All I want for Christmas…is money for my charity

Beth worked as a sustainable funding consultant at NCVO, specialising in business planning, fundraising portfolio analysis and new product development. Beth left NCVO in July 2014 but her blog posts are kept here for reference.

A funding strategy is like a Christmas present for your mum – it may have seemed like a great idea when you bought it, but by the time you get round to giving it, that body wash set isn’t the one-way ticket to living up to her expectations that you had hoped it might be.

You may have developed your funding strategy anticipating a different environment to the one you’re now trying to implement it in. Maybe that corporate sponsorship has ended, or maybe you’ve got half the number of fundraisers that you did this time last year. Either way, the strategy you wrote isn’t as relevant as it should be.

Through consultancy and training we give you the tools, knowledge and confidence to lead the strategy process in your organisation. You may be a small charity with no documented funding strategy or a large charity that needs to review its funding strategy in light of changes, eg the world is a different place to when you initially developed it.

This year our consultancy team worked with a youth charity which was struggling to keep afloat as its key funding had been cut. We worked with the charity to review its organisational priorities and develop a funding strategy that the team will deliver over the coming three years.

As a small youth charity, the skills and strengths of the charity were firmly rooted in delivering youth work. This meant that fundraising hadn’t been considered strategically and was just ‘a bit of everyone’s job’. Developing a funding strategy was therefore a big challenge for them. Our Consultancy Team worked with this organisation for a year, helping them think through there challenges and brought our technical expertise on specific funding areas such as individual giving and events.

The result is heartening: their Director recently sent us excellent feedback and thanked us. The team at the charity now has the skills and confidence to deliver its funding strategy and develop another in future years.

The topics that we covered with this organisation are ones that we deliver to charities across the country through our consultancy work, but also through our training.

Certificate in Sustainable funding

Early February 2014, we are running our four-day Certificate in Sustainable Funding.

Through practical exercises, networking with peers and expert speakers, participants will explore:

  • legal and regulatory requirements and ethical fundraising
  • strategy development
  • financial management
  • marketing for fundraising
  • relationships with funders: individual and public funders
  • creating a case for support
  • developing new income streams
  • building support for and resourcing your funding strategy
  • culture and change management.

Our excellent guest speakers will share their experiences, bringing the theory to life.

So what’s special about this course?

For me, it’s that our consultants provide support to participants as they develop their funding strategies over the three months following the course. Not only will you get the skills and tools that you need to develop your funding strategy, you’ll get some ongoing expertise and support to help you through some of the challenges that you can’t anticipate when you start creating it.

The course covers the same topics that we worked on with the youth charity, but participants don’t have to grapple with a real-life funding crisis at the same time. Our certificate also provides the opportunity to learn from peers who are also taking part on the course.

Interested? Find out about the pricing and how to apply on the Certificate in Sustainable Funding webpage.


If you’d rather look at a few tools yourself, check out two popular tools:

You can also find information on a range of funding topics on KnowHowNonProfit.

Here are two good ones to get you started:

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