Ruth Fawcett, Head of Fundraising and PR at Leeds Mencap charity, shares her story with Ayoa about how she and her team use Mind Mapping for a whole host of tasks.
Leeds Mencap is a small, independent charity that supports over 250 children and adults with learning disabilities, and their families and carers per week. We offer a range of activities and services including play schemes, parent and carer support, a dance group, residential homes and much, much more! We are regularly regarded as a life-life charity and receive many fantastic comments about our services. This is what one mother wrote recently;
“Without Leeds Mencap we would be lost. We have so much to thank them for and now my family is stronger than ever!”
My role as Head of Fundraising & PR is to ensure we have enough income to cover the costs of the activities and services we provide. In recent months, we have had to ‘ramp up’ the fundraising as we are planning to purchase a local piece of land and host a centre which will support over 900 individuals annually through a range of different activities such as youth clubs, child care provision, family fun days and advice on money management. This capital appeal on top of revenue fundraising is meaning that that the fundraising team need to extra work hard to reach very ambitious targets.
I noticed that my team generates better ideas, and works more productively when using more visually stimulating tools such as colored pens and paper. I mentioned this to our Fundraising Consultant, who recommended iMindMap – now my team and I are real converts!
We have many plans to help us to achieve our ambitious financial goals and iMindMap has helped us enormously to organize and explore our ideas in an effective and proactive way.
It is also particularly helpful when problem-solving in team meetings. A Mind Map gives us a birds eye view, so we can quickly make accurate decisions. For example, this morning we used iMindMap to see how many volunteers we will need at each event. We color-coded our volunteers in iMindMap, so we know, for example, that we have enough volunteers for handling cash (blue); supporting the service users (red); welcoming and providing first aid (green). We also use iMindMap to ensure we have enough support for the volunteers and to label who needs equipment such as signing up sheets and cash floats. If we were to write lists for all of our planning, they would be endless and impossible to visualize.
When exploring new ways to raise money for Leeds Mencap, we have to really be creative to try and find new methods. We have found that using iMindMap is so fun to work with, we can really play around with ideas and easily come up with original ideas – such as a bike marathon and a dog sledding expedition!
Once we have generated some ideas, we then use iMindMap to refine and develop them into plans. For example, we would jot down who we think these types of events would appeal to and how we will target them. For example, the dog sledding expedition would appeal to animal lovers and an effective way to target these people would be through advertising at the local kennels. As you can see from the Mind Map above, it is really quick and easy to plan and organize our events with iMindMap.
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