Fundraising Focus Programme
What’s the secret to strategic fundraising?
School Development Offices are busy places: you're juggling a multitude of activities with a small team and a tight budget. I know first-hand how difficult it is to focus on important fundraising tasks, like building relationships with prospective major donors, especially when the weeks fly by.
Do any of these sound familiar?
Everything you and your team do is OK, but you’re so busy that your activities aren't optimised to bring the fundraising results you need.
You often get to Friday and realise you haven't spent enough time fundraising.
You’re a solo fundraiser and miss having experienced people around you to bounce ideas off.
Photo: Stephanie Stevens
Let’s imagine a more strategic approach…
Imagine you could reflect on your fundraising programme one-to-one with an experienced educational fundraiser to determine where your strategic focus needs to be to increase donations sustainably.
Imagine you could communicate your refocused fundraising strategy with clarity and authority to your head, leadership team and staff, bringing them on-side with your plans.
Imagine going through this process alongside a team of supportive peers who keep you focussed, confident and motivated.
At the end of this you're feeling more in control of your work, seeing fundraising income increase and are reassured you're doing a great job.
To make all this a reality join the Fundraising Focus Programme and discover the secrets of strategic fundraising.
Combining three powerful activities
The Fundraising Focus Programme is a powerful combination of three types of activity, each helping you in a different way to be more strategic in your fundraising.
1. Fundraising Focus Toolkit
When you sign up to the programme you'll get instant access to the online Fundraising Focus Toolkit, which contains a treasure trove of Masterclass videos and strategy templates:
The building blocks of a robust fundraising strategy
A video Masterclass exploring the four steps we'll be working through to create an effective fundraising strategy which is tailored to your school. This is supported by a Fundraising Strategy Worksheet which can be used as a template to review or create your fundraising strategy.
Getting your school on board
Selling your fundraising strategy to your head, leadership team and staff is essential if you're going to build a culture of giving in your school community. This video Masterclass explores how to communicate your fundraising strategy internally with clarity and authority and is supported by an Internal Communications Plan Template.
Supercharge your strategic thinking skills
Strategic thinking incorporates five different thinking styles: creative, divergent, convergent, directional and systems thinking. This video Masterclass explains how to boost your skills in each of these areas and includes exercises specifically designed with fundraisers in mind.
I also host live Q&A video calls to answer any questions and you can keep the videos and resources afterwards to refer back to.
2. One-to-one consulting sessions
We'll work together in two 90 minute one-to-one video calls during the programme. In the first we'll either review your current fundraising strategy or start creating one. We'll then refine and implement this during the team sessions. In the second one-to-one we'll create an internal communications plan so you can bring staff in your school on-side with clarity and authority. You'll come away from these one-to-one sessions with a clear step-by-step plan and the tools you need to put it into action.
3. Your Fundraising Focus team
This is the really special part! You’ll be going through the programme with a group of four to six school fundraisers. We'll have six two-hour video calls and together we’ll help each other stay focussed, confident and motivated. Sharing your goals and being accountable for them to a supportive group of peers will help spur you to action, taking manageable, discrete steps towards the vision you are responsible for delivering.
You’ll also be invited to join a Facebook group for all Fundraising Focus Programme participants and alumni, building you an even wider support network over time.
Fundraising strategy: I'll guide you through four essential steps to create a robust fundraising strategy for your school, either starting from scratch or reviewing your current strategy. This will set you on course to increase your fundraising income in a sustainable way uniquely tailored to your school.
Internal communications plan: With this you'll be able to inspire your school's head, bursar, governors and staff to play their part in delivering your fundraising strategy. I'm not promising everyone will suddenly jump on board, but being able to articulate your strategy with clarity and authority, and anticipate any objections, hugely bolsters your chances.
What's harder to quantify is the way you'll feel more in control of your work and more confident in your role as the head fundraiser for your school. Plus you'll have a new band of cheerleaders: a team of development professionals to bounce ideas off and share your successes and challenges with.
When will the programme run?
The current Fundraising Focus Programme is already off and running. But don't worry the doors will open again in autumn 2020! Contact me to express your interest and you'll be the first to know when I confirm the pricing and dates.
Many people I've spoken to want to add the programme to their budget application for 2020/21. So I'll be in touch with the details of the autumn programme soon.
Juliet Corbett MA(Cantab) MBA MInstF
Why work with me?
I've been in your shoes
I've worked in educational fundraising and strategy development since 2002 and have successfully led three Development Offices. These experiences help me guide other educational fundraisers with both expertise and compassion, knowing first-hand the challenges they face.
A fresh perspective
My love of learning and curiosity about business thinking led me to self-fund an MBA with Durham University. The icing on the cake came when I was awarded the top prize on the programme: Best Overall Academic Achievement.
So I view fundraising strategy from a fresh perspective: I combine the latest thinking on strategy development, marketing and change management with best practice from across the education sector. I'm passionate about sharing this with my clients, helping them see their own fundraising from a fresh point of view.
MBA(Distinction) and recipient of the Best Overall Academic Achievement Award
I believe work should be a joy!
