Category Archives: project teams

4 Tips For Aspiring Fundraisers – guest blog

So you have this idea that you are passionate about, and you want to share that idea with the rest of the world.  You have all these ideas about how this idea that you are passionate about can change the world and make it a better place, but you have one small problem, and that is that you do not have any money.  Raising funds to get an idea of yours off the ground is doable, but before you go out and start your fundraising project, there are certainly some things that you need to take into consideration, and here are a few of them:

Are You Up For The Task?

Fundraising, while exciting, is a very time-consuming and tedious process, to say the least.  You will also be spending lots and lots of time and even money without seeing any money in return.  In fact, your fundraiser could be a complete flop, and all your efforts could go down the drain.  I don’t want to sound like a pessimist, but it’s important to know what you are getting yourself into.

Establish a Solid Leadership Team

Once you decide that you are willing to take the risk and invest the time and energy, you need to put together a strong, mature leadership team.  This may be one of the most vital steps in the fundraising process.  You need a team who is experienced, but more importantly a team that shares your same passion and vision.  Afterall, that is the only way you are going to find free labor.

Develop Very Specific Goals

You need goals and you need to make sure that they are clear for everyone to understand.  Developing mile markers and short term goals to achieve will help give you team a sense of accomplishment in the short-term and will help to keep morale high.  Your long term goals need to be especially clear to those that you are seeking get money from.  Anyone donating to a fundraiser is going to want to know exactly how and when their contributions are going to be applied.

Know Your Audience

Your fundraiser, no matter how properly planned, will go nowhere if it does not attract the interest of anyone with money to give.  So you need to know where to find these people.  Well, do some brainstorming.  If you are raising money to cure cancer, then ask yourself, “What are cancer survivors involved in?  Social clubs, health organizations, other fundraising venues, etc.  can be great ways to get the word out about your fundraiser.  Even organization like the Chamber of Commerce can be resources as well.

Brandon Jones enjoys writing about school fundraising companies.

Impressing the boss is one thing – carving a name for yourself is another

I am not one for lateness; in fact I have an in-built program which won’t allow it. I can count on one hand the times I have been late for work – those times were completely unavoidable. But being late isn’t the only bug bearer in a successful team – there are those who consistently turn up “just in time” who are also noticed in a professional environment. I have always liked to get into the office a little early as it gives me time for reflection and also the opportunity to pick up any problems which may have manifested overnight. In turn it allows me the opportunity to get ahead with my workload allocating time for any further issues which may arise without having a huge impact on my daily schedule.

I am not an advocate for those who turn up to the office at 7am and leave at 7pm either – this if anything worries me that the individual cannot fit their work load into core office hours which means they have either got too much on their plate or they are bad time managers. Getting the balance right is key, we’ve all had to start really early or finish late on occasions and that is the nature of working in a project environment. Arriving half an hour before the office opens is good practice and allows a little quiet time before the phones start ringing off the hook.

Going the extra mile is also a good way to get noticed; this does not mean volunteering for everything available and will result in the 7-7 shift; but taking on additional pieces of work will not only highlight you as a team player – it will assist you in building up your skill-set. I have often advised those both working in a project environment and those looking to get into the PM field to take this approach as it is a fantastic was to really get involved in core areas which are of interest to you and prove your ability to pick up areas of work new to you. For those who are not currently in the PM world and want to join it, it is imperative that you gain valuable experience working on projects. You can add the detail to your CV and really demonstrate your commitment to potential employers about taking a dedicated project position moving forward. For those who are seasoned in the PM field it is a prime opportunity to work on projects which you haven’t had exposure to before which will widen your knowledge field and potential for getting into differing projects later down the line.

There are others ways to increase your skill-set and get noticed for the right reasons at work – such as volunteering yourself up to head up presentations, some may be based on something new you have learnt or to generate a discussion about ideas you may have for the business. Not all management teams are open to new ideas – which is a shame and can be catastrophic for the business but you should persevere all the same. Your ideas may be shelved at the time but brought out when needs arise in the future. However most good managers will take your ideas on board and look at how they can be utilised with the core business goals. You could be the instigator for some fantastic strategies in the business – nice to add to your CV huh!

The best way to really impress your management team and the business is to think out of the box and don’t be afraid to challenge – the best businesses actively welcome being challenged and it proves a great way to really build strong strategies and initiatives that work for the business and for your career.

Village games celebrating success

I was fortunate enough to be invited along to a community project celebrating the opening of the Olympics on Friday 27th July at Carsington Water in Derbyshire by one of their project managers Emma Beswick; Emma alongside her colleague Katy Stubbs organised the event aimed at reaching out to the local community with taster sessions in a variety of sports. Over 600 people registered but it is thought that over 1000 people attended the event and were treated to all sorts of sporting activities which were open to young and old to join in; such as archery, fun run, golf, football and cycling to name a few being provided by local businesses.

On discussing the project with Emma Beswick, Sports Development Officer for the High Peak – she explained that planning the event was fairly complex and the real challenge was to ensure numbers attending on the day were at a high level and health and safety was adhered to stringently. The Village Games team have sports officers in each borough who are responsible for bringing sport to the forefront in their geographical locations (60 villages) – aimed at getting locals involved in fitness based activities. Funded by a number of organisations the initiative runs until 2013 – due to its continued success the team are hoping to secure future funding to keep running beyond 2013.

Arts and crafts at the event

On arriving at the make shift arena I was pleasantly surprised by the professionalism of the organisers and event; with each taster area clearly marked out and queues of enthusiastic contenders awaiting their turn. The event really did cater for all tastes and included face painting and arts and craft areas to add further fun to the occasion. There were bouncy castles and sumo suits for the children to go into competition in the ring which was great fun both for those competing and those watching. Medals were awarded for many events and it was quite clear that the majority of those in attendance had set aside the day to sit in the sun and join in the activities.

Community projects such as these are a fantastic initiative and really bring home the need for future events and further funding – encouraging families to spend quality time together and encouraging sports; making sports fun and accessible to all. Clearly the project managers for such events have a good knowledge in sports but also a strong awareness of structured project delivery – realising benefits from the outset and complex planning being key to their success. 7

Emma Beswick receiving a medal for fun – but very much deserved!

Further photos of the day can be found here.

For further information on Village games you can visit their website here and feel free to contact Emma Beswick on 07909 443 043 for advice on executing such projects. You can also follow Emma and her community project work on twitter: @villagegames_hp

Let the games begin

Marking the start of the Olympics – I felt it only right to mention some of the fantastic projects I have had the luxury of being involved in over the years running up to this fantastic event. When I say involved, I mean placing delivery managers in the projects teams for a number of initiatives such as broadcasting the events and infrastructure for the Olympic village. The build up over the years has seen a huge volume of multi-disciplined project management professionals take the helm of complex programmes of work and with great interest I have followed the build up. Project teams have been against the clock and proven that, yet again our ability to deliver is a strength and not something to be taken lightly. Hopefully gaining a great wealth of knowledge along the way and placing them in a fantastic position moving forward to their next assignment.

Despite the negative press for all the areas we have or are expected to fall short of in this huge historic event, we also have a great deal to be proud of and I am particularly looking forward to attending an event – in fact since the tickets arrived I’ve been checking and double checking the dates. UK media does tend to focus on all the negatives when we should be celebrating our successes – the Olympic village looks brilliant and for once, our athletes having a fighting chance of great success through the good old British weather.

Good luck team GB!!