Graduate Guide to Fundraising: Part 4.4

Finally in the jargon-busting section, we have a post for those of you who prefer to focus on individual relationships – in this post we’ll be covering the most common buzz words from both major donor and individual giving fundraising.

As this is largely a post of sub-sections, let’s get started…

The seven stages of solicitation:
Major donor fundraisers are often expected to go through seven stages with any potential donor (or prospect) and these are as follows…
1. Identify – fairly self-explanatory, identifying someone with the potential to give
2. Research – researching their connection to the cause, reasons they might give and connections they might have (whether to trustees or existing supporters)
3. Plan/cultivate – getting to know the potential donor and moving them through a journey until they feel ready to ask
4. Ask – asking for the donation
5. Close – going through with the donation/fulfilling the pledge etc
6. Thank – both the stage of an immediate thank you and following up with a report on how the donation has been spent
7. Steward – keeping that donor feeling valued until they skip back to stage 3 or 4.

The 9:4:1 principle:
This is the idea that major donor fundraisers will identify 9 major donor prospects, of which they will ask four for a donation and one will say yes.

The four motivation types:
There are four commonly referred to ‘primary reasons’ that people give to a cause, and these are as follows…
1. Philanthropy – this is the purest form of altruism, where someone is driven to give because they can see the impact that the donation will have.
2. Affinity – this is where someone has a personal connection to the cause, whether through having been a beneficiary of the charity or similar.
3. Mutual benefit – this is often the case in corporate partnerships, where the donor receives (for example) PR coverage or tax relief out of their donation.
4. Social recognition – this is where they want to be seen as a good person in their community, and often results in things like a plaque on the wall or a wing of a hospital being named after the donor.

These acronyms stand for High Net Worth Individual or Ultra High Net Worth Individual who often have the capacity to give a major donation.

With these terms under your belt, you should be able to better understand job descriptions and make yourself stand out in job applications – to return to the main dictionary post, click here. Alternatively, return to the homepage of the guide to entering fundraising here.

Graduate Guide to Fundraising: Part 4.3

If you think corporate fundraising might be more your speed, there’s a few more acronyms and buzz words you might want to get under your belt before you get cracking. They are as follows:

COTY: stands for Charity Of The Year. This is a type of corporate-charity partnership in which a company choose a particular charity for a fixed term (usually one to three years – the name can sometimes be a misnomer) and direct all employee fundraising efforts to that partner. These partnerships typically (but not always) go to charities with a higher brand awareness and are often the most sought after due to their financial worth.

Strategic partnership: the holy grail of corporate fundraising, these are often longer term than a COTY partnership, this is where a company and a charity have mutual goals or are able to work together on a more than financial level. A great example of this is the Deliveroo partnership with Missing People, where Deliveroo riders are trained to look out for people missing in their local area – helping them to achieve their charitable objective as well as raise funds.

CSR: stands for Corporate Social Responsibility. This is a broad term for corporates-doing-good, whether through having a sustainable supply chain for their products or through encouraging their staff to volunteer. Many large companies will have a CSR team who look after the philanthropic image of the company.

Staff vote: most COTY partnerships are decided by a staff vote within the company that the partnership is with – CSR teams will often short list four to ten charities that employees will then choose from.

Matched funding or £-for-£: a number of companies offer their employees matched funding, which is where the company double whatever that employee fundraise or donate to a given charity. In some (but not all) cases this is limited to their main charity partner. Matched funding is very common within financial institutions – for example Deutsche Bank offer employees up to £1,000 matched funding for fundraising efforts and £3,000 matched funding for personal donations.

Cause-related volunteering: a lot of companies look for opportunities to engage with their charities at a cause-level, whether doing some gardening for a hospice or offering CV workshops for beneficiaries. These are not always possible to offer but a good thing to look for when choosing where to work as a corporate fundraiser.

Cobranding: this is where a company puts their logo next to the logo of a charity in an effort to tie the brands together – a large number of charities charge for this service as a marketing good.

With these terms under your belt, you should be able to better understand job descriptions and make yourself stand out in job applications – to return to the main dictionary post, click here. Alternatively, return to the homepage of the guide to entering fundraising here.

Graduate Guide to Fundraising: Part 4.2

If you’re looking into digital fundraising in particular, then there’s some more specific jargon to learn. The incredible Emily Casson kindly lent me her glossary to digital fundraising to put this together, and you can get in touch with her to ask more of her digital excellence on @EmilyCasson

Given Emily’s connection to Cat Protection League, it only seemed fair to include a cat here…

But now, to business – here are the phrases you need to know to get your foot in the door.

