Now is the time to get the foundations right and show your organisation is “investment ready”, according to the Managing Director of a business consultancy specialising in sport for development.
Luke Southall, MD of Oaks Consultancy, was speaking to ConnectSport ahead of the second webinar in the ‘Fundraising in Sport for Development’ series, which is being supported by Laureus Sport for Good, Beyond Sport, Streetfootballworld and the International Platform on Sport and Development (sportanddev.org).
In the webinar on Thursday 17th June (1pm BST), Luke will be joined by Mairead King, Director of the Arsenal Foundation; LaToya Fisher, Director of Peace Players International; Felix Spowage, Development Director at Skateistan; and Steve Fleming, co-founder at Kick4Life.
The webinars follow the publication of Oaks’ report into the state of fundraising in the sport for development sector in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Luke told ConnectSport: “The sector has, unsurprisingly, faced profound challenges over the past 18 months or so. The magnitude of the economic impact of the pandemic for sport for development organisations cannot be overstated.
“In producing our ‘Fundraising in Sport for Development: State of the Sector’ report, we heard some troubling and, at times, heartbreaking stories of the devastating effects of the pandemic on the sector.
“But we also heard stories that inspired us. Stories of the resilience, ingenuity, and collaborative spirit so synonymous with the sector. So we really wanted the webinar series to provide a platform to showcase those examples of people and organisations finding a way through all of this.
“We don’t want the series to dwell too much on the challenges – we’re all acutely aware of them – but instead look to practical and positive ways that we can overcome them. There is no silver bullet in any of this; however, having a forum through which we can share learnings, provide peer-to-peer advice, and ask questions of each other, we feel, is needed now more than ever.”
Following some of the findings from the research, Luke revealed some of ways that organisations can help to ensure sustainability as the sector seeks to recover from the pandemic.
“Hold your nerve and invest what you can in fundraising,” he said.
“One of the most significant findings of our research was that the organisations who performed best throughout the pandemic were those who continued to prioritise resources, time and energy into income generation. The post-pandemic world will put even more emphasis and importance on having a diverse and sustainable income mix.
“Secondly, sustainability is not simply about having an effective fundraising strategy. This is an opportune time for organisations to reflect and address what we call ‘investment readiness’. Governance, financial management, control systems, and monitoring and evaluation processes are all crucial factors in securing – and managing – funding from partners, be they charitable, corporate or public.
“Take the time to get the foundations right now and ensure you represent a low-risk and compelling proposition to all stakeholders.”