Six Months of Life as a Fundraising Consultant: Embracing Variety
New consultant Greg Hodder shares his thoughts on joining Craigmyle six months ago and life as a fundraising consultant.
I am six months into working as a Fundraising Consultant for Craigmyle and wanted to write a short article about what it’s been like, in case anyone out there would be interested in doing the same thing. The first thing I should say it that I feel lucky to be working with at Craigmyle. They are the country’s longest-established and most consistently successful fundraising consultancy. I decided to go for consultancy as I also set up my own small publishing company Cambridge Children’s Books, where I have been writing and publishing books. I wanted to do something that had the flexibility and make space for both my passions in life.
One thing that is clear is that as a Fundraising Consultant, you get to work with a diverse range of charities. From supporting small start-up organisations in their quest to make a significant impact to collaborating with established medium-sized charities looking to expand their reach, each project has brought its own set of challenges and rewards. Additionally, working with well-known household names has allowed me to contribute to their continued success and help them maximise their philanthropic efforts. In just six months, I have had the opportunity to work with 4 different clients. The variety of clients means that no two days are the same.
It is not only the clients that are diverse, but the breadth of work and the opportunities means that you are always doing something different. Sometimes, I find myself doing a levelling-up bid, the next day I am interviewing clients as part of a fundraising and feasibility report, and the next day I am writing a case for support. This diversity of work is increased because the clients are different, with different needs and organisation structures, meaning that you can’t have a cookie-cutter approach and have to get to know each client separately, tailoring your strategy. I know some people like the regular flow a regular job provides. For me, the constant need to adapt to evolving needs and embrace different tasks means that my days are filled with fresh challenges, which I genuinely find exciting.
It sounds too good to be true, I hear you think. It’s not all glory; for one thing, there is a lot of unpaid work. I do find myself doing lots of proposals for new potential clients. In just six months, this has already meant several days of writing and meetings that have been unpaid. As a fundraising consultant at Craigmyle, I am an accredited consultant, but I essentially work for myself, which has many benefits but also challenges that I am having to learn about. One area that has been surprising is that I thought I would be working on my own a lot, but I have found that the consultants at Craigmyle have been great at collaborative work. I am mainly working together with another consultant on a client and find myself regularly on the phone or at a team meeting, continuing to learn and benefiting from the huge amount of experience there is in the room. I certainly feel supported.
In conclusion, life as a fundraising consultant at Craigmyle is a fulfilling adventure filled with variety. The dynamic nature of the work, combined with the chance to collaborate with lots of charities of different sizes and backgrounds, ensures that every day is infused with variety and the potential to create meaningful change. As long as you can handle the flexibility and the idea of going out on a limb and working for yourself, I would certainly recommend it.