  1. Influencer
    The term influencer refers to someone who is recognised as an expert in their field on social media – this might be a comedian, fashion blogger, or an animal welfare campaigner. Influencers can come in all shapes and sizes (micro to mega) and are an effective way to reach people about a topic they are passionate about.
  2. Impressions
    The term ‘impressions’ is used in digital marketing to measure the number of times a post (often a paid advert) is shown within the internet search results.
    Impressions are also measured on other platforms and refer to the number of times a piece of content displays in a user’s news feed. The user could be a ‘follower’ of the content provider, or have a connection who has engaged with the content.
  3. Conversion Rate
    Conversion rate is the percentage or proportion of the total audience that perform the action you’ve set as your goal. For example, 12,000 people may see your Facebook ad – 120 make a donation through the ad (your goal). This gives a conversion rate of 1%. The average conversion rate varies from channel to channel, however, obviously the higher the conversion rate the better.
  4. Bounce Rate
    The bounce rate is used across both email and websites. When looking at websites the bounce rate refers to the number of people who go onto a page, and then immediately leave without further action. For email, the bounce rate is the number of emails that were undeliverable to the email addresses entered so have ‘bounced back’ to the sender.
  5. Forward/Open Rate
    The forward rate looks at the proportion of people who have received an email and then forwarded this on to someone in their address book. An open rate is literally the measurable metric given to the number of recipients that open the email.
  6. CTA/CTR
    CTA stands for Call to Action – which could be to donate or follow a page. CTR stands for Click Through Rate, which is the measure of how many people have clicked a link you’ve included in your post.
  7. GDPR
    GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) was introduced on 25 May 2018 and is in addition to the Data Protection Act 1998. The regulation means consent is now needed to contact supporters by phone, text or emaill regarding marketing.
  8. SEO
    Stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is simply optimising your website content for search engines eg Google and what their algorithms prefer. Whole agencies are dedicated to SEO.
  9. SEM
    Search Engine Marketing is associated with the researching, submitting and positioning of a website within search engines to achieve maximum visibility and increase your share of paid and/or organic traffic referrals from search engines.
  10. Paid Social
    Paid social refers to all of our ad activity on social networks, such as Facebook and Instagram to name a couple.

With these terms under your belt, you should be able to better understand job descriptions and make yourself stand out in job applications – to return to the main dictionary post, click here. Alternatively, return to the homepage of the guide to entering fundraising here.

Graduate Guide to Fundraising: Part 4.1

Now that you know what fundraising sector looks like as a whole, it’s time to learn the lingo. Every sector is full of jargon, and the fundraising sector is no different – with references to stewardship, RoI, CRMs and “relationship fundraising” filling most job descriptions. We’ve got you covered with our guide to the most commonly used acronyms and concepts in fundraising:

Because there are so many different types of fundraising, and each come with their own set of buzzwords, we’ve split this post into four sections. This one, which covers sector-wide concepts, and then three others – for digital (available here), corporate (available here) and major donor (available here) fundraising. To the sector wide concepts:

