needs here, which are frequently at logger heads with each other.  It really is a delicate balancing act, fraught with sensitivities that need careful handling.

There is also the contentious issue in lots of churches about ‘acceptable’ sources of funding, for example many will not accept or apply for Lottery Funding on religious grounds.

Depending on what you are raising funds for will depend on which method of fundraising you choose.  We know that many churches do event fundraising and do it very well, and they obviously do “database” funding from the Sunday morning collection.

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