I'm delighted to introduce a guest blog by 3rd Sector Mission Control Associate Helen Trenchard, who in her day job works with clients to improve their strategy and skillset, mainly in Community and Corporate Fundraising: *** Earlier this year I met some brave people preparing to stand in front of a large audience, and ask for money. I’ve worked in fundraising for 13 years, and while I expected to lend some expertise as a Herts TFN mentor, I hadn’t realised how personal it would feel to help a local charity give the pitch of their lives. TFN strikes me as a win-win for donors and causes. Shortlisting and due diligence relaxes donors, who can just enjoy the night, and the format means each shortlisted charity can show their best self, raising their profile powerfully, and gathering contacts as well as cash. I was asked to mentor Earthworks, who create a caring environment for adults with learning disabilities, at their horticultural site in St Albans.