  1. Donor / Supporter
    This is a semantic difference that likely has some disagreement across the sector – to my definition, a donor gives their money where a supporter gives their time (by doing challenge events or making introductions), but don’t take this as read. The two words are often used interchangeably.
  2. Gift
    Is another word for donation.
  3. Gift in Kind
    Is a non-financial donation, such as free venue hire or pro bono consultancy work.
  4. “Ask”
    In the fundraising sector, we have turned this verb into a noun – we are often asked how confident we are to “make the ask” – but it ultimately means to ask a supporter (or potential supporter) for money.
  5. Major Donor
    The definition of a major donor (and a major gift or donation) varies from charity to charity – the standard rule of thumb is that the 5% of donors for any organisation who give the largest donations are that organisation’s major donors, but a major donor fundraiser will often by seeking gifts between £1,000-1,000,000 and above!
  6. Restricted Gift/Restricted Funds/Restricted Income
    Restricted gifts are donations that are made for a specific purpose: for example, to support the building of a new classroom or for the purchase of specific medicine. The opposite of this is unrestricted funding, which can be used for anything in line with the charity’s objectives – including funding ‘overheads’ such as staff salaries.
  7. Stewardship
    Is the phrase we use for looking after our donors and supporters between donations – stewarding a donor involves thanking them for their donation (with a thank you appropriate to the size of their donation – such as an email for a £5 donation and a hand-written card for a £5,000 one), informing them of the impact of their gift and preparing them to be asked to support again in future.
  8. Supporter Journey
    We often map the stewardship we are going to provide a donor onto a “supporter journey” – for example, once they’ve donated a certain amount they receive a certain email with a case study, and once they’ve been donating for a certain length of time we ask them to increase their gift.
  9. Relationship Fundraising
    Is a key phrase in the fundraising sector, based on a book published in 1992, that means putting the relationship with your donor at the heart of your fundraising practice. This style of fundraising is about maximizing the lifetime value of a donor rather than focussing on short term wins that may then alienate them. You can read more about this here and here.
  10. ROI
    This acronym stands for “Return on Investment” and is a measure of how efficient a form of fundraising or product is. To work out the return on investment, you divide the amount raised by the amount it cost to raise it: for example, a gala dinner that raises £6,000 that cost £2,000 to put on has a 3:1 return on investment.
  11. Prospect
    A prospect is a potential supporter – for a corporate fundraiser, their “top prospects” are the businesses at the top of their list to approach to form a partnership, whereas for a major donor fundraiser their prospects are people that might have the ability and willingness to give a sizable donation.
  12. Pipeline
    A pipeline is the list of people a fundraiser is working on – for an events fundraiser, their pipeline will be of people that have enquired about taking part in an event, whereas for a corporate fundraiser this will be the list of businesses they’re looking to approach. Most (but not all) jobs require you to balance stewarding a number of existing donors whilst trying to woo members of your pipeline.
  13. CRM
    This acronym can stand for any number of things within the charitable sector, including Cause Related Marketing (where a company puts their logo next to the logo of a charity to boost their image), Customer Relationship Management system (which are databases in which people track their supporters and history – the most famous of which is Raisers Edge) or Charity Related Merchandise, which is products of which a percentage of the proceeds go to charity.

With these terms under your belt, you should be able to better understand job descriptions and make yourself stand out in job applications – it’s easy to give examples of stewardship from previous customer service experience, for example.

The next part of the Graduate Guide to Entering Fundraising – focussing on actually getting the job you want – will be available shortly . If you have any questions about the contents of this article or getting a role in fundraising, get in touch here. 

Return to the homepage of the guide here.

Graduate Guide to Entering Fundraising: Part 3

You’ve decided the style of fundraising you’d like to pursue initially, and you know what the entry level roles might look like, but you’re not sure where this first job can take you. With all of your lecturers and parents talking about “five year plans”, you want to be sure this is the right step for you. The paths fundraising can take you in are many and varied, so we’ve compiled a guide on the options you could be looking at in five and ten years time.

What does a career in fundraising look like after 5 years?

You might be promoted internally:

“Back in 2013, I joined the Manchester RAG committee in my second year of uni, then in summer 2014 I interned at Hope for Children. I spent my third year as vice-chair of RAG before returning to Hope for Children as a staff member on the student fundraising team! I’m still here today and now manage student, community and event fundraising
Now, every day starts with a cup of tea, and the similarities end there! I could be on the phone to supporters, pitching for new partnerships, training our volunteers, or looking after the budget – to name just a few things! There always seems to be emails to answer though… What’s new?”

Vicky Wallace, Fundraising Manager at Hope for Children

Or be head-hunted elsewhere:

“I joined the East African Playgrounds team in 2015, working as their challenges officer. After two years, I was promoted to work as their challenges & corporate manager, building relationships from scratch. Then in April of this year I moved to a new charity entirely, Rays of Sunshine, to work in their corporate department and build up my experience elsewhere.
I spend my time looking after our high value supporters – including Deutsche Bank, Jupiter Hotels and the Foresters Friendly Society – and am learning a huge amount about how these larger companies operate and support causes.”

Andy King, Partnerships Manager at Rays of Sunshine

Or move into supporting other charities’ in their efforts:

“When I graduated, I was really lucky to secure a place on the Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy Fellowship programme in Dorset. After a year in the countryside, I came back to London as Development Manager for Spitalfields Music, an amazing organisation that helped me grow in many ways. Then in August 2018, I joined the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) as Senior Project Manager – a very different but amazingly challenging role.
My role at the FSI is super varied – one day I could be delivering training on corporate partnerships in Edinburgh, the next coordinating speakers for our Fundraising Conferences. There’s a lot of relationship building involved though, which I love.”

