NSPCC’s Full Stop cam­paign — a fundrais­ing tri­umph. Appen­dix: tak­ing stock ahead of the appeal

This appen­dix cov­ers the peri­od after the prepa­ra­tions, as Giles and his team looked ahead to the launch of the Full Stop appeal.

Written by
Giles Pegram CBE
February 20, 2018

This section covers the period between the final preparations for the appeal and the launch itself. It sets out some key principles useful for anyone looking to launch a similarly ambitious campaign.

Taking stock

In any major appeal, there is a natural flow.

  • The case for support
  • The sources of funds
  • The strategy for reaching those sources
  • The structure for delivering that strategy
  • Asking for money
  • Recognition and consolidation 

I have deliberately not used that order, so as not to interrupt the narrative, but I do so now.    

The case for support  

  • The need. The scale of child cruelty in the UK
  • The solution to that need. The aspiration to end cruelty to children, and the detailed plan and budget I have written about.
  • Why the NSPCC is best placed to deliver that solution?  There was no sense the government would do it, therefore it would need to be a charity, and the NSPCC was the only charity dedicated to preventing cruelty to children in this country.
  • The cost. Although £250m started as an arbitrary figure, the plans were costed in detail so that the gap between the core income over ten years, and the expenditure required to deliver the plan over ten years, was £250m. This figure was tested, ruthlessly, by the steering group.   

The sources of funds 

I have listed them in section two

The strategy for reaching those sources  

  • The principle of volunteer leadership.
  • The role of staff in supporting volunteers, not doing the fundraising.
  • The culture change which that required.
  • The use of the contribution table.
  • The criteria for appointing committee and sub-committee members.
  • The two-stage process of starting with a steering group, leading to an appeal board.
  • Allowing sub-committees to evolve, using volunteers’ own networks, rather than following a strict structure.
  • The need to break down the target.
  • The need for a long planning process.
  • The importance of recognition.
  • The importance of consolidation.   

The structure to deliver that strategy  

  • We started with six roles sitting round the table: corporate, philanthropy, regions, sport, entertainment, the public appea
  • These grew: at the end of the appeal, 35 people were officially members of the national appeal board, and maybe 3,000 people served on committees, sub-committees, event committees etc.
  • Each of the original volunteers set out to provide leadership, direction and motivation for the Full Stop Appeal. The appeal board and its sub-groups were united in the commitment they held to achieving the vision. They represented the broad spectrum of society, and each took responsibility for raising money in specific areas, according to their own specialisms.
  • The national appeal board met, as did each sub-committee and committee. Each had taken on a target. They came together, and got to know each other, with each member engaging with the others. They questioned, challenged, identified prospects, laughed and gave each other help. A volunteer with a big event would ask for help finding a sponsor. A corporate would agree to find one. Each volunteer would leave the meeting feeling better than when they entered it.
  • There was an absolutely clear hierarchy. Each sub-committee was represented on another sub-committee, which was represented on the national appeal board, which reported to the trustees. Of course there were countless individual fundraisers, but no rogue ‘committees’ not part of the structure. Everything was ordered and linked, but not controlled. I have no idea what the final structure looked like but I knew there was a structure.
  • When we started with just six roles around the table, no-one had any idea of how the structure would evolve. Some wanted a greater degree of certainty, and we had to dissuade them. The volunteer structure had to be allowed to evolve by itself, not be forced
  • The committees were supported by staff. They worked within their existing departments but they had to be flexible. A volunteer-led event might need to be supported by staff from two or three departments. They would need to work as a team on that event, with one clear aim: to support the volunteer leading on the event.
  • Existing and new staff, worked within one structure, raising both core income and appeal income. So there was no competition between appeal staff and core staff
  • (There were just a few staff dedicated to the appeal. They would support the national appeal board, organise the engagement events and track the appeal progress.)   

How does the volunteer structure grow? It’s very simple: it follows a geometric progression, so the appeal grew organically. Starting with just the six roles above, each of those brought on more people who, in turn, brought on more. Some of these would join existing committees. Sometimes they would form a new committee. As any 0-level mathematician will know, once his process starts, it grows very quickly.       

At the end of part six, I attach a list of all those who were members of committees/sub-committees/event committees/regional committees. Some readers may be interested in the names. The point of including it is to show just how many people were part of the volunteer structure. From 6 to 3,000.        

Asking for money  

Although the external world is chaotic, it was necessary to endeavour to impose some kind of structure that would allow the appeal leadership to make contacts, particularly with previously unknown sources. The approaches to prospects needed to be integrated, not random. If two volunteers knew one prospect, we would bring them together so they could arrange a two-pronged approach. This was hard work.    

Recognition and consolidation

These are both covered in section five.

About the author: Giles Pegram CBE

Giles Pegram CBE

Giles Pegram CBE (he/him)

Drawing from an award-winning career in fundraising, Giles Pegram now shares insights as a consultant. You can find him at www.gilespegram.com

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