For this to really be a helpful guide we have to start at the beginning, by asking “What kind of fundraising help do you want?” So, bear with me when I set out some of the possible answers because that will determine where who should go for help.
If you want someone to simply raise money for you and then pay it into your bank account you may be looking for a ‘professional fundraiser’ not a consultant. A consultant will give you advice from their years of professional experience so your fundraising will be far more effective, but they won’t raise the money themselves; though they may, of course, find an interim or temporary fundraiser for you to employ and to give you fundraising assistance.
If you are looking for free online advice and charity help that is a third category and if you are looking for training or conferences to give fundraising help etc then we are up to four answers to the question by now.
If you are hoping to take on your first fundraiser or a specialist, then that is obviously yet another route to a successful conclusion.
Lastly, if you are expecting anyone to work for a percentage of the profits – think again. This is against all our codes of practice and no professional fundraiser will touch it with even an extremely long bargepole.
Let’s take all these in turn:
Firstly, a note of caution: All professional fundraisers will need help from you. They will want to know about your programmes, why should people help you (are you a credible organisation? Can you prove it?) and what you’re planning to use the funds for. They may also need your time and attendance at events or in monitoring their work. So, this isn’t an effortless way to raise funds. Spoiler alert: there are no effortless ways to raise funds.
If you are looking for companies that help with fundraising for charities consider the corporate sponsors and agencies set out in the Hollis Yearbook.
Street fundraising agencies can be found on the Institute of Fundraising site.
If you are looking for an individual fundraiser see ‘Hiring Fundraisers’ below and consider both agencies and advertising but make sure they are members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP in the US) or Institute of Fundraising (IoF in UK) or your national association.
Crowdfunding is a great way to raise funds, but you really have to engage with the rules of each site as they vary considerably e.g. how much the site keeps, whether you have to raise the whole amount in the time you state and how they work with charities and individuals. There is a useful list of sites here.
Look no further! Here at the International Fundraising Consultancy we help credible organisations of all sizes, almost anywhere in the world and provide expert help with fundraising for charities. Look around our site for fundraising assistance.
But also look at both the Association of Fundraising Consultants (AFC) website and the Institute of Fundraising, as well as see my previous blog about engaging with consultants which will save you time and help you work more effectively with your consultants.
Free online advice about fundraising
The ‘How To Guides’ in Wikifund have a lot of practical information on fundraising and the Institute of Fundraising site opens an Aladdin’s Cave of stuff on fundraising. Whilst not free you should also check the Directory of Social Change’s site. They also have a lot of training sessions, books and sites where you can research sources of funds.
Try #fundraising to explore the myriad possibilities on Twitter but also follow me @johnbaguley
Do subscribe to our blog and look at Fundraising UK which is a very useful site anyway, set up by Howard Lake who was ahead of everyone in highlighting internet fundraising. If you want quantity and to read a lot of US blogs see ‘50 Must Read Blogs’ .
As ever putting ‘fundraising’ into their search engine will bring up a lot of interesting sites, but I don’t think this is the best platform for free advice. There is actually a #fundraisingadvice site, but frankly I’d give it a miss. Of course, we are there too.
Hiring a fundraiser
You could do worse than talking to an agency who will give you exceptionally useful professional advice and charity help, especially if this is your first fundraising hire.
If you are still with me and not lost down all the rabbit holes set out above, then good luck with your fundraising and, of course, do ask Bill King if you think a fundraising consultancy can help you. You can email Bill using email@example.com
With best regards
John Baguley, Chair, Group IFC
PS You may also like to check my ‘Nine Lives’ blog ‘How to Raise Money for Charity’ – enjoy!