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  • Writer's pictureKristin Meredith Galley

Building Resilience: A Journey of Hope with Homes of Hope Manchester

In the challenging world of charity fundraising, disappointment is a constant companion. Messages such as ‘your application has been unsuccessful’ are a part of the job, and it takes a special kind of resilience to weather them. For Gary, the CEO of Homes of Hope Manchester, these messages were not just disappointments; they were potential setbacks for a charity struggling to emerge from a deep financial well.


When Gary approached us in September 2022, the future of Homes of Hope seemed uncertain, with only a six-month financial runway. Yet, against all odds, the charity not only survived but thrived. There were a few successful grant awards. The first-year accounts were published. Gary tapped into his network; a former charity leader friend advised him to diversify his fundraising efforts with some sponsored events alongside applications to trusts and foundations. We crafted a donor appeal that brought in a sizeable amount from two supportive donors. He met a wonderful, devoted Christian property developer, who saw and shared Gary’s vision to empower homeless men to reclaim their lives through work, faith and the love and compassion of a community. Three Homes of Hope houses turned into four, and now they have plans to open Restoration House, a recovery home for individuals who have struggled with addiction alongside their homelessness.

None of these things happened by chance – it was Gary’s tenacity and unwillingness to give up that kept Homes of Hope moving forward.

 

So, what can other small charities learn from Gary’s journey in transforming frustration and fear into progress?

 

1. Clarity of Purpose: Gary’s unwavering understanding of Homes of Hope’s purpose was instrumental. Communicating that purpose effectively, especially in the face of financial adversity, helped maintain focus and attract support.

2. Contextual Awareness: Gary navigated the financial, local and national landscapes, identifying opportunities and challenges. Understanding the context is crucial for small charities seeking to establish themselves without the benefit of national recognition or substantial financial backing.


3. Unified Leadership: Homes of Hope’s success was fuelled by a united leadership team, each member understanding their role and sharing the vision for the charity’s growth. In the face of adversity, a cohesive leadership is essential.

4. Building Networks: Recognising that charities can’t operate in isolation, Gary actively sought advice and shared ideas with individuals and organisations doing similar work. A strong network is a lifeline for small charities seeking to weather financial storms.


5. Embracing Impact: For all charities, the ultimate goal is the positive impact on their beneficiaries. Gary’s focus on serving his guests, witnessing their transformation from feeling broken to feeling empowered, highlighted the power of impact as a driving force.

6. Celebrating Small Wins: Even the smallest donations play a vital role in reaching fundraising goals. Gary’s ability to celebrate these victories, no matter how modest, reinforced a positive momentum that contributed to Homes of Hope’s success.


Ultimately, Gary’s story reveals that resilience isn’t just about financial strategies; it’s rooted in relationships. Homes of Hope’s resilience is mirrored in the transformations of its service users. The men who came to Homes of Hope feeling broken and unworthy became role models for resilience, showing that even in the face of adversity, faith, love and relationships are the keys to moving forward.

As we celebrate Homes of Hope Manchester’s journey, let it serve as inspiration for all small charities, demonstrating that in the face of financial uncertainty, a resilient spirit can pave the way for a brighter and more impactful future.

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