Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

Fundraising for my own salary appropriate?

Posted on 19 November 2007 at 5:26 pm

This topic contains 12 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Anonymous 6 years, 8 months ago.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
  • Anonymous
    19 November 2007 at 5:26 pm #3010

    Hello,

    I have recently joined a small charity, as their first fundraiser. This is a completely new area for me, as I’ve come from the private sector and I therefore feel a little “naive”.
    I have been given a target of £50,000 for 2007/8 which includes my own salary. I am applying to various Trusts, in a first instance, but most say they don’t fund salaries… I wonder how appropriate it is for the Charity to have employed me and now ask me to find the funds to pay my salary? Surely, this should work the other way round? They must have found the funds first to employ me?
    Is this something that I should raise at the next Trustee meeting?? Obviously quite a sensitive issue…
    The other option is to find Trusts that do fund salaries, but then they wouldn’t fund something that has already been spent??

    I am confused….

    Many thanks for your thoughts!

    Catherine

    Anonymous
    19 November 2007 at 6:23 pm #10046

    Its not easy, in my experience, fundraising for the fundraisers salary.

    Never been successful yet with that – so I keep the trusts who will fund salary to get money for everyone else but me.
    Works for us anyway.

    Perhaps one idea is to fundraise for money the charity needs which then frees up money thye are already spending to then pay your salary.
    ie get £10K towards running costs, then frees up money already being spent from reserves…

    There are funders who will fund salaries specifically. Lloyds TSB foundation, Tudor Trust, J Paul getty Jr to name just 3.

    The important, indeed probably the most important thing to do with trusts is research.
    Research doesn’t get any money, but sure saves time.

    Many trusts cannot fund salaries, so asking them is a waste of their time and more importantly yours.
    Research the trusts to see who does what, many of the larger ones have websites otherwise use resources such as http://www.trustfunding.org.uk if you have access to it, or the directory of charitable trusts books.
    Or local council for voluntary service (CVS) in your area can usually do a printout of trusts for you to check up on.
    But the research is yours to do.

    Check out postings on these forums, check out the guides available to download around about (the institute of fundraising has at least one), check out the trust fundraising yahoo group, check out other local organisations to see if they have a funder who can advise you.

    To my mind, fundraisers are a wierd lot. We tend to help those who we are most in competition with for resources.

    If your trustees haven’t already done so, get some training arranged. Not exactly cheap, but pays massive dividends. Fundraising is something the organisation should invest in, with employing you being just the start.

    Not sure about this £50K target. Have they just plucked that from the air or have they researched what could be gotten?
    Many applications take months to be decided on – quickest I’ve had is 3 weeks, slowest is 10 months. Most being 3 months or more.

    Seriously, it seems to be common that trustees don’t understand fundraising. You can do a perfect application, taking weeks over it, to be turned down simply for lack of cash.
    There’s a large element of luck involved. Usually more applications than the funder can give to. Even if you meet all their requirements and your charity is the best thing since a guy called Buzz said ‘Can I go first Neil?’ (moon landing, 1969), the trust can’t give you anything if they have no money left.

    A lot does depend on the charity too. Getting £50k for a regional or national charity with dozens of projects might be easy in comparison to a local charity that helps stray wolves and doesn’t have any projects yet.

    I’d say what we do is selling. We sell the idea of a project, or a charity, to funders.
    Others might disagree with that, but thats how I see it. 🙂
    What we work towards is a win/win situation.

    Charitable trusts want to do something (help the homeless, save the spotted zebra, whatever). But they can’t do it themselves. They do however have some money.
    The charities (and other organisations) have the idea of doing the work, usually have infrastructure in place and have identified who to help and how to do it. But need money to do that.
    So money changes hands and work is done. Everyone gets what they want.

    Use the resources around you, use this site, use experiences of others.
    And if all else fails, research another trust and apply there if appropriate.

