Valuable fundraising insights for a widespread audience

Cred Foundation

“I’d have Action Planning on every CRED conference I do. It was brilliant. I was very impressed and got the sense that there’s a lot more support that could be available on other topics, eg report writing, monitoring and evaluation, so I think it’s been a very useful contact from my perspective.”

Helen Harrison, Partner Liaison Manager, Cred Foundation

Cred Foundation is a UK-based charity that works to help people in developing countries suffering from economic, social or environmental hardship by partnering with, and providing support to, specifically selected organisations who run projects designed to alleviate deprivation of this kind.

In 2019 they brought together some of their partners for the first time and this went down very well, with a lot of requests to do it again. Due to Covid-19 and finance issues, however, they decided to run their next conference online instead. A common theme among delegates was lack of funds and the struggle to source funds. There was clearly a need to increase knowledge among the partners as to how to go about grant fundraising.

Helen Harrison, Cred’s Partner Liaison Manager, approached Stewardship, who recommended Action Planning. Sean Tully took up the brief.

Cred Foundation commissioned a two-hour online webinar on Grants Fundraising for its network of 14 development partners in Africa, India and Nepal, followed by three one-hour workshops for the partners to ask questions and follow up from the training.

Two important considerations were the short time available in which to deliver the workshop and the fact that, for most of the delegates, English is their second language. In order to cover maximum ground in the two hour workshop, Sean presented broad brush ideas that could be applied to a range of different scenarios. He focused on opening up delegates’ knowledge base regarding the different grant funding options available and the sort of general information to gather for any grant fundraising application.

To help the delegates digest all the information at their own pace, Helen recorded the session and turned Sean's Powerpoint into a pdf so that the partners could go through it afterwards and share it with other team members.

One of the benefits of holding the workshop online was the ability to be flexible about the number of attendees. All the partners were able to attend from their bases in Africa, India and Nepal, and they were able to bring colleagues with specific finance responsibilities.

For the three follow-up sessions, Sean was able to draft in two other Action Planning associates to join him in answering questions and sharing their knowledge and expertise. This inclusion of different voices added an engaging dynamic to the sessions.

The workshops all ran according to plan, with Helen reporting that there was “a lot of very positive feedback” from the partners. “It opened their eyes to what more they need to be doing,” she added, “and a lot of them said that they now have some useful tips and pointers to go away and discuss with their teams.

“Sean was clever in the way he gave such a comprehensive overview and still managed to explain things in sufficient depth, as well as give ideas on what they can do. It was good to hear examples of how other organisations have gone about grant fundraising.”

Consultant’s insight:
This was a wonderful assignment to deliver. One of the unforeseeable outcomes of the Covid pandemic was the take-up by the voluntary sector of accessible online video technology. Suddenly, delivering an online workshop for a network of organisations across three continents is not only easy, but an obvious choice.

And it's not every day that I'm in front of such a diverse and varied group of development experts. Their eagerness to learn and openness to share meant that I learned as much as I imparted, and I'm confident that Action Planning was able to contribute to an increase in their skills and potential for successful fundraising from trusts and foundations.

All credit to CRED for their vision and efforts to organise and deliver this event.

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