Solid foundations – preparing the perfect 'ask'

Solid foundations – preparing the perfect 'ask'

By Sarah Winchester


This AMA conference 2014 session led by Sarah Winchester discussed how to secure financial commitments for your organisation by taking a strategic approach to fundraising. During her career Sarah has secured over £15 million for organisations ranging from the big; The Princes Trust – to the small; Proten Youth a start-up charity working out of Brixton. In this session Sarah shared the secrets of her success and unpicked the process from identifying a prospect to building long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships.

The right approach
Being a fundraiser is such a busy job and you’ve got it all happening at once that it can be really tempting to ‘bang out’ the same applications to different organisations / potential donors. It really is important that it’s not ‘one size fits all’. It doesn’t mean that you have to start all the way from the beginning but it does mean that that conversation, document or presentation needs to be bespoke. It needs to be based on research, your vision, the connections that you’ve made and it really needs to ‘speak’ to the organisation or the person to who you are sending it. It’s a really saturated market and that’s one of the ways that you are going to get noticed. When it comes to cultivation, ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ either. I’m guilty of doing it – get people in a room, loads of networking and tell them all that our organisation is amazing. Some philanthropists get very tired of that and some businesses spend their whole lives going to events like that and would rather a different approach.

Resource type: | Published: 2014