Maybe it was growing up in a theatrical family that first taught me what it meant to be part of a ‘company’. Watching cast and crew use their skills to achieve something exceptional on stage shaped my early understanding of what makes a successful partnership. The best productions were genuine team efforts, driven by enthusiasm and directed with creativity.
When the opportunity came along to pursue my other great love, cricket, I took these attributes to the professional game and later, into various club leadership roles. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy some extraordinary team efforts and I’ve also learned that achieving step-change fundraising goals depends on the same, collaborative chemistry.
When our clients engage us they expect wisdom, innovation and a pragmatic approach to bringing in the money. They also see us as part of the home team, wholly immersed in the process of securing gifts and deeply interested in their work, long after the campaign reaches target or our contract is completed.
At Gifted, we know that successful fundraising advice is based on a rigorous understanding of an organisation’s make-up and the marketplace in which it operates. Taking time to properly appreciate the unique DNA of our clients, the way they function and particularly the strengths of their volunteer community, means that ‘off-the-peg’ solutions are never part of the game plan.
In my own life, whether as a Trustee or in guiding clients through major gift approaches, I’m constantly reminded that peer-to-peer fundraising is rarely an optional extra in an effective fundraising strategy. Top level gifts only happen when people see themselves as stakeholders and feel moved to contribute because they believe a project adds value. A face to face encounter is often the only way to capture genuine interest and lead someone to invest serious sums of money in a venture that really excites them.