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Third Sector Fundraising week Review by Patrick Dunn

By Patrick Dunn on 31 May 2017

I have recently joined the Fundraising Recruitment team at TPP Fundraising & Development. Before this, I worked for another agency  recruiting communications and marketing specialists for the not for profit sector. Joining a fundraising specialism was the right move for me, as I have found it’s through fundraising that you have a true comprehension of what is at the heart of a charity. So, it was a great honour to have represented TPP at the Annual Fundraising Conference by Third Sector last week.

Upon arriving at the Royal College of Physicians, I selected the seminars and workshops I wanted to attend, having had a particular interest in corporate partnerships as I think it’s wonderful how corporates and charities work together to achieve fundraising targets. The first session I attended was based around how a charity can attract a perfect corporate partner. I was fascinated to hear how War Child had partnered with Aviate Global, an equity brokerage company.  They hosted a global charity day where colleagues donated the commission they earned for that particular day. They had celebrities in the office to help do this and they raised £321,000. The best thing about this was that Aviate put trust in War Child to spend the money in the way they saw appropriate. This was a great example of a successful corporate partnership and I look forward to learning about many others through the candidates and clients I will be meeting in the coming months.

A later session was on how a partnership should part ways. The case study put before the audience was with Yorkshire Building Society (YBS) and Marie Curie and their partnership between 2014 and 2016. They both knew that the partnership had been successful but the key question was how?  In Marie Curie’s case, the answer was in patient care. For YBS, it was things such as challenge events, fancy dress days, raffles etc which helped them smash their fundraising targets resulting in 57,750 funded nursing hours -  allowing more patients to be cared for.  A further result of the fundraising activity was that 75% of people had a better understand of Marie Curie, which in turn reflected well on YBS, as 86% of people were left with a positive view of them. Ultimately 85% of people believed that the partnership had a real impact on people living with a terminal illness. We can see from this case study that the partnership with YBS and Marie Curie was win-win for both organisations.

The day drew to an end with an inspiring speech from Richard Taylor OBE, founder of the Damilola Taylor Trust, who spoke of the awful event in May 2001 when his son, Damilola, was tragically killed by an act of mindless violence. The work that Richard and the Trust has done since Damilola’s death to help restore hope, optimism and self-esteem in young people in south London, has been phenomenal. One example Richard gave was that of the Career Pathway Programme, which aims to get young people work experience in the city or financial sectors. The aim is to raise aspirations, which we know is key to helping those from disadvantaged backgrounds. It was great to hear some success stories of this programme. Richard concluded his speech by suggesting that the only way to continue to do this is through fundraising. With a rise in violence in London recently, I couldn’t help but think how timely his appeal was.

Another topic heavily covered during the two day conference was the New Data Protection legislation – GDPR – coming into force next year. This will undoubtedly impact direct marketing and other fundraising techniques. IoF has recently published initial guidance for charities and the Information Commissioner has also set out some detail. Whilst people are worried about the impact of the legislation, most did seem to agree that it would lead to higher quality fundraising. It was noted a couple of times that charities should be abiding by these rules to offer a better donor experience, not just because they need to comply with the new legislation.

Finally, the day was closed with a speech from Christopher Biggins, fresh from his lunch with Joan Collins. Unknown to me, Christopher is a major fundraiser and supports over 8 charities. He reinforced what everyone was thinking, that fundraising is increasingly becoming difficult, with people’s pockets no longer as deep as they were. For Christopher, developing networks and scoping out opportunities was key to fundraising.

At TPP, our Fundraising and Development team recruit fabulous fundraisers and other charity professionals in London and across the regions. Get in touch with our TPP Fundraising & Development team today on 020 7198 6040 or send an email to fundraising@tpp.co.uk if we can help you find a fundraising role or recruit a fundraiser.