In part 1, I shared some of the wisdom I’d picked up from friends and colleagues following a move from employment to freelancing.

You can read that post here.

In part 2 of this series, I’m delighted to share my next piece of advice for the fundraiser new to freelancing, drum roll....

Make friends with a governance consultant

Networking like a beast and buddying up with other consultants willing to support, advise and refer you is essential. In my experience, its best to build a team sooner rather than later because you may find that the need for a delivery partner comes more swiftly than you first thought.

 

An established network of recommended professionals will give best value to your clients, will reassure them of your credibility, and will increase your chance of future referrals.
My second client came from a governance consultant who quickly became part of my network after I decided to go freelance. I have since recommended him to one of my clients and he has done work for them.

So why governance specifically for fundraising professionals?

It’s because every charity I’ve worked for in my short time as a consultant has needed support in this area, in various different ways and for various reasons. I hasten to add, needing support doesn’t mean you’re doing it badly.

Allow me to explain:

With changes to fundraising and the law following the 2015 media storm, the conversation about practicalities around opt in / opt out ever present in our sector, the unending joy that is the Fundraising Preference Service, our own regulator (whose chair seems hell bent on using outdated facts and negative rhetoric in press interviews) and GDPR looming (or present depending upon when you read this), trustees need more than ever before to be informed and (more critically) to be able to act upon this information.
There is a huge amount of guidance for trustees from professional bodies. Until trustee boards are willing to engage with this, delve deeply into self-evaluation and (even better) expose themselves to external scrutiny, there may well be factors which prevent them from being in a position to secure and manage the increased income that a good fundraising consultant will deliver for them.

Charitable Trusts can spot dodgy leadership a mile off....

This topic is explored more fully here on the wonderful Money Tree Fundraising blog. I definitely see the need for this work in my own experience and hope that through working in partnership with experts we can help our clients to become more professional, resilient and ultimately, deliver better (and more) outcomes for beneficiaries.