We're proud to have been appointed by Help for Heroes, to give them strategic and creative support to help grow their Fundraising. Watch this space for the new work...

There’s no doubt about it, when it comes to Account Management, Sally has what it takes. A history of strong client relationships, the tenacity to find her way through any tricky project and all with sound strategic, creative knowledge and a smile. Could we ask for more? Yes we could. Because managing the projects, building excellent working relationships and achieving record-breaking results for clients just isn’t enough for Sally – she’s known for diving right into them, literally...

For WWF’s first mass-owned participation event, in support of saving the melting icecaps in the Arctic, Sally dived into Hampstead Ponds to ‘Brave the Chill’ - in the middle of January.

Earlier this year Sally was asked to present alongside her client, National Trust Scotland, at the Scottish Institute for Fundraising Conference, truly showing the levels of trust and collaboration Sally builds with her clients.

Then in 2018, Sally really took the plunge and moved to the Philippines to volunteer as a marine conservationist for Marine Conservation Philippines, so she could better understand for herself the harsh reality of plastic pollution and how it’s effecting not only our beautiful oceans, but the people in developing countries who depend on them. If you ever want a chat about Sea Cucumbers of Nudibranchs then she’s your gal!

On dry land, Sally learnt her stars and stripes starting out on commercial clients such as Coca-Cola and Philip Morris, before moving onto charity accounts. And it was this blend of commercial and cause led work that drew Sally to Arthur.

“Arthur really caught my eye. I absolutely love working for causes and brands that make an impact, and Arthur is the perfect place to do this. I want to work on campaigns that drive real change in the world. I’ve also always wanted to get under the skin of brands to better understand their identity and positioning in the market. Every bit of creative should be based on strategy, and Arthur allows me to dive into strategy from a branding perspective.”

We are delighted to have Sally on board at Arthur and in classic style, she’s already leapt in at the deep end with her clients and is already making waves. But if sea life, scuba diving and NGO’s aren’t your thing, then ask Sally about her hometown of Devon, where she can be found walking the coastline, kayaking the canal, or watching the Exeter Chiefs with a pint of cider in hand, whenever she can escape her busy London life.

Behind every great agency is a brilliant Creative Services Manager. So we’re delighted to introduce Rachel Sharp, the powerhouse who has stepped into this crucial role.

When you first meet Rachel, she instantly exudes a calm capability. She started her career in TV production, working on the memorable show ‘Embarrassing Bodies’ before migrating to agency life to manage websites and digital campaigns for the likes of Sky Mobile and iCandy.

We’re thrilled Rachel’s bringing her eclectic experience in digital and film production to Arthur. She’s already adding real value to every project she oversees and seems completely unflappable. Staying one step ahead is easy when you’re as organised and energetic as Rachel.

And we’re not the only ones benefitting from Rachel’s endless energy – she’s also recently become a mum. We know our industry has a real issue of brilliant women disappearing because their roles are incompatible with motherhood. So we hope Arthur’s flexible and hybrid working model will go some way to keeping the talent of people like Rachel here in the industry, where it belongs.

Rachel reflects: ‘The role has allowed me to progress in the industry after starting a family, something I didn’t think was possible'. If anyone can navigate the traffic on the nursery run and the agency traffic, we think Rachel can.

Thinking about her future here at Arthur, Rachel is looking forward to making a difference by working on more cause-led campaigns, as well as having a positive impact on the agency’s growth and talent.

Outside of work, Rachel can be spotted strolling through the countryside with her daughter and Cocker Spaniel at her side. And when she can find the time, Rachel loves baking a batch of irresistible chocolate chip cookies – what can’t she do?

Right now, animal cruelty is happening in England and Wales on a massive scale. Each year, it reaches its terrible annual peak in the summer months – when an animal is beaten on average every hour of every day. 

Cancel Out Cruelty is Arthur’s latest campaign for RSPCA. A new annual summer appeal it focuses on raising the issue and mobilising animal lovers to support RSPCA’s vital work preventing intentional animal cruelty. It is based on the simple truth that if enough of us come together, we can – and will – cancel out cruelty to animals. The appeal is asking everyone who can’t bear to think of any animal suffering at the hands of humans to take action and get involved. 