    Martin
    [email]mart2306@hotmail.com[/email]

    Anonymous
    19 November 2007 at 9:16 pm #10047

    Thank you Martin, it’s very encouraging to read your reply – like having a virtual colleague!

    I must say, I find it almost contradictory these trusts that don’t want to fund salaries. How on earth do they think the services can be delivered if there’s nobody there to deliver them??

    Anyhow I will try Lloyds and the other ones you mention. I’ve been using Guidestar to find out more detailed info about each Trust – has been very useful.

    Thank you again.

    Catherine

    Anonymous
    20 November 2007 at 7:43 am #10048

    Its usually not that thye don’t want to fund salaries. Often its they can’t. the trust deed limits what can be done.

    Some trusts find that funding other things makes more difference – capital items, or projects themselves (which can include salaries within the project budget).

    Oh, and check out Henry Smith Charity too – they are one of the larger trusts.
    Many cover certain areas only. Or certain types of work, so not all will be appropriate for your charity.

    I use guidestar and the charity commission website (for annual report) for checking up on the trusts that look promising, though if they have a website thats usually the most up to date info about applying.

    Have fun.

    Martin

    Anonymous
    21 November 2007 at 11:36 am #10049

    I would add that it will be almost impossible to apply to any trust for “salaries” – particularly a fundraiser’s salary.

    What you are applying for is funding for the work you are doing. Which, “surprise” includes staff costs (i.e. salaries …) – as well as any project materials, etc. Show the funder what they would be getting for the money you are asking for. Not a bum on a seat – but x number of happy beneficiaries (who need someone to make them happy … you can see where I’m going with this one, no?)

    Most trusts now accept that fundraising is a valid expense for an organisation (within reason) and it would be reasonable to include a percentage of your salary in the budget as a contribution to fundraising costs. Sure, the funder might strip it from the budget – but if you don’t ask, you definitely won’t get.

    Agree with Martin that training might be useful for you. DSC courses (www.dsc.org.uk) are not the cheapest – but I have always heard good things about them. Also take a look at http://www.fullcostrecovery.org.uk which discusses budgeting for fundraising applications.

    Martin also said research. I’m going to say it again: research. Some trusts are restricted by their trust deeds from paying salary costs – although not as many as you would think, actually. Others are not, but the trustees have decided what they will and will not fund. Unfortunately, that often includes salaries, but it’s getting better. The reason for restrictions is because our money is limited too: the aim is not to make it difficult for you to get money but to make it easier – by not wasting your time applying for money for a project that the trustees’ won’t be interested in. Trust me, we get many more *eligible* applications than we can possibly hope to fund, we’re not going to make an exception in “your” case. If the trust’s guidelines aren’t clear – then call them! We’re nice really. Well, I’m not always 😀 – but seriously, we’d rather spend a few minutes on the phone than receive a contribution to our recycling effort. Sure, you will get some “rejection”. But it’s not a reflection on the value of your work (let alone you personally). If you’re going to make a career in fundraising, I’m afraid you are going to have to learn to be very thick skinned (Yep, it’s very similar to selling – you’re selling your project/mission.)

    I would highly recommend spending some time reading older threads on this forum too, if you haven’t already. Tony, Gerry, Martin, Larry and of course, Howard, particularly spring to mind as regular and valuable contributors whose advice is always worth consideration.

    Anonymous
    21 November 2007 at 8:36 pm #10050

    Dear Sandre,

    Thank you very much for your very useful views and comments. I was going to do just that, describe the full cost of our service which includes, of course, salaries. In terms of training, I am currently doing the IoF Certificate course, which is great (only all the interesting bits that would be relevant for me now – like trust fundraising, budgeting – are only on the agenda at the end of the course…). At the beginning of this year I also did a course with the NCVO “working for a charity” which I found really useful.
    I will definitely look at the website you suggest. I also read past threads in particular Martin’s question earlier this year on how to present salary budgets in applications.
    I can feel that I shall be using this forum quite regularly.
    Anyhow, thank you all for your thoughts – great to feel virtual support when you are working from home all by yourself…!

