A system with fundraisers at the centre

Because they stand alone the focus on projects is often even greater than on our ongoing strategic objectives. To make sure we give the fundraiser the best possible experience of seeing their passion turn into measurable results, we are introducing a process that will help us prepare for all new project fundraising drives. By following this process through, and ticking all the right boxes, we will speak to everyone we need to and get all the necessary agreements in place. This is really important for us as we manage our ongoing relationship with all our donors. How – and how quickly – we spend their money needs to match up to their expectations when they donated.

We will complete this preparation process together, and then specific individuals or groups within the Sands structure will do a final check, making sure everything is in order. Only then will we get the green light to start fundraising.

To make sure this can happen efficiently, we want to let you know a bit about how this process will work.

development of the new financial model

What will we need to consider?

If you are submitting a project proposal, it is important that you know that every project is being considered under the same criteria. You also need to know something about the criteria that will be considered, to help you in your thinking.

We will consider:

  • Is there a clear set of intended outcomes that align with Sands’ strategic objectives and planning?
  • The viability and long term sustainability of the project plan with respect to
    • External stakeholders (e.g. is the hospital on board?)
    • Resources within the Group to take it forward
    • Staff resources (i.e. will you need your Network Co-ordinator’s time and help?)
    • Fundraising ability and possible opportunities/planning
    • Legacy planning
    • Planning for outcomes measurement
    • Planning for a review and evaluation stage
    • Continuity planning and risk management

(All projects, by their nature, carry a degree of risk. Your Network Co-ordinator will help you to identify, assess and manage any risks associated with a particular project. Sands project portfolio and associated risk registers are regularly reviewed by the Audit & Risk Committee of the Board of Trustees to ensure that all projects are managed to completion in a way that minimises any risk to the charity)

  • The wider geographical picture (e.g. should we be devoting resources to a second memorial garden in St Helens, when there is an urgent need for a bereavement suite in Liverpool)
  • The timing (e.g. should we delay fundraising for the Winchester memorial garden another two months, to give us time to finish fundraising for the Southampton bereavement suite; should we start fundraising for the Newcastle memorial garden in August to coincide with the build up to the Great North Run)
  • Volunteer wellbeing
    • Are the same volunteers taking on a succession of big projects?
    • Have the volunteers had a break between projects?
    • How many projects is the Group taking on at any time?

(We need to ensure that volunteers can still focus on supporting bereaved parents whilst projects are being developed and that the group has the resources, time, and energy to devote to both. Your wellbeing is very important to us)

  • Have you covered all the costs, including fundraising costs and overheads that Sands will have to cover so you can concentrate on running the project? (Projects can’t happen in isolation – if there were no Sands, there would be no project – so we need to factor this in with a budget line)
  • Have we raised enough income to support the day-to-day activities of Sands in your area before we divert fundraising activity towards the project? (N.B. Competition for funds can be addressed through careful planning, and should not prevent projects taking place, as long as all parts of the organisation are working together)

What to do next

Now you've planned your project you can move on to Step 2: the fundraising drive