Face-to-face fundraising agency Bright Future Fundraising has launched with the aim of bringing more interactive and engaging experiences to prospective donors, and offering fundraisers plenty of opportunities for career progression.
Bright Future Fundraising launched on 12 April, in line with the return to public fundraising in England. It is the brainchild of director Kelvin Hopkins who started sister company The Professional Fundraiser almost 10 years ago. The team also includes general manager Josh White, who after starting as a street fundraiser more than a decade ago, has run national programmes for UK charities including Amnesty International UK, Guide Dogs for the Blind and Friends of the Earth.
Engagement techniques for prospective donors include using VR headsets, digital pitch cards – used on a tablet – that combine videos/images and questions for the potential donor, and making the interaction more experiential, for example with props, activities and small workshops.
Bright Future Fundraising can offer donors choice in how they wish to give, such as through instant and recurring payment options like Apple or Google Pay, while using QR codes and landing pages also means donors can complete the fields on the pledge form from their own device rather than the fundraiser’s tablet.
Director Kelvin Hopkins explained:
“Not a huge amount has changed in the past 20 years in terms of how fundraising is done – across the industry we’re still asking members of the public if they can spare a couple of minutes to ‘tell them what we’re doing today’.
“When we think about face-to-face engagement, retail and hospitality have really evolved. These sectors have understood there is a time for convenience and grab and go and retailers have blended technology to help enhance customer experience, through things such as self-scan or pre-ordering on an App.
“But there are other times when a customer enjoys the interaction and knowledge of the person they’re buying from and places greater value on the experience. That brings them closer to the brand and the product and helps to create the emotional connection which delivers brand loyalty.
“We’ve learned from this by providing choice and flexibility, tailoring our experiences and blending the use of technology where there is a value-add for the donor.”
The agency also offers fundraisers a host of training opportunities with the aim of helping to breakdown barriers of progression and improving equality, diversity and inclusion.
It has a modular training programme for each level of management in the organisation called The Bright Academy. This includes a year-long road map laid out for a new starter to follow if they wish to build up to a higher field management role. Modules must be taken and passed in order to progress up the management structure and lead bigger teams and as well as covering all aspect of F2F, cover IG channels, recruitment, team management and HR learnings.
External courses are used too, such as an Microsoft Office course for entry level managers and CIoF courses for middle management.
Fundraisers are trained to work on multiple channels from their first day, and the agency’s Brightships programme offers staff paid placements outside of F2F to broaden their understanding of fundraising industry, such as with its recruitment partner Inspired People or on the digital team of one of its charity partners. It also offers two paid volunteer days a year that staff can use for a work placements if they wish.