    Anonymous
    27 November 2007 at 3:26 am #10051

    (Quote in part) I have recently joined a small charity, as their first fundraiser. This is a completely new area for me, as I’ve come from the private sector and I therefore feel a little “naive”. I have been given a target of £50,000 for 2007/8 which includes my own salary. I am applying to various Trusts, in a first instance, but most say they don’t fund salaries… I wonder how appropriate it is for the Charity to have employed me and now ask me to find the funds to pay my salary? Surely, this should work the other way round? They must have found the funds first to employ me? Is this something that I should raise at the next Trustee meeting??

    Dear Catherine: Though of little consolation, you should know that such unfair and unrealistic demands on non-profit staff development professionals are all too common. I’ve been involved with many of them over a number of years. So much so, that I wrote an article a few years ago on the issue which is designed to offer what I hope can be attitude changing at your organization for the better—hopefully for how your board of trustees will ultimately see your true role, and have them see the light. They need to understand how having you raise your own salary is grossly unfair and totally unworkable. I think the article will help, especially if the points made are taken and made to your benefit by someone there whose words will be heeded by her or his trustee colleagues/peers.

    Maybe non-profit fund-raising is a new area for you, but no matter, and you surely are not naive. You do have the good sense to be right on with the assertion that funding for your salary should be routinely included in the annual operational budget where annual funding campaigns pay your salary—just as, I will wager, it is done for the Executive Director and other paid staff. Why should you be any different?

    I can’t advise how, or even if, this severe inequity should be brought up at the next trustee meeting and by whom. If brought up at such as gathering, it should be brought up, and the practice condemned, by a trustee of influence, with you out of the room. Where is your ED in all of this? Between the ED and trustee President, both should know better than to have you, in effect, working to pay for your own keep.
    Find at least one influential :”champion,” and talk some sense into her or him to settle this fairly and properly for you and for the organization.

    Growing, successful organizations see development staff salaries in the same light as any other personnel expense. They understand that a strong development effort is central to carrying out the mission of the organization. They know that fund-raising must be part of the operating budget. For them, fund-raising expenses and salaries are line items to be anticipated, projected, and budgeted — just like rent, utilities, supplies, and programming salaries.

    The primary operational concern of a development officer must be the creation and management of a structure for raising the money to fund day-to-day operations. After that come capital and endowment campaigns. That order cannot be maintained when you are expected to mount a separate effort to raise your salary.

    I’ve got plenty of ammunition for you to work to shoot down this outrageous and exceedingly unfair burden placed on you.

    Use the material as appropriate from my article on this hot topic, but do get at least one influential leader to shake things up and talk some sense into that board of trustees. I have some faith that they will listen to reason. Being a small charity and you being the first development staffperson, has the trustees thinking small, and being ignorant of what a development professional really does. They need to be shown the way.

    — When The Development Officer Is Obliged To Raise Her Or His Own Salary
    http://www.raise-funds.com/011005forum.html

    Best wishes for success,

    Anonymous
    27 November 2007 at 5:11 pm #10052

    For the first time, I’m disagreeing with Tony on this one – but only partly.

    Tony is absolutely right in saying that the fundraising costs (including FR salary) are integral to the organisation’s operating budget.

    But how does that operating budget get raised? Through fundraising, I’m willing to bet. And who is responsible for fundraising? …

    The point is that it *is*, in fact, fair for the FR to raise their own salary – or at least a contribution towards it if the organisation has an endowment/reserves. It is not fair for the FR to be set unreasonable targets – and as we have no idea of the existing turnover of the organisation, what it does (let’s face it, some causes are ‘sexier’ and easier to raise funds for than others) or its fundraising history, it is impossible to say whether £50K is reasonable or not. If anything, this sounds on the low side – if Catherine is full-time, then surely at least 50% of that would be FR salary and on-costs? Catherine – does your organisation have other income/fundraising resource? – e.g. membership fees, volunteer fundraisers, event income, etc?

