As part of Small Charity Week, we just loved delivering a webinar with our charity friends, Liz Peppler of Embrace Finance and Governance Specialist, Danny Curtin on ‘The 3 Cornerstones for Small- Fundraising Governance and Finance.’
So where does Winnie the Pooh come in we hear you ask? We just loved Liz’s analogy of these three pillars and comparing them to the popular characters. Yes, you probably guessed- us fundraisers were labelled the Tiggers of the organisation- high energy and positivity and often forward looking, whereas finance channels its inner Eeyore by being risk aware and cautious. That leaves those wise governance owls – a calm head with a 360 view linking it all together.
However when we got down to the practical take outs that we all wanted from the other, we realised there was much more that unites us than divides us! Here is a summary of our top take outs from the session:
- Make sure you that you are fundraising ready and have the foundations in place to do great fundraising. Key things to consider include, the quality of your ask; using data to review trends; getting your stakeholders on board and invested in fundraising (with realistic expectations) and being donor focused in your messaging
- Get your Board on Board with Fundraising – is fundraising embedded at board level? Such as included in the induction for new trustees, an agenda item, is it represented and championed at board level? Are the board supporting your fundraising- attending events or even donating?
- Make sure you work with finance to develop 3 year budgets, gain access to financials and data insights on a regular basis, tracking your restricted and unrestricted income, utilising full cost recovery and most of all creating a great financial narrative.
- Do you have the key elements to not just survive financially but thrive? Such as having in place key systems and processes, being aware of your sustainability and financial resilience and having a clear plan, strategy, leadership and story around your finances?
- Make sure your finance and fundraising teams come together to agree reporting, use best and worst case scenarios (remember fundraisers can be optimistic Tiggers!), agree timescales and have a guiding star to marry your money and mission (which is where our wise governance owls can come in)
- Make sure your governance is in order to support your finance and fundraising by ensuring the culture you set as a board sets an example of how your organisation operates and conducts itself.
- Lead your board following these three key principles: 1 Stewardship – how you stay on course by monitoring and setting procedures; 2 – Strategic – what direction is your organisation heading? is the board setting and leading on the strategy to set the course and finally, 3 – Generative – looking at the big picture, framing the issues now and in the future to help you make decision. Finally make sure that you include finance and fundraising in all 3, because as we summarised we all have a bit of Tigger, Eeyore and Owl in us!