Frustrated With Fundraising Grants & Conversations That Don't Convert To Abundant & Quality Funding ?
Do you know how sometimes fundraisers face resistance when they ask for long-term unrestricted funding and that makes it hard to pay for staff salaries? Often this happens because non-profits are being undervalued.
All I do to change that, is help non-profit CEOs, founders and fundraisers explain the value of their work and set up different, more human ways, of connecting with funders so that they can confidently and predictably increase the amount of funding, the consistency of the funding and the quality of their donor relationships.
It focuses on these key steps:
"Fundraising is no longer stressful because I am no longer just throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks. Our fundraising activities were intertwined with networking, making it hard to gauge what was/wasn't effective and how we could move from the 'waves' to having a more steady stream of funding. I am now more targeted in my approach, I know what I want to achieve, what works and what doesn’t. I am no longer shooting in the dark. I know when I have done enough outreach and have started listening to funders and letting them ask the questions. Connecting with funders is a lot easier than one thinks!"
"I wanted to increase the grant income. The programme made me realise that we needed to partner with grant-makers to achieve our objectives and that we had it in our power to reset the rules. Our income has almost tripled in 18 months. The Confluencers showed us the power of demonstrating our impact, and gave us the freedom to do things our way. It also opened my eyes to the uncomfortable power dynamics between applicant/grantee and funder - and showed me that we could shift those by behaving differently. I've just come off a call with a large funder asking them what they are doing to improve board diversity in our sector. 18 months ago, I wouldn't have dreamed of doing that!"
"Working with Anna was a dream! She is the most thorough, passionate and committed consultant we have ever come across and she provides a priceless product.People are "getting" us now very quickly, We do a lot less explaining and a lot more building. We have tons of interest calls every week. Funders are interviewing us, local organizations want to partner with us and people are signing up for our programs on a daily basis. All and all we have so much more organic activity than we ever had, and it really has everything to do with the new messaging "
"It has been a phenomenal journey and we are sure we will work together again. Your contribution to making us think beyond what we were doing and have more clarity on some of the most basic questions is immense. It was both a growth oriented and an immensely enjoyable journey."
"Anna brings clear analytical thinking to problem solving, infectious enthusiasm, creativity and drive to see things through. Her intellect and winning smile, which is much more than skin deep, removes even the most stubborn inertia and produces excellent results. She has forged links with institutions and NGO’s and contributed to the development of events and programmes which have yielded significant improvement."
"Your help was incredible and this is just to say thank you for everything"
I get it. I've been frustrated with tens of funders I've spoken to who didn't appreciate the value and expertise non-profit's bring to the table. I also know what it's like to be anxious about funding. So much so that I have missed important family Christmas dinners worrying. But I decided that someone out there must have found better ways, so I rolled my sleeves up got training, reading and testing different approaches. The "Roadmap to Self-Reliance Programme" summarises all the approaches that have worked for me, and for the tens of non-profits I've worked with to get the long term funding and interest we deserve.
I 2010, when I first worked with a non-profit in Pabal, a small village in India, I was blown away by the resilience, knowledge and expertise of the charity leaders I met. 8 years later I was raising up to $5.5m for a single community project as a Civil Engineer in the UK. I was serving on the Board of Trustees of The Happold Foundation, when I found out that only 0.2% of international funding was going to national or local charities.
That changed everything for me.I quit my job, moved to India and founded The Confluencers. The name came from the idea of rivers meeting at a Confluence, converging to become stronger together.
That's how I see donor and grantees: as two separate communities that need to come together AS EQUALS so that they can be stronger than each of them individually to achieve even greater things.
I decided (after speaking to hundreds of non-profits) that a good place to start would be by serving charities first. So that's what I've been up to since.
In 2018 I put on hold my 10-year career in Civil Engineering to found The Confluencers with the mission of getting Non-Profits the recognition and agency they deserve.
Very soon after, I got my first Non-Profit clients (Pic below!)
Since then I've worked with tens of Non-Profit leaders to help them double and triple their funding, build strong trusting collaborations with funders and show up as the bold assertive experts in their fields that they are.
We've implemented ways for them to save time, fund new permanent staff roles, get recognised in awards and attract more respectful and interested funders to them. (Quality matters as well as quantity!)
I think it's high time we shift the balance of control between grant givers and grantees towards more equitable and long-term partnerships that focus on finding creative ways of reaching collective goals faster.
So far I've had the pleasure of working across the world - Europe, US, India, Africa, UAE - for Private and Public Sector clients, delivering social impact programmes from concept to completion.
I have a particular interest in climate risk, complex systems, rural livelihoods, inequality and flood security.
I am also a Mom and have been a Charity Board Member, a speaker, a moderator, a Member of the Global Alliance for Urban Crises and an industry mentor.
I also fundraise for causes I love and am a life long learner. A good two decades ago, I studied Civil Engineering at the University of Bristol and more recently Entrepreneurship at MIT.