    As I said in my earlier post, it would be practically impossible to get the whole of a fundraiser’s salary from one trust. However, asking for a contribution from every trust *as part of the contribution that they should be making to operational costs* is fine.

    Agree with Tony that a Board champion would be valuable – the fundraiser should absolutely not be penalised for failing to raise their own salary ‘specifically’ a) if they raise sufficient unrestricted funds to cover any shortfall and/or b) if the organisation has sufficient reserves to make up any shortfall – and the FR salary should be a high priority, for what (hopefully) are obvious reasons.

    EDIT: So annoying not being able to refer back to previous messages as I type, I forget things! Another query: Catherine, are you the only employee of the organisation. If so, then surely not *all* your time is spent on FR – some of it will be on reporting (governance) and admin/accounting (operational). See http://www.fullcostrecovery.org.uk for how to apportion one person’s salary – it may be that only 50% of your time is actually spent in fundraising and the budget and targets should therefore be adjusted accordingly.

    Anonymous
    2 December 2007 at 3:37 pm #10053

    Greetings Sandre: It would be a most enjoyable experience for me to be in-person meeting with you and other of your (may I say our?) colleagues. With coffee/tea, and my favorite, a raisin scone, we could better communicate what I believe to be less in disagreement, as the “fund-raiser” issue representing more a wide gulf of understanding from differences in UK and US cultures. Or perhaps it’s something as simple as being a semantics issue. So, how do we determine just who are “The” fund-raisers for non-profit organizations? Or better still, who should be the fund-raisers? And who is responsible for raising the fund-raiser’s salary?

    Our good Forum Master, Howard, told me several years ago at my entrance here, that the fund-raising profession in the UK does lean more to those professionals as being the ones solely, or mainly, personally responsible for raising the money needed to operate their organizations. Thus, we do have that reality as a major difference in our respective thinking—not so much disagreement, as that’s how how things are done. The UK has more professionals acting as paid solicitors of money, while most professionals in the US act as facilitators and campaign managers of volunteers who raise the money.

    Then semantics, or the true meaning—or both—surrounding the words, “responsible,” and “accountable,” rear their etymological heads.

    I unflinchingly believe that a Board of Trustees must be the first resort when it comes to raising money for the organizations they serve. After all, they are literally “entrusted” with the life of those organizations, so they should not shift what is their “responsibility” onto someone else to do their job. The Board approves the expense budget, then goes ahesd to allow the spending of the money. So how can they justify the abrogation of their duty, which is to see to it personally that those expenses are paid for by their own giving and getting of money?

    How is that operating money raised? — you asked. Your bet is right, it’s done with fund-raising (after any earned income) Who is “responsible?” My intractable answer is, The Board of Trustees. The staff fund-raising professional guiding the fund-raising and providing the resources for the Board, should very well be “accountable” to the Board for ensuring that she or he provides the best possible plans and tools for the Board fund-raisers.

    Since we agree that the staff development professional’s salary should be integral to the organization’s operating budget, then I cannot see how (or why) such a line-item expense can then be plucked out and thrust onto the development professional to have her or him raise their own salary—or even a part of it. Do this, and the next step is to not waste time and effort for such a line item budgeting exercise, but to simply give the development staff professional the stand-alone number she or he is to raise.

    When that happens, many bad things happen as well. I listed two consequences in my previous post, but there are more:

    — What comes first for staff development professionals in this no-win position? Do they raise their salaries first and then get on with meeting the organization’s main fund-raising needs? Or should they be required to first raise the money the organization needs to balance its books for the fiscal year, and then go look for the money to pay their next year’s salaries? It’s a no-win situation either way.

    — Development officers forced to raise their own salaries first will go to the organization’s surest prospects for those salaries, taking them out of circulation for other solicitations. Those who have to do it at the end of the year are likely to squirrel away a few sure-thing donors for themselves.

