4 January 2016
No week is the same as fundraiser for YG which is part of the attraction of my job. My time is varied and as the only fundraiser, I get to carry out a variety of roles that cover a wide variety of fundraising practices.
The bulk of my work is working with Trusts and Foundations. These are bodies that are set up by individuals (alive or on their death) to give to causes that they feel/felt worthy of support or companies that donate a % of their profits to their Foundation which is then donated to specified causes. A big proportion of this job is researching and finding these funders then completing multi-paged application forms – think job applications but bigger – that normally ask for specific details of the projects that YG are looking to fund. For smaller charities like YG, Trusts and Foundations provide a vital source of funds and I’m pleased to say that we’ve had some success which has seen our new mental health project fully-funded for 12 months – thank you Gloucestershire Community Foundation (http://www.gloucestershirecf.org.uk) and Office of the Police & Crime Commissioner (http://www.gloucestershire-pcc.gov.uk).
As a fundraiser there is nothing better that seeing your name on a letter saying “we’re pleased to award you £X” as for 80% of the time you’re more likely to receive a “on this occasion you’ve been unsuccessful” – the similarity between fundraising in this way and applying for jobs is uncanny.
Corporate fundraising can be similar, but also different, to Trusts & Foundations fundraising. This form of fundraising is generally built on more relationship-building; something I particularly like about my job. Again we’ve had some recent successes – thank you St James’s Place and Royal Bank of Scotland (http://skillsandopportunitiesfund.rbs.com) the latter who has donated funds towards our youth clubs but are also putting forward volunteers and runners towards another corporate success we’ve had – our partnership with Trimax Events and the Gloucester Marathon (http://www.gloucestercitymarathon.com) who have selected YG as their Charity for the race next August. We are now looking for fundraisers to run the whole race next year or teams to enter the relay race. Get your running shoes on and support young people across Gloucestershire!
As a fundraiser I am simply a salesman, a representative of the organisation whose job is to spread the message and to explain about our work as wide as possible. Events like the Marathon help this but so does the local media and we were delighted that The Citizen / Echo chose to dedicate their recent issue of Young Citizen to stories about us and some of the Young People we work with.
I’ve been privileged to speak to quite a few young people this week; to hear their stories which in turn give me stories that I can share on. I attended YG’s 25th Team Anniversary and heard from young people who’ve just graduated from the 12-week programme. Throughout the 12-weeks, I’ve seen these guys around the office and have seen them grow in confidence; I’ve seen their outlooks for the future improve and even though I’ve not been their youth-worker on the programme, I felt proud of them in the way that they delivered their presentations to a room full of people. Well done to you all and good luck for the future.
They can tell their stories so much better than I can but fundraisers thrive on this kind of insight as it is infectious and will be reflected in my writing and my conversations with fundraisers and potential fundraisers. This in turn will without doubt enable me to raise more money and therefore for YG to help even more young people across the County – the reason that I do the job and why I’m proud to be a fundraiser!