Wednesday, 12 April 2006

Professional fundraising

Within the charity sector professional fundraisers have become all important, often commanding very high salaries. After all, without funds, charities cannot exist, unless they have been established with significant endowments. For many charities, expenditure on fundraisers has now become a significant part of their budget, and fundraising is now a fully fledged industry with its own professional body, standards and everything that goes with it. However, I think that charity managers would do well to look at their expenditure on professional fund raisers and see if that money might not be spent more effectively in other ways.

I have been working in the charity sector for over 30 years, and only rarely seen professional fundraisers as a cost effective solution. I have from time to time hired professional fund raisers, but in my experience they do little that the organisation could not do itself, and do it much more effectively for lower costs.

The problem for most charities is that they do not distinguish clearly enough between marketting, PR and fundraising. If the PR is effective, and the marketting targetted, then the fundraising follows.

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