What Donors Want — per­haps the most cru­cial pod­cast you’ll hear this month. Episode three.

Episode three of the acclaimed fundrais­ing pod­cast from I.G Advisors.

Written by
Rachel Stephenson Sheff
September 20, 2018

This article was originally written by Rachel Stephenson Sheff and appeared on UK Fundraising on 7 December 2017. You can read it there by clicking here.

The article is part of SOFII’s major donors showcase, in partnership with I.G. Advisors. There's loads more to discover here.

Fundraisers – get your red noses out! What Donors Want is back with a third episode featuring Adam Askew from .

For those who haven’t listened yet, What Donors Want is a  by I.G. Advisors, which offers a fresh, dynamic (and slightly irreverent) view into major gifts fundraising from the donor’s perspective. Each episode we interview a different kind of major donor and get right down to it: what do they actually want from the fundraisers who cultivate them. All of this and more – straight from the donor’s mouth.

Our previous episodes featured the Hewlett Foundation and Kiawah Trust, and now our third episode features Adam Askew, head of funding partnerships at the red-nosed charity that really needs no introduction. Comic Relief is a household name in the UK and a growing presence in the US. And chances are if you’re a UK fundraiser, you’ve asked them for money, or even spoken directly to Adam, at one point or another.

Standing out from the written process

As a grant-making organisation that raises its funds from the general public, Comic Relief has a rigorous, criteria-based, multi-step assessment process for all applicants. And it can be tricky to tackle, as interaction with a programme officer only comes after the first round of written proposals. So how can a fundraiser stand out from the written process and make it onto the shortlist in this context?

Behind the scenes at Comic Relief

We discuss this with Adam – along with what makes his job easiest, hardest, and the most common reasons Comic Relief doesn’t renew long-term commitments (after six years there, he has truly seen it all). You’ll also get a sense for their internal decision-making processes, including what you can do as a fundraiser to facilitate these, among much more.

As a funder, Comic Relief has struck a brilliant balance of rigorous criteria assessment, combined with intuition and cause-area expertise. And while their grant application process is nothing short of robust, Adam shares several invaluable insights on how to get your proposal to the top of their pile.

You can listen to Rachel, Emily Collins-Ellis and Adam in conversation below.

About the author: Rachel Stephenson Sheff

Rachel Stephenson Sheff works at I.G. Advisors, a London-based strategy and management consultancy in the social impact space. She is the producer of What Donors Want (aka I.G.’s Roz from Frasier).

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