Have been offered some freelance fundraising work - no idea how to handle or what to charge!

(18 Posts)
jamtastic Tue 23-Oct-07 12:47:17


I work part-time, and have been offered a small amount of freelance work by an external contact (out with my paid employment). I need to check my contract first about doing extra work, but what's bothering me more is what on earth to charge? The project is small, one-off and I would tackle around 6 or 7 funding applications, including possibly to the Lottery.

I have childcare issues to think about and want to protect myself from getting involved in something that could take up more time than initially agreed. I guess I would have to draw up some kind of written contract basing my fee on an estimated outlay of time, with a contingency for extra hours?

I honestly have no idea how to tackle this and in fact the whole fee side of the proposal is making me feel so nervous - enough to make me want to decline which would be ridiculous and such a waste of an opportunity to earn some extra money.

Has anyone any similar experiences they can share? Is there a formula that 'consultants' use to work out fees? I am so clueless at all this, and feel really out of my comfort zone. I'm not even a consultant for gods sake, just someone who could help a local project raise funds if I had the guts to say yes and to be confident about setting a fee!

Thanks so much in advance.

RubyShivers Tue 23-Oct-07 20:25:26

i have used, and am currenly using a fundraisng consultant

I have always paid a flat fee, usually for an set number of hours per week or month and have an opt out clause within the contract that if either party is disatisfied then a months notice needs to be given

FWIW £200 per day can be average in London and this can rise sharply

you need to figure out how much your childcare costs, how much your time costs etc

Some bids are sooooo complicated and take hours and hours whereas others can be done very quickly so it will depend on the work done. A lottery bid is likely to be a PITA

Also, have they got things like annual accounts ready, information for the bids or wll you have to spend time getting stuff together?

jamtastic Tue 23-Oct-07 22:05:42

They say they have a case drawn up, but in my experience that can be woefully inadequate if it doesn't address the issues particular funders are looking for, and of course there may not be a financial/business plan prepared which some funders will also look for. I will need to clarify this, as you're right - that could add days and days of work and chasing. It's the chasing for information that could really hold me back.

Do you think I should meet them first and review what they have before setting a fee? Would you be happy if that were suggested to you?

PeachesMcLean Tue 23-Oct-07 22:23:47

Reading this briefly, yes, you'd be wise to talk to them about where they're up to before setting a fee. And if you're offering that time free of charge, they'd be mad to turn it down. Apart from anything, are you sure you won't want to walk away from it? They may have a few basics but do they have enough information / enough of a business plan to enable you to do your work? It may be that your consultancy is "right, you've got this, you need this, I'll go away and you work it out then I'll come back".

That might do you out of money and I know some fundraising consultants who would sit and smile nicely whilst you work it out and they take their fee.

Fee also depends on how much you want the job. Do you think it will be good experience / the direction you want to go in? Personally I think the childcare costs aren't their concern, you just need to be charging what the market will bear. Personally if I was starting from scratch working out a fee, I'd look at what I'd reasonably expect to earn (ie my current salary), and look in the Guardian jobs website to work out comparable jobs with what you'd be doing. Then work out your daily rate.

Very exciting though, I'd have loved to take up some consultancy work when I was part time, but ended up deciding there was a reason I was part time, and didn't want to fill the time with more work. Consultants are only fundraisers with more blag, remember.

RubyShivers Wed 24-Oct-07 08:51:38

agree with Peaches - set up a meeting first and review the bids they want you to submit and the supporting information they currently have available

then, after this meeting set a plan and timetable taking into accoung what needs to be done and submit a quote on that basis

i think you should go for it - bid writing is a PITA to most organisations (although i love it blush)

jamtastic Thu 25-Oct-07 16:50:58

Thank you for your advice. I have decided to be assertive and meet them to get a better picture of what they have in store for me. And then more than likely, I'll say yes.

Peaches - like you I am torn, because I work part-time for a reason, and don't want to start filling in my days off with freelance work. I think that's what I really meant about 'Childcare Issues'. ie. not the cost of childcare, but do I really want to be away from the children more than usual, even if it is just for a few weeks.

And Ruby, like you, I love grant writing. It can be a hugely anti-social job, but great for a mum, because the hours are so flexible, it's very 'switch off-able'. I like being part of a team, but being entirely self sufficient and apart from meeting deadlines, no-one really needs me at any given time, so it's just me and my pc tap tapping away. So I'm always happy to do other people's donkey work and get paid for it!

Thanks again for your input.

RubyShivers Fri 26-Oct-07 15:42:39

good luck with everything - i hope it all goes well for you smile

cbcb Mon 29-Oct-07 12:19:19

Hi all,

Wow, i'm amazed at the amount of freelance fundraisers on here!

I work freelance 3 days per week doing funding bids. My cost per day ranges from £150-£200, but I am outside London/SE.

I have a long term contract which I fulfil 1.5 days per week for, that's £150 per day but I quoted a low rate as I wanted the stability of ongoing work from them for 8 months.

I do shorter term contracts alongside this for the other 1.5 days I have allocated for work, I charge £175-£200 for this.

I'm gradually creeping my charges up, my friends who have big consultancies keep saying I'm mad to charge so little. However, I tend to work with smaller organisations who are paying their staff a third of what I charge and simply cannot afford to pay more. I'd rather be busy and choose interesting projects and still earn at least twice what I'd earn as a full-time paid fundraiser - without the management/internal politics hassles..

