Slow it down, my 2020 focus (and how getting my bag stolen helped me reshape my plans)

To continue my theme from last week’s blog about learning from 2019,  I want to share a little bit about my 2020 focus and (maybe!) to encourage you too to slow it down a bit. On holiday in Barcelona over the new year, Tony and I did our annual review and goal setting process.  I had already given my goals for my area of the business a lot of thought.  I had big plans for content creation, marketing and general world domination. Soon after finishing […]

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Three things I learned in 2019

Is it really TWENTY years since we were partying like it was 1999?  Twenty years since I moved from childhood to adulthood and ten years since I started to my journey into motherhood. The start of a new year, let alone a new decade, offers for me the opportunity to reflect and re-set.  Drawing upon wins, fails, surprises, joys and everything in between. 2019 was a momentous year for LarkOwl.  Momentous primarily because we went from not existing to existing.  Alongside launching our business, we […]

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Red, amber, green, your guide to approaching a charitable trust for the first time

I’m delighted to share a simple trust fundraising traffic light system with you which is designed to show you when to go for it and when to hold back when it comes to approaching a charitable trust for the first time. This checklist is especially helpful for charitable trusts who do not have their own website and who publish only limited information about their application process and giving criteria. In my most recent employment, my personal hit rate was pretty good.  Quite frankly, after nearly […]

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How to set a fundraising target

It has come to my attention that some fundraisers don’t know how to set a fundraising target.  Or maybe they do, but for whatever reason, they prefer the ‘back of a fag packet / finger in the wind’ approach. I don’t know why people do this.  It’s certainly the quicker option.   Maybe they feel that time spent reflecting on the year past and planning for the year ahead could be better spent with donors (or sat in internal meetings?)   Maybe these people are […]

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Rejection in fundraising, why hearing ‘no’ is a blessing…

Rejection in fundraising is common across all types of fundraising and is something even the very best, most experienced fundraisers deal with regularly.  There are many reasons though why hearing ‘no’ is actually a blessing. Following my recent post on fundraising KPI’s, many of you got in touch to say how much you enjoyed my theory on being rejection in fundraising and in particular, in the wild world of trusts and foundations. I believe that volume* matters in trust fundraising and that if you’re not […]

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juggling all the things including trust fundraising

Trust fundraising while spinning a thousand plates

Many of my clients are small and medium sized charities and non-profits.  The smallest of these have no staff and trustees / directors who are doing the operational work alongside strategic governance.  The juggle is real.  The struggle is real.  Many feel like they’re trust fundraising while spinning a thousand plates. For charities with one to a handful of employees, trust fundraising is something which often falls to someone with multiple other roles.  They might also for example be the CEO, the finance officer and […]

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Managing a trust fundraiser

Trust fundraising targets, KPI’s and expectations

It can be argued that fundraisers are the easiest people to performance manage because the metrics  (or metric) you use to measure them are black and white.   How much money have they raised?   Having been a fundraiser for many years, I would argue that using this metric alone can be misleading and was keen to express the danger of citing the ‘money raised’ stat in isolation when we published our benchmarking report on return on investment in fundraising back in May. So for […]

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Trust fundraising to ease cash flow

In trust fundraising circles, I can see why many professionals would deem the idea of using trust fundraising to ease cash flow as misleading / unhelpful clickbait.  The truth is, there are no quick wins out there.  Low hanging fruit (a phrase I hate because it makes me think of testicles) is not a thing.   Successful fundraising (not just trust fundraising) never happens in the zone of panic or timescale-related desperation.       That said, there are times when charities and non-profits need […]

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Personal development for fundraisers on a budget

Fundraisers are often as ambitious as they are frugal and as such I’ve put together five top tips for conducting your own personal development on an absolute shoestring. 1. Join fundraising communities: from the incredibly active ‘Fundraising Chat’ on Facebook – where people are talking everything from event venue recommendations to posting relevant fundraising news – to the free, quarterly London-based corporate fundraising network, there are plenty of knowledge hubs that you can tap into at the touch of a button. 2. Read blogs and […]

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How to improve your writing for charitable trusts

Early on in my career, I had the most incredible boss and mentor.  Amongst her many positive qualities, she was a stickler for jargon.  Being quite new into our charity. she noticed that we were guilty of more than our fair share of unnecessary ‘management speak’ and made it her mission to improve our writing for charitable trusts. As well as sending the fundraising team on a Plain English Campaign training course (BEST training I’ve ever done as a fundraiser and would hands down recommend), […]

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