Published on March 13, 2014
© Bill Bruty 2011fundraising training ltd How to Save Your Charity From Bankruptcy In 6 Weeks Bill Bruty Director Fundraising Training Ltd Slide 1
© Bill Bruty 2011fundraising training ltd Bill Bruty Director of Fundraising Training Ltd Bill is a Fellow of the Institute of Fundraising, having been a fundraiser since 1984. He is a world-leading expert in grantseeking and the development of fundraising practise. Clients range from Cancer Research UK, to less mainstream causes; such as the National Union of Students (NUS). Bill has also supported a wide range of community groups and social enterprises across the UK and all over the world, such as International Rivers (US) and The African Field Epidemiology Network, based in Kampala.
© Bill Bruty 2011fundraising training ltd The Scenario 2010 Gloria, CEO Kid’s First Trust: “We’re being hounded by creditors and I have only six weeks before my charity will be wound up. I really need some advice – I’ve never done any fundraising before….” Bill: “I’ve never been here before, but I’ve had experience of working with a few who’ve been in similar situations, let’s see if we can learn anything from them…” Slide 2
© Bill Bruty 2011fundraising training ltd Nigel Charity was facing severe cashflow challenges, with three choices: cut back to the bone; close; or get in some additional unrestricted cash. Rather than take the first two options, Nigel approached his main funder, a government department, asking for a cash injection. Nothing was forthcoming, but Nigel had given these guys a lot of advice in developing a new policy – he had ‘money in the bank’. A few weeks later there was unexpected call from the government contact. “There’s a new funding programme being announced next week. It’s not from this department, but you ought to apply.” We looked at the funding guidelines, couldn’t see how we were relevant, but submitted a bid, more in hope than expectation. We got it – favours repaid. Moral: Do favours for people, constantly, pick your best ‘debtor’ and cash them in. Slide 5
© Bill Bruty 2011fundraising training ltd Paula Her charity was facing a £50,000 deficit at the end of the year. She could see it coming and did everything she could to solve it. They shared the building with a convent and most evenings Paula would talk through her day with one of the nuns. The sister was a good listener and always implored Paula to insert this problem into her regular prayers. Paula wasn’t particularly religious but she followed the advice. Two weeks before the end of the year, when disaster was imminent, an anonymous donation arrived for the exact amount of the deficit. The power of prayer and/or the power of the nun’s contacts? Moral: Take someone into your confidence, turn them into a soul mate, an ally, then they will become an advocate. Slide 5
© Bill Bruty 2011fundraising training ltd Andrea Andrea is one of those inspirational and yet annoying leaders. She and her charity are full of themselves (as well as good ideas and projects). Her cause comes up in every conversation, in every way. A few years ago, the finances were in turmoil and all the good ideas were turning to dust. She started inserting impending doom into her normally glossy stories about herself and her organisation. Everyone knew, but she hadn’t drenched them in her anxieties. Eventually, as the last moment, a funder converted a restricted grant to an unrestricted one, another friend turned up with a large donation from a fundraiser she had organised and another found some pro-bono services saving the charity a lot of money. Moral: Tell everyone about it, at least twice (in two different ways), but never three times (then you are a pest/loser). Slide 5
© Bill Bruty 2011fundraising training ltd Jane Jane was a new fundraiser at a small community group. She was a recent graduate and had no fundraising experience, but was full of energy. She was given an impossible fundraising target to prevent the charity from folding. She had no previous fundraising activity to build upon. Through long conversations and extensive reading she decided upon a random basket of fundraising activities, from approaching corporates, presentations to rotary groups, parachute jumps and a major fundraising event. She simply didn’t know the target was impossible, after all this was her first ever job and she’d always succeeded in meeting high academic standards. She worked at a frantic pace, long hours, pursuing dozens of different threads. Most of it didn’t raise much more than expected, but one fundraising event exceeded all hopes and the target was reached. That was the event where everyone piled into help, fearful that Jane would collapse of exhaustion. Moral: Have no fear, explode into a frenzy of activity, publicly grind yourself into the ground – invite a rescue! Slide 4
© Bill Bruty 2011fundraising training ltd John The charity discovered a financial fraud that was enough to make it insoluble. The eight trustees were faced with the prospect of being personally liable for £90,000 in total (they had no indemnity insurance at the time). As a group, they agreed to share the liability equally between them (£11,250 each). They set up regular meetings to share their progress, but each one set upon an individual journey. They all had their own individual solutions: one had contacts with companies and trusts that led to donations; another did a fundraising event; another simply borrowed the money. They all reached their targets. Moral: Get all the stakeholders together, divide up the problem and the responsibilities equally, follow individual journeys, but work as a team. Slide 5
© Bill Bruty 2011fundraising training ltd Baboons In response to a severe drought in the North of Kenya, a Nairobi youth group ran an intense and high profile fundraising campaign for a water tanker to be sent to the drought stricken area. When the tanker entered the disaster area it was set upon by a troop of baboons. Driven half-crazy by thirst, they drained it dry. This hit the headlines in Nairobi and the youth group were devastated. They then compiled a dossier of all the press cuttings, and developed an alternative proposal for a more sustainable shallow well programme. They then identified 10 potential Northern donors and sent off the proposal, which included the story of the failed venture. After some brief negotiations, the group ended up with $500,000 in donations for their shallow well programme. Moral: Publicise your disaster, but show you have learnt a lesson and have a new ‘cunning plan’. Slide 4
© Bill Bruty 2011fundraising training ltd Our Six Solutions 1.Do favours for people, constantly, pick your best ‘debtor’ and cash them in. 2.Take someone into your confidence, turn them into a soul mate, an ally, then they will become an advocate. 3.Tell everyone about it, at least twice (in two different ways), but never three times (then you are a pest/loser). 4.Have no fear, explode into a frenzy of activity, publicly grind yourself into the ground – invite a rescue! 5.Get all the stakeholders together, divide up the problem and the responsibilities equally, follow individual journeys but work as a team. 6.Publicise your disaster, but show you have learnt a lesson and have a new ‘cunning plan’. Slide 4
© Bill Bruty 2011fundraising training ltd
© Bill Bruty 2011fundraising training ltd
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