By John Burton, WLT Founder CEO
Over the past couple of years, at almost every event I go to I am asked “how are you coping with the recession?”, and “how is fundraising going?”
The answers are pretty positive, and if the questioner is from another charity the next question is often “how many fundraisers do you employ?”, or “do you use professional fundraising consultants?”. Those who have read this column before will realise that I am pretty scathing about professional fundraisers — I have tried employing them, and never found them to justify their often exorbitant fees/salaries.
At the World Land Trust we have developed a culture where we are all fundraisers, from the Receptionist answering the phone, to the Programme managers working with our partners. From our head of finance to our editorial staff, everyone represents the Trust, and everyone deals with some aspect or other relating to fundraising. And even our partner organisations, scattered all over the world play a very important role in the fundraising. Bringing in a professional fundraiser just adds another layer, and more crucially, another level of expense.
Word of mouth fundraising
This blog is another crucial part of the fundraising strategy. It is part of the most important part: the word of mouth fundraising. Over the years we have built up a small number of readers of my, admittedly, idiosyncratic blogs, but this often leads to our news items, and our eBulletin, and these get passed on, and because, you the readers often say nice things about the work of the WLT and its partners, that gets read and taken note of. So you, as I have pointed out before, are our most important fundraisers. Not someone earning £40,000 or £50, 000 a year for sitting writing to other charities all day, and pestering the rest of the staff for information.
So please keep up the good work. We need your support, not just in donations, but also by being our ambassadors and telling others about us, if you like what we do.
To find out how you can fundraise for the World Land Trust, visit our fundraising pages.