Chris Goldie CFRE
Growing up in a theatrical family, taught me a lot about the value of teamwork. 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 those that celebrated individual talent, but drew on the strength of the Company as a whole. The effort was always collaborative and the achievement, collective.
When the opportunity came for me to pursue my other great love, cricket, I witnessed the same energy at play in the professional game. The most effective partnerships and team efforts, were based on persistence, courage and trust – and in many ways, these qualities are also at the heart of achieving step-change fundraising, too.
When clients come to 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.
A rigorous, fresh and flexible approach to fundraising
At Gifted, our clients engage us to provide clear and unequivocal advice. They have limited time and money to invest and rightly expect the highest returns. This means being able to apply the basic principles of fundraising, but being flexible enough to mould them to a specific development challenge.
After more than two decades of experience in the Third Sector, I’ve also found 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 a charity’s DNA, 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. Often, this leads us to draw on our work in other sectors, bringing fresh ideas from one fundraising environment and adapting them to flourish in another; something we talk about in our IDPE showcase presentation.
In the end, it's all about having the confidence to ask
Without doubt, the aspect of fundraising that our clients fear the most is making personal requests for money. Those that do this well, whose leadership teams have been expertly trained and feel confident in exciting others about their vision, are usually the ones who excel.
Whether as a trustee or in guiding our clients through major gift approaches, I am constantly reminded that peer to peer asking is rarely an optional extra in an effective fundraising strategy. Top level gifts only happen when the givers see themselves as stakeholders; when they feel moved to contribute or believe that 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.