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How to Thrive as a Sole Fundraiser

This week I visited a national charity we work for that only employs one fundraiser. She has her work cut out, juggling a wide range of activities and making her time and budget stretch very thinly. She has my sympathy and it got me thinking again about the challenges and success strategies for fundraisers in this position.

Anyone who has ever been a sole fundraiser (including me), will be familiar with the distinct issues here, including isolation, being managed by non­fundraisers, a frequent lack of understanding about fundraising among colleagues, the temptation to be a jack of all trades and the risk of overstretch and even burnout. It is a challenging role and all too often an undervalued one.

Fortunately, there are strategies to make a success of this role, despite the many challenges and today there is certainly more support and advice available to fundraisers in this position than even ten years ago. For one thing, the IoF has recognised the needs of sole fundraisers via the Sole Fundraisers Forum, an online community of people who share ideas, information and encouragement.

For details click here.

Secondly, there is today a more public recognition and debate about the specific needs of those fundraising in isolation (which includes regional reps of large charities as well as true sole fundraisers). Evidence of this includes coverage at the IoF's National Convention.

Thirdly, there is a growing body of advice and support available to sole fundraisers. For example, there is a presentation with advice here, which is publicly available.

Being a sole fundraiser will always be tough, but by recognising and addressing the challenges it brings, it is possible to make a success of it and to thrive in the role.

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