FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Engaging the services of a fundraising consultant can be daunting, particularly if you haven’t worked with a fundraising specialist before. Here are some of the common questions (as well as some of the less common ones) that people ask. If you can’t find an answer to your question in the frequently asked questions below, please get in touch with me any time.
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Charitable trusts: do you do bid writing to trusts and foundations?

Charities sometimes ask if they can 'outsource' trust fundraising to me. The answer to that is that it is more effective to work with them, rather than do it for them, not least because this builds their fundraising capability and confidence. Mostly I work with the fundraiser, fundraising team or CEO to co produce grant applications and reports.

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We're a small charity - I'm not sure we can afford consultancy.

I've worked with hundreds of small organisations over the years. And many of these organisations have very limited budgets. Firstly, consultancy should pay for itself many times over. If the support for example helps you write more powerful, compelling funding applications, that the learning from this will benefit you for many years to come. The other thing to say here is that, I seek always to build your capacity and make myself redundant from you. The way I work means that I will focus on helping your team develop the skills, confidence and capability to fundraise brilliantly. This means that a short-sharp burst of external support is often all that's needed. And you don't have to be dependent on paying external consultants in the medium and longer-term.

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How much do your fundraising services cost?

Fees are charged on a day rate basis and there is no VAT. Costs vary depending on the type of support you need, the size of your organisation and the length of the contract. Please contact me for a 30 minute, free, no-obligation phone call and I will explain the fee structure to you

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Do you work on a ‘no win no fee’ basis?

No. Although commission-based fundraising is still practiced in the UK, it is both unethical and bad practice. I am passionate about delivering the best, most ethical service I can and as such, will never work on a ‘no win no fee’ or commission-based basis.

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Do you work with Community Interest Companies (CICs)?

Yes. Although most of my clients are registered charities, I have worked with many CICs over the years.

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We're a Christian organisation with a strong faith basis to our work. Can you work with us?

Yes, I have worked with hundreds of churches and Christian organisations over the years. From large evangelical Christian organisations such as Bible Society, SAT-7 and Tearfund, to smaller Christian organisations and churches, I have lots of experience in the faith-based sector.

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Do you work with charities in a certain income range?

Over the past 25 years I’ve worked with tiny start-up charities and national and international organisations. And this is one of the things that makes my work so enjoyable. So, the simple answer is whatever your charity’s size, I can work with you.

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Our charity is very new – can you still work with us?

Yes, I can support start-ups and recently-established charities and voluntary organisations. It’s really important to get things right from the start, so employing a charity consultant or specialist in the early stages is often a good idea.

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What causes and sectors do you focus on?

I’ve worked across a vast range of charitable causes over the years. This includes health and wellbeing, poverty and social justice, medical research, arts and culture, disability, international development and education. In recent years, much of my work is focussed on charities working in the following sectors: health & wellbeing, disability, medical research, poverty, justice and social inclusion. If I don’t think I’m the right person for the work, I will tell you. I’m well networked, so if this is the case, I can usually recommend others who are a better fit for the support you need.

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How soon can you start?

Like most freelancers, I tend to find that there are peaks and troughs throughout the year. So because of this, you may have to wait a month or two, depending on when you make contact with me. However, I can usually be flexible, agile and responsive. That's the beauty of a small business!

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Do you have experience of capital campaigns?

Although I have experience of capital campaigns, this is not an area I cover any more. I focus my time now on revenue - rather than capital - fundraising.

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Fundraising strategy: I'm not sure we can justify the cost of this

Developing a fundraising strategy isn't a cost, it's an investment. And having a robust fundraising strategy in place will enable you, your team, your Trustees and your volunteers to work together to fundraise effectively and efficiently and to maximise income. As any of my fundraising strategy clients will tell you, the cost of developing fundraising strategy will pay for itself many times over.

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I'm interested in fundraising training or coaching - can you help?

Yes. This is a growing area for me, with more and more charities asking for coaching or training.

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What information do you need in order to give me a quote?

To give you a quote for fundraising support, a 30-minute telephone or video call is usually the best starting point. In our call I’ll ask you lots of questions about your charity, your fundraising and your future plans. Some organisations like to send through additional documents at this stage. This can include a copy of the fundraising strategy, examples of funding applications or your fundraising case for support. These can be helpful but aren’t essential at this stage.

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Where are you based?

I live just outside Bath, in a market town called Chippenham. But geography isn’t a barrier these days as I deliver a lot of my work virtually. However I still get out and about to visit my clients. Technology is a marvellous thing, but nothing beats a good old-fashioned face to face once in a while.

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Which parts of the country do you cover?

I work with charities, non-profit organisations and community groups across England and Wales. My clients have taken me to all four corners of the country. Examples include a foodbank in Haverhill (Suffolk), a youth project in Brighton (Sussex), a museum in Truro (Cornwall) and a prison project in Manchester.

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Which parts of the country do you cover?

I work with charities, non-profit organisations and community groups across England and Wales. My clients have taken me to all four corners of the country. Examples include a foodbank in Haverhill (Suffolk), a youth project in Brighton (Sussex), a museum in Truro (Cornwall) and a prison project in Manchester.

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Do you do hands-on fundraising, as well as consultancy?

Yes. Much of my work is involves strategic support – fundraising strategy, fundraising audits, training and strategic advice. But I also love nothing more than getting on with the nitty gritty of fundraising. Funding and prospect research. Bid writing. Developing copy for a fundraising appeal. Helping you write copy for your website.

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Times are tough and income is down – should we still employ a consultant?

If your charity is struggling, you are not alone. These are challenging times. Get in touch and talk to me. Honesty and integrity are a big deal for me. So, if I don’t think it’s worth you investing in external support, I will tell you. I offer a free, no-obligation 30-minute call, so get in touch today and we can talk it through.

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My team are nervous about the idea of a fundraising audit

This is perfectly normal. And it’s something I’m always very aware of. A fundraising audit can feel daunting and I’ll get alongside your team so that they feel involved and empowered to work with me to review the fundraising. As you’ll see from my testimonials page many clients comes away from a fundraising audit feeling more inspired and motivated than ever before!

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Are you a freelance fundraiser, consultant or director of a fundraising agency?

All of the above! I ran a successful fundraising agency for many years ago. In 2022 I sold the business and am now loving working as a self -employed fundraiser. Working as a freelancer means I can offer a more flexible and agile service. The simple business structure also means I focus most of my time on working with clients. And best of all, it means I don’t have to charge VAT.

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Our success rate with trust applications isn’t great – can you help?

Yes. Some expert, outside support can often dramatically improve a charity’s success rates with grant-making trusts. Typically this includes support to improve the quality of applications, help to identify new funding opportunities and support to improve the systems that support your trust fundraising. Get in touch and we can arrange a call to discuss your needs in more detail.

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What if I’m not happy?

If you’re not 100% happy with the support you have received, I offer a no quibble guaranteed happiness solution to ensure that we part company on good terms.

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Do you partner with other fundraising consultants or freelancers?

Yes, for larger projects I work with other consultants. These include Mark Jefferies of AMJ Fundraising Ltd (he doesn't have a website at the moment but he is on linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-jefferies-6b0262113/?originalSubdomain=uk), Fundraising Consultant and Coach, Caroline Dewfall https://www.carolinedewfall.co.uk/ and Fundraising Consultant, Sean Tully https://www.fruitfulfundraising.co.uk/

Please get in touch if you have a question that I haven’t covered above.

Let’s Talk…

I look forward to chatting with you. The more context you can provide me before the call, the better I can serve you. Please email me with any background information or context in advance of our meeting.