This campaign is part of Arthur’s wider work supporting RSPCA with both its short- and long-term engagement strategy so it can sustainably grow its fundraising income. 

How to achieve sustainable fundraising growth

In a world of finite resources, we’re finally realising that our old system of take, make, waste and start again cannot be sustained. As we mobilise to protect our planet from the worst ravages of consumerism, the concept of sustainability has become ubiquitous in our culture. It’s a word that has taken on many meanings in all of our lives.  

The principles of sustainability can also be applied to fundraising. In this case, sustainability means the ability for growth to be maintained in the long-term without the need to continually re-start the effort put behind it. But curiously, considering the popularity of the word, it’s a principal that - for many reasons - few charities have put into practice.

As the sector emerges from one of its most financially devastating years ever, most charities have considerable shortfalls in income to make-up. But with fundraisers facing the double whammy of tight budgets and a shrinking audience (over a fifth of the UK population are now financially worse off), there’s unlikely to be a quick fix. The time to take a sustainable approach to fundraising is now. 

So, how is sustainable fundraising achieved? In my view it has four essential cornerstones. Each is substantial, none are new-news but all, to some degree, are often side-stepped because they can be challenging to tackle. But get them right and the path to sustainable fundraising growth opens up.

They are: 

Knowing your targets for the medium and long term.

One year planning is tactical, and it is the enemy of sustainability.  To quote the late Peter Drucker: “long-term results cannot be achieved by piling short-term results on short-term results”.

It may sound obvious but it’s essential to have a three or five year fundraising target in order for it to be achieved. The breakeven on business-as-usual (BAU) can be up to two years for new acquisition. For step change growth it can be even longer. If these are not being worked on in year one, then we cannot reasonably expect them to be achieved in year three.  In order to give them the best chance to succeed, growth targets and budgets should be separated out from BAU and given their own KPIs. 

Being audience centric

Charities have by and large led with their beliefs and picked up an audience of people who happen to share these in their wake. This approach often misses out on large segments of potential supporters who would considering giving to the charity if only the cause was framed in a way that was more relevant to their worldview. Consumer brands are innately customer-centric. They know exactly what their customers need from them and their marketing is a laser-sharp reflection of that.  In a tougher market, charities are increasingly competing with consumer brands, and so must learn from them. This means spending longer getting to know their audiences and then being much more consciously focused on being relevant to them.

Recognising the importance of brand

Brand is essential for achieving sustainable growth – not as a stand-alone end-in-itself, but as part of an integrated marketing strategy. Supporting a charity is not a moment in time or a transaction - it is a journey. Brand is what takes people on that journey. Brand creates belief in a cause and the desire to support it, and continue supporting it. It needs to be focused on hard targets. It needs to be audience-centric. For growth, it is essential to invest in brand confidently and consistently.  A single integrated long-term campaign run over a year or more is much better for long-term growth than a series of short-term ones. Long-term campaigns will deliver in the short term, but the reverse is not true.

Creativity

The fundraiser’s competitive advantage is creativity. Great creative connects people to causes at a personal, emotional and sometimes visceral level. When we support, we support from the heart not just from the head. It is creativity that touches the heart. The best creative ideas are sustainable in that they are enduring and build familiarity and trust. It is vital that they are invested in too.

Nowhere is great creativity more important than in the digital space where the sector is relying on step-change growth but where engagement is always only ever a thumb-swipe away from being lost. Creativity alone is what gives a cause its split-second chance for success.

To quote the great Bill Bernbach:
“An idea can turn to dust or magic, depending on the talent that rubs against it.”

Sustainable growth begins now

Human resources are scarce and BAU needs to keep running. That takes time, commitment and energy. Because of this, it can be hard to find the time to step back and tackle the bigger challenge of sustainable growth. But without doing so, it will remain elusive. Find the people and time to do so and your programme is guaranteed to find a new strength and momentum. 

At Arthur we’re lucky to be working with some incredible clients that are on the journey to sustainable fundraising growth, including the RSPCA and Centrepoint. If you’d like to chat with us about how we’re doing it, feel free to get in touch!    

ARTHUR London
Runway East
Aldgate East
The Hickman Building
2 Whitechapel Road
London E1 1EW
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