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  • Writer's pictureAndy at Fireside Fundraising

How long have you got?

Almost every fundraiser that I've ever met has been rushed off their feet. The day to day firefighting can make it very difficult to have time to think about the long term game plan. It can be hard to see what's slipping and what's thriving when you're in it. Hell, this can even impact our personal lives.

Speaking personally, I'm six months into a 12 month housing contract, and for the first time in my life realising that I really could live anywhere I wanted to. The rest of my life, every single move has been decided, to an extent, for me.

When I moved to university, I moved to where the university was.

After that, I moved to Leicester for a charity that I would have moved anywhere for - if they were in Newcastle I'd have been in Newcastle, if they were in Bristol, I'd have been in Bristol.  But they were in Leicester - so I ended up there.

Five years later, I wanted to progress my career and my love life, and as a gay man, I found moving to London would be the easiest chance to progress both of those things. So I moved to North London for a job north of the river.

A few years later, I moved to a different job south of the river and moved there.


And now my work is almost entirely remote. I have clients all over the UK, so I really could go anywhere. And actually that freedom can often feel overwhelming: especially when I don't give myself time to actually sit with it and plan.

However, I have a few months to make that choice and I have decided not to stay where I am. I will likely stay in London, but working out the perimeters of where in London I want to be has made me think about how we make most of our choices.Continuing to choose to do something you're already doing is much easier than choosing something for the first time.

So, I wanted to ask you, are you choosing how you do your fundraising as if for the first time? Or are you simply continuing the choices that have been handed down to you?

When was the last time you took a step back to ask yourself about your fundraising programme? If we were starting this for the very first time, would we do it like this? Are these the targets we'd set?The choices that you make, whether you are continuing to choose things or choosing them for the first time, really matter. We know anecdotally that corporate partnerships take 6 to 18 months to land from when you send the first email.Trust fundraising has a shorter turnaround, legacy fundraising has a much much longer, but with corporates we can really clearly state it will take you on average 6 to 18 months from when you hit send on that first approach to seeing any cash in your bank.

Image of email reminder with caption Corporate Partnerships take 6-18 months to land from when you send the first email.

Which means that if you are looking to have corporate fundraising income from December onwards, you need to be sending emails today. And if you want to be significantly growing your corporate fundraising income for the next financial year, you need to be looking at the choices you're making today.

There are lots of choices that we can make - continuing with a cold pipeline full of prospects that sounds good on paper, or really investing the time to work out who we know and moving forwards from there.

This is one of Fireside Fundraising's favourite types of projects, working out who you should be working with, what you should be working with them on, and how you're going to convince them to partner with your charity. We've done a huge amount of that over the last 18 months and it's really exciting to see, week on week, those results now starting to roll in.We have availability from the start of June of this year, which means that if you want 2025 to be your best financial year yet, we should probably be talking now.

If you'd like to look at how you tell the story, who you tell it to or what it is you're asking them to do with that information, we'd love to chat!

(Or if you have any advice or recommendations of where to live in London, I'd love to hear those too.)

Either way, see by the Fireside.

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