Monday, 24 May 2010

Working Smarter 3: Fund-raising

At the Career Development Group conference last week, Kathy Roddy discussed the 3 Rs of Fund-raising: Relationships, Research and Recipients.  I found this speaker overwhelmingly enthusiastic and positive about the potential sources of funding and our ability to raise funds for our libraries.  She made it sound easy!

Relationships: "Fund-raising is friend-raising." We need to be out talking to potential funders, making sure to contact them by phone or in person before filling in the forms.  Asking if they fund this sort of project, and if they say they prefer to fund "y" then discuss other projects they may be interested in funding. People give to people they know, respect, know will do a good job.  It's also far easier to get money from people who gave before, so maintain these relationships!

Research: Find out who the potential funders are, what the need is for this service and what your outcomes will be.  If you can't prove a need or identify worthwhile outcomes, you won't get the funding you're looking for.  Remember that funders don't fund institutions - they want to change the world for the better.

Recipients: Who will benefit from what you do?  What are their needs?  Outcomes and impact are essential and we have to prove that we meet these.  Libraries change lives!  We need to convince funders that our projects are a massive investment opportunity that will change things for the best, who wouldn't want to invest in that?

The British Library is very good at tapping into the different types of funding streams.

Funding streams
  • Statutory
  • Lottery – Good to start with Awards for All, it's very easy to get this funding and not limited to charities.
  • Trusts and foundations – their job is to give money away, our job is to make it easy for them!  Look up Guide to the Major Trusts and identify the ones that might be interested.
  • Company sponsorship
  • Individuals – one-off donations, committed giving schemes, major donors.  Major donors are giving more than ever before, the only sector that's growing! Legacies are the most cost-effective method of fund-raising.

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