Fundraisers add huge value to organisational planning
Even in today’s enlightened sector, I still hear people outside fundraising saying ‘fundraising is easy’ and ‘we don’t really need fundraisers, people just give to us anyway’. Perceptions of fundraising have certainly improved in recent years, but sadly there are still organisations that continue to view fundraisers as a ‘necessary evil’ and do their best to keep them tucked away in their own silo.
To a lack of understanding of how fundraising works, add perhaps a certain distaste about ‘begging’ for money – and even occasionally a pinch of arrogance from people in the organisation who do the ‘really difficult work’ – and you have a recipe for exclusion of fundraising and fundraisers. This exclusion is clearly ‘a bad thing’ in many ways, but let us consider for the moment what happens when fundraising is not treated as a respected partner in planning the organisation’s work programme.
It is certainly not the role of fundraisers to determine the direction of our programme work or service delivery, but what we do bring to the table is an exceptional ability to understand the delicate balance between the imperative to follow our mission, and the ‘fundability’ of our work.
At every stage of our organisation’s planning process there are choices to be made, and some will benefit our fundraising and some will not. All other (mission related) things being equal, surely it is a no-brainer that we choose those that will deliver the mission and benefit fundraising?
This is such an important contribution that fundraisers bring to the planning mix. We need to be there of course to talk about money, but we should also be valued as a constant guide to the organisation in understanding which choices will deliver the added value of supporting fundraising, or building our brand, and which might undermine them.