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  • Writer's pictureAndy at Fireside Fundraising

The work we don't do

Reading tea leaves

I hope you’re doing well. I’m just back from Kenya having had the exact holiday that I needed it to be. The charity that I’m a chair of opened the school that we have been fundraising for forever, and personally I got to touch an elephant and read an entire book! I don’t know what more you could want from a holiday. 

I also got back to an inbox full of enquires which was really exciting! There’s some work that I'm really looking forward to exploring, and some work that we don’t do anymore. So, I wanted to take this chance to talk about the work that we as fundraisers will often do to feel busy, or to look occupied, rather than to actually make a difference.

The key bit of work that we don’t do at Fireside is forecasting and feasibility studies.

This is the kind of work where you navel-gaze and try to think about what your income might be in 3 or maybe 5 years time. Often you don't have any data  to draw from, so you may as well be reading tea leaves or grabbing hay stacks to draw conclusions from. We are more than happy to help you build a sales model, to test to engage how you work with companies and build an evidence base... but to try and predict what your income might be in 3 years time by just guessing: pretty much the only thing you guarantee will be wrong. 

We totally understand the need for this work and are more than happy to refer you to people who do it better than we do. We just prefer action and evidence based projects. We want to work with you to get that income, rather that guess what it might be. We’re happy to make estimates along the way, but if you’re looking for someone who’s going to sit and produce a 40-page strategy for the next 3 years, that’s not the kind of work we do. We would far rather work with you to see who your company pipeline should actually be made up of or how you’re going to tell your organisational story, rather than think about all the steps that you might take to get there.

We’d rather walk with you than just point the way.

Is there work that you don't do?

I’d love to hear throughout your career the types of work you’ve realised that you personally don’t like, whether that’s a type of fundraising or a type of action. It’s really important that we as fundraisers work out our areas of strength, as well as the areas we’re not interested in.

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