IFC Consultant, Finbar Cullen gave a fascinating presentation on research methods, aimed at helping those new to fundraising understand how to go about finding those people and organisations who might be interested in supporting your cause.
Doing your research is crucial, as it allows you to target approaches on those who are most likely to be interested in your cause. Finbar’s advice included making the most of services provided by organisations like the Directory of Social Change, who produce guides on UK trusts, and corporate giving, and the Charity Commission, where details of all UK registered charities – including trusts and foundations – can be found. Although accessing these guides online requires a subscription, those who visit their library in London can use them for free. He also highlighted the host of useful information, particularly on companies, which can often be accessed for free from your local library.
Finbar also suggested making the most of expertise out there, through groups like Researchers in Fundraising, and Prospect Research UK whose email groups are a great place to ask questions and find out more.
Following the break, discussion turned to what to do with all that information once you have identified who you should be approaching, and the group discussed how to make the most of trust applications, how to approach corporates and how even a small charity could begin a Major Donor campaign.
Next month, we will be looking at community fundraising and events, with IFC consultant Carole Akiwume. You can book a place via http://www.smallcharities.org.uk/