Lottery I'd probably charge more and be more concerned about getting the info/costings needed. It's hard enough with trust applications to get detail and Lottery as you know requires so much more info/chasing people internally to track down no of service users doing this or that...

I'd really recommend pursuing it though. I can be completely flexible with my work as long as I let my clients know in advance and I've had no gaps in clients since I started as there seems to be so much demand. I also work predomintly from home, probably being on site with a client once every fortnight.

Good luck with it all!

cbcb Mon 29-Oct-07 12:20:57

ps yes I would definitely meet with them. I meet, without committment with all clients, to discuss what they need and what I can offer. We generally then agree a set number of days, based on how long I think the work will take to do. Any extra days can then be negoitated after we have both seen how things are going.


jamtastic Mon 29-Oct-07 13:30:52

Thanks for your post cbcb. It has really got me thinking about long term possibilities. My 'proper' job is great, I am well paid and have fantastic terms and conditions, but it has its frustrations and it also involves a 40min commute each way. The thought of potentially higher earnings and working from home is very attractive.

How did you start out. Did you have a salaried job that you phased out? Are you now self employed. Is that complicated from a set-up point of view, what about your pension and sick leave - are you just making allowances for all that? Can you actually get down to 7 hours work at home, or is it just too tempting to sort the washing and get tea ready .... ????!!!

Sorry - personal questions, but you've touched a nerve with me and got me thinking!


cbcb Mon 29-Oct-07 15:31:45


Freelance work kinda found me! I shared your anxiety at becoming a consultant, as you said I was just "me, doing some bids"!

I worked as a full-time paid up fundraiser for several years in a couple of big charities. Went travelling, came back and took an interim manager role. Never looked back from doing the interim work, fulfilling another 4 contracts over a few years. Got pregnant, took 18 months off to be fulltime SAHM.

Then my old boss went freelance and had an overflow of work. I did a few days for her, trust research and some ghostwriting - from her brief after meeting the client. She encouraged me to set up freelance and I followed up some ads on special interest groups etc and got my long term contract. Then got other work from contacts in charities who needed an extra bid doing, cover for sick leave etc.

If you're London based you will be sorted. Outside London took slightly longer to set up as I didn't want to spend my whole week travelling - so took work where I could go in for one long day to information gather/meet key people and then work from home- visiting now and then but mainly relying on phone and e-mail.

Pension-wise we are screwed at the moment as we are both self-employed and have two toddlers, DH works part time too so we are just not thinking 'bout that at the moment!

But I love it overall, I hated the politics of charities. And I find it a lot easier to get info/answers as a consultant...when the CEO knows they're paying you a big chunk of money each month they seem to be more incentivised than when you've been sitting at your desk for years..

And I get to have a leisurely breakfast with my kids and do bath time every night when I'm working. Re concentrating, I tell my clients what I'll be doing that day, which makes me do it. THe hardest thing is when I'm planning to do something over a few weeks, it is hard not to do the washing! I think you know yourself what you're like - my degree had very little tutor contact and was mainly getting down to doing the work yourself so that helps.

I also make sure I get out at lunchtime, which focusses me as I have something to look forward to...

Anyway will stop rambling before I lose my client I'm working for today! One final point, "feeling" like a consultant does grow. The more work you do, the more the same things come up, the more confident you feel at predicting things and making recommendations.It's a bit like err driving, the more you experience say driving at night, the happier you are doing it..

Hope that helps!


Kerrieashton Thu 07-May-15 08:13:27

Reference freelance fundraising. I am looking to become a freelance fundraiser. How do I go about it, would you recommend approaching local charities and NFP personally with a proposal and going from there or is that too intrusive.
What type of fees do people charge as a grant writer for example, do you charge a different fee based on which finder it is such as the Big Lottery?

Is it better to charge a percentage commission or pay per day.

Any help greatly appreciated.


Eversobusyeveryday Sun 10-May-15 16:59:10

I work with freelance fundraisers. For projects I pay by day or by hour. Current going rate for good fundraisers is currently £50 per hour or £350 per day. I have some who charge over £400 per day but can't find any are good who will work for less than £300 per day. By good I mean those who really know how to do big applications such as CIN Reaching Communities, Big Lottery, Esme Fairburn etc.

ayshaysh Thu 28-Jul-16 12:29:19

I run a small charity and am looking for a fundraiser - please get in touch,

411christina Mon 01-Aug-16 13:41:56

Hi there, if anyone is still looking for remote fundraising support (I'm London based) please feel free to contact me. I specialise in small organisations and have extensive success with Lottery, Children in Need, Department for Education etc. Best wishes, Christina

jclm Thu 04-Aug-16 20:27:39


LadyEngland Tue 30-Aug-16 12:53:42

Hello. Just came across this thread.

I'm in the process of setting up a CIC providing support to small health and social care charities particularly around governance and Trusts & Foundations fundraising. I'm an experienced charity CEO and Trustee. If I can help do get in touch.

katynet1 Wed 28-Dec-16 15:29:13

Hi, I am a Fundraising Consultant and currently working with SME charities, If anyone would like to get in touch my email address is: kenettleton@gmail.com and I may be able to offer some advice. I personally don't charge as high as the ones quoted and have a good success rate.

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