I've found that a successful fundraiser needs to be happy in their job: proud to be a leader in their school, curious about what people in their community think and feel, and excited about sharing their enthusiasm with donors.
But I also know it's hard to love your job every day! I make sure the Fundraising Focus sessions are focused on results but get us there in a relaxed and enjoyable way. Let's work together to bring back the joy in your work!
Full Member of the Institute of Fundraising
Proud to support school fundraising as a Corporate Partner of the Institute of Development Professionals in Education
"I cannot stress strongly enough what a great help Juliet has been to the Development Office at Mount Kelly. Juliet’s skilled guidance and leadership has helped us find a clear strategic focus so that we can concentrate our efforts and time productively to achieve our goals. Juliet has extensive experience of fundraising, has great listening and communication skills and her passion for strategy – and her ability to share her passion – make her a pleasure to work with."
Fran Reid, Development Manager, Mount Kelly
"Juliet is excellent at giving us concrete advice on the next steps forward in securing an exciting future for Mount Kelly amid challenging times. She facilitates intellectual reflection and then puts answers in front of us which form a clear and achievable roadmap. Juliet adds real value in her work and I have no hesitation in thoroughly recommending her."
Guy Ayling, Head Master, Mount Kelly
"Following a full presentation to our teaching staff, Juliet spent time with the Development Director and I in preparation for our launch of Truro School Connected. She brought such clarity to her advice that we have been able to make great headway in a short space of time. And the best thing is that Juliet is always there for you with extra little bits of advice that seem to appear on LinkedIn or in the "in-box" just when you need them. Thank you, Juliet."
Jayne Grigg, Director of Admissions and Development, Truro School
"Juliet has facilitated a number of strategy review meetings with our Senior Executive Team. She brings a great depth of knowledge and relevant experience to the task and we have found our sessions to be fast-paced, well-directed and most enjoyable. It certainly has been a successful partnership for us and has lifted the organisational weight off our shoulders so that we could focus exclusively on developing a coherent and comprehensive strategy for Blundell’s. We look forward to working with Juliet again in the future."
Bart Wielenga, Head, Blundell's School
Frequently asked questions
Are the team sessions really two hours long?
Yes! They are once a fortnight, so that’s only an average of one hour a week. Once you add the one-to-one calls, professional development videos and reviewing your fundraising strategy you’re looking at a commitment of 2-4 hours a week (just 30-60 minutes a day).
I know first-hand how difficult it is to carve out time like this in a busy diary. However, I also know that it’s critical to dedicate time to developing and implementing a robust fundraising strategy.
So I believe this is time well invested in a strategic approach to increasing your fundraising income.
What if I can’t make all the sessions?
You need to be able to attend at least 80% of the team sessions. Why? Because if you’re not there then we can’t help you develop and implement your fundraising strategy. Plus, your team-mates will miss out on your valuable input. So to get the group dynamic buzzing and to make sure everyone gets the most out of the programme you need to be able to commit to this.
Will you write my fundraising strategy?
I’ll be guiding and supporting you through the process, but you’ll be the one writing your fundraising strategy. There are two big benefits to this: Firstly, you’re much more likely to fully commit to implementing a strategy you’ve written yourself. And secondly, this is a more cost-effective option than alternatives where a consultant will write a full strategy for you.
If you would like me to spend longer getting to know your fundraising activities and opportunities and write a fundraising strategy alongside you then the Fundraising Strategy Accelerator may be more what you’re looking for. If you’re not sure what’s best for you then let’s chat.
Why do I have to apply? Is it hard to get in?
It’s not difficult to get in, but it is important that I group together the right people. The teams will be curated so that the 4-6 senior fundraisers are similar enough that they can learn from each other. There will only be eight places on this three-month programme. If you’re not a good fit for this particular cohort then we can talk about joining a later group or working together one-to-one instead. Fill in the application form and let's chat!
What if I change my mind?
The power of this programme is based on the team dynamic that develops over months – we become each other’s biggest cheerleaders. If someone drops out then it can be disheartening for the team.
To reduce the risk of this happening I ask that everyone fully commits to completing the programme before paying. For this reason, I don’t offer refunds on the Fundraising Focus Programme.
If you’re interested in the programme but aren’t 100% sure yet then let's chat.
What happens after this three-month programme?
I’m offering a three-month programme initially as this is a new format for utilising my fundraising strategy experience to help clients.
I’ll be running a seven-month programme following this one in May-November 2020. If you join this three-month programme then you’ll receive preferential pricing to continue on to the seven-month programme. I’m also considering adding an optional in-person retreat to the longer programme – watch this space!
Need to convince your head of this investment?
I know school budgets are tight, but you and I also know that strategic investment in fundraising is essential for success. The information sheet for heads and bursars is a good way to communicate the value of this programme to secure sign off on this investment.
Although a specific return on investment is hard to quantify in advance, the IDPE benchmarking surveys of the school development sector have consistently demonstrated the importance of investment in producing a fundraising return.
I'm very happy to arrange a call with any heads or bursars with questions about the programme and expected return on investment.
© 2020 Juliet Corbett Consulting