Why partnership beats subcontracting every time.

Over the past few years we have seen the Face to face fundraising agency market led by a handful of companies. There are fewer large face to face fundraising agencies today than there were in previous years. REAL is at the forefront of growing this sector, utilising their values of Respect, Ethics, Activism & Love REAL have helped forge a wave of ethically focussed and values based face to face fundraising agency startups. Termed REAL Partners, these agencies are bucking the trend of sub contractors in the face to face sector by being ethically minded, paying the living wage to their fundraisers, not using zero hours or temp contracts and most importantly holding true to their founders values and ethical vision. REAL Partner startups also ensure that people who are extremely experienced and seek career progression within the sector can receive that career satisfaction and be retained by the sector.

Subcontracting normally involves a hierarchical relationship with instructions that are designed to meet an objective but often they are stymied by a lack of know how or desire to reach that outcome. Partnership is about mutuality. A relationship built upon shared values and an aligned desire to reach an outcome. It’s about sharing knowledge and helping both parties develop and grow.
REAL has found that increased empowerment creates greater accountability which in turn leads to better fundraising. REAL Partnership, we believe is highly advisable for delivering campaigns that are of high quality with an ambassadorial approach.

What does REAL Partnership look like?

  1. REAL support the founding of the business and provide mentorship on the legal framework to ensure the business foundations, processes and practices are rock solid from the beginning.
  2. Due diligence by REAL ensures the startup founders know what they are committing to, the best business practices and exceptionally high standards they need to commit to work on behalf of REAL’s clients.
  3. REAL provide all the training to every fundraiser, Always. Our strength comes in our knowledge and compliance certifications, in fact REAL was the first and is still the ONLY agency certified by the Chartered Institute of Fundraising for Door, Street & private site work*. We share this knowledge openly because it raises standards across the sector & within the REAL network of partner companies.
  4. REAL partnership gives every Partner Director a direct line of communication to the 4 Directors (with over 60 years of fundraising experience) and the SMT of the REAL Family of companies. Startups often don’t have vast experience in Admin processes, HR, Payroll, award winning culture building and guidance, plus much more. This model ensures everyone’s success from the beginning. One of the best examples of this in action is that during the COVID19 pandemic REAL ensured that after lockdown 1 every employee of every REAL Partner was paid through PAYE (rather then as a company director in some instances). This meant that in Lockdown 2.0 and onwards every REAL Partner employee was eligable for the furlough payments from the Job Retention Scheme. Furthermore, during every lockdown REAL Fundraising has been able to offer paid work for those ineligable for the scheme through REAL Calling.
  5. Our In depth auditing process in partnership with Green Light Sites ensures that for every 100 donors a REAL Partner recruits on behalf of our values clients the REAL Partner gets access to the insight from a half day compliance audit, measuring everything from code of practice adherence, COVID protocols, work rate, business ethics (on site recycling use of single plastics) and much more.
  6. REAL shares everything, including clients. By openly sharing best practice, advice and mentorship including access to our current clients we are truly in partnership together. REAL and our partner companies share success together, pursue sustainable and organic growth together and by trusting REAL Partners with our most important clients we build a trusting and long term partnership.
  7. Reporting that is second to none. With a dedicated Partner Manager in the client services team Partners receive insightful, timely & detailed reports about every metric available. Allowing constant refinement, optimisation & resetting of targets for both the Partner company & individuals within the company, maximising donor retention, client ROI, Partner success & REAL’s success.

We are really proud at REAL of our strategy that we have refined over more than a decade to deliver the lowest possible attrition & best ROI in the sector for our clients. We are even prouder of the fact that we have been able to replicate this learning & put a model in place that immediately up-skills new partners to deliver equally good attrition. REAL Fundraising offer guidance, business support and mentorship like no other Fundraising agency, this truly is a partnership. — Lewis Honney, Managing Director, Operations, REAL Fundraising

If you’re a charity and are looking at how REAL can help you grow your regular giving donor base through our unique partnering model or are a fundraiser/fundraising company looking to work as a REAL Partner you can book a meeting with Liam McEntegart here.

*Originally certified in 2018 and recertified every year since Certification in 2020. Details can be found here.

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