Trusts: Lessons from the movies, impact measurement, storytelling and more

: Marina Jones

Marina Jones highlights her favourite sessions for trust fundraisers at this year's Fundraising Convention, both from the trusts track and elsewhere.

Wednesday is always my favourite day at Fundraising Convention as it is the dedicated day for trusts and statutory sessions. Many people just come for the day to learn from experts in the field, share knowledge and network. 

Trust fundraisers have to be versatile – the days are varied. Some mornings you are writing a proposal, then you work like a major donor fundraiser and it is all about story-telling, relationship building and visits to projects. The next you are completing a statutory proposal with 200 words to explain your outcomes, input and impact. As such, trust and statutory fundraisers need a range of skills and this day is curated to inspire, surprise, excite, teach and refresh those skills.

What it’s like to be a Trustee

From having sat in as an observer at major grant giving foundation’s meeting I know first-hand the pressure and hard decisions that Trustees need to make. Sometimes the limit of the budget for that meeting is the deciding factor, or the geography of the projects on offer. Your reputation, or the budget errors can be the difference between getting the grant or not.  

The first session of the day brings that trustee experience to life with a non-scary role play of a trustee meeting. At 'Life on the other side of the fence - reviewing trust applications' all delegates will act as trustees for the Apollo (Sutton) Trust and will be issued with a trustee pack with real applications from real charities. They will be asked to decide where a real grant (£500) should go.

You can submit a proposal too – read about the criteria here. We are aiming for an authentic Trustee meeting vibe so there will even be disappointing biscuits to truly add to the atmosphere.

Join me and fellow trustees David Burgess from Apollo Fundraising and Laura Solomons from the Sutton Trust to decide who has written the best application and should be awarded the grant. Will it be you?

 How can Jerry Maguire, Star Wars and Casablanca help improve your fundraising?  

With lessons from the movies  including how to manage your A Listers, the dangers of the casting couch, and how to build franchises and sequels  Vicki Kelsall’s session 'Lights, Camera, Action! Giving your Trusts and Foundations fundraising a movie makeover' will be both fun and informative. It will give you a great overview of how trust fundraising can work, how to add that movie magic to improve performance, with great insights on how to develop internal fundraising culture, and full of cheesy movie puns!

 Big changes at Big Lottery

The National Lottery Community Fund is one of the largest community funders in the UK and it will be super to hear from Sarah Beinoff, Director for England about the changes that have taken place, and why they have been made. Sarah will talk about how to access funds, the priorities and aspirations for the fund and how to get local support with making your applications. 

Sarah is joined by Stella Duffy from Fun Palaces UK to talk about the real experience of making a Big Lottery application.

How do you know what you are doing works and how can you tell your funders?

Impact measurement can be a daunting task for a trust fundraiser and Alex Blake, Moira Lambert and Helen Campbell will break it down and share what is out there and most importantly what is useful (and what is not) and how it can practically help make your fundraising better. With varying opinions on how to approach impact measurement, the session will help fundraisers choose the best method for them and their organisations.

 

Who is telling the story and what story are they telling? 

Do different bits of your organisation talk about your charity in different ways? Does the mission statement of ten years ago creep into the trustee’s language? This is an issue I can relate to, so I am really looking forward to learning how CLIC Sargant took the many and varied ways that fundraisers and other colleagues talked about the charity and created a common language for the charity with ‘6 Ways to Help’ which helped transform their fundraising. Building six distinct cases for support with strong story telling and robust budgets and evidence will provide useful lessons for us all. 

 Not all about trusts and statutory – explore other sessions

If you are here for more than one day there are some great sessions in other tracks that are great for trust fundraisers: 

Marina Jones is Head of Trusts and Foundations at the Royal Opera House.

Wednesday is always my favourite day at Convention as it is the dedicated day for trusts and statutory sessions. Many people just come for the day to learn from experts in the field and share knowledge and network.

Trust fundraisers have to be versatile – the days are varied – some mornings you are writing a proposal, then you work like a major donor fundraiser and it is all about story-telling, relationship building and visits to projects, and the next you are completing a statutory proposal with 200 words to explain your outcomes, input and impact. As such, trust and statutory fundraisers need a range of skills and this day is curated to inspire, surprise, excite, teach and refresh those skills.

 

What it’s like to be a trustee

From having sat in as an observer at major grant giving foundation’s meeting I know first-hand the pressure and hard decisions that Trustees need to make. That sometimes the limit of the budget for that meeting is the deciding factor, or the geography of the projects on offer, your reputation, or the budget errors can be the difference between getting the grant or not.  

The first session of the day brings that trustee experience to life with a non-scary role play of a trustee meeting. At Life on the other side of the fence - reviewing trust applications all delegates will act as trustees the Apollo (Sutton) Trust and be issued with a trustee pack with real applications from real charities and be asked to decide where a real grant (£500) should go. You can submit a proposal too – read this article to learn about the criteria. We aim for an authentic trustees meeting vibe so there will be disappointing meeting biscuits to add to the atmosphere. Join me and fellow trustees David Burgess (Apollo Fundraising) and Laura Solomons (Sutton Trust) to decide who has written the best application and should be awarded the grant. Will it be you?

 

How can Jerry Maguire, Star Wars and Casablanca help improve your fundraising?  

With lessons from the movies from managing your A Listers, the dangers of the casting couch, how to build franchises and sequels Vicki Kelsall’s session Lights, Camera, Action! Giving your Trusts and Foundations fundraising a movie makeover will be fun and informative session. It will give you a great overview of how trusts fundraising can work, how to add that movie magic to improve performance, with great insights into how to develop internal fundraising culture and full of cheesy movie puns!

