One of the things that has struck me as an old fundraising director turned newly minted consultant is what charities spend their fundraising budget on.
Overall , a lot of money goes to agencies and consultants of all kinds. Mostly to develop specific activities and campaigns but also to provide ideas and insight. A typical medium sized fundraising charity is likely to have accumulated a sizeable collection of consultancy reports across all areas of its operations offering no doubt wise and considered advice on how to do things better. Of which a distressingly high proportion are never implemented for one reason or another.
But what charities don’t seem to prioritise as much is investing in developing their staff, particular their key leaders. I know many fundraising directors who have taken over really challenging roles with high expectations where there is hardly any support for them personally. The assumption often seems to be that they should already know what to do and how to act to be successful in their role in that organisation. And it’s hard for you as that new director to admit that you don’t, always.
It’s a tough job leading a fundraising team. The charities we work within can be very challenging environments, particularly when trying to get them to take income generation seriously. I think there needs to be more support for our fundraising leaders.
So, I’ve added a strand to my consultancy business. In the hope that I won’t find myself writing too many excellently insightful reports that never leave the bookshelf, I plan to work with more new fundraising heads and directors to provide one to one coaching and mentoring.
I’ve developed a structured programme. more details of which are on my website. As it’s one to one support, it’s not something I can do for many people. So I have 2 places available currently. First come, first served.
The plan is to provide the sort of support I would have found really helpful when I was new in the fundraising director role. Although actually I never would have had the courage to ask for it!