Monday, 2 April 2012

The demoralising world of trust fundraising

Being a trust fundraiser can be a bit of a demoralising world to inhabit at times like this. The recession has bit funders hard, and money is limited. At the same time, many charities have lost major grants or statutory funding contracts, meaning that competition for these limited funds is up.

I, like everyone else, am working very hard at this time. I know that I'm currently producing some of the best work of my career, and I'm very proud of some of the applications I've sent out recently. Of course, as a young, developing fundraiser, it's natural that the work I'm producing is my best - I'd be disappointed if it wasn't, quite frankly. But despite the fact that I know I'm sending out good applications at a decent volume, the last month has been pretty quiet on the donations front. And that's demoralising.

It's not a pleasant experience with each day that goes by to bring a pile of post for the office, with nothing bearing my name. I feel like I'm sending out these good applications, for a very worthy cause, and that we should get be getting something back in return. But realistically, I know that's not how it really works.

What I need to remember, and what I'm always told, is that trust fundraising is very much a waiting game. You send an application off, and it may not even be looked at by a panel of trustees for six months, or even longer. Which means that these applications I'm sending off now really have no connection to the lack of donations that are coming in at the moment. This dry spell is linked to a period a few months ago when my applications were generally less numerous, and less targeted; they were still decent applications (I hope!), but I know they weren't as good as the material I'm producing at the moment. The work I'm doing now won't bear fruit for several months yet.

I know this in my heart of hearts, but it does make life difficult, and quite stressful. It's no fun not receiving money when you know you're doing good work. But hopefully in a few months I'll be all smiles, when this hard work pays off.

Just gotta keep positive!

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