What a year….. 2020 was an incredibly challenging time; it also bore witness to deeply impressive and swift responses by charities, which have made a real impact at every level of society. Tarnside was determined to do “our bit” to contribute.
In partnership with several community foundations and charity umbrella bodies we ran a series of pro bono webinars for charity leaders to help them plan new fundraising strategies in the face of the volatility, complexity, and ambiguity of our times. We have now worked with over 200 charity leaders. It is humbling seeing the great work people are doing and difficulties they are overcoming.
One thing that emerged from this was the challenge that senior leaders are facing. So… we developed a second webinar – designed to help people balance the dual challenges of dealing with the short-term crisis while still planning for longer term success – once again people’s energy, resilience and vison shone. It has been a joy to see some clients make important progress. Chester Zoo raised £4m emergency funding and changed the government’s policy on the reopening of zoos. Whitgift School secured £3m towards its bursary fund. Abbeyfield Ballachulish has raised £450,000 to upgrade its facilities. We firmly believe that a cause that meets a real need and creates a compelling ask will continue to be successful.
New circumstances bring new opportunities. Using our examples again – Chester Zoo attracted 121,000 new donors to its emergency appeal. 44% of Whitgift School alumni reengaged with the school during lockdown and some of Abbeyfield Ballachulish funders have expressed an interest in a longer-term partnership.The rate of change is fast, and no one knows what is going to happen next. A squeeze on funds resulting from the economic downturn is however inevitable.
With the New Year upon us, now is the time to:
• Plan your future fundraising strategy and invest in diversifying your income streams
• Harness the massive increase in digital competence that has swept across the nation
• Listen – people have had time to think about their place in the world and what they want to contribute. For those that are listening this is resulting in surge in:
• major and regular donations
• legacy pledges
• Above all remain agile – and be prepared to adapt to changes. To stay agile leaders need to have time to reflect. You cannot spot the icebergs or the new opportunities from the bridge of your ship if you are spending all your time in the engine room.