Money raised through Trusts and Foundations provides a steady flow of income for many charities to fund both their project and core costs. Trust fundraising for many charities is important, but for those that do not have a high public profile, or work in an area that is not attractive to either the public or companies, the Trusts and Foundations market is essential. It’s vital to employ the right people. Here we explain the essential skills that you need to look for when recruiting a Trust fundraiser. If you are looking for a job in this area, please use our search box above. Many Trust fundraising jobs are in the London area. This is due to many of the larger charities based in London and the South East, as well as numerous community organisations in Greater London. However, nearly every charity needs a trust fundraiser, so keep looking in your area and we’re sure you won’t have to travel too far. Also keep a look out for part time positions and those that offer homeworking, an option that is becoming more popular.
Excellent research skills
Not only should they be constantly researching the many online directories available, they should also be looking further afield including companies that have established Trusts and HNWI that may also have set up a Foundation. This means an excellent Trust fundraiser must also think like a corporate fundraiser and Major donor fundraiser, so it’s very important to keep this in mind when recruiting. A strong pipeline is also important, so they and senior management know when applications are being made, how much for and likely dates that funds may arrive. Great organisational and financial skills are also key.
Excellent communications skills
Written communications is obviously essential, but it is also very important that the trust fundraiser has strong verbal communication skills. These days it’s not good enough to carry out desk research then make an application. It’s very important for the fundraiser to call the administrator of the trust or foundation so that the appeal can be fine-tuned and to check when the Trustees are meeting. Why is the phone so important? Two reasons 1. Most people no longer use it. 2. Whatever information is on a Trust’s website (if they have a website) can only be enhanced by talking to the administrator at the Trust.
If a Trust doesn’t have a website and a fundraiser is relying on information in a directory, the chances are that information will be out of date, particularly if it is a hard copy published directory. The information in these directories can be 12 months out of date! So making that call is extremely important.
These are the essential skills, but what will make the difference is how much initiative the Trust Fundraiser will have, supported by a dynamic manager. Trust Fundraising like any other type of fundraising is all about building relationships, fine tuning the application and making sure you give the trust what they want, but not at the expense of changing the project paramaters. Yes it happens. If your charity doesn’t fit the Trust criteria, don’t try and make it fit.
To engage fully with the administrators and Trustees of Foundations is essential. Organising events so they can see the work in action; a Seeing is Believing approach can work really well. It is also important to work with the corporate and major donor fundraiser, the Trustees and senior management to ensure that opportunities are not missed. In short, everything is interconnected.
Trust fundraisers must not be allowed to work in isolation and should be regarded as the centre of fundraising activity.
Abbey Solutions can help you maintain and build your pipeline, as well as prepare appeals for your charity, while you recruit a new fundraiser. Abbey Solutions has offices in London, Glasgow and Oxford and can take on short term/long term assignments anywhere across the UK.