Why I raise money for St Andrew’s Children’s Society

Boy on swingWho would be a fundraiser? Who would raise money for a charity? You spend hours researching potential funders, writing a funding proposal worthy of a Booker prize, and then you wait, and wait, and wait. A few weeks later comes a response, “many thanks…wonderful cause… would love to support you…but on this occasion!!!”   

Most funding applications are turned down

That happens a lot in our line of work. There are far more rejections than those wonderful letters enclosing a cheque, but when they come – ring the bell – celebrate. It’s all worthwhile. 

Fortunately, I am fairly thick skinned these days, so don’t let the rejections upset me. The letters are filed away, a “no” is inserted in the spreadsheet. Then I look at all the “yeses” and the amounts, and I know I’m doing something right. It’s the amount raised at the end of the year that really counts and I am happy to say there hasn’t yet been a bad year. A lot of new work has been undertaken, unexpected costs covered, especially within our Adoption Support work. 

No fee funding for Adoption Support Adoption support event

We receive no fee funding for Adoption Support. A small percentage of adoption placement fees are allocated and sometimes a local authority will pay us for support work we have carried out, but the remaining shortfall is what I fundraise for. 

It’s a privilege to be part of St Andrew’s Children’s Society

Do I enjoy what I do? Absolutely! It is a huge privilege to be part of the team that is St Andrew’s Children’s Society. Over the years, I have become so familiar with the work that our social workers do in supporting would be adopters and foster carers through the initial processes. The work that is entailed in preparing those folk for their Adoption or Fostering Panel, and then the final task of placing a child with their new parents or carers. Then there is the support in place to help ensure that that placement is a success

The team could not work as effectively as it does without our admin staff and the senior managers led by Stephen Small. And then there is our Marketing guru, Tara. It was a wonderful day when she came along and relieved me of the marketing task. For about 10 years, I had compiled the newsletters, the annual reviews and lots of other things that marketing people do – I think I had run out of ideas!! 

Our wonderful funders

Anyway, back to fundraising. In addition to the satisfaction of receiving the cheques, is developing the relationship with many of the funders that have supported us over the years. The size of the donation doesn’t matter, every donor gets a letter or email saying thank you. At the moment I am going through the 500 individuals who donated during our Centenary Year and since January of this year. Everyone is receiving a Thank You from all of us at St Andrew’s Children’s Society. If I missed you out, sorry! and Thank You.

Getting to know our donors is helped by being a member of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising and having the opportunity to attend numerous Meet the Funder events in Scotland, where major funders such as The Robertson Trust and The R S Macdonald Charitable Trust come to speak about their funding priorities. These are also excellent networking events – fundraisers tend not to be secretive about their sources! 

Last, but very definitely not least! Dan and Karen fundraisers St Andrew's Children's Society

Oh no!! I forgot to mention Karen, my wife and partner in fundraising. We work for a small number of charities, although my main focus is on St Andrew’s Children’s Society. We love what we do and share the satisfaction of knowing that the fruits of our labours allow so much good work to be done  – and we get paid for doing it!


Want to find out more about fundraising and how to raise money for St Andrew’s Children’s Society? Please call Dan Docwra on 0131 467 4239 or email ddocwra@standrews-children.org.uk.


Dan Docwra