Who am I?
I’m Leah, the face behind Civitas Consultancy. I have over 7 years combined experience in Community Fundraising and Event Management in the third sector. Throughout my career I have worked with not-for-profit organisations, supporting with corporate and training events. This quickly lead on to my introduction to the charity sector. I have worked with small/medium sized charities, both on a local and national basis, working to create Community Fundraising programmes to increase income and public presence. It’s my passion for doing so that has shaped Civitas Consultancy.
How it all began
2020 was looking positive, I had great new initiatives set up with the charity I was working at, which included touring the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Torch around schools in my local area. But we all know what happened nextâ€¦
Being a Community Fundraiser who was used to being at my desk 60% of the time, usually out and about at schools, community groups or welcoming new supporters to the charityâ€™s premises, the transition to working from home amidst a national lockdown was a total blow.
Practically every income opportunity I was working with shut down overnight, community groups were no longer able to meet up, events were cancelled, pubs were closed, schools were eventually closed. You get the point.
But, like many fundraisers, I learnt to adapt, and was coming up with ideas to continue to fundraise to get us through this period (we all thought it was an initial 3 weeks at the beginning, and it would all blow over, oh how wrong we were). It was evident that not being a Covid delivery charity, Community Fundraising for this charity was going to be difficult. So, expectedly, I joined many other fundraisers on the furlough scheme.
The novelty of not working quickly wore off and I found myself in need of something to do, how could I use my skills and knowledge to continue to support those that need it? â€œThere must be other fundraisers out there who are struggling to come up with ideasâ€.
I joined many Facebook groups, one of which was the Furloughed Fundraisers Chat group, which sadly (but also positively) now has 2.2k members. This was an opportunity to meet other fundraisers in the same situation, join webinars, upskill with free training opportunities, and offer support as a volunteer for other charities. I have met many amazing fundraisers in this group and continue to stay in touch with them.
An idea was then buzzing around my head, â€œwhat about Consultancy?â€. To understand whether my Community Fundraising & Events Consultancy idea was needed in the industry I set up the Community Fundraising Support Group to begin to support fundraisers, I was posting tips, ideas, fundraising opportunities, news articles and encouraged people to share ideas on what had worked well for their charity with a weekly free Zoom. The group quickly grew and now has over 700 members and continues to provide a knowledge base for other Community Fundraisers in the industry.
The bubbling idea of launching as a Consultant happened at the beginning of September, and Civitas Consultancy was born. Civitas is Latin for Community. My logo is a peacock feather, why? One of the characteristics of a peacock is to inspire others, and I love peacocks, so it had to make an appearance somewhere!
I offer support with Community Fundraising services, including interim support, strategy reviews and Gap Analysis etc, Event Management, Mentoring & Coaching, and other personal development services for individuals.
As we continue to work in an ever-changing environment, our usual way of fundraising, hosting events, and day to day activities will be very different. My aim is to support you, my fellow fundraisers and event managers to continue to do great things and seek opportunities that will benefit your organisations.
As well as working with clients, my work with my Facebook group shall continue as it is more important than ever that we share ideas and help each other. It is so uplifting to see fundraisers sharing ideas and connecting with each other, long may it continue. I shall also be writing regular blogs with thoughts and ideas on topics within Community Fundraising and Events and welcome you to share your ideas too.
Civitas Consultancy exists to put you into the heart of your community, please reach out to me if you have lost your focus, worried about challenges you may face in coming months, or feel you arenâ€™t getting anywhere. We all face challenges, and in this one you are not alone.