11 year old Caroline

Eleven year old Caroline

Has anyone noticed that there are certain words and phrases being used in exceptionally high volume right now?   Innovation New ways of working Shift Change Pivoting (yep, I’m also picturing THAT scene from Friends right now)   This all makes me feel super uncomfortable   Why I hear you ask? It’s because I have spent many, many years honing a fundraising craft which is not particularly innovative. There are tried and tested ways of doing trusts and major gifts fundraising which work.  Whilst I […]

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The popularity contest, how to fundraise for an unpopular cause

Last summer, we sent a survey to our lovely newseltter subscribers and asked if there were any topics you’d like us to cover.  One reader asked, ‘How do I fundraise for an unpopular cause’.   Several months on, I’m now getting around to writing a response.  I hope it’s still relevant and useful.   There is a narrative which persists across most non-profits I have worked in.  I’m going to hazard a guess it is heard in every single charity.  It goes something like this: […]

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Fundraising Benchmarking 2020

Back in 2017 I had the brilliant idea of updating the Fundratios 2013 report, undertaking a new round of analysis on ROI fundraising benchmarking figures. In 2019, we launched the findings, and to date around 400 people have downloaded the study which remains the only UK Fundraising ROI benchmarking study which is both free to participate in and free to download.   Let’s do it again!   Why is it important to benchmark our return on investment figures? When we did our first study in […]

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Fundraiaing Everywhere Festival logo

Why I LOVE online training

This post is a celebration of online training.  There’s also a little plug at the end for the upcoming Fundraising Everywhere Festival (which I am personally very excited about).  I hope to connect with you there in the chatbox.   The world is moving online. With lockdown in place and movement restricted, the internet is our only recourse to the outside world and to the communities to whom we belong. Zoom and Houseparty are vying for second place in 2020’s ‘word of the year’ competition […]

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child hiding behind their hands

Business planning and avoidance tactics

Most charities I’ve worked with over the past year on the topic of business planning (amongst other things) have asked pretty much the same question, “What should we be doing right now?” Nobody really has all the answers to this, but…   Whatever your ‘silly season’ is, I can guarantee you’ll be in the midst of it thinking “I wish I’d planned better for this during the quieter times”.   I think for many of us, now has unexpectedly become that quieter time. One of […]

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tree frog

Night owls, productivity (and why Tony doesn’t eat frogs either…)

I’m sure I’m not the only night owl frustrated by all the gurus telling me about being productive. I like you Tim Ferriss.  But making my bed first thing doesn’t put me in the mindset that I’m achieving things early on.  It’s flicking a duvet, not running a half marathon. Brian Tracy is going to tell you to Eat the Frog, and I get it,  but my lovely morning lark will tell you that I struggle to have a conversation first thing in the mornings. […]

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Four productive things trust fundraisers can do right now…

This week’s article is a guest piece by Clare Chillingworth who is Trusts and Foundations Manager at the Bone Cancer Research Trust. It is the full, unedited reply she sent in response to our recent piece entitled Covid-19 and trust fundraising.   As well as being very kind about our article (thanks Clare!), I thought that her methodical and measured response to our current situation could be helpful to others.  Clare agreed that I could share it with you all.   I don’t know about […]

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Blue poison dart frog

Clair can’t eat frogs (and other tales of procrastination)

Procrastination is my kryptonite, as it is for many people. The ultimate thief of time, the art of distraction, misplaced priorities and time wasting rolled into one.  I touched on this a couple of weeks ago, reflecting on the both the chaos and the opportunities presented by the corona-crisis. This week’s article goes a little deeper into the topic of procrastination. Most humans I think suffer from a degree of procrastination.  This (extremely funny) TED talk on the subject has been viewed over 37 million […]

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Covid-19 and trust fundraising

Despite the world having gone to hell in a hand cart, trust fundraisers are still able to continue their work in a way which vaguely resembles ‘business as usual’. The arrival of Covid-19 has brought several of our fundraising colleagues to a standstill. It is therefore our job as trust fundraisers to continue our work to as high a standard as possible (difficult I know, focus and concentration is certainly not something I’m personally nailing at the moment). Here are five things to consider in […]

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The c word..

In just two weeks, the world has changed beyond all recognition (this picture of us on holiday in January feels like a LIFETIME ago). The freedom and security we all took for granted is now either non existent or has a ticking time bomb attached.  Nothing feels permanent. I’m worried about the impact on our business and on our household income.  My slightly out of control addiction to the news and social media is making it hard to focus on work. I don’t think I’ve […]

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