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. They needed £4,000 to fund a pilot of their new Earthworks on Wheels scheme, tending gardens for older people referred by Age UK.
I met Trustee Carmen and the team on their sustainable site in their new garden office. Listening to them talk about their brilliant work and ambitious plans, I was self-conscious that my contribution to the pitch would be language, ‘packaging’, audience and such things. But the team were welcoming and we discussed my suggestions together.
I felt very proud on the night, as Carmen stood with ‘Earthworker’ Jack to introduce the project and make a robust, heartfelt ask.
Congratulations to Carmen and the whole Earthworks team on your pilot being fully funded at The Funding Network Herts.
You can watch Carmen’s and Jack’s successful pitch below.