 

Big changes at Big Lottery

The National Lottery Community Fund is one of the largest community funders in the UK and it will be super to hear from Sarah Beinoff, Director for England about the changes that have taken place, and why they have been made. Sarah will talk about how to access funds, the priorities and aspirations for the fund and how to get local support with making your applications.

Sarah is joined by Stella Duffy from Fun Palaces UK to talk about the real experience of making a Big Lottery application.

How do you know what you are doing works and how can you tell your funders?

Impact measurement can be a daunting task for a trust fundraiser and Alex Blake, Moira Lambert and Helen Campbell will break it down and share what is out there and most importantly what is useful (and what is not) and how it can practically help make your fundraising better. With varying opinions on how to approach impact measurement, the session will help fundraisers choose the best method for them and their organisations.

 

Who is telling the story and what story are they telling?

Do different bits of your organisation talk about your charity in different ways? Does the mission statement of ten years ago creep into the trustee’s language? This is an issue I can relate to, so I am really looking forward to learning how CLIC Sargant took the many and varied ways that fundraisers and other colleagues talked about the charity and created a common language for the charity with ‘6 Ways to Help’ which helped transform their fundraising. Building six distinct cases for support with strong story telling and robust budgets and evidence will provide useful lessons for us all.

 

Not all about trusts and statutory – explore other sessions

If you are here for more than one day there are some great sessions in other tracks that are great for trust fundraisers –

·         Oxfam sharing their research with major donors and foundations and how it is changing how they work with funders in Conversations with donors - how philanthropists are transforming fundraising at Oxfam  

·         Give, get or get off – two brave trustees and fundraising colleagues talk all things board fundraising and engagement in Trustees and fundraising - embedding fundraising and realising their full potential

·         Trusts are essential for capital projects and the Highs, lows and hard hats - the truth about capital campaigns panel on capital campaigns promises to be great (but I am bias as colleagues are speaking about our recent £50m capital development)

Wednesday is always my favourite day at Convention as it is the dedicated day for trusts and statutory sessions. Many people just come for the day to learn from experts in the field and share knowledge and network. 
Trust fundraisers have to be versatile – the days are varied – some mornings you are writing a proposal, then you work like a major donor fundraiser and it is all about story-telling, relationship building and visits to projects, and the next you are completing a statutory proposal with 200 words to explain your outcomes, input and impact. As such, trust and statutory fundraisers need a range of skills and this day is curated to inspire, surprise, excite, teach and refresh those skills.
 
What it’s like to be a trustee
From having sat in as an observer at major grant giving foundation’s meeting I know first-hand the pressure and hard decisions that Trustees need to make. That sometimes the limit of the budget for that meeting is the deciding factor, or the geography of the projects on offer, your reputation, or the budget errors can be the difference between getting the grant or not.  
The first session of the day brings that trustee experience to life with a non-scary role play of a trustee meeting. At Life on the other side of the fence - reviewing trust applications all delegates will act as trustees the Apollo (Sutton) Trust and be issued with a trustee pack with real applications from real charities and be asked to decide where a real grant (£500) should go. You can submit a proposal too – read this article to learn about the criteria. We aim for an authentic trustees meeting vibe so there will be disappointing meeting biscuits to add to the atmosphere. Join me and fellow trustees David Burgess (Apollo Fundraising) and Laura Solomons (Sutton Trust) to decide who has written the best application and should be awarded the grant. Will it be you?
 
How can Jerry Maguire, Star Wars and Casablanca help improve your fundraising?  
With lessons from the movies from managing your A Listers, the dangers of the casting couch, how to build franchises and sequels Vicki Kelsall’s session Lights, Camera, Action! Giving your Trusts and Foundations fundraising a movie makeover will be fun and informative session. It will give you a great overview of how trusts fundraising can work, how to add that movie magic to improve performance, with great insights into how to develop internal fundraising culture and full of cheesy movie puns!
 
Big changes at Big Lottery
The National Lottery Community Fund is one of the largest community funders in the UK and it will be super to hear from Sarah Beinoff, Director for England about the changes that have taken place, and why they have been made. Sarah will talk about how to access funds, the priorities and aspirations for the fund and how to get local support with making your applications. 
Sarah is joined by Stella Duffy from Fun Palaces UK to talk about the real experience of making a Big Lottery application.
How do you know what you are doing works and how can you tell your funders?
Impact measurement can be a daunting task for a trust fundraiser and Alex Blake, Moira Lambert and Helen Campbell will break it down and share what is out there and most importantly what is useful (and what is not) and how it can practically help make your fundraising better. With varying opinions on how to approach impact measurement, the session will help fundraisers choose the best method for them and their organisations.
 
Who is telling the story and what story are they telling? 
Do different bits of your organisation talk about your charity in different ways? Does the mission statement of ten years ago creep into the trustee’s language? This is an issue I can relate to, so I am really looking forward to learning how CLIC Sargant took the many and varied ways that fundraisers and other colleagues talked about the charity and created a common language for the charity with ‘6 Ways to Help’ which helped transform their fundraising. Building six distinct cases for support with strong story telling and robust budgets and evidence will provide useful lessons for us all. 
 
Not all about trusts and statutory – explore other sessions
If you are here for more than one day there are some great sessions in other tracks that are great for trust fundraisers – 
Oxfam sharing their research with major donors and foundations and how it is changing how they work with funders in Conversations with donors - how philanthropists are transforming fundraising at Oxfam  
Give, get or get off – two brave trustees and fundraising colleagues talk all things board fundraising and engagement in Trustees and fundraising - embedding fundraising and realising their full potential
Trusts are essential for capital projects and the Highs, lows and hard hats - the truth about capital campaigns panel on capital campaigns promises to be great (but I am bias as colleagues are speaking about our recent £50m capital development)

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