Having recently completed my first freelance fundraising project, I decided to go back and compare the success rates for the various methods used.
I divided the applications into three categories:
- Blind Proposal – I could only find address details for the trust, so I sent a one page proposal.
- Tailored Proposal – The trust had a website with guidance notes on sending a proposal.
- Application Form – The trust had an application form (postal or online).
I counted the numbers of applications, acknowledgements and successes.
At trusts training courses I’ve attended, I’ve usually been told to expect a 10% (one in ten) success rate. I had a 6.25% rate for the project, which is below the expected.
The main problem is the blind applications. They produced no successes, and only 20% were even acknowledged. If you remove the blind applications from the statistics, we get an 90% rate of acknowledgement, and a 10% success rate.
So, the figures would suggest not bothering with blind applications. Having a set of guidance notes for a proposal or an application form makes it easier to match criteria for a trust. You’ll also save a lot on postage and printing, which is important for freelancers.