hand writing a plan into a journal

What is a cultivation plan?

For your top 20% donors (more if you have the time), I recommend creating an individual cultivation plan.   The cultivation plan is your vision for how you’d like a relationship with a major donor to develop.   It is an opportunity for you to visualise and then record the way in which you envisage a donor making their own personal trip around the donor cycle, as a supporter of your charity. In practical terms, it’s the place where you plot out the actions which […]

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gorilla in nature

Emergency funding and the climate crisis

During a quiet moment on my paddleboard whilst on holiday, I retrieved a single use face covering from the water.  The poignancy of the moment inspired this article. Our 2021 Fundraising ROI’s benchmarking study gives all of us many reasons to feel cheerful.  For many charities, income held up and return on investment actually improved. Access to emergency funds saw many charities in a position to plan for the future in a way they’d never been able to before. And yet during the past year, […]

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What fundraisers are thinking and feeling in 2021

When it comes to Fundraising ROI’s and our work to benchmark the expectations for different types of fundraising, the figures tell only a small part of the story.   I believe that the testimonies of fundraisers paint an even more powerful picture of where we are as a sector than the accompanying figures do.   This year more than ever, we invited open ended, long form responses to many of the questions in our Fundraising ROI’s benchmarking study.   Here are the (largely unedited) things […]

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football on a pitch

Fundraising and football: possession, creating shots and playing the long game

Many of this year’s respondents of our Fundraising ROI’s survey generated income from areas where they spent nothing.  Unsolicited major gifts and legacies were not unusual.   Money for nothing???  Tell me more please….   It will come as no surprise that the charities who benefitted from such unsolicited gifts were the ones who had several other well established streams of income.   It makes sense doesn’t it?   Invest in individual giving for long enough and inevitably, you’ll receive some major gifts Be consistent […]

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a sunflower and sunshine

Reasons to be optimistic

Our third benchmarking study which collates data on the Return on Investment for different types of fundraising has just been published (download your copy here!) Without wishing to give too much away, I wanted to present a summary of findings. Here are the things which stood out for me:   Reading the responses and looking at the data, one thing was clear. 2020 was not the utter disaster I’d expected it to be.  Overall ROI held up and was higher in many areas. Most respondents […]

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two kids in wetsuits cheering

A family affair: kids and charitable giving

I mentioned in a newsletter a few weeks ago that as part of their monthly pocket money, we give our kids a budget for charitable giving.  We received so much positivity around this (including readers who started to do the same for their tiny babies!) that we wanted to talk a bit more about it. Where it all began Our kids are aware of both the importance of giving, of helping other people and of the huge blessings which abound in their own lives.  Philanthropy […]

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hand writing in a journal

Fundraising ROI’s, benchmarking and me

This piece was originally published on UK Fundraising.  Thank you Howard Lake and team for continuing to support our #FundraisingROI project!    Since releasing our Fundraising ROI report, The Calm Before the Storm, in September 2020, all the talk has been about organisations (and pandemics and stuff obviously). There are pros and cons to using return on investment figures to make decisions and to set targets and there are banana skins which organisations must be mindful of if they want to use the data in […]

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stressed out lego man sat at computer

Missed opportunities in fundraising

The publication of The Calm Before The Storm in September 2020 gave us food for thought around the missed opportunities in fundraising.  Read on for our interpretation of events and for our thoughts on where charities could be doing more.   2020 was brutal for fundraisers and for the charities we serve.  Streams of income disappeared overnight.  Stock market panic.  Trusts and foundations quickly reassigning their priorities to help communities affected by coronavirus (great for some, not so much for others). The data gathered and […]

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Trust Fundraising in 2021, your questions answered  

We’ve been reflecting on our May workshop, ‘Trust Fundraising in 2021, What You Need to Know’. Those of you who made it to the live session were so brilliantly active in the chat.  We loved how engaged you all were throughout the session – thank you for your company and your commitment! Below are your questions from Trust Fundraising in 2021.  I’ve done my best to give brief answers to them all, and I reckon some of them will make excellent longer form articles in […]

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Fix the Form

This is a guest post by Laura Solomons, a non profit professional, grant giver, grant seeker and part of the team behind #FixTheForm     “I just filled out a 6 figure request where I had 4x the real- estate to describe the structure of my board of directors and board governance than I had to describe the program, outcomes and impacts”.   “It makes me wonder if the funder is more concerned about board governance than they are program delivery?  It’s fine to give […]

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