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2nd - 4th July 2018
The Barbican

A challenge and experience I’d encourage anyone to take on

: Deirdre Curley

Deirdre Curley, Fundraising Manager at the British Heart Foundation Scotland and Northern Ireland, explains why you should take the plunge and perfect your corporate fundraising pitch at this year’s Fundraising Convention.

I was nominated to take part in Pitch Perfect by fellow colleagues at BHF and have to admit that although it was a rather daunting experience being a community fundraiser and up against mostly corporate partnership managers, it was an experience I would encourage anyone up for the challenge to take on.

Stepping in the shoes of another charity made me really focus on the main points I wanted to get across, their values, the partnership idea, and how it could transform lives and be both beneficial for the charity and the partner. The time frame of a (very strict) 10 minutes meant every word had to mean something and the story had to be told in a short space of time. I found pitching inform of the commercial panel really exciting.

My colleague Dan and I were very lucky that we got great feedback, our partnership between Carer’s Trust and Air B&B seemed to strike a chord with the panel and our short video went down well. Although it is always great to get constructive feedback it was really great to not have too much of that which in turn has given me more confidence in going into pitches and understanding what companies want to hear.

I really got the opportunity here to hone in on my research and presentation skills and I really enjoyed the challenge of pitching on behalf of a different charity! It was also great to see what they came up with for British Heart Foundation and see how they take our messages and values and use this to try and secure partnerships, they picked Match.com and really honed in on the ‘heart’ thing which was both entertaining and made a good partnership with all it’s obvious link ups.

If you are in two minds about applying for Pitch Perfect at Fundraising Convention 2017, I’d say:

  • Do it! You’ll learn an awful lot from it
  • It will fill you with more confidence to take back to your charity and into pitch
  • Be creative, the audience vote so they will love some added humour / content
  • Don’t get stuck on all the things the charity does, focus more on what the partnership could offer the charity and in turn what you can offer them


Deirdre Curley, Fundraising Manager at the British Heart Foundation Scotland and Northern Ireland

Deirdre took part in Perfect Pitch 2016 - are you looking to take on the challenge this year? Apply now for Tuesday 3rd July or Wednesday 4th July, by emailing the team!


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IoF Members get the best rates at Convention. Why become a member? Through belonging to the Institute, members show the greatest level of commitment to the profession and to the highest standards of fundraising.

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