Fundraising - Recruitment Strategies for Corporations & HNWIs

One of the biggest fundraising mistakes that social organisations make is chasing anyone who might potentially have some money, without really assessing whether or not their goals or interests fit the project.  This is why generic applications get nowhere, and why creating specific proposals often fails too. You absolutely must have some kind of selection criteria to filter the right organisations to approach, before you spend time on funding proposals.

The next mistake involves assuming that presenting the social need and tugging on heart strings is enough to get people (HNWI = High Net Worth Individuals) or organisations to part with their money. This is a hit and hope affair – you might get lucky, or you might not. The real trick is to understand what your target audiences needs are, then make sure you are actually able to deliver the benefits they might want from their association with your project, and finally, stay true to your promises.

Fundraising - Recruitment Strategies for Corporations & HNWIs

Above is a real life example of how to select your fundraising targets and then work out the benefits that might attract them. Once you understand these you can then create the messaging and marketing needed to attract them, and the engagement plans to manage the relationships over time.

Fundraising In A Nutshell

[Taken from my new blog @]

This is more for social enterprises and charities that are raising funds in order to continue to operate and/or grow rather than for startups.

The trick is to do these in parallel. Start your research and network to build relationships with potential funders, while simultaneously putting the platforms in place. This means that by the time you've built your relationships with the people interested in your work, you've also got all your messaging sorted out and ready to go.

Strategic Fundraising

Additional notes:
  • Networking = emails and conversations (phone and face-to-face meetings)
  • Recognition = not just for brand but also methodology in terms of getting accepted as experts in the type of work being done
  • Shareability = having the technical ability to share your content in social media, as well as creating and chunking it so that it is valuable and motivates people to pass it on.

Aviva Community Fund Competition - Vote now!

Round 3 of the Aviva Community Fund up in Canada is under way. The slogan of the competition is “Supporting what’s important to you”.

I've just been in touch with a great project called Charity CHAMPS, which is promoting microphilanthropy amongst youth, the most important, but least engaged demographic in philanthropy.

Also unlike a lot of the other ideas competing for votes, theirs has a fundamental online and micro-action foundation which there needs to be more of. Philanthropy needs to benefit from the huge changes in technology like every other industry.

If any of these things are important to you go vote for Charity CHAMPS at

Globosocial Adventures: Journeys into the Social Unknown

Over the past few years I've slowly been moving more and more towards a focus on social enterprise. Along the way I've worked on grassroots projects, run initiatives, joined and chaired charity boards and provided advisory help and input to social enterprises; all with the end goal of covering enough ground to be compelling as a consultant in the social space.

However, as I began to understand the UK social sector, I began to develop a curiosity about how things work in other parts of the world. How relevant is UK best practice to other regions? What impacts do different cultures and economies have on social and charitable enterprise? What new and exciting social innovations and approaches are budding in countries outside the western sphere?

Since there's only so much you can grasp from books and blogs, I figured the fastest and most effective way to build a global picture of social endeavour would be to travel through different countries working with social or charitable enterprises, helping address the challenges these organisations face.

So I am now traveling to different countries around the world, working with and understanding social enterprise in different cultures and economies. I'm interested in understanding cultural and economic impacts on the scope and success of social enterprises. My long term goal is to see if it is possible to design better global support systems for small social enterprises, and to improve the connectivity between people working to address similar social issues.

My first leg will be Central and South America, starting in Mexico City on the 12th of October 2009. The overall time-frame is unknown, but is expected to involve about 3 months per region, with 6 regions overall as listed a little further down.

My broad areas of focus will be as follows:
  • Challenges
  • Social innovations
  • Hybrid Business innovations
  • Local (Best) Practices
  • "Health-Check" Toolkits for Social Enterprises (based on
  • Funding mechanisms
  • Governmental Policy and Support
  • Working partnerships
  • Key social entrepreneurial hubs and networks
The basic methodology is simple and for every country visited will involve
  1. Spending a few weeks with 2 or more social enterprises, providing pro-bono generic consulting skills to help them address any organisational or developmental challenge they are facing (see skills profile below)
  2. Connecting with local arms of global SE umbrella organisations (eg. Ashoka) and local Social Enterprise or Third Sector support organisations
  3. Connecting with local Social Entrepreneurs

I am currently looking for
  1. Organisations that might be interested in commissioning comparative outputs
  2. Suggestions for local organisations that might need help in terms of advisory / guidance etc. in the following regions
    • South America
    • Africa
    • India
    • South East Asia
    • China
    • Japan
  3. Potential funding avenues / support with travel and accommodation costs

If you know any organisations that could use strategic help, or you want to be part of the journey, help fund me or simply provide connections, drop me an email at

If you want to follow the journey, visit the blog at or get email updates here.



Why Brand Recognition Matters for Social Enterprise

[Taken from my new blog @ - Click here to Update your feeds, or subscribe via email]

Here's a quick snapshot of how brand awareness impacts the different audiences for Social Enterprises, NGOs and Non-Profits.

If you ever wondered why your organisation should be devoting time to building mass recognition, this should clue you in.

Why Brand Awareness Matters for Social Enterprises

* HNWI = High Net-Worth Individuals (Philanthropists, Investors)

Why Social Enterprises Need Strong Brands

[Taken from my new blog @ - Click here to Update your feeds, or subscribe via email]

Having problems loading? View this presentation on Slideshare

Here's the jist of it...

A brand is what your audience feels , thinks , and remembers about your enterprise.

Brand used to be ‘ offline ’ and ‘ online ’ Now it is seamless , and primarily driven by how you are perceived via the web.

And now that organisations can create their own profiles , brands can effectively function as ‘ people ’ i.e. In the interactive web 2.0 world, your brand has a personality.

So… Brand used to just be about image, but now its about image AND personality!

Before the web, niche brands could only engage niche audiences. They relied on costly traditional PR and push marketing, which meant that their audiences were tiny and their budgets high. Now niche brands can engage mass audiences at low cost.

Social organisations sit in a niche that typically does not sell product. They are competing for attention. And when you're competing for attention, your competition is everything. You have to stand out to be noticed.

A strong brand is a core factor in being noticed, and therefore heard, which is why it critical for social organisations to get their branding right.


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