In the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to discuss a major £3.9 million project with a regional officer at the Community Fund.
This face-to-face meeting proved of great value in identifying the outputs, outcomes and funding priorities. We had the chance to walk the site and show the plans in greater detail. After two hours, all parties concerned appreciated each other's viewpoint and we agreed to formulate the most appropriate application.
The regional officer asked why more organisations did not take the time to discuss their applications for funding, adding that he had the distinct feeling that it was almost a "them and us
He went on to explain that a recent audit showed that 82 per cent of those who discussed their application in detail with the Community Fund were successful, compared with 23 per cent who only sought minimal advice and 1-2 per cent who sought no advice at all.
Such evidence serves to underline a major failure among fundraisers to remember the golden rule: "people give to people". It also raises the question of whether we have lost the ability to undertake face-to-face fundraising.
In the current economic climate, it is imperative that fundraisers make more personal approaches. My work with candidates undertaking the Institute's Certificate in Fundraising Management further supports the importance of that personal ask. Invariably we find that the most successful candidates are those who have embraced face-to-face involvement with potential funders and can demonstrate how an individual's support can make a real difference to the project.
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