What do the Judges most want to see in National Fundraising Award applications?

With the deadline for the National Fundraising Awards only a week away, this year’s judges were asked for the one thing they most want to see in the entries to the awards. Read their answers below:

  • Annie Perez, Retention Specialist, ActionAid UK: "It’s always endearing when applicants share their learnings. So often, it’s those nuggets of information on ‘what went wrong’ which guide decision-making in evolving what becomes their ‘best’ example of work. Such honesty is a privilege to receive."


  • Jack Miller, Head of Fundraising, Railway Children: "I want to see applications that make me say ‘wow’. Something that I wish I’d worked as part of and is pushing our sector forwards."


  • Vanessa Longley, Director of Fundraising, YoungMinds: "I’m looking for applications from ordinary fundraisers doing extra-ordinary things. This isn’t about being the most slick or spending the biggest budget. Some of the best ideas are happening in the charities developing their own ideas without the support of large agencies."


  • Nicolette Shaw, Development Director, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain: "Times are hard! We are implementing GDPR, the Code and battling ever increasing targets. I am looking for remarkable fundraisers who see all of that as an opportunity to become even better professionals, even better entrepreneurs and even better leaders. Is that you?"


  • Lisa Buckley, Head of Fundraising, Tenovus Cancer Care: "I’d really love to see some strong applications representing the amazing work being done right across the country in our nations and regions. I know there are some examples of excellent fundraising so I encourage colleagues take up this fantastic opportunity to shine."


  • Dan Fletcher, Director (Fundraising), Moore Kingston Smith Fundraising: "I’m looking for applications from charities that show confidence to try something new, and that are able to celebrate their distinctiveness. I want to think, ‘I wish I’d thought of that!’"


  • Susan Robinson, Strategic Investment Officer, TCVS Inverclyde: "As a judge of 'Volunteer Fundraiser of the Year' and 'Young Volunteer of the Year' Awards, I am expecting to see examples where people have gone above and beyond to support causes which they are passionate about. I hope that their stories come across in their applications!"


  • Angie Turner, Head of Philanthropy, The Children's Trust: "The awards are a great opportunity for the Institute of Fundraising to recognise the huge achievements of our colleagues as well raise awareness about the incredible work the sector is doing and the difference charities make every single day. In the current climate there have never been more important time to share the stories of success. The Institute of Fundraising are committed to diversity and applications are particularly welcomed from diverse groups including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) applicants, as they are under-represented in the fundraising sector."


  • Howard Lake, Editor, UK Fundraising: "I'd be delighted to see more fundraisers taking a deep breath and submitting for the very first time an entry that shares the excellence that they have achieved."


  • Joanna Wells, Development Director, Chelsea Physic Garden: "I want other fundraisers in the cultural sector to celebrate their daily achievements. My call out is to arts and cultural fundraisers to demonstrate that when it comes to creative and innovative fundraising practice, that far from being the poor cousin, the cultural sector is alive and kicking!"


  • Grahame Darnell, Managing Director, Darnell Consulting: "I’m hoping to see a fantastic array of social purpose submissions showing how charity-business partnerships can drive authentic and lasting social good."


  • Anna-Maria Mullen, Head of Major Gifts, The Langdon Foundation: "I hope to see a diverse range of entries and urge charities who would normally shy away to have a go. If anything it can help raise awareness of who you are. I am also excited to see how entries are trying to or achieving to show equality, diversity and inclusion in their reach and how they work, especially as it is so high on the IoF's radar."


  • Mike Bartlett, Deputy CEO, Julia's House Childrens Hospice: "To guide us in the future we need people from different backgrounds to challenge our established ways of fundraising and comfort zones. I'd therefore love to see an application from someone who has taken a fresh look at the sector and come up with a new way of thinking or doing that has led to a fundraising culture transformation."


  • Edward Sharman, Head of Development, Royal Air Force Museum: "I am really looking forward to seeing the innovation and creativity that the sector is renowned for and how that comes through in the applications."


  • David Goldberg, Director, Goldberg Consulting: "I would like to see passion, proudness and pleasure seeping through the application and one which stays focussed on maximising income."


  • Anaily Castellanos, Senior Philanthropy Manager, Anthony Nolan: "I’m looking forward to seeing how fundraisers are championing the voice of the supporter within their organisations to build long-term relationships. No matter the size, I want to see examples of working with colleagues to bring the impact of the charity sector to life."


  • Karen Bolton, Head of Community & Events Fundraising, Dementia UK: "I am looking forward to seeing how charities are putting their supporters at the heart of their fundraising and taking risks in trying new ways to develop and deliver fundraising that meet their supporters needs."


  • Matt Parkes, Director of Development, Diocese of Westminster: "The one thing I most want to see from Award applications is a focus on audience insight. In other words, how does this entry reflect an understanding of your supporters? How does (or did) this understanding influence your fundraising?"


  • Meredith Niles, Executive Director of Fundraising and Engagement, Marie Curie: "I am looking for entries that demonstrate an evidence-based approach with clear, measurable results, both financial and non-financial.  An entry that will impress me will show how it helped the charity raise more money and engage supporters."


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