A great fundraising partnership means sharing the journey with you
It’s been over five years since Gifted’s partnership with the Lord Leycester Hospital in Warwick began. From guiding the early stages of the Charity’s National Lottery Heritage Fund application, to developing a clear plan for raising more than £1,000,000 in partnership funding, the journey has been both exciting and challenging. It’s also a wonderful example of how remaining committed to a vision and working closely together can lead to extraordinary outcomes.
“In 2017, when we were first appointed,” says Gifted’s Chris Goldie, “the priority was to identify the Charity’s needs and ambitions, so that a confident Round 1 NLHF application could be prepared. We knew that the case for undertaking a superb restoration of the site and creating an outstanding visitor attraction was compelling. Our role was to bring expertise and experience to the process of convincing others that the project was worthy of significant support.”
The importance of leadership
In any fundraising endeavour, the chances of success also hinge on strong organisational leadership. Even though Dr Heidi Meyer, Master of the Lord Leycester Hospital, hadn’t long been in post, she understood the importance of building an aspirational fundraising team. Working closely with volunteer leaders, she was able to generate the kind of energy and focus that’s needed to take an ambitious capital project over the line. She re-appointed Gifted to undertake a short feasibility study that would support a general fundraising strategy and when the first NLHF application was turned down, she responded with characteristic resilience.
With Gifted’s support and encouragement, the Charity reshaped the scope of the project and submitted a revised application to the NLHF. When a Round 1 pass was granted in 2019, Gifted was re-engaged to develop a robust campaign strategy for the required partnership funding. “The goal was to demonstrate how a target of £1,000,000 could be raised in a relatively short period of time,” says Andrew Day, who co-directed the campaign. “It was important to keep everyone’s sights on the impact of philanthropic giving and provide the volunteer leadership team with the tools they needed to achieve success.”
In November 2019, Gifted was invited to lead the fundraising campaign and advise on the Part 2 application. Two years later, after being rocked by the pandemic, the NLHF confirmed a second-round pass and awarded a grant of £1,420,000. “Finally, it felt like all of the hard work had paid off,” says Andrew. “The Charity’s persistence, perseverance and belief in the project’s benefits received the recognition they deserved.”
The final hurdle
But, there was one last hurdle to jump. As the team geared up to begin work in 2022, revised contractor budgets revealed a shortfall in funding of more than £500,000. The rising cost of supplies and labour shortages, meant rescheduling the project start date and seeking further support from the NLHF. “None of us had been able to anticipate the impact of Covid-19 on the construction industry,” says Chris Goldie, “but we believed the NLHF would be sympathetic to such an unprecedented situation.”
Thankfully, in May this year, a supplementary grant of £576,130 was awarded and contractors are now expected to be on site this autumn.
“We always knew that our project had the capacity to transform the Lord Leycester Hospital, into a compelling heritage, educational and cultural centre in Warwick,” says Dr Meyer. “But, convincing others, securing step-change funding and approaching major givers is always more tightly focused when there’s a trusted partner by your side. We have appreciated Gifted’s professional support, timely advice and lasting friendship along the way.”
If your organisation is looking for fundraising support with its next major project or programme, why not get in touch and request an exploratory discussion with one of our directors.