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/ 8 June 2015

FUNdraising: what’s it all about?

Sarah Webster, Major Donor Relationship manager

Hello! Doesn’t time fly when you are having fun? It is just over three months since I started here at the Diocese of London and I thought you might be interested to know both what I am doing and when the money is going to start flowing in.

First though, a little bit more about me. I’m part Scottish (with two accents), but I have been living in East London now for nearly 11 years. After completing a law degree, I worked out that wasn’t for me, so I tried out my skills in the city. What I learned there was that ‘making people richer’ just did not drive me and instead decided to join the charity sector. In the last five years I worked for a charity called City Gateway, a charity with a strong Christian ethos seeking to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people and families through education and employment.

Here I set up and built their corporate partnerships and business development teams. A career highlight, one could say was running the hugely successful ‘Ladder for London’ campaign with the Evening Standard newspaper. For me though, it was really in seeing the transformation of those thousands of young people we worked with, especially in those I taught and mentored more closely. We raised significant income for the charity in a variety of ways and had long term partnerships with over 100 companies including PwC, Ernst and Young, RBS etc.

Following a post graduate diploma in Charity management at Cass Business school I reflected that I wanted to further develop my career in fundraising and graciously, God put this opportunity in front of me. As someone who loves a blank canvas and building something, the opportunity and challenge was too good to resist. I am excited by the Capital Vision 2020. As someone who only became a Christian four years ago; through the confident, compassionate and creative evangelism by my friend, I couldn’t be more motivated by what this vision seeks to achieve by sharing the love of Christ with London in a strategic yet spirit driven way.

However I am under no illusion that this job will be easy! In my first three months I have been doing a lot of listening to people throughout the parishes in the Diocese as well as to those closer to me. Our aims in fundraising are clear:

  1. The biggest funding challenge that we face is to provide funding for the capital projects that are taking place within the 100 New Worshipping Communities strand of Capital Vision 2020. The Engine Room, Tottenham Hale being the imminent focus.
  2. At parish level there is also a need for further support for capital fundraising projects that are taking place in order to equip you to maximise your own efforts.
  3. Finally youth work and the Bishop of London’s Mission Fund are also a high priority area that we need to raise money for.

It is worth flagging that the Fundraising team is currently only little old me, with Ben Alonso returning from his (unpaid) sabbatical in two months’ time. So I do ask for your patience. I am busy putting together a more comprehensive strategy and thinking about how we can best use our resources to raise the most possible money as a whole Diocese. I can see huge opportunities for us to work with trusts, foundations and livery companies in a more strategic way. It has also been great to see the generosity of our congregations through the recent Lent Appeal and the Bishop Peter appeal and I believe we can build on this as well in a variety of ways.

If you have ideas, or have a big capital fundraising project coming up it would be very helpful for you to get in touch – fundraising@nulllondon.anglican.org.

And please add us to your prayer list. I would be very grateful.

This is written by Sarah Webster, formerly of the Fundraising Team.


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The diocesan communications team provides support to the network of clergy, churches, parishes and other worshipping communities that comprises the Diocese of London, as well as to the staff teams of the London Diocesan Fund.

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