Land of my fundraisers it is...

In the light of tough budget cuts, Welsh fundraisers recently tapped into the secrets of fundraising success, as Pam Dodd, of IoF Cymru writes

The Glyncoch Community Project
The Glyncoch Community Project
It seemed fitting that on the day the Welsh government delivered what has been touted as the "toughest budget since devolution", more than 250 fundraisers gathered in Cardiff to discuss the future of fundraising. The joint IoF and WCVA Conference, held last week, contained a mixture of plenaries and workshops designed to unlock the success of fundraising.

To set the scene, Michael Hearty, the Welsh government's director general of finance and corporate services, delved into the current state and future outlook of Welsh government funding. Some honest reflection on current funding opportunities paved the way for a day of useful sessions on a range of tactics for securing alternative sources of funding.

The power of social media and online presence seemed to be a strong theme of the day, and some practical and innovative solutions were provided to tap into notoriously hard-to-reach audiences. Matt Haworth of Reason Digital, for example, advised organisations to "stop being boring". Now that Facebook and Twitter have started to become everyday tools for a lot of organisations, the next step is innovation.

How do you grab the attention of a potential donor in a matter of seconds? Given that our chief executive Peter Lewis had earlier stated that 58 per cent of Welsh people – compared with a national average of 49 per cent – donate to charity through Facebook, it seemed a more than fitting area to delve into.

One session summed up perfectly the potential power of social media. Glyncoch Community Centre had struggled for a long time to raise funds to transform its much loved but hugely dilapidated facilities. Through capitalising on networks, great use of a crowdfunding platform and a tweet from Stephen Fry, Glyncoch managed to raise £792,021 to pump life back into its community hub. It’s an inspiring example of using previously untapped channels to fund a tangible, local project.

After a day of insightful sessions into practical fundraising issues and techniques, delegates took away everyday tips about unlocking perhaps previously overlooked ways to fundraise. And if the Glyncoch community project is anything to go by, with some creative thinking and hard work, it’s definitely possible.

Pam Dodd is Wales National Manager of IoF Cymru

This article appears on a page edited by the Institute of Fundraising and hosted by ThirdSector.co.uk

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