Lindsay Harrod, Senior Project Manager at the Foundation for Social Improvement

And what about in 10 years time? You’ll notice that career paths don’t always work as planned in the long run, but that there’s still huge variety in what you could be doing, such as…

Heading up a department:

“I started my journey as volunteer raising money for school children effected by historic earthquake in Kashmir, later working an organisation helping people suffering from cataracts in developing countries. Here I am, ten years in the sector working for an orphan charity helping orphans realising their full potential in their lives through my work as head of major gifts.
My main advice from my journey is this. If you want a job which doesn’t feel like a job, if you want a career where you turn your skills into changing the world for good for millions of people around the world, if you want a job where everyday is different and you are excited to get out of your bed every morning then you should seriously consider becoming a fundraiser.”

Ikhlaq Hussein, Head of Major Gifts at Orphans in Need

Or heading up a charity:

“I never set out to be a fundraiser or work in the charity sector even, but I became very personally motivated after visiting a non profit in Kenya when I was 11. I’ve been passionate about development since and working in small charities means fundraising has always been a major part of my role – but my journey was unintentional.
After 12 years in the sector,I’m now the UK Director of Raising Futures Kenya. Day to day I’m managing a mix of fundraising, programmes and all the other admin that keeps a charity running. I’ll be working alone or together with some of my amazing team members in the U.K. and Kenya, volunteers or Trustees. As part of a very small team I’m responsible for high level strategic work (which I love) and day to day lower level work (don’t love so much but has to be done). It’s challenging but always interesting with a lot of variety.

Vic Hancock-Fell, UK Director of Raising Futures Kenya

Or even breaking into consultancy work:

I’ve been in events fundraising, corporate fundraising, then back to events fundraising again – I took a break to focus on monitoring and evaluation – which led back to fundraising via bid writing. After an unexpected redundancy, I packaged up my experience and started working freelance.I’m now the part time fundraising manager for a small organisation whilst building a consultancy business.
As a freelancer, I love that every day can look different. I’m most creative first thing, so I often spend morning working on new projects. In afternoons I work on research, policy or writing proposals. If I’m not at my desk I’m meeting clients. I’m normally working with 2 or 3 charities at a time, which provides an amazing amount of variety and exposure to new ideas.

Chris Richardson-Wright, Lead Consultant at Air Balloon Consulting

The main thing to know at this stage is that career plans very rarely work out the way you expect them to, and the world of fundraising is incredibly varied and exciting – there’s more than enough to keep you in the world of fundraising for years to come, and plenty of steps to take along the way!

The next part of the Graduate Guide to Entering Fundraising, decoding the jargon of the fundraising sector, is available here.

If you have any questions about the contents of this article or getting a role in fundraising, get in touch here. Return to the homepage of the guide here.

Graduate Guide to Entering Fundraising: Part 2

What do day jobs in fundraising actually look like?

Now you know what each area of fundraising involves, you’re likely to have a shortlist of the ones you’d actually consider. It’s time to look at the nitty gritty – what do job descriptions look like, what does the average person in each of these areas earn to start with, and where can it take you? We’ve done the research so you don’t have to.

It’s important to bear in mind that salaries in fundraising – and, indeed, almost every industry – are wildly inconsistent. Depending on the size of your organisation, the location of the office and even the type of cause (e.g. animal, cancer, education), average salaries will vary. That said, there are still some benchmarks to consider.

TPP Recruitment, an agency specializing in ‘jobs with principles’ including fundraising and programme delivery roles, conducted a salary review by fundraising type and seniority level – you can see what they found below:

You can read the entire report by TPP Recruitment here, which also includes breakdowns of salary by region, type of cause and gender.

Our next post – “what do careers in fundraising look like?” (due 15th April) – will break down the differences between these job titles – but it’s an interesting set of data to consider even when just looking at the assistant/coordinator level and director level of each type of fundraising.

Of course, money isn’t everything.

It’s important to consider what the day to day work looks like, and whether you think that’s something you’d enjoy. For example, I know that I’m a very people-focused person – so whilst I’m aware that being a director of trust/foundation fundraising would be the most lucrative career end-goal, I wouldn’t enjoy the work.

To that end, we’ve worked to compile an example job description for an assistant level role for each of the previously discussed areas of fundraising – they’re not necessarily active job roles but they’ll give you an idea of what they look like and where you could find more:

It’s important to note at this point that just because you start in one area of fundraising doesn’t mean that you’re limited to that forever. I started as a challenge events officer and then transitioned to corporate fundraising from there – as you grow into your career it’s common to take on new styles, so don’t feel like you’re committing for life here: the aim of this post is to give you an idea of where to look first.

The next part of the Graduate Guide to Entering Fundraising will be available on the 15th April around 12pm. Between now and then please get in touch!

If you have any questions about the contents of this article or getting a role in fundraising, get in touch here. Return to the homepage of the guide here.

