Managing relationships
Managing relationships

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Managing relationships

1 Relationships inside and outside

Resource-winning activities are central to enabling an organisation to achieve its goals and, indeed, to secure its very survival. Without resources the organisation will quickly die. But relationships with other parts of your organisation and the wider environment can throw up all sorts of concerns about fundraising. At times it may appear that your work is viewed as a regrettable necessity or even not part of the real work at all. Sometimes you may feel that your efforts are undervalued. Perhaps colleagues in other departments are unwilling to acknowledge your professional expertise and the significance of your distinctive contribution to the organisation, or you attract the criticism that your activities are in some way undermining the values and principles of the organisation. Sometimes it may even be alleged that the requirements of funders may take priority over the needs of your service users in a way which threatens to distort the mission of the organisation.

How you are seen by the rest of your organisation and the wider environment in which you operate, depends on the relationships you build with them, but there may be tensions and ambiguities that are not of your making. Different people may have not only differing interests in what you do but also differing views about how you should do it. Understanding how you relate to all the diverse expectations of your role will help you to see where the tensions and conflicts may arise and to adopt strategies to address these, if not resolve them. In order to do this you need to have some understanding of the various audiences for your performance as a fundraiser. So we now turn to a brief discussion of stakeholders and customers to see if these concepts can assist your analysis of your work and your role.

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