Unbelievably, as I write this we are hurtling towards August 1st, which is exactly 1 year on from when our Head Coach, Tania, made our first call (a pledge of course!) at Purity Fundraising.
It hardly seems possible. In those first whirlwind 6 weeks, when we were rushing around securing investment, offices, IT kit, dialler partners, planning our first campaigns, writing contracts and ensuring we had the team on board! However, somehow, we did, and the rest, as they say is history, albeit very recent history and still very fresh in my mind!
We hit the ground running with 3 great clients and 1 year on, I am delighted to say we now have 11 clients on board and a healthy pipeline of prospective new business.
Whilst initially we were obviously focussing on attracting new clients and increasing turnover, we are now in the position where we can ensure we are dealing with charities who match our ethos and values, and choosing clients to work with where we can develop a true partnership.
This partnership approach has paid off, and as a result we are reaping the rewards with all our existing clients - they pass more and more work our way, word is spreading about our results and more charities are approaching us through word of mouth.
I have always said from day 1 that we really aren’t interested in being the biggest fundraising agency, just the best! Generally the question from that is ‘how big is too big?’. Well, for me I’ll know exactly when that moment will be, and that’s the moment when quality is compromised.
We set our stall out very clearly at the start - quality and excellence in every part of the business. I am proud to say we are fulfilling that aim. Our complaint rate is 0.004% and 80% of campaigns we’ve delivered have been on or above target.
We have also developed integrated digital fundraising avenues for acquisition campaigns which now account for 40% of our turnover - to date this has resulted in over 4000 new acquisition pledges. Our donor development calls continue to excel, with upgrade results as high as 63% for some campaigns. Cash to Committed, reactivation and consent calling all continue to smash targets and our attrition rates are, to quote a client, “as low as I have ever seen”. Allowing for attrition, at the time of writing this, we had raised over £3million for our clients and their beneficiaries since our first call.
Being determined to be excellent in every part of the business, I’m also proud of our compliance record and how we have set up our policies and procedures (the boring stuff I know!) to ensure we are compliant at every step of the way. At a recent DMA audit, the auditor seemed genuinely surprised by how we were, in his words “really well set up” (I believe in auditor language that’s high praise indeed!) and fully aware of GDPR, PECR and ICO regulations. For us, compliance is a top priority and we ensure we are on top of regulatory changes and updates.
Our training has always been good. However, we knew that as we grew as a business it was vital that it was more than just good. So this month we have rolled out a new 360 degree training, mentoring and coaching plan for all fundraisers. It clearly lays out the standards we expect in terms of performance and attitude, and what support we will give to help them achieve this throughout a fundraiser’s career . As part of this we have launched a new Purity Diploma which benchmarks all our fundraisers and also gives clarity to our clients with regards to the standards we are working at.
So, we are achieving great results, virtually non- existent complaints and are fully compliant which makes me so very proud of the team. However, what makes me prouder than anything else is how the whole team - from the newest fundraisers to the Directors - have bought into the Purity values and ethos, and the atmosphere we have created in the office.
I have, without a doubt, the most committed, passionate and enthusiastic team I could ever have imagined. They are, without exception, truly humbling to be around and every day make me so pleased that we took the step to make Purity happen.
Recently we had an email from a fundraiser who hasn’t been with us long. The email moved us beyond belief and encapsulates what we have somehow managed to achieve.
Something, if it’s not too corny to say, we dreamed of, but that has become a reality. This is just a small extract, “I want Purity to grow and do well because I believe it is a genuinely good company, it’s the only company I’ve worked for which feels like, and acts like, and is exactly what it proclaims to be. I admire how the business seems to be built on values which remain central and undiluted, rather than a mission statement for marketing purposes unrelated to the reality”.
That is what I am proud of more than any other part of what we have created at Purity. I believe that is why ultimately we are achieving such great results. We have a team who are truly passionate, believe in Purity and believe in the causes we are supporting with our work; they know they are valued and they know we are a team. And again, another of our core values - they know that everyone in that team has a voice. It is a wonderful voice and that voice collectively is achieving spectacular results for the charities we represent.
I’d like to think that every call we make, every interaction we have with charities and their supporters alike, is helping prove that this is a great sector, with great people, doing amazing things.
So, with our first year almost coming to a close, we are planning an anniversary party in the park next weekend and everyone of us will enjoy celebrating what we have, as a whole team, achieved. And together we will look forward to many more anniversaries to come.