Graduate Guide to Entering Fundraising: Part 1

The biggest problem of starting a career in fundraising is knowing what type of fundraising you want to do and knowing what that looks like in practice.

A recent article on Fundraising UK stated there might be an “infinite number of types/disciplines of fundraising”, but luckily there are a core number of ‘mainstream’ forms of fundraising – including community, events, corporates, trusts and foundations, individual giving, major gifts, legacy and digital.

Unless you work for an incredibly small organisation, you’re likely going to have to specialise in one or two types of fundraising almost immediately. To help give you an idea of which might be your preferred area, I spoke to a fundraiser in each of these areas, asking them to explain what they do for a day job – here’s what they had to say…

I’m working in legacy giving, or gifts in wills. The role focuses on increasing the interest in legacy giving and encouraging people to leave gifts in their wills, until they becomes pledgers. This means that it covers many aspects of fundraising. The acquisition side can include running direct mail campaigns and phone campaigns, writing marketing material and hosting events, while the stewardship and cultivation side is usually done through face-to-face meetings.

Andreas Avram, Legacy Giving Officer, King’s College London

I am a community fundraiser. I focus on helping members of the public organise and throw their own fundraising events which can range from bake sales, gala balls, independent challenge events such as climbing kilimanjaro – I support their fundraising, keep them on track to hit their targets and build relationships with new supporters. I also support many of our events like our Christmas star concert and our funny bones event. I take the lead on organising these events, talking to suppliers, supporting fundraising efforts, and executing the events on the day!

Karlie Evans, Community Fundraising Officer, Above and Beyond

I’m a corporate partnerships manager – I look after our business partners to help them raise money from their staff and customers whilst reaping the rewards for their organisation. This ranges from engaging employees with the impact they’ve had to producing content for social media and more. What the partnership looks like varies drastically depending on the business involved, which makes every day a fun challenge.

Andy King, Partnerships Manager, East African Playgrounds

I’m an events fundraiser in the Student Market mostly. This involves me engaging students to sign up to challenges and support them with their personal fundraising efforts. Our students host anything from cake sales and pub quizzes to large black tie events in their local communities across the UK and Ireland with our 121 support to help them raise £3000 each

Konna Beeson, Events Fundraiser, Meningitis Research Foundation

I am a Partnerships & Philanthropy Manager for a hospice – meaning I look after Trusts, Corporates and Major Donors. I talk with our internal teams to discover what the needs of the cause are, what we need funding for, and look for the right supporter/s to back that project. It could be from a personal interest, experience or just because they have a belief in our wider cause.

There really isn’t a day-to-day for me, because all individuals are different, but you could see me; at my desk building a fundraising proposal, out at networking events so that I put myself in front of the right people, meeting with potential or existing major donors to build stronger more sustainable relationships planning, executing and attending events to thank our supporters and engage with new supporters. No day is really ever the same!

Laura Horton, Partnerships & Philanthropy Manager at Katharine House Hospice

As a Fundraising Manager, I’ve been fortunate to enable individuals to support an organisation. These individuals give gifts ranging from one off donations of £5 to individuals giving a monthly gift of £100. I write appeals to go in magazines, in our newsletters and speak to supporters on the phone. I get to thank supporters and share with the difference their gifts are making

Katie Wade, Fundraising Manager, the Mare and Foal sanctuary

I’m all about digital. I’m all about how we can recreate the social element of in-person giving in the digital world. How we can delight people when they give, not just offer them a bland transactional experience. Digital is all about making something old work in the new world – it doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that.

Tom Defraine, Customer Success Manager, JustGiving

I am an Events Fundraising Assistant at the National Autistic Society. My role is varied (which I love), I manage our Great North Run team, provide support to our London Marathon team, as well as heading up our student fundraising programme. Our team also manages our special events like… and some autism friendly events like an autism-friendly showing of Harry Potter: the Cursed Child, so my role has scope for other things.

Calum Coker, Events Fundraising Assistant, National Autistic Society

There are, of course, other types of jobs in fundraising – such as database management or prospect researching (finding the people for other fundraisers to approach) – but above are the main kinds of roles you can expect straight out of university. Look for assistant level roles in large organisations or officer/executive/coordinator level roles in smaller charities in the field that interests you most!

The next part of the Graduate Guide to Fundraising goes further into the nitty gritty of what fundraising jobs in each of these sectors might look like; giving sample salary ranges and example job descriptions. You can check that out here.

If you have any questions about the contents of this article or getting a role in fundraising, get in touch here. Return to the homepage of the guide here.