There are a number of questions we are regularly asked regarding fundraising and how the current climate is affecting charities.
We hope you find the list of answers to the questions below useful. If you have any questions that are not answered here please contact us.
What are our fees?
For both our consultancy services and direct fundraising work, we charge a daily rate. Before we commence work, we will:
- Meet with you to discuss your fundraising requirements to have a clear understanding of what you would like to achieve.
- Create a schedule of work to meet the objectives set during our initial meeting. This schedule will detail all the fundraising activities to be completed, the amount of time it will take and how much it will cost. The initial consultation and quote are provided free of charge.
We do not work on a commission or performance related basis. We adhere to the fundraising code of practice which states that commission based fundraising ideally should not be used.
Reasons why I may need a fundraising consultant?
- Many small charities do not have the resources or sometimes the knowledge to write complex trust applications or establish a corporate or community fundraising channel.
- Sometimes organisations require outside support to help them re-set their fundraising strategy.
- An experienced fundraising consultant can provide an objective assessment of your current fundraising initiatives and assess your fundraising potential, based on many different elements including; the services you provide, your current fundraising income, geographical location and the fundraising landscape of your specific sector.
- A consultant can help you map out opportunities for future growth, such as:
- A trust and foundation programme.
- A fundraising events calendar.
- Developing corporate partnerships or a major donor programme.
- Consultants can work with you to produce a feasibility study outlining:
- Where you are now.
- What fundraising channels might work well for you.
- Next steps required.
- A consultancy can also potentially help you to implement the fundraising strategy once it has been developed.
Concise can support charities with all the above, see our services here.
What is the main difference between a fundraising consultant and a freelancer?
We get asked this question quite a bit. In a nutshell, consultants tend to give advice and strategic input, while freelance fundraisers tend to carry out the fundraising work, such as writing trust applications and supporting charities to generate revenue from corporate, community and individual channels. Most individuals and agencies will do a bit of both.
The same is true at Concise. We can support you to develop a fundraising strategy and create a plan of action. We can also carry out the direct fundraising work. How much involvement you would like from us is completely up to you.
What to look for when choosing a fundraising consultant?
Whilst cost is always a factor, try not to base your decision on this alone. It is always advisable to do some due diligence, for example:
- A good freelance fundraiser ideally should have at least five years’ experience, and a consultant at least ten.
- You would expect them to be a member of the Institute of Fundraising and to adhere to the Fundraising Regulator’s fundraising code of practice.
- They should possess Professional Indemnity insurance and Public Liability cover.
You will be spending a considerable amount of time with this person so make sure you feel comfortable with them and that your values and vision for the work are aligned. Also it is sensible to check if it is the person who you are interviewing doing the work or if they intend to outsource all or some of the activities to other people. At Concise we will at times outsource our work to other professional freelance fundraisers, but this will be communicated to you.
Questions to ask them!
- Ask for a costed proposal and go through this document thoroughly. Does it contain all the elements you have discussed?
- Are all the processes and activities clear and in line with what you wanted? It is important at this stage that all aspects of the work are clearly understood and that they have allotted enough time to get the work done.
If you are unsure about any of the processes or activities outlined, always question. The more questions you ask at this point, the more comfortable you will feel about the work being undertaken.
Do your research –
The vast majority of Concise’s clients have come from word of mouth. Before working with any consultant/freelancer, we would strongly advise you talk to other charities who have used their services to get an idea of the quality of their work and their track record. Also look to see if they have experience in your sector or have at least worked with organisations of a similar size.
If you are a regional charity –
Try to find a consultant local to you as they are more likely to have in-depth knowledge of the local trusts and general local fundraising landscape, which can be highly beneficial. Look to see if they specialise in the fundraising channels you are wanting to explore.
Most consultants won’t work across all channels. At Concise we mainly specialise in strategy work, trust and foundations and corporate partnerships.
How can you get the best out of your fundraising consultant?
- As with any relationship, communication is the key to success.
- Regular meetings and are really important to ensure you are kept up to speed with the work that is taking place.
- Also always ask lots of questions. Due to their many years of experience, a good consultant will have a significant amount of fundraising knowledge, so make sure you make the most of them whilst you have them.
- Much of the work a consultant or freelance fundraiser will do for you can be replicated again, so make sure you learn from them. Ask why they have included certain elements in the case for support etc and what makes an application stand out as truly exceptional. When the work is finished you want to ensure that you have not only walked away with the funds you wanted but that you have upskilled yourself which plenty of additional fundraising knowledge and know how.
Also, if they have done a good job, make sure you provide them with a good testimonial. Good work should be rewarded and it will help other organisations make sure they chose the right fundraising consultant for them.