I have been working as a sole Fundraiser for over five years in a variety of settings. I have worked with this charity for two years and recently asked for a raise. I took the job on the understanding that they would look at my salary, as i took a large pay cut to join the organisation.
They have now given me a raise (not as much as i had asked for) but have capped my salary and will not increase it unless i earn it through bonuses related to the amount of funding i secure.
My challenge is that i have no fundraising targets apart from a request from the board to raise half a million pounds. I have tried to get feedback as to why they want the money and what projects they want me to concentrate on. However, the answers have been conflicting when given or just plain “sounds like a good number”.
Looking back the organisation has a poor fundraising history with most of the funding being secured from Trusts with annual total’s of less than 80K. I have brought in more money than any other recent fundraiser they have had (which is not much). I have tried developing a fundraising strategy to highlight different avenues of funding and to try and develop alternative funding streams.This is a challnge given that my remit is to bring in funding for an existing project, that is unable to develop or offer new things or attract many new users.
The organisation had no website, no marketing materials about the services they provide. So i have begun developing these so i can try and develop potential donors, increase general awareness and as such have now become responsible for Marketing as well as fundraising. I recently hired a Marketing specialists to help develop a marketing plan. However he has come back with three ideas for events that will cost in excess of £25K. I was hoping for a more detailed plan including some Christmas advertising, small scale local events, direct mail campaigns, development of a contacts database to help me with the fundraising of the charity.
Now i have been asked to create a system in which i will be paid a bonus depending on how much trust funding i can secure. I have tried to explain that i do not have any idea if an application will be approved or not. So how can i create a bonus related system?
If you have any thoughts on how i can create a fair bonus related pay scheme, i would love to hear them. I have spoken to the Fundraising Institute and after hearing the whole tale they advised me to walk away. They have provided some useful information about payment of fundraisers. Which brings all of my bug bears about this job into the open. I.e not having a clear aim, not having a clear idea for what grants are required for, not having a fundraising or marketing strategy in place that informs who i approach for funding and the project i am requesting funding for. Should i just try and develop a fundraising plan in isolation and get the board and Chief Executive to sign it off? Any advice on this would be really appreciated. It is starting to effect my work and my usual motivation. Apologies for the ramble.
Sounds like a pretty bad organisation. You’d expect at least some marketing materials, plans for future projects etc.
Targets are a problem – they have to be achievable, so need your agreement.
I’ve seen bonus schemes where anything over a certain percentage past target gets £x, getting double the target gets £y.
eg – target of 100 weebles sold. Sell 120, get a £50 bonus. Sell 200, get £200 bonus.
If they don’t appreciate you enough to givea better pay structure and ./guidance, let them pay for recruitment too. Not all organisations are that bad.
Job wise, check out this website (Howard puts some very nice jobs on here) or charityjob.co.uk or Third Sector website.
I was getting to the point, reading your post, of suggesting that you should urgently start job hunting, when I saw that the Institute gave you that exact advice – and they’re right!
Ordinary, run-of-the-mill, “just ticking over” fundraising is difficult without proper strategies and targets (and by “targets” I mean “projects to be achieved” – certainly NOT “It sounds like a nice number”!) Going from £80k to £1/2m, they’re asking you to set the sky on fire with no tools.
I would go back to your Trustees and say that the big target may be do-able, but unless they work with you to develop a strategy for the whole organisation, you’ll have to take your ball home!
Good luck – it sounds as if you need it.
Gerry Beldon FInstF
Director, 26-01 CIC
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