The Joy of Fundraising

Now, as you know, I’m fundraising director. People often assume that a fundraising director, you know, actually fundraises. Now I can see how they came to that conclusion but it is almost completely mistaken.

The amount of time the average fundraising director spends actually asking people for money is really small (scientists have calculated it* as 0.00307% of the director’s working hours). What fundraising directors do, in my experience, is mostly go to meetings. Often meetings which have very little to do with fundraising. But they serve very effectively as a way of keeping the director from actually trying to do any fundraising which, as their teams will tell you, largely involves them getting in the way.

(This raises the interesting philosophical question of what fundraising directors are actually for. The greatest minds have laboured long and hard at this conundrum and are yet to find the answer. It’s probably some kind of ritual function).

So for me, actually doing a bit of fundraising comes as rather a nice change. The opportunity comes with my fundraising bike ride (Lands end to John O’Groats if you’ve managed to miss me banging on about it) in September. The whole event has arisen basically out of a ridiculous game of chicken played between me and my co-rider, Peter Muffet of our agency DTV. Oneupmanship between two middle aged men who should know, much, much better has resulted in us not only being committed to a brutal long distance cycle ride well beyond our ability or fitness levels but also a ludicrously inflated fundraising target.

About that target…As a (at least in theory) professional fundraiser, I could hardly not raise money through the event. And as I’m supposed to be quite good at this whole asking people for money malarkey, it had to be a reasonably significant amount of money. But it’s turned out to be thirty grand . The most I’ve ever raised for a personal challenge event was less than three. So there’s serious risk of egg on face here.

So lots of frantic activity has ensued. In my own time of course (well, mostly) as I’m supposed to be doing much more important, meeting related things at actual work. A whole campaign has been devised, multi channel and multi media with all of the fundraising tricks we know deployed. Yo

And, do you know what? It’s been lots of fun. We’re still a long way off the target but progress has been pretty good. It’s really motivating to see the money coming in, especially just after an email has gone out and you can see the dosh arrive in real time on Justgiving. We can try stuff out and get virtually instant feedback. I remember why it is that I love fundraising.

I really should do more of this

(I will be sharing the results of our campaign when it’s closer to the end. We’ve got a few things we’re still planning to do, which will be “interesting”. Including a film. The strategy seems to involve inflicting the maximum amount of humiliation on me in order to maximise funds. You’ve been warned

PS Here’s the donation link . Would you believe I left it off the first version of the post?  No wonder my team don’t let me fundraise)

*no they haven’t

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