    — No matter which timetable such a development effort follows, the development staff will be distracted and some of the organization’s best donor prospects are likely to be under solicited. Asking these donors of first resort to give to the “Development Officer’s-Salary Campaign” is likely to let them off the hook for other potentially larger gifts. It also runs the risk of pushing these important donors away from developing a sense of involvement with the organization’s core mission and purpose when they are paying for an individual’s salary.

    — Then there is the whole issue of distracting the development staff from the organization’s needs. When they are worried about their paychecks, will the development staff be able to concentrate on long-term goals or building a cadre of volunteer solicitors? Such a development staff will be forced to deal on a daily basis with concerns over the financial security of their families. If some measure of success is achieved, how will the random receiving of contributions to the salary fit with the exacting schedule of the development officers’ regular and required needs, say to pay the monthly mortgage?

    — What if they are unsuccessful in raising their salary money? Will they get paid? From where will the shortfall come? It’s human nature to expect that if you can’t raise your own salary, and you cannot meet your personal financial obligations, and can’t pay your bills, it would be very likely that you will blame the board of trustees because they did not help you, and that they had you working under such a hardship in the first place. To add insult to injury, you can bet that should you not raise your own salary, the leadership will likely penalize you anyway for not meeting your “quota.”

    — Will the best development professionals choose to work in an environment of such insecurity? I think not. Organizations that force development professionals into insecure positions will find their development operations staffed by the less experienced and less capable. And they will lose quickly those who gain experience and develop greater competency.

    I would be interested to know how you, Colleen, and others reacted to the consequence scenarios cited above when told by your non-profit employer that you must raise all, or most, of your salary. As well, I invite non-profit officials, the ones doing the hiring of their staff development professionals, to tell us how they now feel about requiring their fund-raising professionals to raise money to pay for their own keep.

    Sandre: I know that I am bucking culture, habit and tradition, while at the same time working to see to it that I show no disrespect to the non-profits and the fund-raising professionals in the UK operating in the way they do. But to my way of thinking, the organization that turns to its staff as fund-raisers of first resort in general, or to fund a salary, is setting itself up for failure. A board of trustees that decides staff, rather than they and other volunteers, should ask for the majority of donated funds, especially for staff to raise its own salary, is failing to fulfill a major part of its responsibility to oversee the organization and maintain its fiscal soundness. It is the board that approves spending, and it is the board that must take responsibility for assuring that sufficient funds are available to cover those expenses. They should not shirk their responsibilities and expect or demand that others do what is their job.

    After all of this, we will no doubt continue to be apart in this issue, considering culture, tradition, or habit. But we’ll still be friends and call it a day on this one topic, anyway. However, we can get together by bringing together an American Pop song and an English Choral work as I say:
    “You say Carmina, I say Burana, let’s call the whole thing Orff.”

    Cheers,

    Anonymous
    3 December 2007 at 9:20 am #10054

    UK/US cultural differences

    In my opinion, the US is further ahead than us on this – and I hope posts in other areas where I have (repeatedly!) said that Boards of Trustees MUST assist with fundraising strategy/networking/contacts make it clear that I agree that the Board is ultimately responsible for making sure that the organisation is sustainable. It can’t be any other way.

    So how can they [the Board] justify the abrogation of their duty, which is to see to it personally that those expenses are paid for by their own giving and getting of money?

    It’s delegation rather than abrogation. As you’ve recognised Tony, there is simply not a culture in the UK of the Board of Trustees “making the ask”. I absolutely agree that they should. But as it isn’t going to change any time soon (it’s getting there, but like British Rail-that-was – slowly). Which means we’ve got to work with what we’ve got.

    As my post said, the FR salary should not be raised as a standalone – but as part of the whole operating budget. And the fundraiser should absolutely not be penalised if they have not raised “their salary” specifically if they have met their targets in terms of money raised. (This is presuming that the targets are reasonable – and whilst these are set by the Board, the FR should be consulted.) However, what happens if there isn’t enough money? The charity cannot pay money it hasn’t got. The FR should by no means be the ‘first to go’, but there is no guaranteed job security, for any staff in any organisation (not-for-profit or commercial). If the money ain’t there, then something has got to give.

