Leading third sector consultancy firm, Oaks Consultancy, has joined forces with Laureus Sport for Good USA to launch its inaugural North American Sport for Development Fundraising Accelerator. The programme will help to equip a cohort of organisations with the specific skills, structure and confidence necessary to successfully build and implement an effective fundraising strategy.

Having launched the programme earlier this month, Oaks and Laureus are seeking up to 10 North American-focussed sport for development organisations to take part in the free, virtual accelerator over a three-month period – from October to December – to help them to scale up and move forwards post-pandemic.

In total, the programme is set to provide over $10,000 worth of value-in-kind support per cohort member. Successful applicants will benefit from one to three hours of group workshops and one-to-one mentoring each week; all of which are designed to help review their fundraising performance, explore their fundraising potential, and build an effective, informed strategy.

Commenting on the launch of the accelerator, Rahul Bissoonauth, Director of Business Development at Oaks Consultancy, said:

“Fundraising remains one of the largest challenges facing North American Sport. Our State of the Sector Report earlier this year revealed that over 60% of organisations using sport for social change were facing a reduction in funding and this is expected to continue this year and next.

In response, together with our partners at Laureus, we’re excited to launch the first ever Fundraising Accelerator programme for North American sports organisations. We’re keen to support organisations of all shapes and sizes and we’re seeking a good geographic and thematic spread. It’s our hope that each member of the cohort will leave the programme with solutions in place and a plan of action to improve their fundraising for years to come.”

Oaks have worked in sport for development for over 13 years and their team has collectively raised over £80M from trusts, foundations, major donors and corporates, empowering a group of socially minded organisations to grow their work, reach more vulnerable people, and ultimately change lives across the world.

What’s more, after taking on its first international client, UEFA, in 2019, Oaks has significantly grown its international clientele by an impressive 23% in less than two years. With current projects and clients based in Germany, Switzerland, Zambia and India, the fundraising consultancy firm are confident that its international profile will continue to rise to new heights.

Julia Lankford, Director of Operations at Laureus USA, added:

“After such a challenging financial period for the sector, we are delighted to be partnering with Oaks on this brand new accelerator that will support organizations across the North American region.

We have a shared vision of sport as a force for positive change and are looking forward to making a real difference with this initial cohort. We are confident that it will help set up participants to both survive and thrive post-pandemic, which in turn will benefit the wider sport for development community.”