Planning a shift to an advocacy strategy

Town and Manor of Hungerford

Consultant: Andrew Rainsford

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Andrew Rainsford

“The value of what Andrew did for us was fantastic and it showed the value of bringing in outside help. This one was free, but hopefully it has convinced the Trustees to look externally for expert help again as we progress with this project.”

Jed Ramsay, Chief Executive, Town and Manor of Hungerford

Town and Manor of Hungerford is a charity that owns and manages an estate in the Berkshire town, from which it aims to make a surplus to give to other charitable organisations. Under Chief Executive Jed Ramsay, it had brought in a fundraising strategy for the first time and scored a couple of “small successes” applying for grants. Now, with a major project on the agenda to procure land for a nature reserve, more significant funding was required. Jed saw the offer of fundraising support in the Action Planning Pearls of Wisdom campaign was his application was successful.

Pearl of Wisdom:
Five days of Fundraising Support, as needed. Delivered by Andrew Rainsford, an experienced fundraising consultant specialising in buildings, capacity building, project development, income generation and community enterprise.

To research possible funding sources for a £200,000 project to buy land on which to establish a nature reserve.​​​​​​​

The delivery of this Pearl of Wisdom was all set up via phone and email, with a long initial call during which Jed took Andrew through the workings of the charity and the aims of the fundraising campaign. Andrew then confirmed the brief in writing and went ahead with his research.

The work involved trawling databases of funders for those offering grants of the magnitude that Town and Manor of Hungerford needed and reading up on their selection criteria to find those most likely to respond favourably to a bid of this nature. Andrew also made sure that the sources he put forward were all within the scope of Town and Manor’s case for support.

Andrew produced a list of possible funding sources, which was hugely informative for Jed, who said he “hadn’t heard of 90% of them”. The project is now at the scoping stage and the charity can move forward with a clear idea of the level of funding it might expect to receive.​​​​​​​

Consultant’s insight:
​​​​​​​Working with an organisation that had not previously sought external help with fundraising was a good experience once the trustees had overcome the scepticism around ‘a free lunch’. Pearls of Wisdom was indeed a ‘free lunch’ and was delivered in the same manner as a paid job. After all – a gift that is not very good is not worth having.

It was helpful to have discussions around ‘pre-fundraising’; where an operation has previously self-funded it is not always easy to look at what needs to be done prior to embarking on a project. It is second nature so is not always factored into practical operational thinking – even if it is in a project plan!

The project is a little way from starting because planning permission almost certainly will be needed. Covid powers have somewhat slowed that process within some local authorities. So, the list will need a skim read and date test. Nevertheless, it does provide a useful starter and I am delighted that it provides information not previously known about.

The job was taken on because I have an interest in heritage and an interest in environmental projects and this combined the two. If the opportunity arises, I would be delighted to take matters forward. Jed was wonderful to work with.

About Pearls of Wisdom
Pearls of Wisdom is our campaign to mark the 30th anniversary of Action Planning, for which we have given away £100,000 worth of free consultancy, spread over 56 separate packages. You can read more about it here.

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