    It’s all in the communication – if the FR is told to ‘raise their own salary’ then priorities may get skewed as Tony rightly says. However, I repeat, raising their own salary as part of the whole is absolutely fair – it is what they have been hired for. Paying the FR on the basis of what they have raised is dangerously close to commission-based fundraising (let’s NOT have that discussion again please) and a ‘good’ organisation will hire an FR on the basis of a flat-rate salary, possibly under contract (12 months, 24 months, whatever) with reserves available to ensure that that salary is paid for that period of time “whatever happens”. It is normal in this country for continued employment to be contingent on funds being available.

    But to my way of thinking, the organization that turns to its staff as fund-raisers of first resort in general, or to fund a salary, is setting itself up for failure. A board of trustees that decides staff, rather than they and other volunteers, should ask for the majority of donated funds, especially for staff to raise its own salary, is failing to fulfill a major part of its responsibility to oversee the organization and maintain its fiscal soundness. It is the board that approves spending, and it is the board that must take responsibility for assuring that sufficient funds are available to cover those expenses. They should not shirk their responsibilities and expect or demand that others do what is their job.

    Unfortunately, that is the way it is. The best we can hope for in the immediate future is that boards don’t “dump” on fundraisers – which as you have seen from many posts on this forum asking for help designing FR strategies, does tend to happen. Until we have a culture of trustees making the asks, charities in the UK will continue to employ fundraisers. There is a shortage of experienced fundraisers in the UK and a high attrition rate – probably for exactly the reasons of insecurity and “responsibility without authority” that Tony outlines in his post. The fundraiser will continue to be the first resort for some time to come. Better than them being the only resort, as happens too often – and a move towards the ideal.

    Tony is right in that there isn’t really a disagreement – in an ideal world, the Board would take full responsibility for fundraising. I was answering the question in the spirit of “possible practical action” that the original poster could take ‘right now’ in the environment we’ve got. Although Tony’s advice was sound in principle, it simply would not have worked here – sadly, we’re too far behind culturally.

    On a side note – we have a US office and it’s always interesting comparing cultural notes! Please do call if you ever visit the UK Tony, and I’ll stand you a cappucino and a raisin scone while we set the world to rights!

    Getting back to the practicalities: Catherine, without an idea of the size or structure of your organisation, it’s very difficult to give sound advice. But “whatever” – your Board does, as Tony says, need to take responsibility – if not for asking people for cash, making sure that you have the resources (contacts/networking, FR strategy and history, project and operational finance information, reasonable job security) to do so.

    Anonymous
    10 December 2007 at 12:11 pm #10055

    Dear Tony and Sandre,
    It’s taken me a while to get back to you both, but again, thank you very much for all your thoughts, comments and advice. VERY useful indeed!
    The charity I am working for delivers health & drug education in Primary Schools using a high tech mobile classroom – very topical and hot issue at the moment! (it is part of a national charity but we operate completely independently in each region). Schools pay for our service, but that doesn’t cover our costs, as we charge them a subsidized fee – which is why we have to fundraise for the shortfall.
    Up to now, our Trustees (all Rotarians) did in fact do all of the fundraising themselves! However, as it has become more and more demanding on them, they’ve decided to employ a fundraiser. The long-term idea being that they want the organisation to run on its own. We are only 3 employees: 2 educators (who deliver the service) and me. As you rightly point out, Sandre, I do much more than “pure” fundraising, such as admin, PR and now trying to set up our first regional website… And I only work 3 days… My first task when I took the job, was to design the Fundraising plan – oh surprise…I did put an action in for each item mainly asking for Trustees’ help on contacts etc. But apart from that I didn’t get much input there and never had the “guts” to ask them where their previous FR plan was, and what it looked like because I doubt that it actually exists….
    From all your comments, however, I now feel much stronger to be able to make my case at the next Trustee meeting (we meet once a month) and explain to them that it is unrealistic to fundraise for my salary as such. I will say to them that what really matters is that I reach my overall target (as my salary should be covered in their reserves, assuming that they had thought about employing me for some time).
    They are very nice and friendly people so I do think (hope??) that they will support me, particularly as they can see that I am very motivated and dedicated to our cause. Now, I just need to “sell” my enthusiasm to all these lovely Trusts and write good applications…!
    Thank you again for your “virtual coaching”!
    Catherine

