More than asking: exploring the emotional and social skill involved in fundraising

4 February 2020: 12.00 pm - 3.30 pm
JHub, 152 West End Lane, West Hampstead, London, NW6 1SD

“We all need to raise that little bit of extra money and more often than not we think that if we could just get better at asking the right people, in the right way, we will. However, my research suggests that it’s a little more complex than that.”

We are delighted to welcome Dr Lesley Alborough, a Research Fellow in the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent. Lesley specialises in the role of fundraisers and fundraising. She spends a great deal of time talking to fundraisers, their non-fundraising colleagues and donors to understand what it is fundraisers actually do.

Lesley’s research has found that successful fundraising not only meets the financial needs of the non-profit organisation, but also involves the active participation of beneficiaries, organisational staff, volunteers and donors alike. This requires a great deal of social and emotional skill from those who carry out the fundraising for their organisations as they seek to achieve and maintain the delicate balance between all these stakeholders.

In this presentation and workshop, Lesley will talk about what this emotional and social skill set is and think about how we can better plan for and enable those who do fundraising to develop the skills needed to manage this complex process more effectively.

Lesley will present her research over lunch, with an informal discussion. This will be followed by an evidence-gathering workshop which is your opportunity to contribute to Lesley’s academic research.

The workshop will explore participants’ thoughts and frustrations, training and support needs and the ways in which the research and training Lesley is developing at the Centre for Philanthropy could best meet those needs. Your contributions will directly inform Lesley’s work including the development of a free online MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), a Higher Degree Apprenticeship that addresses charities’ needs and research into how smaller organisations balance fundraising and running their organisations.

The presentation and workshop are aimed at anyone working for a pears partner organisation with an interest in fundraising. We are particularly keen to include people who work for small organisations or whose main job description is wider than fundraising alone but who still need to fundraise, however those of you in dedicated fundraising positions are welcome too as are staff who work closely with, or rely on, fundraisers.

We would love to have as many people as possible stay for both sessions. If you can only make the lunch and learn that is fine, just let us know.

We also have WiFi and desk space at JHub so please let us know if you would like to stay on to work after the workshop has finished.

To book a place please email

Please let us know if you have any dietary or accessibility requirements, unfortunately we cannot offer parking at JHub.