This article by Catherine Holden, Director of External Relations at National Museums Scotland, reflects on the highs and lows of fundraising. Catherine argues that fundraising is not all that different from marketing. Instead of working towards a visit, or a ticket sale, you are working towards a gift. If you are passionate about your cause then fundraising can be both creative and rewarding.
At this point I should come clean, and admit I’m not a born fundraiser. I started out in marketing – first with fizzy drinks, then with theatre, then visual arts, then museums. But my role has broadened over the years. I have worked alongside fundraisers in most of my roles, and for the last ten years have been leading a Development team. I have learned a huge amount from their insights, skills, experience and attitude.
Fundraising is a professional discipline. Done well, it is a well-oiled machine. From research and analysis to planning a staged campaign, from effective communications to slick event management, from skilful form-filling to sophisticated number crunching.