McCracken Consultancy
Strategic Consultancy for charities and third sector organisations
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McCracken Consultancy

What could go wrong with your fundraising campaigns? The devil's in the detail...

There’s so much that can go wrong with fundraising, so as you launch into planning your next raft of exciting fundraising campaigns remember to make sure you’ve got good processes and procedures...the devil's in the detail!!

I’m so happy with my new client right now. Very, very happy. They’ve totally got this concept.  They in fact approached me with this as top of their agenda “we don’t want to start undertaking lots of new fundraising initiatives until we really know we’re doing everything right and we’ve got all the right skills and knowledge in place”…………..wowee! Top marks in my book.

What could go wrong? Compensation claims for an accident at an event volunteers ran for you to raise money? Accepting money and then finding out your major donor is a money launderer? Sharing data with another organisation completely without your intention or knowledge? Someone taking a complaint to the ICO for data breach resulting in fines of up to 20 million euros..............A LOT more than this can go wrong!

A good place to start in making sure you are doing everything right is your policies and procedures and making sure everything you do aligns with the Fundraising Code of Practice under the Funding Regulator and the General Data Protection Regulation, the latter of which is changing on 25th May 2018 to become generally more restrictive….so you need to know the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of those documents.  You might find your policies and procedures are very ‘thin’ in some areas and don’t really give good guidance to ensure compliance.  Throwaway references to ‘in adherence with the Code………..’ aren’t really very helpful at all; everything relevant to YOU (and not more) should be transferred and applied to YOUR organisation, in language clear to all your staff, so that your policies and procedures I suggest become standalone all-encompassing documents. Your policies and procedures should be a living document reviewed yearly, and as you start to undertake new kinds of fundraising or the structure of your organisation changes, refer back to the Code and the GDPR and add to or change your policies and procedures where necessary.

People who ‘touch’ fundraising in any way i.e. not only members of the fundraising department, but the accounts team, members of staff who take in personally delivered donations, volunteers, even donors, need to be involved in working out first exactly what the procedures or real ‘practices’ are currently.  Unless you are a model organisation, it will probably become apparent that there are grey areas and can be made more efficient and robust at least in some areas.  Staff who are experienced stakeholders need to think through collectively what would be the most effect procedures and cross-reference to best practice and legal requirements.  In this way, not only do you end up with the best processes  and procedures for you, but a) everyone understands why the procedures are in place b) understands best practices and the law where it applies to them and therefore c) are more likely to follow those policies and procedures at all. As an extra bonus, the whole review process should put people in the mind-set that reflection, review and finding the best way is a continual process, and their views matter.

Well that’s a result isn’t it?

If you’d like me to help you sweep your floor of banana skins give me a call on 07792 503 815

Natasha McCracken