    Anonymous
    10 December 2007 at 1:52 pm #10056

    Schools pay for our service, but that doesn’t cover our costs, as we charge them a subsidized fee – which is why we have to fundraise for the shortfall.

    As you say, drugs education is a hot topic. So why aren’t the schools paying the full costs?

    If there is not enough in the LEA budget, then the next “prong of attack” could be the parent-teacher association and/or school governors. If they value the service, they should make sure that it has enough money to continue.

    There is way too much fluffiness in this country about “charity gives stuff for free” with a vague assumption that the Government pays for it (or perhaps people think it’s the fairies, I dunno).

    I suspect that the rates were a finger in the air figure that weren’t based on real costs at all – again, this happens far too often. The beauty of full cost recovery [BTW I was on the pilot group for the design, it is good innit ;)] is that it enables *your organisation* to know what its costs are. Then you can worry about where they are going to come from. It enables you to explain and justify all the costs of the organisation – and, actually, puts you in a fairly powerful position as far as statutory funding is concerned as all statutory funding should be made on the basis of full cost recovery (see http://www.thecompact.org.uk/).

    Fiona McTaggart, the Charities Minister at the time that full cost recovery was launched, said that if a statutory funder was refusing to pay full costs she wanted to know about it. (Honest she did. I was there when she said it – Howard probably was too.) Your contact now would be Campbell Robb, Director General of the Office of the Third Sector (who was heard, by me, last Monday, to say something under his breath that I think was very rude about the pathetic amount of statutory funding received by a couple of organisations we took him to meet with.). The OTS needs evidence that the “system” isn’t working for smaller to medium organisations – they usually only hear from the top few, or from umbrella groups.

    As far as your trustees are concerned – if there was a fundraiser prior to you, then they would be expecting them to do a proper handover and make sure you have all the information you need to do your job. In your case, that would be them. They can’t just heave a sigh of relief and say “We don’t have to worry about that any more”. They may have hired you to do the “legwork” of writing letters, day-to-day organisation, etc – but they are still, ultimately, responsible. At the very least, a letter to previous supporters explaining that you are now the organisational contact (introducing you) would pave the way for you to speak to those supporters. Catherine, you’ve done exactly the right thing in assigning actions to the trustees in your plan – if they are not already SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed) then make them so. Once the trustees have agreed the plan – which presumably includes the assigned actions – you have every right to hassle them until they give you what you need.

    Your target should take the cost of your salary into account – as it should take into account all the costs of the organisation. All it means is that you may have to consider raising more in unrestricted funds rather than for your salary specifically – again, this should all be in the plan. Don’t rely on reserves until you have to.

    Even if you have accounts experience in the corporate sector, charity accounting is bizarre in some ways – to say the least. For example, grant income is usually restricted. However, contract income is always reported as unrestricted: i.e. you are providing a service, for an amount – and how you spend the money to achieve that service is up to your organisation, as long as the terms of delivery of the contract (x sessions in x schools for x kids) are met. Contract income should be relatively easy for your organisation to achieve given the work you are doing. Recommend looking into a day course (your local volunteer bureau may know of one for free, or look at Directory of Social Change) on charity accounting principles.

    Anonymous
    21 January 2013 at 9:21 am #11363

    Pretty! This was an incredibly wonderful article. Thanks for supplying this information.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Before you go…

Let us keep you up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email. [Privacy policy]
" />