Experiencing financial problems

I work for a school of theology and at present we are experiencing financial problems. We have launched an appeal for funds and our bankers are prepared to provide an overdraft but this only puts our costs up. Do you have any other suggestions?


I work for a school of theology and at present we are experiencing financial problems. We have launched an appeal for funds and our bankers are prepared to provide an overdraft but this only puts our costs up. Do you have any other suggestions?

An overdraft is only a temporary solution. You need to increase your revenue or raise some funds in another way. I have spoken to the Institute of Fundraising (020-6273436). They confirm that you have approached the right group of people for funds, but suggest that you have leapt straight into Stage 2 and not carried out Stage 1 of fundraising – planning your fundraising strategy. There may have been other more successful ways you could raise money from your supporters rather than the straight appeal.

There seem to be three suggestions which you could now adopt. First you could use a professional fundraiser, either a consultant or an employee. The Institute’s website holds a database of fundraising consultants, which can be accessed through www.icfm.org.uk.

Second, you could put yourself on a training course (and the Institute runs several). Third, you could buy a copy of what’s known as the beginner’s guide to fundraising ‘The Complete Fundraising Handbook’ by Nina Botting and Michael Norton (price £16.95). This, along with several other relevant titles, can be ordered through the Directory of Social Change Publications at www.dsc.org.uk.

Apart from raising funds in this way, you have only two other choices – putting up prices or taking on more students.

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