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Individual one-to-one sessions to boost your fundraising

Small organisations working in rural and island communities play a key role in delivering local needs and priorities, but it can be hard work, and fundraising can feel like it’s never off the to-do list of volunteers, boards, and staff. 

This summer, Inspiring Scotland is hosting a series of online training sessions and 30-minute individual consultations for small rural or island-based community organisations looking to improve their fundraising skills (book your place here).  

When it comes to applying for funding, you’ll be drawing from other areas from your work – explaining your approach, demonstrating your impact and making your case for funding. By getting to grips with some key topics, small organisations can be more confident about their approach to fundraising.   

When faced with an application form, the first inclination may be to just get started; especially if the funding deadline is looming.  Without preparation and time, this approach  can be stressful, frustrating and often fruitless.  By having good evaluation, strong governance, engaged stakeholders and a simple but clear strategy, you can write compelling and successful funding applications. 

Evaluation is one area where a clear, focused approach can improve your chances at gaining funding.  Rather than ticking boxes at the end of a project, thinking about how a project’s impact might be evaluated or measured at the application stage can bring a number of benefits. It can make it much easier to describe what you’re aiming to do, who is going to benefit and why it’s needed and important. Deciding what indicators you’re going to use – or what you’ll measure – to show something has changed before you put pen to application paper will help convince the funder that their money will be well spent. 

A good understanding of your organisation’s governance also can help your fundraising be more successful. Strong governance can really boost an application, just as poor governance can hurt one. Be sure to review your constitution and make sure there are good systems and policies in place to ensure everyone and everything is protected and accountable.  

Good funding applications are about making your case well.  Researching what funds are out there and taking time to plan your fundraising approach is essential. Being clear what your organisation does, who you work with and the impact you can deliver helps you write clear, compelling and complete applications.  

Stakeholders can help you deliver the change you want to see happen, but they may not know what you do or what you need, or can even stop you.  Knowing how to influence and manage them can help you make more of a difference.   

Having a strategy for the organisation – what you’re doing now and where you want to be in the future – is not only your route map, but it can also inspire and engage your stakeholders and funders.  A clear strategy also helps you write convincing and costed budgets that accurately describe what you need to deliver what you and the funder want to see. 

The 30 minute one-to-one sessions with Lucy Conway will be tailored to your needs and focus on whatever aspect you need the most help with.  The sessions are open to staff and volunteers of small organisations in rural and island looking for help or advice on a particular project, or on how to approach fundraising for their work in a more productive and ultimately successful way. Lucy has worked and volunteered with island and rural organisations, big and small for over 30 years. She will share her wealth of knowledge and experience, focussing on the needs of your organisations and help you find a way forward.  

 

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