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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rain is falling and fundraising is not going well...

What to do when fundraising isn’t going well, part 2

So…the stormclouds have burst and the rainclouds are falling. Last week started to delve into the actions you can take when you’re a long way from your fundraising target and the pressure is building. We looked at the importance of gathering information and how we can organise it to help us make a new plan. Here are some further things you can do if your funding applications are not showing the results you’d like. Seek feedback Seek feedback from donors who have rejected you if […]

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storm clouds ahead: what to do when your fundraising is not going well

What to do when fundraising isn’t going well, part 1

I once worked with a client who had made several applications to various trusts and foundations for an imminent capital appeal.  They’d been awarded a couple of large grants so were desperate to fill the remaining gap and get on with the project.  However, most of their applications had been rejected and they were running out of options.  Their fundraising was not going well. It felt like a tough gig.  Going back to great prospects after a failed attempt is always hard.  Often you have […]

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Work it out! Fitness and fundraising

Feeling inspired by a recent conversation on twitter about freelancing in the charity sector and why making time for exercise should be a critical part of a freelancer’s business plan (thank you Helen Trenchard and Rob Woods), I wanted to add my own thoughts to the conversation.  Whilst not an athlete, I would definitely define myself as a fitness addict and I believe very strongly that fitness and fundraising (and plenty of other professions for that matter) go hand in hand. Since witnessing my Dad […]

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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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Responding to challenge – how to manage internal relationships with non-fundraisers

It’s hard to manage internal relationships with non-fundraisers and to advocate for yourself to people who are in positions of power.  Especially if you are a woman, if you are young, if you are a person of colour or belong to any other kind of minority group.  Power and control abound and we would be disingenuous to ignore its place in this scenario. However, trustees and CEO’s have other challenges to deal with.  Fundraising is one of many balls they have to juggle and unless […]

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