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strategy and fundraising
Finding Fundraising Skills
As we approach almost full employment, it is not surprising that charities are struggling to find the people and skills they need to keep their funds flowing. Outside London, it can be very challenging to find the right person for that new fundraising role you have created or to replace someone who is leaving (in London, you will usually find them if you are prepared to pay enough). So what are your options?
Revamp the Role
Firstly, if you have tried to recruit and failed, have another look at the role and package on offer. Is there anything you can do to make it more attractive (apart from offering more money obviously)? Some people really value being allowed to work from home part of the time, so if this will work for the charity too, then offer it as a benefit. It will certainly widen the field of candidates. Another sweetener could be a commitment to training, or flexible working or job sharing.
Grow your Own
Secondly, if you cannot attract an experienced candidate, is the role suitable to allowing someone to learn on the job? If so, you could consider recruiting someone with the right abilities and some transferable skills and then support them as they grow into the role, perhaps with some training and mentoring. “Growing your own” has worked for a lot of fundraising teams before and, after all, many successful fundraisers entered the profession from another career or field.
A third option is outsourcing. There has been a growing trend towards this in recent years, where charities farm out elements of their fundraising to external parties (either to consultancies or freelancers). This can work well and has a number of benefits. As well as securing relevant experience and capacity, it can save money, removes employment liabilities and lets the supplier take the slack, so when people are not needed, the charity does not pay them. Outsourcing can be turned on and off, as required, while making sure the charity maintains its income flow. It provides a flexible solution, as well as being cost-effective.
A final option for some charities is to try to use volunteers to fill gaps or at least to support the team effort, often in very specific areas. With the right skills and capacity, it is sometimes possible for volunteers to take on roles that would otherwise have been filled by paid professionals, although this comes with the usual risks and caveats of working with volunteers.
Pick up the Phone - Having an effective and fully staffed team is key to fundraising success, which charities ignore at their peril. So if you are struggling to fill a fundraising role and would like a free chat to talk through your options, please call us on 01785 663600 We’ll be happy to advise!
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