The most successful fundraising organisations aren’t necessarily the ones who raise the most money, they are the ones who raise the most meaningful amount of money compared to the size of their organisation. A grassroots club raising $4,000 to buy footballs for their youth teams is achieving just as much for their club as a national or Olympic sport raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund specialist equipment or elite training programs.
All organisations who are successful in executing campaigns and achieving their targets have a common theme of making fundraising a central part of their operational objectives and they have someone (be it a paid employee, board/committee member or volunteer) who takes control of the fundraising program as a key part of their role within the organisation.

Successful fundraising organisations have this person who drives the project but it is critical that those key people have the full operational support of all staff and the strategic support of the committee and board.

What are the roles within a successful fundraising organisation?
There are 2 key roles within any successful fundraising organisation, and both are vital to fundraising success:

1. Fundraisers
Fundraisers are the people who are physically out there raising the money for your organisation.
Good fundraisers and those who achieve their targets have certain key characteristics:

  • They have clear objectives – they know how much they are trying to achieve, what they are raising money for and when the money needs to be raised by
  • They are aware of the risks associated with fundraising, but they will manage these risks rather than shy away from them
  • They are persistent and aren’t afraid to fail. They will have the ability and willingness to have a go, and be prepared to adapt and try again if something doesn’t work out first time round.

The number one feature of a good fundraiser is someone who is a good and thorough communicator. Good fundraisers will communicate success AND failures and they will share both success and failure with everyone across the organisation.
Good communication drives a good culture of fundraising within your organisation and it is just as important to communicate effectively internally as it is communicating externally to your stakeholders and donors.

2. Leaders
Good fundraising leaders work to assist and drive successful fundraising both operationally and strategically within their organisation by:

  • Establishing an organisational culture that fundraising is a team effort
  • Setting KPIs against fundraisers and include fundraising within the overall goals and objectives of the organisation’s financial targets
  • Leading by example by including themselves within the fundraising effort
  • Using their personal networks and connections to help drive fundraising success

Good leaders will also provide the freedom required for fundraisers to try new things in order to achieve success, and will support their fundraisers through both failures and successes.

Where should fundraising sit within an organisation?
Fundraising within sport has the ability to be a meaningful and key revenue stream for any sporting organisation. By using the unique advantages of sport, along with creating a supportive and driven organisational culture, fundraising can help any sporting organisation, no matter its size, sport or location, to achieve some really important goals and objectives that would otherwise be unable to be achieved. For fundraising to be successful in any sporting organisation it need to have a core focus and requires top down support. That means fundraising must be supported in the following ways:

Strategically – At the committee/ board and senior executive level through both strategic support and also through high level involvement and oversight
Operationally – Through culture, support and resources and by being viewed as a team effort and not the role of one single individual.

In summary, the keys to a successful fundraising organisation are CULTURE, RESOURCES AND GOVERNANCE and no matter your size if you can follow these key principles you will give your organisation the best possible chance of fundraising success.

Happy Fundraising!
Mark Thompson Director of Fundraising

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