I’m ending November and a temporary return to non-#donorlove celebration updates with a guest blog from Caroline Danks; fabulous fundraiser and owner of the most dazzling jumpsuits I’ve ever known; and she has an exciting request. I met Caroline at #IoFFC and I’ve been fan-girling ever since; a delightfully talented fundraiser and big believer in self-care, how could you not admire what she does? Caroline’s launched a research project looking at up-to-date fundratios for the UK’s charities, but we need more participants. Can you help?
As a fundraising consultant, the first question I get asked by a potential client (the direct ones, at least) is ‘how much money can you make me?’
My response is usually rooted in my own achievements; my own hit rate and a little about the organisational contexts relevant to those with whom I’ve been working.
I may also quote from the Fundratios 2013 survey, a study which looked at the return on investment of various types of fundraising for 17 different charities.
For obvious reasons, I am more and more hesitant to quote from this study. Great as it was, it is now hideously out of date and (for small / medium sized charities at least) there has been no follow up study since. This year, I have been working with colleagues in the sector to remedy this (thank you Tobin at AAW Partnership and Nick and Symon from the IOF Insights SIG).
Fundraising is changing rapidly. The competition for funds is greater than it has even been before. Philanthropists, foundations, communities and companies are feeling the pressure to fill the gap following a reduction in statutory contributions. Rather like the world of ‘Pinterest fails’, it’s messy out there and I for one am not 100% sure I know what ‘good looks like’ any more.
The excellent news is that a new study is live. We just need a few more participants to enable a big enough (and therefore meaningful) sample.
Getting involved is easy, simply email me firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send you the link to the questionnaire along with instructions on how to interpret each question. You’ll need to know how much your charity spent on each area of fundraising and how much you raised.
I’m not interested in perfection. I understand that people may interpret the questions in slightly different ways and I agree that three years’ worth of data would be better than just one but everyone’s busy and in order to fill this void of information, I’m willing to work on the principle that something is better than nothing. The final report will include case studies from different charities and will give context and meaning to the figures to help fundraisers and sector leaders set their own benchmarks within their own contexts. What’s not to love?
All participating charities will receive a copy of the report for free. Results will be anonymised.
I’m pretty confident I’m nailing it (most days!) and I’m sure you are too. Now’s our chance to prove it.
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